Voice Search Optimization For Large Coporations

Voice Search Optimization Phases, Tools & Development 

Consider the Phases Prior To Implementing a Voice Search Optimization Strategy

 The first thing to understand about what it means for large businesses to get started with voice search is that there are phases. Before all of the phases, there will be discovery where stakeholders consider the cost and benefits of innovating an existing infrastructure and updating it to be voice search friendly, just like what was done with mobile. It took some companies years to upgrade to responsive, once they realized it was an inevitably.

Once the commitment is made on an executive level, and there is a voice search budget (which should at the minimum be 100k on the content side just to move some viable research into implementation - for development, depending on what kind of voice search application, more like 500k, unless it is an Alexa skill- the cost to create an Alexa skill starts around 50k for a reputable firm to take on a project like this) to do what needs to be done.

Then there is a research phase which involves using a lot of different tools and platforms.There is a planning stage phase where the competition is assessed and considered. There is finally the implementation phase where before anything is done all approvals must be made, and phases created for each (content, voice search app dev, etc.). Then once implementation occurs,  put tracking in place so improvements or modifications can be made, and learnings can be gained in order to evolve the campaign  / products as a whole.

Research Phase

The research phase of voice search optimization includes figuring out what phrases or keywords your customers will likely to be using. Because Google is now evolved to become more of an answers engine rather than a search engine much of the research phase will involve selecting and finding keywords and phrases that are more geared towards asking questions, and providing answers. So, you will need to find a lot of keywords that match those questions and shape the answers. For example a voice optimization search research phase for a restaurant may find people are asking, where is the best chicken sandwich near me, and the corresponding answer may be, the best chicken sandwich in X City (New York City, etc.) is at X. That content may also have ratings and other supporting content in order to validate that claim.


Once all of this is done then there is a lot of raw search data and a lot of opportunities that can be considered from this data set. This is where priorities are made based on business goals or where many of the keywords and phrases are eliminated because maybe they are too competitive or maybe they are just not relevant so there is actually a lot of planning that needs to be done to prepare a final strategy. 

Strategy Implementation

 The implementation phase is when all the planning has been done and a final strategic approach has been determined in terms of what voice keywords will be used, on what pages they will be used, on how the content will be created or modified, and how to accommodate those keywords. Usually during implementation there are number of approvals that need to be gained before making these changes. There are of course sub-phases to consider with this, which would be content planning and implementation graphic design that supports that content development.  For example consider a restaurant that wants its customers to be able to go to the website and order food right there from the website. That is a case where the web development team will need to create a order by voice application that lets visitors to that restaurant's website order by voice right there from an order page. That build will require it's own set of phases.

Other Considerations

Voice search tool sets and platforms

While there are a number of seo keyword research tools that can be used to figure out what types of keywords are being used for voice search commands and queries, such as MOZ, BrightEdge, SEMrush, Ahrefs, etc., it is important to note that there will likely be new voice search optimization tools or existing tools that are updated for voice search, so stay turned.

Partner with development

One thing to consider with voice search is that while voice search optimization can guide the process of selecting keywords and phrases that will be used in commands and queries that are made by voice A.I. assistants or different ordering applications set up to be voice oriented, many voice applications will actually need to be developed beyond simply optimizing content on a website for voice search Q&A. This may be as easy as developing a new skill developed on Alexa which is already a voice search oriented platform or as complex as creating a voice search ordering application from scratch which will be a much different, more complex mission. But either way voice search optimizers should be prepared to partner with development teams in order to get the most out of the voice search reality that is coming to our digital world in the near future.

Jonathan Poston Speaking Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University Business Students Learn SEO From Jonathan Poston

Photo by Dr. Ghosh of Jonathan Poston speaking on SEO at CW

In the late winter of 2019, when it's still snowing and icing and generally being colder than Christmas in space in Cleveland OH, Jonathan Poston received an email from a Case Western Reserve University professor, as follows:


On Tue, Jan 1, 2019 at 12:43 PM Somali Ghosh <...@case.edu> wrote:Dear Mr Poston,      Happy New Year! Thank you for confirming your availability on Feb 14th (10-11 am). I am providing some details below.I would appreciate it if you could please share the presentation with me at least two days prior to the presentation so I can bring handouts for my students. Class size 20-25, junior/senior level undergraduates, who will have done some theory on SEO by the time of your presentation.Most will be marketing majors/minors.Course name: Strategic Internet MarketingClass Day/time: Feb 14th (10-11 am)Class Room: PBL 118 , first floor room in Peter B. Lewis Building also called the Weatherhead School of Management.( 11119 Bellflower Road, Cleveland 44106).Parking Instructions:    Please park in the Severance Garage only (Parking Lot 29,    11172 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106  ) and please remember to bring the parking ticket with you so I may get it validated. I can  get tickets validated for this garage only
 And, a follow up email:

On Fri, Feb 8, 2019 at 8:36 AM Somali Ghosh <...@case.edu> wrote:Hi Jonathan, I wanted to drop a friendly reminder for your upcoming presentation to my strategic internet marketing class. We are eagerly awaiting your presentation.I am giving the details below for your convenience:Course name: Strategic Internet MarketingClass Day/time: Feb 14th (10-11 am)Class Room: PBL 118 , first floor room in Peter B. Lewis Building also called the Weatherhead School of Management.( 11119 Bellflower Road, Cleveland 44106).Parking Instructions:    Please park in the Severance Garage only (Parking Lot 29,    11172 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106  )


Showing up that day, I stopped by the Starbucks on Case Western's quaint campus (it really is beautiful over there near Cleveland's art museum) to prep, and then went over to the Peter B. Lewis Weatherhead building to meet up with Professor Ghosh to speak with the class.

When the class came in I ran through the presentation on SEO, created by BrightEdge (they had someone who was supposed to come along but something came up and she could not make it). It was a nice course on the fundamentals of SEO, and the students were super attentive and had great questions at the end.

Definitely recommend the experience for anyone who enjoys giving guest lectures and presentations for university students.