Keyword Research: Voice Search vs Text Search

Aimee Beck
2 min readJan 24, 2018

As a writer, I try very hard to mesh the way I write with the way I talk, so my writing reads naturally. But it’s not easy. I’m naturally drawn toward a different way of writing my thoughts than the way I might blurt it out in a conversation.

Why? When we’re typing, we tend to try to be more descriptive. That’s because when we write we’re missing out on a bunch of other cues like inflection, tone, facial expressions and, of course, context.

Here are some examples of how keyword queries might differ between voice search and text search:

Voice: Where’s the closest pizza place?

Text: pizza restaurants near me

Voice: How do I make banana bread?

Text: banana bread recipes

Voice: How’s the weather in Cancun today?

Text: Current Cancun weather conditions

Voice: Why is my hair going grey?

Text: reasons for grey hair

Voice: how tall is Michael Jordon?

Text: michael jordon height

Voice: Where is the Eiffel Tower?

Text: Eiffel tower location

See what I mean? We speak very differently than we type. Now, if Google voice search is looking to match keywords to queries in voice search, then we need to think about how people are using keywords — verbally. The goal behind keyword research has always been to get inside the heads of your prospects to understand how they’re searching for your products and services so you can deliver the right content at the right phase of the buy flow. The goal remains the same. But the keyword phrases we choose to use in our web pages will change a little.

Fortunately, Google is getting better and better and understanding semantics, which make it easier for us to use a variety of different keyword variations throughout our copy. It’s a good thing, too, because it’d be a nightmare if we were still dealing with exact-match keyword usage to rank in SERPs. Can you imagine trying to use exact-match keywords for voice search keyword phrases? Eek!

Originally published at on January 24, 2018.



Aimee Beck

Independent Content Marketing Manager | SEO/UX Copywriter | Editor. Let me breathe new life into your web pages, blog posts and email campaigns. Email me today!