Comparing VSO and SEO Techniques: What’s New?

Nowadays, technology moves a mile a minute. Blink and you’ll miss a new abbreviation. But what is VSO, and how does it differ from SEO?


SEO, as business owners and content marketing professionals know, is a combination of different techniques and strategies which help to increase website traffic. 

Don’t let VSO scare you. It’s nearly the same thing. 

What’s the difference?

VSO, or Voice Search Optimisation, is targeted towards voice command searches, rather than typed searches. 

VSO is targeted towards voice command searches, rather than typed searches

At our Bristol office, we have been exploring the ways that VSO will and won’t change our digital content marketing strategies. 

In 2019, 20% of all Google searches were made through voice command. 

More and more people are making use of AI household assistants like Google Home, Siri and Alexa.  

VSO Top Tips

1. Incorporation of long-tail keywords 

  • When speaking aloud, we use more words and form longer sentences
  • Long-tail keywords focus on how we speak, rather than how we type
  • Content marketing must incorporate natural language patterns
  • To keep up with VSO guidelines, change targeted keywords in your content marketing to full sentences and rephrase headers.

2. Apps and skills included on your website 

  • The inclusion of simple voice apps or skills within your website will ensure your marketing content is current. 

3. Q and A content appeals to voice searchers

  • The majority of voices searches are phrased as questions
  • Your content marketing should seek to answer as many question-based searches as possible.

4. Feature snippets are prioritised 

  • Feature snippets are search results that feature at the top of Google’s results
  • Google voice search prioritises feature snippets.

5. Quality means more than quantity 

  • Quality digital marketing content will help your website rank higher, in terms of both SEO and VSO
  • Consumers spend, on average, 20 seconds on a web page, so first impressions must convince them to stay.

Mobile friendly content/web design is essential in 2020

6. Mobile friendly content/web design is essential in 2020

  • Our mobiles are our most portable way of accessing the internet
  • Many people search on their mobile, whilst on the go
  • 70% of consumers are more likely to purchase from/contact a business with a mobile-friendly business 
  • Not accommodating mobile users is no longer an option for the sensible business owner.

7. Local SEO

  • Frequent voice searches include phrases like “Where is my closest café?” or “Tell me my nearest post office”
  • Placing a larger emphasis on local SEO will attract users to your site
  • Collect reviews from customers, use location tags and pages, create a location specific “About” page
  • Include location specific keywords (like Bristol) in your content marketing.

The majority of what your business has been doing to optimise your content marketing SEO still stands. 

Just remember: Long-tail keywords, Q and A content, local SEO.

Embracing and accommodating VSO will help your website remain current. Keep a close eye on our blog for more content marketing solutions. 

Whether your business is Bristol-based or further afield, contact us or take a look at our services if you’d like to find out more.


Ellis Hartley-McDonald

Ellis is part of Impressona's social media team. Within his background in marketing, he has worked in several marketing areas and business industries.

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