Writing for voice search vs. writing for human readers





Blog Date

June 6, 2024


UK, Manchester

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Writing for voice search vs. writing for human readers

The Art of Adapting Your Writing Style

I’ll never forget the day I discovered the power of voice search. It was during a family road trip, and my 5-year-old niece asked her smartphone a seemingly innocent question: “Where’s the nearest ice cream shop?” Within seconds, a robotic voice responded with detailed directions, and just like that, our search for a sweet treat was effortlessly solved.

That moment made me realize how quickly voice search was becoming a ubiquitous part of our lives. As an aspiring writer, I couldn’t help but wonder: How might this newfangled technology influence the way I craft my words? After all, writing for the ears is a markedly different beast than writing for the eyes.

The Rise of Voice Search

Over the past decade, voice search has skyrocketed in popularity. Studies show that nearly half of all internet users now rely on voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant to find information, set reminders, and control smart home devices. And the trend shows no signs of slowing down – experts predict that by 2024, over 8 billion voice assistants will be in use worldwide.

This rapid adoption of voice search has profound implications for how we communicate. When people speak their queries aloud, they tend to use more natural, conversational language compared to the concise, keyword-heavy queries they might type into a search bar. Voice searches are also often longer, with users asking full questions rather than just a few keywords.

Optimizing for Voice Search

So, what does this mean for writers like myself, who are tasked with creating content that not only informs and engages human readers but also appeals to the robotic ears of voice search algorithms? The answer lies in a delicate balance of strategies:

1. Focus on Natural Language

When writing for voice search, it’s crucial to abandon the rigid, formulaic style that often works well for written content. Instead, adopt a more conversational tone, using the kind of natural language you might use when talking to a friend. Pepper your writing with contractions, colloquialisms, and rhetorical questions to make it sound more human.

2. Answer Questions Directly

Voice search users are typically looking for quick, concise answers to their questions. So, make sure your content is structured in a way that addresses the core query, rather than burying the important information beneath layers of fluff. Lead with the most salient points, and use clear, straightforward language to convey your message.

3. Optimize for Local Search

Since many voice searches are driven by a desire for nearby information (like the location of that ice cream shop), it’s essential to optimize your content for local search. This might involve incorporating relevant geographical keywords, providing detailed address information, and ensuring your business is listed accurately on online directories.

Writing for Human Readers

Of course, while the rise of voice search is undoubtedly shaping the future of content creation, we mustn’t forget the importance of writing for human readers. After all, the vast majority of content consumption still happens on screens, where the written word reigns supreme.

When crafting content for human eyeballs, the approach is a bit different. Here, the goal is to create an engaging, immersive experience that captivates the reader and leaves a lasting impression. This might involve:

1. Leveraging Narrative Elements

Weaving in narrative elements like suspense, humor, and surprise can make your writing more captivating and memorable for human readers. Consider incorporating personal anecdotes, vivid descriptions, and plot-like structures to draw your audience in and keep them hooked.

2. Using Vivid, Descriptive Language

While conciseness is key for voice search, human readers often appreciate more ornate, descriptive language. Don’t be afraid to employ rich metaphors, sensory details, and evocative word choices to paint a vivid picture in the reader’s mind.

3. Fostering Emotional Connections

Ultimately, the most impactful writing is the kind that resonates on an emotional level. By tapping into universal human experiences and emotions, you can create a deeper, more meaningful connection with your audience. Use empathy, vulnerability, and relatable themes to forge that vital bond.

Balancing the Two Approaches

Of course, the ideal scenario is to find a way to seamlessly blend the best of both worlds – writing that captivates human readers while also catering to the unique demands of voice search. It’s a delicate balancing act, to be sure, but one that’s well worth the effort.

After all, as the team at MCR SEO in Manchester, UK would no doubt agree, the future of content is a hybrid one – a world where the written word and the spoken word coexist in perfect harmony. And as writers, it’s our job to be the bridge between these two realms, crafting words that speak to the hearts and minds of all who encounter them.

So, whether your audience is a curious 5-year-old asking about ice cream or a discerning human reader seeking a captivating narrative, let’s embrace the challenge and create content that truly sings.

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