Being a marketer today is tough. You have to constantly evolve your skill set to encompass new technologies and best practices, and you have to always try to stay one step ahead of what your competitors are doing. But while these factors do make marketing more difficult, they also make it more exciting — at least for those of us who love a good challenge.

There are seemingly endless ways to tout your brand and reach new customers. It’s up to you to not only take advantage of them, but to optimize your message so you stretch your efforts as far as they can go. One area where there’s still a lot to be done: voice search.

Voice search has been around since 2011, but it’s only been in the past handful of years that it’s become a necessary focus of successful online marketing. Now, SEO for voice search is as important as SEO for written content, with exponential growth still to come. It’s expected that by 2020, 50% of all online searches will be done via voice on devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and that by 2021 42.4% of internet users will be using voice assistants.

Clearly, you can’t afford to opt out of optimizing for voice. So how do you do it? Here are four things you need to know to make sure your voice SEO is as strong as your written SEO.

  1. Know the Difference Between Voice Queries and Text Queries

SEO for voice and SEO for text are different not just because of their mediums, but because of nuances in how they’re phrased. Voice searches tend to be a lot more conversational, unlike text queries which may be strung together words and phrases.

Voice searches are also longer. When Windows first rolled out their desktop voice assistant Cortana, they found that while text searches averaged around two words, voice searches were coming in at an average of three or more words. Perhaps that’s because voice searches also tend to be broader. So while someone may text “sneaker prices,” the same person may query “what are the best sneakers on a budget?” when using voice search.

All of this plays into your keyword strategy. Instead of focusing on snippets of a query, focus on the query itself. For example, “the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the Dominican Republic” instead of “snorkeling Dominican Republic,” and “where to get my nails done in New York City” vs. “nail salon NYC.”

The defining difference? Think like a real person, not like an algorithm.

  1. Know Your Trigger Words

Trigger words are words that appear most often in voice search queries. And they’re important to know because they can tell you a lot about how people are searching with their voice assistants and what they’re searching for.

Just 25 keywords are responsible for triggering 20% of all voice searches. “How” comes in at #1, suggesting that creating content centered around how to do things is key for ranking in voice marketing. Other big players: “best,” “easy,” “home,” “free,” and “recipe.”

This isn’t to say that you need to overhaul your content strategy to only include voice search’s most active triggers. But you should absolutely be taking them into consideration when deciding how you want to phrase your keywords and what types of content you want to be ranking for.

  1. Know Your Local Audience

Voice search is overwhelmingly local-focused. 76% of voice search users perform local searches each week, and 53% do so every day. If your business has local reach — so for example, if you’re marketing for an accounting firm, print shop, marketing agency, etc. — you need to understand the SEO specifics around your local market, and you need to take a deep dive into how this audience is searching.

In addition to optimizing with your local audience in mind, be sure to update and maintain a Google My Business listing. This makes it more likely that your business will be one of the responses that shows up when someone is searching for what you do, and also makes it easier for customers to get the information they need to know before investing more of their time.

  1. Know How to Place in the Featured Snippet

All hail the holy grail of the Featured Snippet box on Google. Landing your page here is tantamount to getting first place in the SERP race, and it’s also crucial for voice search. That’s because Google often goes for the Featured Snippet — i.e. Position Zero — as its go-to response to a voice query.

Fortunately, a lot of the things that guide voice search in general are also well suited to nailing that top spot, such as addressing queries and not just single keywords, and fitting in those trigger words. Working your way to the top benefits both text and voice search, so put in the work and you’ll have a lot to gain.

As you do for standard SEO, make sure to stay up to date on best practices for voice search. That way if a change does happen, you’ll be one of the first to know about it.