SEO Agency Sydney | SEO tools | Personal Assistant Search Optimisation

A new challenge has presented itself for digital marketers operating within the SEO industry. This challenge offers the opportunity to add another element to a marketers’ SEO tools. The rise in personal assistants such as Google Home, Amazon Echo and Apples Home-pod, now will hold their own new opportunity for search engine optimisation.

Put simply SEO tools now must expand to encompass optimising search for personal assistant devices. Similar to voice search optimisation. In order to be effective with PASO (Personal Assistant Search Optimisation), companies web pages must rank within the top 4 in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), as this is where these personal assistants source their information from at present according to Search Engine Land. This is due to fewer results being displayed, or in the case of home personal assistants (Apple Home, Amazon Echo) spoken.

Example: I’m sure many of you reading this have a smartphone or iPhone, activate your personal assistant (whatever is applicable to your device) and ask a general query and watch the results that are displayed. You do not receive 1o results like you do on Google with web content and information, this is because personal assistants show fewer results. The type of business and the products/services’s being sold will impact the personal assistant search optimisation strategy that every business will now need to adopt.

For example: A restaurant may focus primarily on location based voice queries when implementing PASO. (certain companies may benefit greater from personal assistant search optimisation than others). 

When searching for the “closest restaurant” near me, the results look something like this:

SEO Agency Sydney | SEO tools | Personal Assistant Search Optimisation

Using Apple’s personal assistant Siri, this voice search was conducted and only one result of the various possible closest restaurant to my vicinity was shown. The result is wrong. The address repeated back to me by Siri (via Siri’s voice) does not match the address of the actual cafe nor is it the closest. Siri in this instance does not take into account the amazing restaurant which is available downstairs in my building or the plethora of other restaurants in very close proximity.

Through the use of different ranking factors such as – Yelp ratings and reviews of “Earl Canteen” alongside Apple maps, this was the result that was shown. This result would be the result anybody searching for directions would go to, if you were looking for a place to eat during your lunch break as it is the primary location shown. But it is sub optimal in this case.

This example  is why taking advantage of PASO could highly benefit your business once the service is perfected which at present it clearly is not.

Taking you through a journey of a consumers decision making process, will outline the true benefit of PASO. Beginning with a problem recognition (You’re hungry during lunch) you begin to information search via voice search on your personal assistant (“Siri, where is the closest restaurant). With only one primary snippet shown, your stomach growling for food, and not many alternatives to be considered, a purchase decision happens. (you head to the shown location) A purchase intent to visit due to the personal assistant search.

Having a strong SEO tool strategy incorporating PASO (personal assistant search optimisation) could result in more sales, higher profits, better revenue etc, just through taking advantage of the limited amount of spaces available for other snippets when a user conducts a voice search.

So let’s break it down

Not only are these personal assistants being implemented within consumers homes, but consumers are also carrying them in their personal devices, i.e. iPhones and Smartphones.These devices all come inbuilt with some form of personal assistant: Like Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana.

SEO Agency Sydney | SEO tools | Personal Assistant Search Optimisation

Customers are becoming more reliant on these personal assistants to gain far more local and specific information they need on the fly: for example “Hey Siri, I need a plumber in Brunswick”.

SEO Agency Sydney | SEO tools | Personal Assistant Search Optimisation

SEO professionals need to adapt and optimise their websites accordingly to this new form of voice search. Personal assistant technology will bring forth a new frontier to the SEO landscape and may very well reshape websites and online assets as we know it. Adding a new selection of SEO tools to webmasters toolkits. It also may very well make it far more competitive search landscape. Personal assistants gather their information from different sources, and different directories (discussed further below). This will impact SEO, as websites will need to not only optimise for mobile as a specific digital marketing sub strategy, but also incorporate PASO within their overarching digital marketing plans

Personal assistant search optimisation possesses a new challenge for SEO professionals when using SEO tools.  Two factors which are heavily relied on for the accuracy and usability of the personal assistant are; Location specific results, consumers can now get information on: places to grab a quick bite to eat and other services which are nearby their location. Second, these personal assistants use machine learning or AI to make sure that their responses are accurate based on what has been learnt previously via user data, this is in order to provide users with the best possible service. These two factors enhance the users experience with the device and create a convenient technology which is being adapted increasingly by consumers as we speak.

To read more about how machine learning and AI impacts SEO Click Here

So what’s the benefit of PASO as a SEO tool? (Personal Assistant Search Optimisation)

Personal assistants boast greater Click-Through Rates (CTR) ie: users search less and find what they want quicker. This is due to improved engagement between user and device. After asking a question to the personal assistant and receiving a result, it is most likely going to be clicked on for further information rather than scrolled past ie: like in Google’s traditional search engine results.

Google filters which information and content to show you, based on your search because it is the best fitting and credible content for a specific voice search query. The results which show up are completely tailored for the individual, once again this is thanks to improved location algorithms, artificial intelligence and big data.

Personal assistants however, only show up a few different options, or results (typically between 1-4), so the real benefit of securing a spot as top ranked using PASO is pretty self explanatory. The traffic driven to your webpage would be huge. Due to the ranking factors, having snippets, or “Rank o’s” are important for PASO & for overall SEO marketing, as it will drive the optimisation of the Personal Assistant Search. This is especially true for queries which are question based or “wanting to know” queries.

SEO Agency Sydney | SEO tools | Personal Assistant Search Optimisation

So the featured snippet, or Rank 0. This rank 0 is called ‘Rank 0’ because, well, it beats rank #1. Being the top more organic position. that you can reach, this rank 0 offers an amazing potential when it comes to personal assistant search optimisation.

Long story short, you stand out. And by standing out, personal assistant technology will choose to show your information before other information which may be relevant. (which was the case above with my restaurant search). The beauty of this position, is that you can still have you pages ranked in the first page of the google SERP, which means, you take over more space of the SERP pages.

To keep this short and sweet, these featured snippets are earned through organic rankings and provide you with the “rank 0” offering the most possible visibility to users searching. The impact when it comes to voice search and personal assistants? Your business will get more exposure and be used more frequently when the SERP are providing websites, snippets and data back to the user.

SEO Agency Sydney | SEO tools | Personal Assistant Search Optimisation

Click through rates can see increases of up to 187% with effective personal assistant search optimisation (PASO). As people around the world continue to jump onboard with voice search, the need for PASO will keep accelerating. It is estimated that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be done via voice search. Optimising for this is essential, you do not want to get left behind after voice search optimisation takes its foot hold in search. 

Currently only 20% of the worlds searches are conducted via voice search, but when you stop to think, that there are over 1.2 trillion searches made yearly via the Google search engine alone, that 20% of voice search, now looks to be in the tens of billions.

Digital marketers and SEO experts worldwide will be implementing PASO strategies in order to capture this new form of evolving technology which boasts strong competition, but with the reward of huge amounts of traffic as a result. Que PASO SEO as a service and tools are now born.

The Information from Personal Assistants

The personal assistants all search the web based off three different functionality designs: searching for informational purposes, transactional purposes and then navigational purposes. Personal assistants such as Apple’s Siri will also have musical search capabilities which allow them to name songs, play requested songs, or find different libraries of music. And while these devices are still relatively speaking: in their early stages, future updates will no doubt impress the power on the user and encourage usage rates to increase.

SEO Agency Sydney | SEO tools | Personal Assistant Search Optimisation

Personal assistants use different sources of reference before showing the user the search query results. For example travel websites which provide details of facilities within certain areas are accessed when the user is searching for a “place”. The days of traditional SEO are going to become modernised with the added element of PASO, which will still see all previous SEO tactics applicable, however now with new methods & SEO tools to ensure that websites and content are optimised for voice based searches.

Consumer patterns which marketing professionals must understand for the optimisation of voice search are made up of: “wanting to know”, “wanting to go”, “wanting to do” and “wanting to buy”. These categories make up the voice search usage. For example: voice searching for a place to eat (“wanting to go”) or voice searching for a specific product (wanting to buy). This is behaviour that will drive content strategies and each and every business’s PASO. Example: A restaurant serving cuisine will optimise for voice search based on: “wanting to go” & “wanting to know”.

Of the above categories, 77% of consumers using voice search look for locations, 67% percent look for directions and 47% of the user base searches contain numbers and details (link please). Understanding how a user operates voice search and queries their voice searches is paramount for digital marketers, as content will have to change to be communicating with users more conversationally.

Simply put, there will be an increased focus on getting businesses ranking higher within directory apps such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, alongside their SEO on their webpages with new content which communicates effectively with the user and is personal assistant optimised. Now each personal assistant will get their information from different sources, and SEO specialists will need to understand which personal assistant gets information from where and how to best optimise for it.

For a general search query, the Personal Assistant will get the information from the from the top 4 sources on the first page. What this means is getting your page rankings within the top 4 spots will become a critical element to your PASO and your overall SEO tool strategy. 

SEO Agency Sydney | SEO tools | Personal Assistant Search Optimisation

How does Personal Assistant Search Optimisation work? SEO Tools

Optimising content is a strategy webmasters have been using since Google began. In order to optimise for PASO knowing how your audience speaks about your business, its products/services will enable you to optimise your content with question and phrases that are beneficial towards your PASO. There are 4 different key strategies which can be used when conducting your PASO.

  1. Using structured data – Schema markup: Content aside, this tactic takes advantage of “a little extra” that you can do for your PASO optimisation. It will not affect your rankings directly, however it can provide you with an edge over your competitors. You cant see this metadata, however it does help search engines organise and classify your content.

  2. Business listings: Optimising your google business listing is the second strategy which can be used for your personal assistant search optimisation. This makes it easier for you customers to find your place of business, by sharing your business information – location, phone number etc – in the footer of you page. Helping your customers make a voice query with the intent to visit.
  3. Becoming more mobile friendly: With voice searches happening so much on mobile devices, having a mobile friendly website is important, so test to ensure that the design and UI/UX are mobile friendly and the website presents high speeds when loading. Website load time is more important than most people think.
  4. Blog posts that answer questions: Knowing what questions your customers have, or phrases that customers use when “talking” about you, will give you the grounds to optimise your content for that of personal assistant. One example of this is the creation of a FAQ’s page. Understanding how customers describe your business is a critical business insight which will allow you to structure your content. 

Preparing for the latest news, and tactics to handle PASO for SEO professionals will see the rise of many forms of Digital Marketing tactics (such as those listed). This already fast changing landscape will once again challenge professionals to adapt, learn, overcome and produce tactics & SEO tools to optimise for personal assistants in order to provide clients and companies with effective ways to tap into the personal assistant search volume that is fast approaching. 

Read our other blog posts for related topics here.

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