Cohesiveness between SEO and Google Assistant.
Since then, industry leaders and experts argue whether this will have an impact on SEO as we know it. As more people try and opt for hands-free, voice-activated internet search interfaces, there seems to be more cohesiveness between SEO and Google Assistant.
How does Google Assistant work and what does this mean for SEO?
Although the virtual assistants of each company have varying advantages, Google’s Assistant seems to be heavily integrated with Google Search. It’s been observed that, when users ask a question to Google Assistant, it seems to base the result it gives out to featured snippets that often appear on top of search results on desktop or mobile. During the product’s launch event, a demo showed that Google Assistant started its answers by searching its website first, followed by a concise snippet.
Which is why it’s becoming important for marketers and SEO practitioners to focus their website (or parts of it) to have these snippets available for Google Search. Online businesses do this by avoiding keywords that already have an established snippet, and by answering questions concisely and accurately. This will increase your website’s chances of being featured as a “rich snippet” for that search query. Additionally, adhering to some of these in-depth formatting guidelines can help improve your website’s ‘snippet-ability’.
Though snippets definitely help answer our web searches easier and can bring in an increase in traffic and ranking should they become an identified Google Assistant answer, it could also hurt a website’s click-thru rate since users are technically not browsing on the internet when using hands-free search. Despite this, it would be ignorant to brush aside the potential of hands-free search in the future.
Search optimization marketers believe that SEO is nearing an evolution. SEO is in a threshold between SEO as we know it today and PASO, or personal assistant search optimization. Looking at Google’s ecosystem, a person holding a Pixel 2 smartphone, wearing the Pixel Buds (both are Google devices), and even has a Google Home at home, is just a conversation away from getting the information they need. This allows for a frictionless experience that’s fast and convenient for the user.
This is why SEO practitioners must aim to be on the top if they want to be featured in Google Assistant’s results. For instance, a person asks for a great Mexican restaurant recommendation, it will usually provide with about 1-4 suggestions. Just imagine how much traffic those recommendations can receive.
If a hands-free search is indeed the future, getting featured on those suggestions should be the main goal of online marketers. One key aspect of doing this is to flesh out your website’s FAQ page. Users that search through voice commands are usually stuck in so-called “micro-moments”, where they have a pressing need that require immediate accurate answers. These moments are divided into four needs:
Having an FAQ page that is written in a conversational tone can help your website get featured in rich snippets should it fit perfectly into a micro-moment query.
Conventional SEO Principles Should Remain in Practice
Of course, ranking in rich snippets for automated voice assistants requires marketers to keep optimizing their websites to rank in traditional search both on desktop and mobile. Staying within the first SERP still remain relevant since 75% of people don’t click on the second search results page. In addition, putting a mobile-first mindset should still be practiced because of the updates done by Google that shifted preference to the users’ experience in mobile devices.
Serve Your Audience
Despite many iterations on the technologies and platforms used for search engine marketing and optimization, you should always remember to be relevant to your human audience. Providing them with quality content and interacting with them on relevant platforms, such as review websites, will help you stay on top of search results and get featured by automated voice assistants.
The Age of Digital Assistants
Today, not many online businesses and internet marketers even think they should aim to be featured in these devices. However, the proliferation of voice-activated search assistants is imminent. The future is changing fast, and the need to stay competitive through constant learning and execution is more important than ever before.
Jayson Bagio is the founder and director of SEO company in the Philippines, GOBIGGR Digital Marketing. He has 7+ years of experience in SEO and SEM. He is known in the industry for high-value link building using BLB and Content. He loves public speaking and everything about Digital Marketing.