Marketers and content creators are aware of the advantages of using search engine optimization for their brand; some of them may not know it, but SEO has existed ever since the ’90s. SEO has been in the spotlight for a long time, but it has evolved with the creation of digital assistants like Cortana and Amazon Echo. Furthermore, the use of these devices is increasing, and this technology has caused the traditional search engine to evolve into an answering engine. SEO Head at Trustpilot, Chee Lo and SEO Consultant Jason Barnard of Kalicube.pro, discussed this change in a webinar. Furthermore, answering engines rely on a different method than SEO in order to operate efficiently; this method is known as answer engine optimization or AEO. It’s important for marketers and content creators to be aware of this change and learn how this technology can help promote their brand.
Inconsistency with Voice Search Results
Rebecca Sentance, deputy editor of Search Engine Watch, explained how voice search differs in how it generates search results via desktops, smartphones and digital assistants. According to Sentance, many industry experts have noticed how search engines like Google can provide a single answer to voice searches without the user having to visit another website; but they still have the option to explore other alternatives to their query. If the voice search is done via smartphone and no definite answer can be given, it will provide a results page of information that may help. However, it’s rare for digital assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home to have a screen; so only one answer or no answer can be given.
- Search engines have evolved into answer engines
- Search engines should be able to give a single answer across different mediums
The Difference between AEO and SEO
There are overlapping similarities between SEO and AEO regarding how they function. So you don’t have to discard everything you know about SEO to understand how AEO works.
Credibility and communication are the foundation of how AEO and SEO operate; so both systems need you to explain what your business does and to establish credibility.
Regarding differences, search engines like Google or Bing utilize somewhat different rules when conducting an internet search on a desktop than on a smart home device. When it comes to improving your brand’s visibility, SEO focuses more on tactics or actions to achieve a specific goal. On the other hand, AEO is about strategy or a comprehensive approach.
According to Barnard, marketers should learn how to optimize for answering engines because voice search will become more prevalent. Companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google are already promoting their smart-home devices. Despite the rise of voice search technology, some marketers are torn over whether or not voice search is a good marketing tool for their brand.
- SEO is tactics based and AEO is strategy based
- Using AEO will become necessary because voice search will become more prevalent
How to Use Answer Engines Efficiently
It’s difficult for search engines like Google to categorize the large amount of information that is on the internet. This is because information on the internet is very fragmented; according to Barnard, it can also be incorrect and unsuitable for search engines to process. Also, Google solely relies on the information it receives in order to derive meaning and verify its accuracy; this is important for AEO to operate because answer engines rely on the information it has in order to provide a specific and correct answer. Overall, Barnard advises marketers to be honest about their brand identity and what their companies do; because the more Google understands your content, the more likely your content will appear as a possible answer.
- Educate the Search Engine about Your Company
For an answering engine to provide accurate information about your brand, you must tell the search engine what you need it to know. Also, it’s important that you share the correct information and that the search engine understands the content. Tools like semantic HTML5 and structured data markup will help you achieve this. Semantic HTML5 allows search engines like Google to decide which piece of information is relevant. Semantic HTML5 works by dividing information into sections, and each part has a specific purpose. As a result, the search engine will know which piece of information to use. To fully understand this subject, Barnard shares more in-depth information on Semantic HTML5 for content writers; he also shares advice on how to use it if you’re a web developer. Schema markup enables search engines to understand the content and generate more useful information. Essentially schema markup is a coding language that can be programmed into websites to make your site more discoverable; this beginner’s guide will explain how to apply it to your website.
- Companies should honestly communicate who they are to an answer engine
- Tools like semantic HTML5 and structured schema markup can help answer engines understand your content
- Build Credibility and Confidence through AEO
Marketers must ensure that answering engines deem their content as credible. When someone is asking or typing a question, he or she´s seeking an answer to a question or problem; therefore, search engines will select and share information from credible sources. The credibility of the source increases the likelihood that Google or another search engine will share a specific answer. Google and Bing’s goal is to share the best answer or solution with its users quickly; so when these search engines know that your content has the most credible answer or solution, your content will be placed at the top.
There are several methods to establish credibility. You can build it through relevant websites and positive mentions on social media. Websites like Wikidata and Crunchbase will allow you to add your company’s information to them. Also, you can add your company’s name and information on government websites. Also, you can rely on niche mentions; positive reviews on a website that relates to your industry is still very effective. Regarding company reviews, don’t worry if you don’t have an overall high rating yet; because people tend to prefer a company that has served many people than one with a high rating that has only served a few customers. Lastly,
Remember to correct any incorrect information about your brand that appears on other websites by contacting the owner.
- Add your company’s name to websites that Google deems credible
- Add your company’s information on government and niche websites
- Always correct false information regarding your company from outside websites
Taking advantage of AEO will improve your brand awareness and eventually increase your bottom line. If you’re a small business owner and you’re unsure how to figure all of this out, Bright Vessel can help. Bright Vessel can help your business stand out in the marketplace; our digital marketing team can optimize your content for voice search and drive business to your site. We can also grow your business through traditional marketing. We are passionate about the success of your business; and we understand the importance of keeping up with digital trends. So contact us and seize the opportunity to increase your brand’s visibility with answer engine optimization.