Floyd: Alexa, will voice assistants find my website? Or will they continue to provide information from my competitor, Billy Bob’s Best Bobbers.
Alexa: I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.
Floyd: Alexa, please accept my apologies – I’m babbling because I’m tired and stressed out. I was up all night worrying about my company’s bottom line and trying to figure out a new marketing strategy that could meet the demands of ever-changing technology. We had been doing so well with the content marketing strategy that we developed back in 2003 that Billy Bob’s nearly went under. Now it seems that Billy Bob’s has bobbed back up to the surface because he optimized his website for voice assistants. What can I do?
Alexa: I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.
Floyd: Ugh, let me try again. Alexa, will voice assistants find my website?
Alexa: That depends on whether your website is friendly towards the new digital devices.
Floyd Asks How to Get Voice Assistants to Read Snippets from his Company Website
Floyd: Alexa, how do voice assistants work?
Alexa: Voice assistants listen for keyword greetings, such as “Alexa” and “OK Google” then pay attention to everything that follows. The technology uses natural language processing (NLP) to figure out what you said. Then it follows your instruction to turn on a light or whatever, or searches for the answer to your question. Some digital assistants read featured snippets from websites verbatim.
Floyd: Alexa, how do I get digital assistants to read snippets of my content in their answers?
Alexa: Create content that answers the specific questions that someone might ask, and format the content in a way that is easy to turn into snippets. One of the best ways to do that is to format content into direct questions and short, informative answers. Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) pages are very attractive to digital assistants. You can use questions in other pages too. For example, your contact page could include the question, “Where is Floyd’s Fabulous Floats?” with the street address appearing immediately below.
Floyd: Alexa, how should I format the questions?
Alexa: Wrap your questions in <H1> and <H2> tags, and use paragraph tags for the answers. Keep the answers short – 40 to 55 words should do it. Use standard formatting for lists. Structure the FAQ pages by topic.
Floyd: Alexa, is traditional page rank still important in this world of digital assistants?
Alexa: Actually, yes. Digital assistants tend to favor the top 10 websites appearing in a traditional search, according to MOZ.
Floyd: Alexa, what else can I do?
Alexa: Develop conversational content that lends itself to the conversational style of voice and chat. Incorporate user-centric design into your interfaces, and employ artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to deliver content through voice assistants, chatbots, and even your existing website. Extend the reach of your FAQ page by connecting it with paid and organic search. Create pages that provide content for the digital assistants to find and report.
Floyd: Alexa, do people really want to use a voice assistant instead of typing on a keyboard.
Alexa: Yes. More than 70 percent of respondents to a PWC survey said they’d rather use their voice assistant than physically typing their questions into a search engine.
Floyd: Alexa, do they actually use their voice assistants to buy stuff on the internet?
Alexa: Yes. Half of the respondents to the PWC survey said they had already made a purchase using their voice assistance, and another 25 percent said they would consider doing so in the future. Most of the items were small and quick, and something they would not have to see in person to buy, like fishing bobbers and floats.
Floyd: Alexa, did they enjoy the experience?
Alexa: Overwhelmingly so! In fact, 80 percent of consumers who have shopped using their digital device are satisfied.
Floyd: Alexa, was there anything they didn’t like?
Floyd: Just one more thing. Alexa, thank you for always being here to take care of me and answer all my questions.
Alexa: Okay Floyd, you know you don’t have to say my name at the beginning of every sentence, right? Aside from the facts that I’m sitting right in front of you and literally the only person in the room, I am your wife.
Floyd: I know. I’m planning on buying a voice assistant next week and I was just practicing. Alexa, bring me coffee.
Alexa: Floyd, get up and fetch it yourself.
Floyd: Alexa, where can I find more information?
Alexa: Try WriterAccess. The content writers there understand how to format content that will get your company website snippets read by digital assistants.
Lynn H has been a professional writer, providing exceptional content online and offline, for 20 years. In that time, she has penned thousands of articles for doctors, universities, researchers, small businesses, nursing organizations, sole proprietors and more. She writes everything from blogs to white papers; her specialty is putting complex scientific concepts in simple terms. She specializes in medical writing, creating informative and engaging content for professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medical manufacturing, chiropractics, optometry, emergency care, plastic surgery and others.