AEO 101: What You Should Know About Answer Engine Optimization

If you have a company website, you are likely aware of the importance of having effective search engine optimization (SEO) tactics and strategies. At the same time, it’s important to remember that traditional SEO doesn’t necessarily optimize for answer engines (such as Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Home, etc.), which are currently given in response to voice searches. The need to optimize for voice searches has led to the emergence of a new digital marketing strategy: answer engine optimization (AEO).

Looking for assistance in navigating the process of optimizing your company website for AEO? Refer to the following AEO guidelines for beginners as a starting point for your upcoming optimization strategy.

Understand What Voice Searchers Want

Understanding exactly what makes people gravitate toward voice searches can provide you with key information on how to optimize your website for voice searchers.

There are three central reasons why more and more people are starting to prefer voice searches over conventional text searches:

  1. Voice searches are convenient when you cannot type or look at your phone, such as when driving.
  2. 30% of searchers report that voice searches deliver speedier results.
  3. It eliminates the challenges of dealing with menus and typing on mobile devices for approximately 24% of users.

The bulk of searchers conduct choice searches to access:

  • Basic information
  • Local information
  • Personal assistance
  • Entertainment

Focus on Optimizing for Conversational Phrases

As voice search becomes more popular, many local businesses will want to focus on optimizing their websites for local information and general information searches.

When it comes to voice searches, the terms are more conversational when compared to text searches. Local searches tend to be especially conversational in nature, as users tend to conduct voice searches while looking for information on the nearest gas station, market, or repair shop as they drive.

Prior to starting your AEO campaign, keep in mind that voice searches tend to be less to the point and more natural in their phrasing and language in comparison to text inquiries.

As an example, a voice search statement tends to resemble the following, “Where is the jewelry store to my location?”, while a standard text search may be something like, “jewelry store Lima, Ohio” or “jewelry store near me”.

Search Phrases Are More Intent-Based

In addition to being more conversational, voice search phrases are generally more action-based, as searchers gravitate toward voice when they have an immediate need for something.

Key AEO Tips

Check Your Business Citations on Local Listings

After you’ve become familiar with the fundamental aspects of voice search, you can start planning your AEO optimization strategy.

A great place to begin is with your local business listings (check here for free). The primary step is to demonstrate local presence when a voice search is made, so access your Google My Business account and ensure all your business information, especially zip code, telephone number, and street address, are entered accurately.

If you are a local business, you will probably have listings on other community directories or indexes in addition to Google My Business. Make a point to double check all these listings to ensure your information is filled out completely.

Incorporate Conversational Phrases Within Your Website’s Content 

As you’ve learned, one of the major differences between traditional text-based searches and voice searches is the fact that voice searches usually resemble conversational speech. This means you will have to refine some parts of your website’s content to cater to voice searches. You can begin with using longer keywords, and then move to incorporating more conversational patterns of speech into the pages of your company’s website.

Optimize for Mobile

Since most voice searches come from mobile devices, optimizing your website for mobile is also a vital component of AEO. Concentrate on the fundamentals of user experience, including page loading speeds, mobile-friendly scrolling and buttons, and text size and quality.

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