The term “virtual assistant” used to refer to a live person sitting behind a desk at a location that was not your office. This person would do all of the work that an in-office assistant would do, but he or she would be doing that work for several companies and charging less than a typical assistant. While still also referring to this position, the term has taken on an entirely new meaning. The “virtual assistant” as the common person knows it is the likes of “Siri,” Alexa,” or “Cortana” to name a few. These are the “people” you speak to on your smartphone or home device. They do your Internet searching for you and help you find answers to your questions and problems. As a result, these “people” are revolutionizing the way businesses are updating their websites.
The way a “virtual assistant” finds information is quite different than the standard Google search. A Google search in which the user is typing a string of words into a search bar is very precise. Proper English, as opposed to English vernacular, are utilized to find information. The information is then displayed in a list form, which the user must select from to find the most appropriate answer. While this is much better than using an encyclopedia or card catalogue in a library, it is not a perfect method. Sometimes different strings of words must be tried to get the appropriate results. The virtual assistant, while still not perfect, is much better. Virtual assistants understand the vernacular. They accept slang and other word choices as part of its system and can give a more definitive and precise answer. They can play a song immediately or tell you the best local diner in a particular radius. They can also take you directly to that link to see for yourself.
The changes are wonderful for the average person, but what does it mean for a business owner? How does this change your online marketing? This change has a huge impact on marketing, and if ignored, your business will quickly decline. Search engine optimization (SEO) was once based on common keywords and strings of keywords people would type. It was not conversational and used more of a shorthand style, rather than full sentences and phrases. Now, this style will not work. Strings of words must be more related to how a person would speak, as opposed to how they would write. Thus, keywords must be conversational. Even more importantly, keywords must be utilized in several conversational strings, as opposed to just one or two concepts. Terms such as best, closest, and oldest, may be more useful now than ever before. This change forces business to truly connect with the way their clients speak, as opposed to simply attempting to predict how they think.
To learn more about updating your website to the new SEO standard, contact the experts at Skol Marketing at (612) 787-7565. The marketing experts at Skol will work with you to make sure your website and marketing tools do not get ignored by the new virtual assistant.