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B2B SEO for the Brave New World of Digital Assistants

Whether you need directions to the nearest gas station, are looking for a good sushi restaurant, or are browsing the latest news, Siri is always there for you. But not just Siri, there are now dozens of digital assistants such as Google Now, Echo, and Cortana. All of these can provide you a surplus of information with the single touch of a button (or a “hey Siri”).

For many users, this is the holy grail of the 21st century, but for you and your company this presents a whole new challenge/opportunity. These digital assistants search the web differently than people on computers, making SEO more complex. Many B2C companies have already shifted their SEO tactics to reach people using these assistants, however, B2B companies seem more hesitant to change their strategy. With the growing popularity of digital assistants, B2B companies need to understand the predominant challenges these assistants bring to SEO and how to solve for them.

1. Make Conversation

When people utilize digital assistants they are likely speaking in conversational language. This means the searches conducted by automated assistants are often conversational—users expect conversational queries to yield conversational results. For this reason, it’s highly important that a company incorporates a vernacular that is similar to everyday conversations; long tail keywords, colloquial phrases, and long-form questions will help SEO for these types of assistants.

2. Think Local

Digital assistants frequently bypass traditional searches. Most digital assistants are programmed to pull search results relevant to the user’s current location. While this in large part affects B2C customers, it is still something B2B companies should keep top of mind. A company’s website needs to include geographical location and be present on sites like Yelp or Bing. This will ensure that when consumers are using digital assistants to search for a company near a specific location, your company will be one of the top search results.

3. Get Social

Digital assistants also, in part, are programmed to pull results from particular social media services. From a branding perspective, certain social media channels may seem unimportant, but when optimizing for digital assistants, all outlets should be considered. If a company is not present or important on a social media outlet, they are more likely to be left behind. When looking to improve SEO it may be valuable to ensure that your company has some degree of presence on all major social media channels.

4. Talk Specifics

Questions posed to digital assistants are often close ended, meaning the answer will be direct. Once a question becomes open ended the best thing a digital assistant can do is provide a list of results, this offers an opportunity for a B2B company to stand out. In general, a company’s SEO strategy utilizes basic, straightforward information. However, in order to increase SEO on digital assistants, companies should venture into complex, niche territory with their content, because an assistant can’t directly answer these topics. The digital assistant will instead direct the consumer to your company’s website.

While it may not appear to be the most pressing concern for your company, it is important that your SEO strategy grow and evolve as new technologies emerge. More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in the U.S. The number of digital assistants conducting these mobile searches will also continue to grow. This is going to leave your company with no choice but to adapt your SEO strategy to influence potential consumers using these technological helpers.

Taylor Bacon
Taylor Bacon
Marketing SpecialistWith a laser-focus on B2B marketing, Taylor has a passion for discovering creative ways to solve common problems for brands striving to reach customers in this ever-changing world of constant connection. She thoroughly enjoys analyzing emerging tactics and works to help companies understand and leverage these trends in their own marketing.