Automated Content: Ready for Google Assistant

In the three years since Google Assistant’s launch, the voice-driven device has become more and more popular in homes and offices around the world. Widely known as the most advanced and most dynamic of the assistants on the market, Google Assistant works not only on Google’s own hardware, but also through partnerships with other companies that make everything from refrigerators to speakers, automobiles to headphones. What does this have to do with your company’s content strategy? More than you think, and you need to make sure that your content is talk-to-speech (TTS) friendly in order to be discovered and read by voice assistant devices like Google Assistant. Fortunately, automated content is ready for Google Assistant and any other TTS devices on the market.

Google Assistant, along with other voice assistant devices, is being used to search the web to get relevant information at lightning speed without typing or texting. In the not too distant past, website content needed to be optimized for mobile search traffic, which still accounts for half of the entire traffic that web sites get. Today, voice search has picked up the pace and comScore predicts that half of all searches will be performed via voice by the year 2020.  Additionally, 13 percent of all households in the U.S. owned a voice assistant device in 2017, which is predicted to rise to 55 percent by the year 2022.

Companies like yours need to adopt their content strategies to be not only mobile-friendly but voice-friendly as well, and automated content creation is the most effective way to make sure your content is ready for voice powered searching. Automated content is the only way to revise your content to these new standards without breaking the marketing budget. This article will outline how Google Assistant and other voice-driven assistance use AI technology and what your content needs to have to stand out.

What is Google Assistant?

As described, Google Assistant is a voice-driven assistant device, which was originally launched as an extension of Google Now. Expanding on the “OK Google” voice controls, Google Now learned personal information about you including where you work, where you travel, your favorite sports teams, your hobbies, your interests, and more to be able to offer intelligent assistance with a myriad of tasks. While Google Now has gone by the wayside, Google Assistant has expanded the same concepts to marry personal information with voice control navigation.

Google Assistant uses voice commands, search functions and voice-activated device controls under the AI umbrella. These functions interact with you by processing and understanding your language in order to perform tasks. Like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant is ready and willing to do your bidding with just a voice command. Not only do these devices understand your language, they have deep learning functions that have been trained to understand the intention of your voice request.

What can you do with Google Assistant?

The list of tasks you can tell your Google Assistant to do is literally endless, with more and more companion devices such as televisions, refrigerators, and other household items being built today with on-board compatibility to voice activated devices. Some of the things you can do with Google Assistant include:

  • Send messages
  • Organize your calendar
  • Search the web
  • Check the weather
  • Start a show on Netflix
  • Play music on Spotify
  • Listen to the news
  • Turn on your air conditioning
  • Play a video on YouTube

Why is structure important for content and TTS?

To gain a better understanding of voice search, we need to grasp what makes this method of searching different from other types such as mobile or desktop. Searching via text, either via mobile or desktop, is typically based on direct queries such as, “adventure travel”. When it comes to voice searches, people are typically more conversational and ask, “Where should I go for an adventure?” The queries are usually longer and based on a question rather than a statement.

 

 

Two updates have changed search technology and have led to the successful implementation of voice searching. The first was prioritizing conversational searching over exact matching of words. The second update employs AI technology to understand what users actually mean during a query and interpreting the intent of their question over and above just the words spoken. The majority of voice searches are questions consisting of where, what, how or who, while the intent is divided into categories like know, go or do. Google wants to deliver relevant answers quickly to users on the go, so if they ask something like, “What is Myanmar like?”, using their voice search, Google Assistant will deliver the shortest, most structured information from the most authoritative website it finds in a short amount of time.

What this means for your content is that it is crucial that it is written with a structure that raises a flag to the assistant performing the search, at a million bytes per second, telling it that you have the best answer for it to communicate to the user and give them a valuable answer to their question. Not only that, the assistant has to know that it can read your content back to the user, in other words turn the text into speech, which is also part of the structure requirements. An umbrella term for this is TTS SEO (talk-to-speech search engine optimization).

 

How can I optimize my content for TTS SEO?

In order for your content to become readable by Google Assistant, you will have to follow some technical guidelines to structure your data in an optimize way for the assistant to read it back to the user. Voice assistant devices such as Google Assistant use text-to-speech or TTS technology. TTS is a speak-able, structured data set that understands which pages or parts of pages are suitable for reading back to the user. In general, the following guidelines are a top view of what is recommended to make your web pages reader friendly for voice assistants:

  1. Q and A style, with short sentences for answers
  2. Use simple language and concise headlines
  3. Structure the Q and A logically – make sure the text flows
  4. No random questions or thoughts
  5. Concise lists, such as those used in this article

For detailed technical information, we suggest that you study this developer’s guide that Google has published for voice SEO.

Following the technical guidelines along with TTS optimization can be a challenge for an enterprise company. For one thing, you already have thousands of pages of content that are already published on your website. Back when you published this content, you probably did not consider voice searching at all, so everything has to be re-structured and re-written.

In the midst of that huge TTS optimization project, you still need to update your content with fresh information on your product or services, add new pages to your website, and refresh older web pages, and structure everything for TTS optimization as well. To add more fuel to the fire, you have to contend with today’s big data, which needs to be mined and analyzed for user accessibility and meaningful content about your brand, but where will you find the time and room in the budget for all the labor this will take?

Automated Content Creation: Ready for Google Assistant

The path forward is voice search, and your content needs to be structured correctly for assistant devices to not only find but to read it back to the user aloud. Fortunately, Phrasetech’s automated content platform can be designed to create content with the correct structure and format that assistant devices love to find and read back. Forget about all those hours spent pouring over your web pages and painstakingly crafting revised content; Phrasetech can adjust all your live content quickly and easily. How does our platform do all this at scale? It is about control.

Your company makes a conscious decision on branding including the style, tone and voice of all your content, which gives users an impression of your company. You may adjust this for different users according to their age, location or other factors. Along with branding control and customized content, Phrasetech also offers your marketing team complete control on the structure of your content, ensuring compatibility with voice assistants in both the search phase and the read-back phase.  Your content marketing team just got more powerful with automated content that is ready for Google Assistant thanks to Phrasetech.

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