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Another year, another acronym. For digital marketing, the latest acronym comes in the form of Personal Assistant Search Optimisation (PASO). This new channel is for us to help our clients deliver stronger digital marketing campaigns than ever before.

What are Personal Assistants?

It’s not like the 80s when a PA made your coffee or ordered your sandwiches, we are now talking about digital personal assistants like Siri or Google Assistant, the voice powered apps that come with your smartphone.

Back in the 90s, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) were all the rage; these were glorified calendars where meetings, contacts and notes were entered. Today’s version is our mobile phones, and tomorrow’s will be an AI-powered personal assistant who can not only help you find what you need but also predict what you need before you do.

Currently, the technology delivers highly relevant search results based on the user speaking into the phone. These results are optimised to the user’s data and location and, usually, local services or locations.

So how does PASO work?

At present, the results are based on the search engine’s existing database, so search results, business listings and GPS data are all used to tailor the results.

For example, I speak the phrase “Leeds CRO agency” into my phone, after clicking the ‘Google Assistant’ icon, and because we are awesome at what we do, our website shows up first. But how did it get there? Well, we know that Google uses its local business data to include relevant listings, so this is the first result. Additionally, we are No.1 for this keyword, so this is another factor.

So No.1 on Google means a high ranking in Siri?

No, as Siri is powered by Bing, the same approach can apply as the results are refined for users specific needs. These are based on their current location, search history and settings, but from our analysis, these are the factors which will help:

  • Top listings within the search engine – this usually means No. 1 for the keywords or even position 0 results like ‘Featured Snippets’
  • Local listings – ensure your business is listed with Google Business within your primary locations, each one should be optimised to the primary keyword and location
  • As Siri gets its results from other sources, you may need to expand your outreach to include the following:
    • Ticket sale sites like Ticketmaster or StubHub feeds direct ticket availability
    • Questions will be usually delivered through Wolfram Alpha, Bing Answers or EVI

Each mobile phone uses a multitude of sources to deliver the most relevant result for the user, so ensuring your content marketing strategy includes the above approach is important to rank competitively.

First search results for giffgaff
First local results for The London School of Make-up

How can I get included in PA results?

A well-rounded SEO and content marketing strategy should be your primary focus. This will help to ensure your website is listed within all of the above channels.

Additionally, expand your SEO campaign to include other search engines. Google has 84% of the search market, but it’s next competitor is Siri, (according to latest research), and as Siri search is powered by Bing, it could help to deliver more customers through a more cost effective channel.

Structured data is also important as this will help search engines to understand the content, its relationship with other pages and the user’s query, so investing in this technology will help personal assistant deliver the right results.

Is it worth the investment?

Absolutely, technology like Siri is being integrated into hundreds of different products, not just your smartphone, so understanding how PASO works and how your website can benefit will deliver a significant ROI.

Investing resources now will help to ensure you stay ahead of the competition and benefit from a well rounded SEO/PASO campaign.