Personal Assistant Search Optimization (PASO) is the term that refers to the use of SEO techniques with the aim of positioning our content in searches carried out through personal assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri or Alexa. In other words: it’s SEO for Personal Assistants and voice search. The expression first appeared in an article by John E. Lincoln published in Search Engine Land in April 2017, which was titled ‘Why the future is all about PASO – personal assistant search optimization’.
The importance of Personal Assistants
The generalization of the use of smartphones and the ‘Internet of Things’ that allows us to connect to the Internet through different devices located in our homes has modified search trends, and will continue to do so in the coming years. The devices are portable, can be used hands-free and at the same time other tasks are performed. Therefore, voice search will become more and more common and may end up unseating writing.
The problem for SEO experts is that users do not use the same terms to ask orally and in writing and, in addition, personal assistants no longer present hundreds or thousands of answers to that search. On the contrary, in most cases there are between one and four answers and it is common for a single result to appear, which usually coincides with position one of the organic responses or position zero (the so-called featured snippets or featured fragments).
What consequences will the development of voice search have then? The competition between companies to position their pages will be fierce, but those who manage to climb to the first position will ensure a high percentage of clicks (click through rate).
Where do personal assistants get the information from?
The answer offered by Siri or Google Assistant does not always coincide with the first positions of ordinary organic searches. When usually done through a smartphone, personal assistants take into account the user’s geolocation and know their trends better thanks to the artificial intelligence they include. Knowing what these new tools (PAs) take into account to position one website to the detriment of another will be essential for SEO specialists to know how and where their content should work.
It is important to imitate in the texts the colloquial and natural tone with which the question will predictably be asked and even include the latter in one of the headings. Correctly structuring a text and including lists is also very useful to get a featured snippet and aspire to be the one chosen by the staff assistants. Another key is to make sure that the website has a responsive design that allows a correct reading on mobile devices.
Finally, and because a large proportion of searches include the term ‘near me’, it is necessary to reinforce the local strategy of the company and ensure that the data that appears in Google My Business is complete and up to date. In this sense, it is also favorable to include the possible colloquial expressions with which the street, the neighborhood or the area are known.