What a day! What a party in De Kromhouthal in Amsterdam. The 6th edition of Friends of Search took place there today and 650+ search professionals came together to hear and discuss about the latest updates on search. On the big screens we followed insightful presentations from esteemed (inter)national speakers while watching the boats pass by in the background. At the bars and food trucks we enjoyed fresh fruit juices, coffee and snacks to accompany our conversations. And at our Artefact table we had fun with colleagues and our relations while catching up on the learnings of the day. Whether you were not able to join or are simply interested in a summary of today, read on for our takeaways from Friends of Search 2019.
Start building & measuring natural conversations for Google Assistant – NOW!
Let’s make one thing clear to begin with: Google Assistant is not a synonym for Google Home. Google Assistant is the AI of Google while Google Home is the device in which the Assistant is available for us to use.
Google Assistant is now available in 80 countries, 30 languages, and 1 billion (Android) phones. There’s plenty of ways to let the Google Assistant help you, native or through a 3rd party app so let’s see how the Assistant can help you improve your customer experience.
Lee Boonstra continues to tell us about the best-known example which is the chatbot technology that is already used in call centers since the 90’s. Then why did chatbots become so popular only recently?
That’s because now we design more applications with AI in mind (from mobile-first to AI-first). Just like humans, chatbots can learn language through examples, which we call machine learning. The Google Assistant uses machine learning for natural language understanding, which is why voice search queries can be more natural than written search queries.
When designing your conversations, remember that there’s no screen, so focus on the conversation instead of just copying your web content. In the case of designing conversations for smart displays (voice assistants with screens), display only relevant information to support the conversation (i.e. tutorial video in a cooking app).
Customers expect to find you on the virtual assistance channels, so they’re complementary to the other marketing channels when it comes to customer experience optimization.
Do you want to get started with building your own 3rd party voice integration, just like Bol.com, Albert Heijn, Post.nl and Rabobank? You can use Dialogflow as a tool for designing your own conversations or contact Artefact to see how we can help you!
How to optimise for conversational voice search
Aleydo Solis shows why and how we should optimise for conversational Search – not just voice. Voice is action-driven, you’re on the go or check simple facts. However, we still need visuals to satisfy Search. We want to see what it looks like.
So, how do you optimise for conversational Search? 70% of search queries are in natural language, as if asking a friend for advice.
- Identify a pattern in your queries, look in Google Search Console for queries starting with how, where, who, what etc. What are the questions asked? Also check with your competition, ‘People also ask’ and the ahrefs questions filter.
- Focus on featured snippets! 40.7% of answers come from featured snippets like answer boxes.
- Use Structured data, but also make sure you’re concise and you structure the content.
- Another option is to start building in Google Actions, to interact with your customers via Google assistant. Start focusing on conversational Search.