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Siri? Alexa? Ok Google? – This is how the new everyday helpers are awakened from their slumber.

by Tamara Himler


Smarte Assistenten

What does this change mean for agencies that create and design websites?

To properly prepare a website for voice search, the source code must first be clearly structured and the site must be optimized for mobile devices. Language should also be part of the SEO strategy. What does that mean in concrete terms?

An important aspect is “featured snippets”. Google has been using these highlighted search results for search queries for some time. Features snippets are placed as a direct response in front of the other organic search results – the so-called “Position 0”. In addition to the classic text snippets, there are also video and table snippets. For example, users of smart assistants usually receive the featured snippet in response to spoken queries.

It is also more important than ever to feed Google with structured data. As many voice searches relate to local inquiries, location data such as address, telephone number, office hours, etc. should be available on the website in a structured form and included in the meta description. It is also important to be listed in the relevant online business directories and subject directories.

Last but not least, the speed of the website must be right. Website speed is now one of the most important ranking factors for Google. According to the motto “Make the Web Faster”, Google also offers information and tools for loading time optimization.

Just a few years ago, it was not considered a foregone conclusion that voice assistants would do so well on the market. Experts expect the number of smart assistant-compatible devices worldwide to grow to 1.6 billion by the end of 2025. It is clear that these new technologies are becoming increasingly important not only for end customers, but also for our customers. There are already more and more fields of application for increasing the level of service in customer communication: This has included voice selection menus for service hotlines for several years now. Increasingly, companies are also recognizing great potential in so-called voicebots. The city of Vienna advertises with the WienBot – the city’s digital assistant – which provides information on public transport times, the nearest waste collection point, parking fees and much more. Allianz developed the Allianz Symptom Checker Skill, which allows Alexa to automatically analyze medical questions and provide a preliminary assessment of symptoms.

So it’s no wonder that smaller companies also want to be part of this change: Deutsche Telekom is also planning a smart assistant.

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But how do these smart assistants actually work?

The devices are designed in such a way that they can understand spoken language and process it internally. The spoken language is then converted into digital data that can be used to search for information on the Internet. The data found is then output again by voice as a meaningful response.
The process that enables natural language to be converted into a computer-readable format is called Natural Language Processing (NLP). In order to analyze natural language, several steps must be carried out. The language has to be understood first. This requires a microphone and a storage medium. The recorded language is then broken down into its individual components, allowing the individual words to be determined grammatically. Finally, an extraction of the individual word and sentence meanings is obtained, which are then assessed for contrast relationships and sentence contexts.

And what are Smart Assistant compatible devices?

These are devices that are connected in a network and can be controlled independently of each other or with forwarded voice commands from an intelligent external assistant, such as Alexa.

The evolution of smart assistants is unstoppable. Their rise transforms our interactions and processes. In future, they will be even more deeply integrated into our everyday lives.

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