In the digital marketing, growth marketing, and tech communities, a new term has been buzzing around nicely. Growth marketers are scrambling to know it beyond its name, and that term is none other than Answer Engine Optimization (AEO).
Answer Engine Optimization (AEO) is the result of the rise of generative AI-backed chatbots such as Bard and ChatGPT (along with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri which are AI-powered voice search assistants).
Users don’t need to scroll through various links on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). They also don’t have to look through various sites for answers to questions. Today’s consumers now receive singular, and proper responses to their search queries quickly.
The search process is hence shortened and is also making an impact on the future prospects of search engine optimization (SEO). In fact, it demands businesses rethink the way they are optimizing their content. This can help them appear in search engines as well as answer engines’ result pages respectively.
But before we delve in deeper in the specifics of making good use of answer engine optimization, let us understand what an answer engine is. We will also be learning about the shift from search to answer engines as well.
An Answer Engine – what is it?
Today’s digital age is all about information. It is always available in an instant. The concept of a search engine is universal. Now a new player has entered the field: Say hello to the answer engine.
Typical search engines (Bing, Google, Yahoo) often provide users with relevant web pages whenever they have a query they need to get answered. Answer engines take it one step ahead. They directly provide accurate, clear, and concise answers to specific questions of users. All of this is available with zero clicks and minimal waiting time.
Answer engines utilize both artificial intelligence and natural language processing. It does this so it can understand the user’s query and give them the best answer directly. These engines are designed and developed to provide users with quick and precise responses. This makes them invaluable tools for quick and efficient information access.
If users need to know the weather forecast, a country’s capital or central bank, or need to understand about a certain term; an answer engine can provide them with the correct answer in an instant. They have revolutionized the way users seek and consume information.
Understanding Answer Engine Optimization
Answer Engine Optimization (AEO) is the practice of optimizing content so users’ queries are answered quickly. It can be done on the following:
- Generative AI-powered chatbots such as Bard or ChatGPT.
- Search engine results pages (SERPs) of search engines like Bing, Google, or Yahoo.
- Voice search products especially Alexa, Cortana, or Siri.
Answer engine optimization is alternatively known as Large Language Model Optimization (LLMO). It highlights the process of optimizing large language models (LLMs). This can influence the learning and training data and the feedback loop. It helps make sure that the brand is at the right place and at the right time.
AEO is like a subfield of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It has a similar principle of understanding the search intent of users and answering it nicely. AEO does share a common objective with SEO i.e. to provide users’ queries with useful and relevant content in an accurate manner. It should be noted that the former focuses on making content that answers the user’s question directly.
The reason for that is to make the answer easily crawlable, readable, and presentable by answer engines and voice search assistants. This helps them present the answers to users as quickly as possible.
In what way is AEO different from SEO?
Both AEO and SEO are two separate approaches in terms of optimizing content for search engines. Each has its own focus and objectives.
The latter is mainly involved in improving a website’s ranking and visibility on search engines. It involves optimizing things like keywords, featured snippets, organized data markup, link building as well as site structure, to improve a site’s ranking.
SEO aims to bring in organic traffic. It does so by means of providing valuable and relevant content matching users’ search queries. It also aims to increase the site’s visibility by driving traffic to it organically.
AEO is somehow more specialized. It specifically targets answer engines, AI-run platforms, or both. It works that way to give users direct answers to their queries. It focuses on making content that answers users’ queries directly in a brief and accurate manner.
It involves the following tasks:
- Proper understanding of user intent.
- Content Structure Optimization.
- Using crawlable and understandable language for Bard or ChatGPT.
The objective of AEO is to position content as the direct answer to users’ queries. It makes sure that it is discovered easily, and displayed more commonly on most answer engine platforms, as determined by professionals of web design Dallas.
How can answer engine optimization be done by a business?
Answer engines are rising in popularity. It is hence crucial for each brand and marketing professional to fully understand optimizing and influencing the output of these engines. They can start through identification, understanding, and influencing data sources these engines rely on for training themselves.
Answer Engine Optimization involves making sure the content and data published are accessible easily to users. They can also be used for training answer engines which impacts their result. Here the power of community creation and user-generated content grows. Why? Socially validated content pieces work as fundamental sources from where answer engines get their information.
How can anyone comprehend an optimal answer in the view of generative AI? A worthwhile approach is inputting questions the audience asks commonly, into the platforms they use. When the structure of the content is reverse-engineered based on the outcome and answers, a foundation is made. That foundation can align with users’ expectations.
The content’s value and quality can be improved. It can be infused with a unique brand perspective or value that sets the business apart from its competition. This approach ensures the content satisfies both user queries and also adds a unique touch resonating with the brand’s identity.
Here are some actionable steps to implement when starting the AEO process:
- Identification of data sources on which the language models are trained.
- Making a clear about us page.
- Creating reputation by striving to be included in review sites, awards pages, media mentions, and the like.
- Making sure the content and data being published can be crawled by Answer Engine Optimization (AEO) bots.
- Reverse engineering the content’s structure through the input of relevant questions asked by the audience.
Over to You
Search itself has a bright future indeed. It lies in both AEO and LLMO. It is time that companies begin optimizing for answer engines. This is their cue to get started. Those who are wondering about the importance of website design in digital marketing have been using answer engines to get the needed answers.
However, this does not mean the end of search engine optimization (SEO). Answer Engine Optimization (AEO) is the subset of SEO itself. It is here to make things better. In fact, AEO halves the burden of SEO by optimizing the correct answers on the right platforms.