What is Answer Engine Optimization (AEO)?

The Rise of Voice Search | Voice Search Facts

The Rise of Voice Search

Up until recently, SEO has been the main optimization digital marketers have focused on since the 1990’s.

However, with the increase of Voice Command devices like Google Home, Alexa, and Siri, Digital Marketers are now having to adapt to a new form of optimization, Answer Engine Optimization (AEO).

What is Answer Engine Optimization?

Answer Engine Optimization or AEO is the optimization of web content to increase the chances of appearing in a voice search through a voice command device.

Answer Engine Optimizations are content and formatting improvements. These AEO’s are made by digital marketers in hopes to increase the likelihood of their content appearing in a search by those that are searching through Voice Command devices like Siri, Alexa, or Google Home, for example.

Competition is very high for these types of searches since only one answer will be selected by Google or other Search Engines providing the result.

What is the difference between SEO and AEO?

The main difference between SEO and AEO is that Answer Engines only provide one answer to a question.

Search Engines, in comparison, provide multiple answers to a question which allows for consumers to choose which answer they believe will best solve their question.

AEO best practice is to write content using headers that read as a specific question that a consumer may be asking.

Content that is written for AEO then needs to directly answer the question proposed in the header without any filler content.

Following answer engine optimization best practices like using headers that propose a question allows for voice command devices to easily read an answer out loud to a searcher.

Why is AEO important?

Simply put, more people are searching by voice than ever before, and answer engines are providing one answer to those questions.

It is predicted that by 2020, nearly 50% of all searches will be done through voice search.

Just one.

Answer Engines vs. Search Engines
Answer Engines vs. Search Engines

Voice Search Trends

Reports indicate that by 2020:

  • 50% of all searches will be voice searches
  • 30% of all searches will be done without a screen
  • There will be 21.4 million Smart Speakers in the U.S. by 2020

Voice search predictions

Competition to rank for an Answer Engine Search is high, to say the least. There is still a lot of speculation on whether these types of searches are truly changing the way consumers search.

AEO VS. SEO Wrapup

What is the difference between Answer Engines and Search Engines?

Search Engines provide multiple results or answers to a question, and Answer Engines only provide one.

Answer Engines are much more difficult to optimize for as a result.

Digital Marketers must take into consideration the increase in consumers Voice Search tendencies if they want a chance at snagging an answer engine result.

Reports show that by 2020 nearly 50% of all searches will be done by voice, 30% of all searches will be done without any screen at all, and there will be nearly 21.4 million smart speakers in U.S. households.

AEO best practice is to use headers that read as a searchers question, and content that answers that question directly below in a clear concise answer. This allows for AE’s an answer out loud to the searcher.


Are you optimizing for voice search? Leave a comment below or email Brian

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