“Google Assistant” What You Need To Know And Do As A Marketer

Nivo Digital

21 May 2018

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Many marketers are now understanding the power of Google Assistant. Big brands such as CNN, Huffington Post and Pandora have already adopted the new tech as a means of reaching more customers across their devices.

In May 2018, Google announced Duplex, opening the doors for small businesses to start using Google Assistant.

As an SEO Expert, I am always asked by clients “How can I get my services used by people outside my city?” 

Google Assistant Marketing could be the answer.

Before we dive into how we can use Google Assistant in marketing, let us take a quick look at the history of Google’s first virtual assistant.

Google Assistant first launched back in 2016, initially to both the Google Pixel smartphone and Google Home. However, this quickly expanded to all most modern Android devices.

With Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana having been established for many years already. Google needed to make up ground fast and become a household name.

Two years on from the initial launch of Google Assistant, Google has worked tirelessly to get the Assistant into many devices as possible. Not only on Google’s own devices, but through partnerships with other companies. As of 2018, Google Assistant is available on more than 500 million devices.

Google Assistant is now in a wide range of devices, from speakers to fridges and just about everything else you can think of.

On 8th May 2018, at the Google I/O event. Google announced a new AI system for accomplishing real-world tasks over the phone. Also known as Duplex.

Duplex is a technology directed towards completing certain tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments. Duplex is a smart voice assistant that sounds almost indistinguishably human.

Duplex In Action

At the event, Google showed off two examples of Duplex in action. Listen for yourself.

Setting Up a Hair Salon Appointment

Making a Reservation At a Restaurant

In this instance, a user has requested an appointment at a hair salon through their Google Assistant device. Google will then make the call to the hair salon and speak to the human at the end of the phone and arrange an appointment on your behalf.

After the appointment has been made, Google Assistant will add the appointment to your Google calendar. Pretty incredible.

Google also announced that users will have access to six new voices for their Google Assistant. So if your client’s business gets a call from someone sounding like John Legend, it’s probably Google.

So why is this important to marketing?

From Google’s own research they identified that:

Over 60 percent of small businesses who rely on customers bookings, don’t have an online booking system in place.

Many people simply don’t reserve with businesses that don’t take online bookings.

Using Google Assistant many customers can now make bookings, without the inconvenience of having to actually talk to someone on the phone.

As a marketer what can we do?

Google’s announcement highlighted two critical factors that as a marketer, we must address for our clients.

Firstly, Google highlighted how important having an online booking form is.

How many bookings might your clients have missed out on?

If your clients business relies on customers bookings, make sure we have an online booking system in place. It’s relatively easy to setup and a great way to track the results of your other marketing efforts.

Secondly, make sure the client’s website is added to Google Assistant’s browsable Actions directory.

Google will do this automatically for you if your client’s site contains both:

  • Structured data markups
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

If your client’s website doesn’t contain either of these or only one, we need to claim the directory page for the client.

Google Assistant Claiming Instructions

Claiming the page is a relatively straightforward procedure.

Before you begin, sign into a Google account that is associated with the client’s website. Google will check to make sure you an authorised representative.

Head over to Actions on Google and follow the instructions below.

Step 1. Create an Actions on Google project

Click on Add/import project and enter a project name (customers won’t see the name, so set it to something identifiable).

Step 2. Submit the claim request form

Fill out the claim request form and submit. You will need to copy the project ID of project you created in step 1.

Once submitted, Google will review your claim and send you an email on successfully transferred ownership.

Step 3. Make changes to your directory page

Once your claim is approved you will be able to edit your client’s directory page to better reflect their brand and content.

Go to the Google Documentation(link) to learn more about what changes you can make.


Google’s new AI is revolutionising the way we interact and the way customers interact with businesses. As a marketer it’s our job to ensure our clients aren’t missing out on potential customers.

Contact Nivo Digital to learn how we can help.