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Posted on 11.22.2011

Time to get “Sirious”

Last month’s launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S brought about a new kind of application, appealing to users young and old. Siri, a voice-activated technology developed by Siri Inc., takes the older iPhone standard voice control feature and turns it into your own personal assistant. As with any voice-recognition hardware, the accuracy of Siri depends on several factors and its responses can be volatile. If everything works well, Siri can make reservations and appointments, set reminders, and send emails and texts. Siri can also search for data through sites like Yelp, Google and Bing – and it’s in this realm of local search engine optimization where Siri may have its biggest impact. In the video above, a woman in a mini-van says to Siri, “We have a flat tire…” Siri determines the car’s location and presents the woman with a list of local mechanics. What does this kind of search mean for your business or product? Here are a few ways for you to get “Sirious” about local search engine optimization.
  • Target Long-Tail Keywords
With Siri comes a more conversational search tactic. It’s easier to say to Siri “find me a hardware store in Nashville that’s open on Sundays” than it is to type the same phrase on a small keypad. Long-tail key words, like the phrase above, are words strung together to define a good or service. Another example: If you searched for the key words “coffee shop” in Google, you would receive 102,000,000 results. If you typed “coffee shop Nashville Tennessee” you’d reduce those results by over 93%. Using more specific keywords that include your address throughout your website can increase the chance your product or service is picked up by Siri when people are on the look-out for your type of business.
  • Register with Local Directories
If you ask Siri to find you a coffee shop, it’s most likely pulling information from local online directories. By registering your business and claiming your profile on directories such as Yelp, Bing, Yahoo, and Google Places, you’re tailoring your SEO to Siri’s language. Be sure to make this listing as accurate as possible with current contact information.  Make sure your business name, address, and telephone number (NAP) are consistent across all directories where you register. Google has been known to drop businesses from the top of the search results when inconsistencies in NAP information is noticed.  Also, encourage your customers to review and rate your business in these directories which will give your listing more weight. Assuming Siri uses these free directories to pull information, the more popular you are with these services, the better your chances of being chosen by Siri.
  • Mobilize your Website
Neilson estimates that by the end of 2011, one in two Americans will have a smart phone. By mobilizing your website, you are making it easier for users to land on a mobile friendly version of your site. If Siri pulls your business or product from a search engine and recommends it to a user, they can easily check out your website without the frustration of waiting on PDF’s, scrolling issues or slow loading pages. By following these tips, you can help Siri – and customers – find your business or product. Do you use Siri? Let us know your thoughts on it!  

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