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I personally don’t like Siri. There. I said it. She can’t understand my Pittsburgh accent and she always thinks I’m looking for adult video marts even though (most of the time) I’m not. But first, in case you are unfamiliar, Siri (pronounced Seeer-Eeeee) is the iPhone’s voice-command and search assistant feature. Homegirl can’t cook you dinner, but she’ll tell you where to order it from. She does things like:
- Set reminders
- Play music
- Check the weather
- Get directions
- And carry out search queries
(Well. She does those things assuming you don’t have a Pittsburgh accent. Not that I’m going to go sit in my haus on my caach and cry abaht it n’at, yinz. I’ll just put some French fries and coleslaw on my sandwich and watch Mr. Rogers in my Steelers snuggie and call it a day.)
Of course, as search engine optimization (SEO) gurus, we are most interested in Siri’s search queries. Over 40 percent of search queries are local (i.e. they include a city or zip code), and increasingly people are using smartphones to find what they need (instead of their laptop or desktop computer). We experimented and found that searching for “HVAC company Gaithersburg” or “HVAC company Baltimore” on Google yields much different results than asking Siri for “HVAC company” in Gaithersburg or Baltimore.
So how do you get your company to come up first on Siri’s search results?
Siri is all about local listings. Most people that use her are performing location specific searches (again, searches that include a city or zip code). For example, many people are searching for nearby restauarants or other nearby services (I’m not going to say anything about liquor stores here even though I normally would because Ben Landers, our president, will probably begin to think I’m an alcoholic.). To rank well on Siri, your business’s proximity to the searcher is important, but it’s definitely not impossible to trump closer competitors if you have use the appropriate keywords and have more local listings and reviews (of course, it’s helpful if those reviews are positive!).
With Siri, it’s important that your site is listed locally on sites like Yelp, Google Places, Foursqare, CitySearch, etc. We call these Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) citations (read this for a more complete explanation of NAP citations and their importance for local SEO). Most importantly are the Yelp (where Siri gets its reviews and ratings from) and NAP listings, but the more sites you are listed on, the better. These local listings are where Siri is drawing her data from.
If there are already listings for your business on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, make it a point to claim them (contact us if you need help with this!). This helps the search engine (and Siri) know that this is a trusted, legitimate business. Having consistent information in all of your listing profiles will also help to build trust with search engines and Siri. As an added benefit, listings will also help you in regular searches in addition to Siri searches, provided that you fill them out with a proper description that smartly incorporates your target keywords. Having good ratings and reviews on these listings will help boost you up in Siri searches.
Keep in mind that most people that are searching with Siri are using longer phrases. This makes it important for you to optimize your website for longer tail keywords like “what is the best HVAC company in Denver” in addition to shorter tail keywords like “Heating contractors in Denver.” These standard school SEO practices will only help you rank in Siri as well.
It’s also beneficial for ranking on Siri to use rich snippets and schema tags on your website for your business. These tags include information like your business’s address, phone number, and operating hours and add value to local searches. Therefore, having rich snippets and schema tags with this information will make it easier for Siri to find your business. If all this talk of snippets and tags is getting a little too advanced for you, it might be time to consider hiring a professional SEO company. Or you can go back to eating Doritos and raking the sand in your zen garden on your desk wondering why your business’s phone isn’t ringing. Maybe you should ask Siri.
PS – If you need help standardizing your businesses NAPs or you’d like to increase the number of NAPs you have, drop us a line!
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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