A few weeks ago I wrote a post about how to dominate local search engine results. One thing I didn’t address is how the iPhone 4S’s voice recognition app, Siri, could affect Local SEO. Just in case you are not familiar, Siri is a voice recognition app that allows iPhone 4S users to use their voices to send emails, text messages, place phone calls and even search the web. SIri basically eliminates the need to manually search for products or services via your Google app or web browser on your iPhone.
There has been a lot of initial speculation as to whether or not Siri could potentially destroy Local SEO. The answer is NO! It will not destroy Local SEO! In fact, I believe it is going to help those businesses that already have a strong Local SEO presence or those who are taking the proper steps to improve their Local SEO.
Why you ask?
It doesn’t matter if the searches are done manually or using Siri, the local business data has to come from somewhere. Apple itself has been very quiet on how they get the data and where it comes from but it’s most likely coming from many of the same places search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing get their information from – other search engines and online directories.
If you read our previous posts on Local SEO you’ll see that there are several keys to making sure you have a strong SEO presence. We know Siri gets its data from sources such as Localeze.com and pulls in Yelp and Yahoo results. This means you need to make sure that your business information is not only on those sites, but optimized, accurate and consistent. Here are 3 things that we suggest you do to help encourage Siri to recommend your business:
Claim your local listings. This goes way beyond just your Google Places page. Since we don’t know exactly where Siri is getting her information, it is important to expand your focus to search engines like Yahoo and Bing, as well as local directory sites like Superpages.com and review sites like Yelp.com
Be Consistent with Business Information. Consistency matters a lot when search engines and directories decide which business to display first. They pull information in from all over the web and if your business name or address is inconsistent, it could raise a red flag on how legitimate your business is.
Get Reviews. Reviews in Local SEO are similar to links in regular SEO. They are like votes, and the more votes you get the better. Positive reviews are obviously better then negative but if you have negative reviews, make sure to respond to them and engage your customers. This also helps push those negative reviews down the list and focus on positive ones.
Like most things in technology and Online Marketing, constant change is inevitable. How you react to these changes and make sure to take advantage of them, is what will help set your local business apart. A strong online presence is vital for local businesses and capitalizing on Siri’s new search methods makes you more visible to potential customers.