Have you heard of the Iphones personal/search assistant Siri?
Siri is a smart phone that verbally answers and recommends things based on what you say into your phone and bases its answer off your present location.
What does this have to do with getting your business found?
If you have a small business like a plumber for example, you may be asking, “How can I make my business come up in Siri’s search?”. In this post we will discuss the effects of Siri on local listings and how you can be sure to have your business listed.
When you are out and about and you want to find a place to eat, instead of grabbing a phone book or yellow pages or going straight to the Internet you just grab your smart phone. If you want to find a plumber, get a taxi, or get your nails done, you just ask Siri. You just talk into the phone, “Find me a plumber” or “I am hungry”. Just ask her with your voice “I need a sandwich” or “I need a pizza”. You can also tell Siri, “I need a beer” and she’ll give you a list of places that are near to buy beer. If you have too many beers, Siri can call you a cab. Think about if that cab company was your business. You would want it to show up, right? What is also great is that users are searching in natural speech rather than pecking away at keyboards or small Iphone touchscreens.
Siri works great on road trips when you need to find things in unfamiliar locations.
If you are driving on a road trip and needed to get gas you can just ask Siri. Siri will then respond and say, “I’ve found a number of gas stations in your area and 8 of them are fairly close to you“. It will then give a list on your Iphone showing the distance, star reviews, map, phone numbers and directions.
If you owned a gas station, wouldn’t you want your information to appear in the Siri Search? Of course you would! The more ways your business can be found, means the more customers your business will have.
How Siri Effects Local Listings
Siri will only give directions to a business listed in Yelp, Insider Pages, City Search, or Google Plus Local. Google maps can only direct customers to you if your business address on Google Plus Local (formerly known as Google Places) is listed correctly. Getting to the top of Google’s list has changed since Google Places got ditched to Google Plus Local. Now what will skyrocket your business to the top is reviews. Social media is now placing more importance on feedback by reviews to prevent people from buying their way to the top. If you see your friends name on a review and they say it is great, you will believe that. Right? Businesses must now closely manage and monitor their Yelp, City Search, Insider Pages and Google Plus Local reviews if they want to stay competitive.
How Does Siri Find Information?
Siri will search the web and display what she finds that is closest (by location) business to where you are (when using Siri). So plumbers and pizza places that have the most listings that are found online will be displayed over those business that are invisible on the web. Finally, the businesses that have the best local SEO and reviews will show up. Siri is still in BETA and the more people use it, the more the information will be updated and tweaked.
How Do You Get Siri To Like Your Local Business?
Just like Google search engines play a role in online and mobile search, Google+ Local plays a role in local search. Google Places (which is now Google+ Local) combines social, Google maps, and local search. Your listing on Google+ Local is linked to how you get found on Siri and voice actions.
6 Steps Local Businesses Need To Take To Make Sure They Are Listed With Siri
#1 Maintain Their Google+ Local Page. This includes making sure it displays the correct business name, address, phone number, website, videos, and pictures.
#2 Rating And Reviews Are Important. Siri will incorporate both ratings and reviews when a user asks for a business. Rating and reviews are becoming more important with getting your business found. Encourage your customers to give you positive reviews on Yelp, Insider Pages, City Search and Google+ Local.
#3 Get Listed On Local Directories. It is not enough to just be on Google Plus Local (formerly Google Places), Facebook and Twitter. Your business needs a profile and to be listed in other local directories and review sites such as: Foursquare, Savings.Com, Yahoo Local , Bing Local, Yelp, Grubhub, Open Table, Judy’s Book, City Search, Urbanspoon, Superpages etc.
#5 Optimize Your Website For Mobile. More people are on their phones now and will access your website on the go. Make sure your address, local phone number and hours of operation are on the home page of your site. If you are using WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal to manage your site, this is a fairly simple process. If you don’t use one of those, hire someone to produce a mobile version of your website.
#6 More Listings = More Exposure. Make Siri’s job easier so she’ll be able to send you more business. The more local directories and review sites you list your business on, the more chances you will have of customers finding you.
Is SEO A Waste Of Time, Money And Effort, Now That Siri Is Here?
Mobile is becoming a dominant platform for Internet searches, but Siri is not a search engine. It is another search interface. Local SEO is more valuable than ever to having your business be found by prospects and customers. SEO is still important when building your brand to be found. Online marketing is constantly changing. Take advantage of these changes to set your local business apart. SEO is still crucial for your local business and online presence to getting you more visible to potential customers.
Having SEO on your website set up to properly to serve both mobile and online prospects is crucial to your future success, ESPECIALLY if you own or operate a business in a local marketplace.
As Siri evolves, the businesses that will stay on top and get their business found will be those that optimize their site and follow the steps we listed above. Siri will influence how we perform search, perhaps significantly, and hence she will also influence how we do SEO in the future. This means Local SEO is more valuable than ever. Businesses that specialize in this can help you so you can focus on your business. If your business has not started a local SEO marketing campaign due to budget or other reasons it is only going to get more expensive as time goes on. Don’t risk prospects and customers going to your competition! Get professional help!
What other tips with Siri and Local SEO have you found? Have any of your experimented with what Siri uses or ignores for in her listings?
About Our Guest Blogger – Cherie DeBrule:
Cherie DeBrule is the Co-founder of the St. Paul Marketing Team http://www.stpaulmarketingteam.com/. She integrates her Internet marketing experience, video marketing, SEO, graphic and web design, with her execution capabilities to create cost effective marketing campaigns for small businesses. She is the designer of the book Rise Above The Race and The Google Places Bible.
Check out her website: http://www.stpaulmarketingteam.com/
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