How many times have you asked Siri to find you an answer to a question, recommend a place to eat when you’re out of town, or direct you to a store where you can find an item you’ve been looking for? For most of us, those interactions are a daily occurrence.
But Siri – and her non-Apple counterparts GoogleNow and Cortana – will only direct you (and your customers) to places whose websites they can mine information from. In fact, most of the largest tech companies have developed their own digital assistants.
It’s time for businesses to get to know the assistants inside their customers’ phones.
There’s a good chance that people are asking their digital personal assistants for recommendations for your product or service. If you haven’t helped make that assistant’s job easier, it’s likely your business is being left out of the search equation. And, with Siri replacing Spotlight to play an even larger role in in-phone searches in iOS9, there’s even more reason to start paying attention.
Leaving digital assistants out of your search optimization could leave a lot of business on the table. As SearchEngine Land noted, “Thrive Analytics’ 2014 report, Is the Personal Assistant the Successor to Search?, indicates that 56% of smartphone owners have used a digital assistant to search for local information. Furthermore, 64% of users use such a service weekly, with over 50% of uses occurring while users are on-the-go.”
As you can see, investing some time into making your website available and searchable to digital assistants could have huge dividends. The first thing to consider in your Siri-friendly SEO is what questions your future-customers are asking. Many are looking for a ‘restaurant in Naperville’ or ‘running store near 60540’ or asking ‘where can I get my taxes done near Aurora?’ – using those common questions as SEO or search terms in the copy on your website helps Siri find you.
Your analytics can help you determine what people are searching for that brings them to your site, then think about the difference between what you type and what’d you ask Siri for. Often those questions are asked on the go, and hands-free – when people are driving or walking in search of that product or service. The world of digital assistants is an immediate one.
You also need to make sure you are showing up in Siri’s searches – which are done not on Google, but on Bing. As Apple distances itself from Google, Siri does too. That means you need to pay as much attention to your Bing SEO as you do your Google SEO.
Siri is also influenced by social activity and trends – so keeping an active social media presence can help you win digital friends and influence customers.
It’s also important to make sure that if and when Siri directs mobile customers to your page they are reaching one that’s readable, usable, and attractive. Creating that kind of page often means turning to responsive design.
Siri answers a lot of questions and can wield a lot of power – but there’s no reason you can’t wield a little of your own power to be a part of more of her answers.
Pepper Erdmann is a Marketing Manager at Buddingh & Associates, Inc., an award-winning strategic marketing consulting firm in Naperville, IL. Contact her at (630) 961-4504 or visit www.BuddinghAssociates.com.