Branded as an ‘intelligent personal assistant’, Siri is voice recognition software that works as an application on Apple’s iOS. It uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, and it can update your calendar, check the weather, set reminders, play music and even write emails and texts.
It is inevitable that most online strategies will adapt to accommodate Siri, as the software makes the decision on which search resource is the most suitable for your query. But how does Siri optimisation differ from traditional search engine optimisation? It turns out that most of the techniques used to optimise for Siri should already be integrated into a well-rounded SEO strategy. Perfect!
Whether you search via Siri or a search engine, queries from a mobile device are likely to differ from those coming from a laptop or desktop. Users performing searches on a device tend to be on the move and are less likely to looking for detailed results. Searches for local listings, including restaurants and entertainment, are more likely to catch the eye of a device user.
Siri doesn’t use Google results but similar Android-based tools do, meaning the techniques we use for local search optimisation are a still a priority when optimising for Siri. Yelp recommendations are currently embedded in Siri responses, so it is important to make sure that your business is set up in Yelp, Google Places and other similar directories. Provide as much information as possible and ensure that all your company details are correct and consistent throughout each local directory. Reviews are also displayed within Siri, so continue to encourage customers to upload honest and helpful reviews. Taking the time to set up these listings will not only help with visibility in Siri but will also benefit your position in the SERPs.
A traditional search engine user will be inclined to use keywords in a search, but Siri users tend to ask complete questions. In short, this means greater opportunities for link building strategies, as Siri optimisation offers the chance to target long tail keywords. This is particularly useful if you are trying to rank for competitive keywords, as you have the opportunity to optimise for a wide variety of anchor text profiles.
Following on from this, another SEO technique that will benefit your Siri visibility is the use of rich snippets and schema tags to structure your data. Demonstrating these practices means that Siri can pick out the important information on a page efficiently and accurately, improving your business’s chances of ranking.
The thing to remember is that organic search is still important to any online marketing strategy. The digital industry is constantly changing, and new developments in technology will inevitably lead to behavioural changes in its users. From a business perspective, understanding these changes and adapting to them is key, as well as good SEO practice. An optimised website, device optimisation and staying up to date with industry and tech updates can improve your businesses likelihood of being recognised by Siri and in the SERPs. Siri is still in its infancy but is becoming more prevalent in the way users seek information. In 2013, I suspect there will be a lot of discussion around Siri as it grows and develops. Personally, I’m excited to see what kind of impact Siri has on SEO techniques throughout the year.