SEO: Siri and Voice Search Results
Outside of digital professionals, many people are not aware that iOS and Siri use Bing as the source for it’s voice searches. Apple divorced Google when in 2013 when iOS 7 was released (admittedly, I did not know until recently). Needless to say, Android devices utilize Google as their source for search results.
SEO vs. Local Search (or Local SEO)
The previous paragraph, we stated that Siri uses Bing for search listings, so that must mean all that you need is an accurate Bing business profile and a good Bing SERP (search engine results page) ranking, right? WRONG! Actually, this is VERY WRONG.
Relevance, Prominence, Proximity – SEO is not an exact science, can be very confusing and will seem like voodoo if you are not familiar with the concepts and terminology.
SEO and Local SEO are two entirely different beasts with two entirely different concepts. SEO (conventional SEO) is keyword-centric or keyphrase-centric, results are listed with a strong emphasis on relevance and prominence and less emphasis on proximity. Local search results are listed with a strong emphasis on proximity, then secondarily relevance and prominence.
Siri & Voice Search Local Search Listings and SEO
Let us use a search example; “Insurance Agents Near Me”
For local search listings and rankings, Siri utilizes upwards of 60 sources to compile a list of ALL the insurance agents near me. Then, Siri will use native logic (programming) to determine the order to present the list.
Two important things to consider here; 1) for the 60 sources that Siri searches, a business will need to have an address that is consistently listed across as many of those sources as possible, 2) how can a business improve their relevance and prominence for a specific keyphrase search.
6 Tips to Improve Business Voice Search Ranking SEO
- MASS UPDATE the 60 sources Siri uses for local search. Buck up, create a Localeze or Yext account and spend a few dollars (while saving countless hours) letting them update ALL of these listings. If you are a local business (retail, insurance, restaurant, legal, plumber, HVAC, etc.), doing this one simple thing will have immediate and long lasting impact on your bottom line! You can expect to pay ~ $80-300 for this service.
- Manually create/update your Google & Bing business pages. While the services above (Localeze and Yext) will help, the fact is that these pages are the ANCHOR for your search listings in Google and Bing and require extra special attention.
- Manually create, claim or update Yelp business pages. Although the exact algorithm for how Siri ranks listings is unknown, it is known that Yelp is THE major contributor and biggest factor for Siri rankings. Create or update your Apple Maps listing (this is SUPER important for restaurants, gas stations and retail stores). CitySearch and FourSquare require additional attention as well.
- Reviews matter, ask for Yelp reviews and ratings!
- Incorporate and add microdata, schema or rich snippets into your website meta tags. Chances are you will need to contact an SEO professional or a developer to add these tags to your site. These schema changes will have a HUGE impact on your SEO but will have less impact on local search (it’s still time and money well spent).
- Create a Q&A page on your website. The benefit of having a Q&A page is that you can address “long tail search keyphrases” that consumers frequently use for search in a way that reads naturally! using words and phrases that people actually speak (versus words they type into a search box). Make these Q&A pages more conversational in tone, and the keyword phrases you use will probably resonate more with a person performing a voice search.
Voice Search, Local Search, SEO – The Takeaway
SEO is 1/2 art, 1/2 science, 1/2 objective and 1/2 subjective. Yes, I know that is a lot of halves. We did that on purpose! SEO, local search and voice search requires knowledge, vigilance and time while requiring a 200% commitment (now you see why we used four halves!)
There are many things you can do that will have a large impact on your bottom line, many of them mentioned above. Time is also a consideration, your time may be best served focusing on your daily duties and not SEO voodoo. You are more than welcome to reach out to 3V and me (Michael Lucy) for any comments, questions or concerns, I would be happy to help. I would also like to provide a referral to our trusted SEO partner here in metro Detroit (Michigan).
John Susko, Premier Detroit SEO – (586) 790-1000