Get SIRIous: Optimize Your Website for Siri

Where are my iPhone fans out there? Is anyone else as addicted as I am? Ever since the iPhone 4S came out last year, Siri has been causing quite a stir in the smartphone world, and has made an impression on millions of people worldwide. But what many are failing to realize is Siri's enormous potential for local businesses.

I know I've told Siri, "I'm hungry for some delicious (whatever) food around here" countless times, and every time she instantly delivers a list of restaurants with ratings and reviews. And after going through the top 5 or so listings and checking out their listing and what other people had to say about them, I choose one and get on with life. For local businesses, Siri holds the key to getting new customers into your location and really capturing the mobile market in your niche. This is especially true for Internet marketing in Orange County because people are always on the go and it seems like everyone has an iPhone these days.

Here are some ways to get Siri on your good side and influence her to get prospective customers into your business.

Check YELP!
When it comes to finding local businesses, Apple has made it pretty clear to Siri that she should stick to Yelp listings when giving advice to iPhone 4S users. And with the most recent iOS 5.1 update, Siri is even more fused with the review site. This means three things:
  1. Make sure your business listing is claimed, complete, current and optimized.
  2. Encourage customers to share their experiences with these 3 Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Reviews.
  3. Respond to both positive and negative reviews on your account.

Basically you need as many good reviews as possible, but having 200 reviews with an average of 4 stars is better than 20 reviews with a 5 star average. The more activity, the merrier.

Siri also looks at other local listing sites like Citysearch, Super Pages, YP, Insider Pages, etc., which are also important for your local search marketing campaign. But with the iOS 5.1 update, Apple has made it pretty clear that Yelp is the most important.

Talk with Siri Like You'd Talk to Your Friends

Siri enables a new style of mobile search because you can talk to her. Instead of typing things into your iPhone and looking for local businesses that way, you are speaking to her and asking her for advice. What does this mean? Long-tail keywords.

In your listings you should not just be including the strict keywords and short key phrases youre optimizing for in your Local SEO campaign. You should also be including phrases long-tail keywords- that would appear in colloquial conversation. Heres an example..

Traditional SEO: "web designer Orange County"
Getting SIRIous: "looking for a web designer in Orange County"

The great part about this is that even by adding both to your local listing, it doesn't mean that you need to do more work for your Internet marketing campaign. In fact, you're actually cutting down on time. When you humanize and naturalize your listing, you will not only be helping your mobile search efforts, but you will also be improving your overall local search marketing campaign because Google, too, is getting smart by the day.

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Sangeeta Kumar

Sangeeta Kumar is the Vice President of Web Marketing for GMR Web Team, a global online marketing, strategy, development and maintenance agency. Sangeeta is a jack-of-all-trades kinda person in the world of Internet marketing, excelling in market research to come up with a strategy based on the latest trends to get a website on page 1. She knows her stuff and enjoys a good discussion on SEO anywhere, anytime.