If you’re a small business and you’ve seen how Siri works, you’ve undoubtedly asked yourself, “How can I get Siri to recommend my business?”
Many in the search engine optimization world are wary of what the voice assistant can do to their profession in the long term, especially when it comes location based searches. Mobile searches are already a strong minority of all web usage. That figure will climb higher and higher, and voice assistants will see more widespread use, meaning less people will search for your business on search engines and, instead, have voice assistants bypass the need to search for anything.
Siri and future successors of it (on iOS and Android) will undoubtedly rely on reviews to give its users the answers they are looking for. In fact, Siri already uses Yelp! And Google Maps for its local based answers, each of which rank businesses primarily off the number of reviews they have and how “trustworthy” those reviews are. If you’re a business that wants to be recommended by voice assistants now and in the future, you have to develop a plan to get as many reviews as possible for your past, current, and future clients…
1. Create a short instruction sheet and/or email and send it out to as many of your clientele as possible.
The instruction sheet should tell customers how to use review sites Yelp! and Google Maps so that they can leave a review of your business. You can also offer an incentive for them to leave reviews by offering some sort of discount or freebie. Of course, if you know that many of your customers are not happy, focus first on changing your business processes and send the instruction sheet to all your future (happy) customers. Whatever you do, do not fake reviews.
For the time being, it is best to consolidate your reviews on a Google Maps and Yelp! because both are heavily used by Siri and Google Maps alone can bring you traffic to your business. Sprinkle some reviews to the other sites (Insiderpages, Yahoo Local, City Search, Local, and Merchant Circle) for a consistent online profile of your business.
2. Don’t freak out if you receive a negative review from a disgruntled customer or sleazy competitor.
Review sites are far from perfect, but you have to do your best to keep cool and avoid replying angrily to customers because it will reflect poorly on your business. Potential prospects can tell when a business has been unfairly criticized. Post public responses to negative reviews that demonstrate your professionalism.
Within the next 5-10 years people will start using review sites more often. This does not mean, however, that you should abandon your traditional SEO efforts. True, less people will find you through the search engines when they search for things like “Dallas dentist” or “Miami barber” because review sites will pop up for those phrases (Google Maps already dominates local Gogole search results).
At the same time, people will still search for things like “how much does it cost to get a dental appointment in Dallas?” or “which barbers are open in Miami during hip hop week?” Review sites can’t provide answers to the following.
As such, voice assistants like Siri will direct such specific questions to Google. The best way to take advantage of these highly specific search terms is to create a blog which talks about what your business has to offer in a local sense. For example, if you’re a wedding planner in San Diego, create a blog which posts wedding planning ideas based on specific attractions in San Diego.
About the Author: Nickolay Lamm is an internet marketing specialist at InventHelp, which markets inventions for its clients.