IN Q4 2011, Apple sold 37 million iPhones with many of the record sales coming from the iPhone 4s with voice searching Siri. Since Siri’s introduction on the iPhone in September, local businesses have been trying to unravel what search results Siri delivers and why.
With 37 million new Siri-enabled phones on the streets, that means 37 million more people asking Siri where to eat or where to go taste wine. And this is just the beginning. Apple won’t disclose how many more devices will have Siri enabled, but it’s sure to a significant number.
Any restaurant, winery or wine tasting room will want to be found by those millions of Siri searchers, but how?
Google Search is not the information source Siri taps into, but Google maps do factor in. Because many mobile searches happen on the go, it’s important to be positioned for localized ranking.
Yelp has long been rumored to be the prime source for Siri search results. This recent experiment by Gregg Stewart supports the theory behind the importance of Yelp:
On January 4, 2012, the voice query for “client name in Troy, MI” results displayed three listings forclient name with no reviews. A second voice query for “client keyword in Troy, MI” provided a result set with 25 businesses and no appearance of client in the search results. The first position was occupied by a business with one review with no stars.
On January 4, 2012, we inserted a four-star Yelp review for a specific client listing as a means to observe, and prove/disprove two elements:
- Yelp reviews were a primary optimization key for listings in Siri.
- Determine the listings update timing cycle of Yelp reviews into Siri.
Please note – we do not condone creating non-authentic reviews; the review that was inserted was from a customer of the client, used with their permission. If you would like more information for tips on increasing the volume of authentic ratings and reviews for your business/brand, please read “3 Tips To Leverage Ratings and Reviews.”
Each morning at 8:00 a.m. EST, we conducted the same two voice queries: “client name in Troy, MI” and “client keyword in Troy, MI.”
On January 24, 2012, the voice query for “client name in Troy, MI” resulted in three listings for clientwith the first inclusion of the review posted in Yelp on January 4, 2012 (21 days). The second voice query for “client keyword in Troy, MI” provided a result set with 25 businesses and client in the first position of search results.
Yelp reviews directly affect position on Apple’s iPhone 4S results. In terms of update cycle, it would appear that the Siri database is updated on a 30-day cycle. Additionally, the incremental review citation for the client location improved position ranking on Google Maps from positions third, fifth, and seventh to second, fourth, and sixth.
Based on improved SERP position, we recommended that the client undertake a comprehensive program to authentically increase ratings and reviews with specific emphasis on Yelp. This program encourages recent customers to post content for discrete locations as a tactic to improve SERP position and provide content that displays point-of-difference attributes, which increase selection rates for potential customers of our client.
If Yelp wasn’t a focus for winery tasting rooms or restaurants, it should be now. And if Yelp is a focus, it might be time to focus on it even more. The numbers suggest local businesses Yelp reviews are more important than ever.