This year, Siri taught me (a hardcore Google-addict) something so incredibly unexpected and illuminating. With just the press of a button, and a quick question I was taken out of the stone age, and into the future of search. Here’s how it all began:
Long, long ago, homo sapiens were forced to peck away at minuscule buttons on phones to find out the location of and directions to the nearest pizza kitchen. However, a small Norwegian start-up company of only 24 members headed by Dag Kittlaus changed this in 2010 with a clever idea, a little humor, and an out-of-the-ordinary creation of a voice-search program. With Apple’s adoption and integration of Kittlaus’ program to iPhones in October of 2011, the way we search would never be the same… all due to the computerized handheld personal assistant that we love to hate, Siri.
In the Norwegian language, Siri signifies a “beautiful woman who lead you to victory“. Trust me, in 2013 when I upgraded from my lifeless iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5c, I simply could not understood why. Like many others (not to mention my fellow Google fans who continue to make fun of me to this day), I had my reasons:
- That annoying robotic voice.
- That annoying dinging noise. *BING BING*
- That annoying need to repeat or clarify my query.
- That annoying feedback which was often from a misinterpreted query, or a failure to gather data on the specific request.
I should have gotten an Android. But after testing out the obnoxious feature a few times,
good ole Siri enlightened me on perhaps the most important aspect of online marketing:
As a copywriter specializing in search engine optimization, you can bet I focus a majority of my work on determining exactly what people are searching for, and how I can match web content to these queries. Now, generally this type of manipulation requires a steady analysis of keywords and phrases appropriate for directing traffic your website, followed by implementation of articles or webpages centered around these topics. What are these keywords? In the SEO world we’ve got it pretty down to a science; consider this situation:
Your less-than-durable iPhone charging cord just snapped towards the base. You now want to know why this occurred by determining the material utilized to make the cords. Most content managers would assume that the query might look something like this.
But this only accounts for how a person would typically type a query (keyword rich). This got me thinking about how Siri works, and a different style of query that may be conducted. Consider a second instance. You are in the same situation (frustrating iPhone chargers!); however, you hold down the home button and ask Siri to find out for you. This query would most likely look a bit different:
or for the more frustrated…
Notice, in the first instance the search focuses on key terms while the second situation results in entering an entire question into the search. What does this mean for content management?
Not all searches are the same
There tend to be two different types of querying behaviors: dialogue-based, and keyword-intensive. Voice-search programs are a simple reminder of this. While both may focus on a specific set of terms, the way these words are phrased can make the world of a difference in online searches. For this reason, content owners must choose their copy with utmost precision and intent. Understand where most of your site traffic sources from, and which behaviors this audience might be inclined to utilize in searches.
How Should I Tailor My Content?
Unfortunately, neither I nor Siri can give you an exact answer; each website has a distinct target audience and message. Nonetheless, Apple has experienced over 98,000,000 combined sales of the Siri-equipped Apple iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, and iPhone 5c alone (not including the original host for Siri, the iPhone 4s). It doesn’t matter whether you are a loyal Apple fan, or an android die-hard anymore. 98,000,000+ potential clients? That’s a massive market to overlook.
But what about Google Voice-Search? Critics have scoped out Google Voice-Search in close juxtaposition to Apple’s Siri. Many even report that Google’s voice-command technologies work faster and more accurately. Not to mention, each day our beloved Google search engine dishes out answers to over a billion queries. Truthfully, it’s no longer an android or Google vs Apple debate (this is the user’s preference).
With that being said, don’t be afraid to include Header tags for potential queries in question form. This may be beneficial as an FAQ page to direct traffic. As an added bonus, these headers will ensure browsers that they have landed on the correct page and that their query can be answered on your site.
On the marketing side of things, the combined audiences of Google voice searches and Siri exude endless possibilities. Whether you’re one of Siri’s best friends, or an annoyed critic of Apple’s infamous voice-search program, voice search tools have a huge say in the way that we do SEO. Today, it is pivotal for content marketers to evaluate searches from perspectives of both voice-search and manually-written queries.
To this day, I wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Siri in public. Yet, I will always remember the day that this program reminded me of human behavior on search engines. For this I thank my annoying virtual personal assistant, Siri..