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Posted on 12-03-2014

By: Andrew Martindale

Siri has become a household name, thanks to the marketing done by Apple. Most people recognize the voice of the standard Apple personal assistant, but many people don’t know that Siri is actually a glorified search algorithm and is not the only game in town. Google’s knowledge graph and Google Now search algorithm have become more prevalent in search results for a while now, and this year Microsoft entered the ring with Cortana, their personal assistant.

You may already understand that these programs work by taking questions or instructions and turning them into search queries, but how does this affect your chiropractic SEO?

Personal Assistants and Your SEO

The most relevant part of their functionality is the use of the Knowledge Box, or their ability to provide a direct answer to a question rather than a list of search results.  In a recent study Google Now searches produced a knowledge box answer to 58% of queries which eliminated the need to click on a website. Siri and Cortana were behind at 29% and 20%, respectively, but still bypassed the need for a click through in a large amount of searches. Now, for website owners, chiropractors in particular, this does not mean you need to be wary of knowledge box searches. The type of searches producing knowledge box results are more like “What is 5 miles in kilometers,” rather than “Find me a local chiropractor.” The latter search will still produce a list of local chiropractic websites so losing patients to knowledge box answers is fairly unlikely.

So, what does all this mean for your SEO?

It’s another sign of demise for traditional “keyword based” SEO. If you rank for “CITY chiropractor,” you will rank for “find me a local chiropractor” when a patient searches in your city. The algorithms smartly break down the search phrase and determine the essential information being searched and present websites accordingly, rather than performing a keyword search for that particular phrase as a whole.

When optimizing for these algorithms, don’t try to do a keyword match for possible search terms, instead, optimize for your chiropractic services and let Google, Siri, and Cortana determine when a phrase is looking for those services. Frankly put, it’s their job and they are better at it than you are.

The main thing to do is make sure your local chiropractic SEO is complete. Double check that you have a verified listing on Google maps and Bing maps too. Also, getting a few patient reviews on Google and Bing will help. Check that you have proper schema.org markups on your address information and that you have your location settings in webmaster tools verified. Lastly, ensure your chiropractic website is mobile-friendly. Although Cortana is bundled with Windows 9, most searches are performed on mobile devices. Google significantly prioritizes responsive design and mobile-friendly websites in search results, and all indicators show that Bing (which powers Cortana and Siri) is doing the same.

Find out if your chiropractic website is mobile-responsive. Call 1-800-IMATRIX to speak with an Internet Marketing Consultant for a website evaluation for your practice.


 

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