A long time ago I ran a restaurant. The guy who mentored me and had been in the hospitality business for a couple of decades shared his motto with me: inspect, don’t expect. I don’t care for that idea when it comes to people; I’d prefer to believe that the people who work for me will do their jobs and more generally I just prefer to trust people until they give me a reason to distrust them.
But a big piece of Influency is inspection. With so many things to manage, keeping track of them in minute detail matters. And so a couple of days ago, during a down moment, I peeked at our search results and noticed that someone had landed on a story I wrote a couple of years ago by asking Siri on an iPhone for the phone number of a supermarket in New Jersey.
That could be a commentary on the efficacy of our brand of Search Engine Optimization, but it isn’t; searching on the phrase i need the main number for shoprite in succasunna new jersey, whether or not prepended by the name of Apple’s ‘Virtual Assistant’, on Google, Bing, or Yahoo!, doesn’t normally point to Answer Guy Central. But it did, when someone asked Siri the question a few days ago.
Forget about how well Siri works—or doesn’t—by the way. And don’t worry about Apple’s lie that Siri can only work on an iPhone. Siri finding us in a query about a New Jersey supermarket was just an anomaly.
As I showed you last week, search rankings vary and fluctuate over time, based on a tremendous number of variables. And I’ve written two stories here about ShopRites in New Jersey and Customer Service; the one I linked to above, as well as this one about … cheese. Combine those two stories’ specific existence, wording, and other style methodologies with our trustworthiness in most search engines’ rankings and you get the occasional link—in this case, via Siri—for something that might not be immediately apparent, referral-wise.
In other words, you have long-tail marketing.
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