Apple recently unveiled the sixth generation of its iPhone, predictably and in traditional fashion called the iPhone 6. This wasn’t their only big announcement of the night however; the Apple Watch – after much speculation – is to arrive in stores in ‘early 2015’. Smart watches have been flirted with by a lot of their competitor’s; Samsung, Nokia etc., but the release of Apple’s smart watch could spell the beginning of a new era in technology, and in SEO.
If you have a local business, or represent one, it’s probably a good idea to start looking at how the Apple Watch may be changing the game of local search.
Perhaps the most popular feature on the device, and the most significant for local SEO is its new mapping feature. The Watch will use a newly devised system known as “haptic feedback” to prove hands-free, eye-free directions with directional buzzes to help you navigate around the streets – as opposed to older smartphones and navigational devices using a map to demonstrate audible directions.
Siri & Bing
Ask Siri to search for anything local, and she’ll do a good job of populating your results with a handful of relevant local places. Currently however, Siri using Bing to populate that information, not Google. As most search marketers tend to focus on optimising for Google and not Bing, a lot of SEOers will need to adjust their strategies to focus on Bing local results instead, and trying to find a balance between the two (if they want to capture the attention of Apple Watch users).
Optimising for Google Maps
Have you optimised your business listing for Apple Maps? Probably not, as most business listings are for Google Maps only. The Apple Watch will, however, be using Apple Maps as its default navigational system. Many iPhone users have opted to use Google Maps on their phones instead, but the Watch could see the rise of a new generation of Apple Maps users. You know what this means? Search marketers will need to take steps to ensure that their business can be found on Apple Maps. Maybe this isn’t an important factor for a lot of business, but for a local cafe in New York, Apple Watch users could represent a large portion of their potential customers.
Super Sensitive Local Search x 2
Google’s already very impressive at bringing you local results for any given search query, and the way they do this operates directly from your IP address; usually a fixed location. As smart watch popularity rises, focus will most likely shift towards using GPS instead of IP address to pull results. Speculative? Yes. But it certainly wouldn’t surprise us; as this sort of technology grows and grows, we’re bound to see more intuitive search engines which use highly-sensitive GPS tracking to bring you results.
Digital Coupons & Other Interactive Elements
Mobile coupons are already pretty popular, and interactive stuff like QR codes has given interactive digital/physical purchases a new lease of life. This trend will only increase in popularity and sophistication as Apple’s Watch is released. Users will no doubt be demanding increased immediacy, so if you can find a way to cater for Smart Watch users by being faster than your competition, you’ll be on top of that market.
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