Hey Alexa, How Can My Dealership Get Ready for the Voice Search Revolution?”
Just when you think you have mastered the complexities inherent in search engine optimization (SEO), along comes a new technology that throws a wrench into your plans. That wrench is voice search — like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant — and it is quickly approaching critical mass. The stats don’t lie.
Despite the fast growing use of voice search, only four percent of U.S. businesses with a physical location are voice-search ready. Are you one of them? Want to use voice search to drive more car buyers to your website and showroom floor, and leapfrog your competition? Then the following tips were created just for just for you.
Longtail Keywords & Auto Buyer Search Intent
If I were to do a text search for “best SUV for families,” you would have no idea whether I wanted to research or purchase one, my price range or what kind of SUV (size, make, model, etc.) I was looking for. But, if I were to say to my voice assistant, “what are the most reliable SUVs for large families?” this might bring up results for top 10 lists, reviews, forums, manufacturer recommendations and even dealerships near me offering some good deals.
Because spitting out a longer, more specific question is easier than typing one, voice search gives you more context around searcher intent. This means that search engines can deliver more specific, relevant results that actually give you the information you want.
This also means it’s time for dealership marketers to refocus on relevant longtail keywords and integrate them into content in order to succeed at SEO and search engine marketing. It’s all about intent.
Natural Speech Patterns vs. Keywords
The way you type an email or a text message to someone is very different from the way you speak to them face-to-face. Instead of texting a friend “lunch next week?”, if you were talking in person, you’d probably opt for: “Do you want to grab lunch sometime next week?”
Natural speech patterns contain more details about your question than if you were to type or text it to someone. That’s why the term “natural language” is used to describe queries made using voice search.
How does this impact your voice search and SEO strategy? It shifts your focus away from identifying specific SEO keywords and requires that you get back to basics – how humans actually talk – and understand how natural speech actually impacts search results. It’s all about being natural!
Local SEO & Google My Business
According to eMarketer Pro, 56 percent of all Internet users used voice search to find information about a local business, with 23 percent using voice search to find an auto dealer or service provider. Furthermore, Moz reports that voice searches are three times more likely to be local-based than text search because most smartphones today search for local listing results.
Let’s face it, we’re attached to our smartphones and use them at any given moment to conduct local searches with a sense of urgency. We need help finding information about a type of car and then want immediate feedback about a local dealership carrying that model with the desired features and mileage. In short, we need immediate and actionable information. Voice search effectively complements these queries by providing the answers we need at the moment we need them.
What does this mean for your local dealership? You should reexamine your approach to local SEO to make sure you’re picking up on voice search intent for keyword groupings around your dealership.
You can make this happen by optimizing your Google My Business page to make sure content, images, and information are as accurate as possible so your dealership appears at the top for voice searches. Simply put, you need to structure your SEO around the 5 Ws: who, what, where, when and why. It’s all about being clear and relevant.
The adoption of voice search will continue at a rapid clip and will become more of a factor as consumers integrate it into their everyday lives including researching a vehicle purchase.
This means that dealerships must be ready to tackle this new SEO challenge to stay ahead of their local competition. Working with a trusted partner with expertise in voice search could be helpful as dealership marketers readjust their SEO strategies for this “new normal.”