By Jonah Cole
Mustering his best adult voice my little nephew says “Wexa [Alexa], buy a Nintendo Switch for my birthday.”
“Okay, I found a Nintendo Switch for $299, would you like to order?” responds Alexa.
And then, with sudden, cat-like speed he races to his mother, places his hand over her mouth and with a proud voice squeals “YES!”
There’s no doubt voice search has begun its rise, and it’s changing our lives and our customers’ lives. In fact, many predict that by 2020 more than half of searches will be voice searches. The days of typing keywords in fragmented sentences into Google’s search bar are fading and giving way to real conversations (albeit with Virtual Assistants). We’re asking who, what, when, where, why and how. We are on a first name basis with our devices, Siri, Alexa, Google, Cortana and others that we don’t know yet. With all that in mind, what does this disruption mean for automotive dealers? While we can’t fully predict what the face of a dynamic world of digital advertising will look like with the rapid adoption of voice search, we can ride the wave.
To keep up with the world of voice search, savvy dealers and agency partners should be doing a few things, Look, Listen & Learn, Leap into Local — let’s get started.
“Not only are we seeing longer queries but consumers are using more natural language.”
Start today by looking at something as simple as your search term reports. There you can see what kind of search terms are leading customers to your page, through your advertisements. While this should already be a regular task and a best practice for your vendor or partner, it can bring an interesting insight into the opportunities voice is creating. I know that “long tail search” has become a buzzword in the industry but a conversational search is going to be longer tail and indicate more shopper intent than the days of keyword stuffing. Not only are we seeing longer queries but consumers are using more natural language. Asking questions like “Where can I find a deal on a used Toyota?” assuming the device knows their location. They are declaring intent more precisely. I recently audited an account and found “Okay Google what’s the price of a Toyota Tundra tow hitch” in a search term report. The way we are asking for answers is fundamentally changing and there is a great opportunity today to test ad copy, content on a website, keyword targeting and more with a more conversational and targeted approach in mind. Ask your vendor or partner to start sharing this insight with you today.
“Write ad copy that is more conversational and targets questions and queries that voice search facilitates.”
Listen & Learn
Start listening to yourself, your friends, and your family using voice search today. This will give you an idea of how to start shaping your content to be more conversational and less keyword centric. True, keywords are still important, but the way you present those keywords will be more important. Read your ad copy or website content out loud in your best Siri voice and imagine a voice device answering your customer with this copy. Listen for new terms like the emerging “voice search optimization” and make sure it is a point of conversation with your SEO provider. Forward-thinking dealers and agencies want to be writing for voice to keep content fresh and on the cutting edge of search. Writing several ads per ad group should be a best practice of your search marketing provider, ask them to start writing an extra ad centered around voice search shoppers. Write ad copy that is more conversational and targets questions and queries that voice search facilitates. By listening to the people around us, the data, and the industry, dealers and their partner agencies can be ready for the “unknown” that is the future of search.
“…local strategy will be even more important with voice search and voice search devices.”
Leap into Local
If you aren’t already investing in local SEO and executing local SEM strategies, today is a great day to start. Take the leap, take action because local strategy will be even more important with voice search and voice search devices. Moz claims that mobile voice search is 3 times more likely to be local than text search. Being ready for the next disruptor like the mobile “near me” and “store hours” booms is a matter of making sure you are participating in local-minded search marketing today. Areas that are important to local user actions that may lead to your store rather than your website include business listings, reviews, call only ads, call extensions, location extensions and advertisements and more. Now, dealers and agencies alike have a chance to leapfrog any competitors that aren’t preparing today for the voice search boom.
Need help preparing your voice search strategy? Speak with one of our experts today, call 877.421.1040.READ MORE >