At the top of the first page with Google search results is no longer sufficient
The fact that it’s vital for car companies to end up high in Google’s search results is known by most entrepreneurs. Therefore, many dealers and car companies have organized their website content quite well when it comes to SEO. Google also adjusts itself and will give your dealership of, for example, Kia Utrecht the highest position if someone searches at Kia Utrecht. In the past this wasn’t always the case if your competitor had its SEO perfectly organized, using ‘Utrecht’ as the focus keyword. The search results must remain relevant and you must continue to invest in your Long Tail keywords.
Yet, doing this is not enough anymore. Something new is coming. Still small at the moment, but in two years perhaps the most important way of searching: voice-directed search. It is still in its infancy, but is rapidly gaining in popularity.
Amazon, Apple and Google
The ‘big three’ in the online world, Amazon, Apple and Google, all have their own voice-controlled system. Amazon calls it Alexa, Google has Google Voice and Apple has Siri. Voice-controlled solutions that are adapted to the increasing smartphone use, because the smartphone is becoming the remote control of our lives. After all, we are looking for convenience and that is exactly what those voice-based services offer. Every day they get better and they gain ground.
A few examples
Look at Siri. I live in De Steeg, a small town near Arnhem, and I took the test by entrusting Siri with a few searches related to our branch.
I started with ‘buy Mercedes’, after which Siri wants to send me to a Mercedes dealer in Germany at a distance of 79 kilometers from my home. Not to Wensink in Arnhem, a very short distance away. Also with ‘buy Ford’ things go wrong: Siri wants me to go to Ford Wensink in Apeldoorn and not to Wensink Arnhem. Apple is therefore lacking when it comes to information provision, that is clear.
It is also exciting when I’m stuck with a flat tire. I tell Siri ‘I have a flat tire’ and get a towing service as a result. In itself logical, but why does Siri not think of a car company in the neighborhood? If that kind of companies would now use that voice-directed search, and it’s going to take off, then they’ll be warm in a few years. Invest now, profit soon. Compare it with real estate: if you happen to know that a certain place will have a different destination in two years’ time, you can be ahead of the competitors and cash in the future. This is also the case with voice-controlled searching. Unlike a whole list of search results, the spoken search engine only returns one result and if that is you, you have the leading position. The winner takes it all. If you wait until someone else is ahead of you, you will soon have to buy that position in a market where others determine the prices. And then you know one thing for sure: it will not be a bargain.
Apple Car Play
If you think that nobody is going to shout into his phone, think about something else. Many car manufacturers have had voice-controlled systems for years. My Volvo has it too, a bit of an impatient system if you, like me, stutter sometimes, but it doesn’t really work as easy as it should. Siri handles this better, considerably better. What if my new car has Apple Car Play, or the version of Android? Then what will happen when you say ‘flat tire’, because then there is a real intent to do something…
The big question at the moment is how you achieve the head position in voice-directed search. In America, it is always the companies that have the most reviews on the Yelp reviews site. What you should do is to do hundreds of searches that are relevant to you, assess the results and see why one is there and others aren’t. And, yes, this will make a big difference in two years!
About Paul de Vries
Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marktplaats) after selling Nieuweautokopen.nl to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW Academy and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ is Paul’s new book, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at: DCDW.nl.