Advertising is a significant investment for most car dealerships, rolling the dice with monthly ad spends in the thousands of dollars per rooftop. Many are just emerging from traditional ad methods to ‘test the waters’ with modern campaigns like online PPC, or pay-per-click, marketing strategies. Cutting-edge dealers, though, are moving from print to digital and now to voice search, where the emerging tech is being embraced in leaps and bounds.

Google Voice Search now makes up 20 percent of all mobile searches, a figure that’s estimated to increase to 50 percent in 2020, according to ComScore. It’s not going away, and it will become a major advertising strategy for automotive retail, especially as it relates to local searches. 

What’s Different with Voice Search?

Many SEO campaigns are structured around keywords and phrases from a single word to three or four. However, voice search is almost always longer than a typed inquiry and is typically five or six words or longer.

In addition to being lengthier than a typed search, voice searches often take on the question format starting with Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.

Although smart speakers are on the rise in homes across North America, the majority of voice searches are completed on mobile devices, either with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, or Siri or Google Assistant. 

How Dealers Should Optimize their PPC Campaigns

Current campaigns should remain in place for online searches as desktop is nearly all typed inquiries still. If anything, a proportionate decrease in desktop PPC advertising would be advised. It’s still effective as a means to reach the bulk of buyers.

However, shoppers who are further along in the sales funnel as well as those searching for your products and services close to home should be your target with voice search-targeted campaigns. 

Analyze Existing Search Datavoice search

Understand how your current online ad strategies are performing. It’s your first step to intelligently building campaigns for voice searches. Analyze your longtail keywords – those keyword phrases with more than six words – in your Google AdWords account to see how they are performing. Also, determine if any search results start with “Ok Google”. This insight will let you know what’s working well and help you see where you attention should be.

Structure Voice Search-Targeted Campaigns

Your ad manager can create new campaigns that revolve around questions, since that’s how most voice searches are executed. They sound conversational, meaning natural language and speech flow, which is unlike most keyword searches. A couple examples are, “Where is the nearest Honda dealership service department?” and “What options does a Honda Civic SI have?” 

Write Compelling Ad Copy

Keywords only go so far without informative and compelling copy to support it. Your PPC ads need to relate to the customer’s search otherwise they’ll pass over it and onto more relevant results. Have an answer or at least a breadcrumb for the reader to engage and compel a clickthrough.

Ensure that your website has landing pages and blog posts that both support the keyword results and bring the reader more in-depth information for their search. Once they’re on your page, it’s important to keep them there and bring them along in the funnel. The dealership website is designed for sales copy. Always include a call to action on the page.

Target Mobile Users

Campaigns tailored to voice search, once again, are predominantly on mobile. Increase the portion of your ad spend in this area. Since mobile is the largest area of growth currently – and for the foreseeable future – it makes sense to grow your ad spend on mobile slightly higher than the current engagement rate through mobile.

In the ever-changing world of marketing, Google Voice Search is the vehicle that’s currently exploding. Stay ahead of its growth to boost your customer engagement, but keep an eye out for the next thing coming down the pipe.

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