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Voice search’s rise is great news for marine dealerships

By Lauren Labunsky

“Siri, tell me how much a 2018 Cobalt Surf R7 costs.”

“Siri, find one of those near me.”

“Siri, give me directions to the dealership.”

Not only do search engines like Google simplify the process of finding the answers you need, but now you don’t even need to type your question into a search bar.

Voice search on smartphones has arrived: According to research gathered by marketing expert Neil Patel, 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults use voice search more than once a day. It’s also a fairly new trend: 42 percent of those surveyed began using voice search only within the last 6 months.

Improvements in technology have played a major role in voice search. Google now interprets search queries using semantic context – basically, the search engine remembers the search queries you’ve made before and can make reasonable assumptions to help you find what you’re looking for.

In the introduction example, Google “remembered” both the boat and the dealership that the searcher was referencing. Search engine users can be more conversational, and Google is able to pick up on the intended meaning behind a query – resulting in easier and faster searches, especially for local businesses.

For marine dealerships, the rise of voice search is great – customers are better able to find you. But to reach those customers, you need to put a stronger focus on your local SEO strategy.

Long-tail keywords, also known as keyword phrases, are important to include in the written content on your dealership website – things like “pre-owned freshwater fishing boats in the greater Dallas area.”

Individual, short-tail keywords have become less important, because search queries have transitioned to a more natural tone. Conversational search queries mean that the quality of your website’s SEO content is more important than ever.

Long gone are the days of “keyword stuffing,” or writing like a robot to attract search engines. Excellent content written in a natural tone that humans will enjoy is going to perform much better. It’s a smart idea to structure the content on your site around search queries that you would expect potential customers to make.

Just like the introduction example, someone may begin by gathering information about a boat they are interested in. Next, they would likely want to know where they can find the boat. Once they know about your dealership, they’ll need to know how to get there.

It’s very logical, which makes it easier to structure your content to fit. Rich, well-written content on your site will naturally answer the questions your customers have if you’ve provided the kinds of details they’d be interested in (“pre-owned, excellent condition”) and even helpful information, such as “located twenty minutes away from the Dallas/Fort Worth airport.”

Voice search is quick, easy, and convenient for buyers – so retailers need to prepare for it to become an even bigger player in digital marketing. Putting a focus on high-quality content in a conversational tone not only increases your dealership’s visibility with voice search, but it also makes your site easier to navigate and more user-friendly. It’s a win-win for businesses and the customers they serve.

Lauren Labunsky is the public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides innovative websites as well as a suite of powerful online advertising solutions that help marine dealers help increase sales and service profitability. For more information, visit www.DealerSpikeMarine.com or call 800-288-5917.

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