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What does the search engine giant have to do with your dealership’s customer experience? There are a variety of ways that Google influences (or is influenced by) your online customer experience, some in much more subtle ways than others. In general, however, the major topics we’ll cover fall into two categories — how Google rewards good CX, and the tools they provide to help boost CX.
Google benefits from providing the best user experience possible, and so they reward the websites and companies that take it upon themselves to improve their customer experience.
Google’s algorithm for determining pagerank has hundreds of factors, so why is customer experience so important? Well, we’d argue that the vast majority of those factors are, in some respect, a measure of the customer’s experience.
Here’s the idea: The better experience Google delivers, the more users they get. So their search engine (the crown jewel of the Google empire) is built to deliver the best answers for a query time and again.
Therefore, delivering an exceptional online customer experience — not just content quality, but also design & page load speed — puts your website in line with Google’s own goals; an SEO-friendly position if there ever was one.
To really see a boost in online search performance, traditional SEO efforts should be matched by dedication to CX. To quote Wil Reynolds of SEER Interactive, “those who work hard on getting a site to rank well must work as hard to ensure that the ranking solves the user’s problem well.”
Paid advertising and customer experience don’t seem to go hand-in-hand (although they should). Advertisements are generally considered to be pretty annoying, and that’s largely because most advertisements are irrelevant or uninteresting. Along with their search results, Google wants to be able to provide advertising that is relevant.
To that end, Google has a way to incorporate a better customer experience into their advertising, namely, Quality Score. Quality Score is a numerical value assigned within AdWords that is representative of the quality and relevance of your PPC ads and the keywords you are targeting (at least in Google’s eyes).
Quality score is used to determine your CPC and Ad Rank. The better your Quality Score, the lower your CPC, and the higher your ad will rank against competitors. It’s a great way to reward businesses who prioritize customer experience, even in their advertising.
Google helps you help your customers.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP is an open-source framework built to optimize mobile content delivery.
An example of AMP results in search:
Pages built under the framework set up by the AMP project are a stripped-down version of your content — including just the essential information (with minimal design) and limits on branding. They provide an exceptional mobile CX by delivering exactly what mobile users are looking for (relevant information in the most rapid form possible).
It is well documented by now that more car shoppers shop on mobile than on desktop. AMP pages are all about tapping into this massive mobile migration and delivering content at shocking speeds.
Switching a page over to AMP format will can slash load time anywhere from 15% to 85%. The variation within that is due to how fast your pages load to begin with — the slower loaders are naturally going to see a bigger boost. An AMP-version of a page also uses eight times less data than standard mobile-optimized pages, meaning that mobile users browsing via their cell connection (rather than Wi-Fi) are served website results faster than ever.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that one of the keys to a good experience on mobile is speed — after all, speed is essential to all online CX. Plus, the without-a-thought convenience of a mobile device almost demands that content delivery is equally fast and convenient.
There are a variety of strategies for implementing AMP pages. We offer Rocket Pages with all of our sites — a tool which automatically creates AMP-format versions of your VDPs and Hours and Directions page.
AMP Pages have been quietly changing the mobile experience for a couple years now, and as competition for mobile shoppers heats up, AMP pages are increasingly becoming a dependable strategy for driving traffic.
There’s also a lot more to AMP than we could sanely put here. Check out our post Accelerated Mobile Pages and Your Dealership for all the details — including the financial impacts of adopting AMP.
Google My Business is another exceptional tool that Google provides to help you improve your CX. Not only does a GMB page give shoppers an excellent resource for quickly evaluating whether a business meets their needs — it is also the top source of local SEO success.
Beyond the basics like hours and information, you can improve your CX by adding optional extras to your GMB pages. These can include a variety of helpful additional services and options, including built-in messaging, appointment-setting, a Q&A section, an even Google Posts, which you can use to feature sales and events.
Check out how insightful dealerships like Atlantic Toyota are using Google Posts to immediately inform anyone looking at Google My Business results that their dealership is putting on a sale. It makes them stand out against their competition in a highly comparison-oriented environment.
Another major CX win — both for dealerships like Atlantic Toyota who are using their GMB pages to the max, and for Google, who wants shoppers to have the best experience using their platform.
Want the full rundown on Google My Business? Check out our guide: Here’s How to Use Google My Business as an Auto Marketing Solution
Though these are perhaps the two most customer-facing CX tools to make use of, there are many others, including, naturally, Google Analytics (which can provide a wealth of information on website user experience), a library of webmaster guides, and a huge set of developer tools.
Whether or not you are comfortable with Google’s benevolent dominion of search, you have to acknowledge that they are at the forefront of customer experience. This has been a lot of information, so let’s briefly summarize. If you intend to capitalize on the relationship between Google and your dealership’s online CX, your two duties are as follows: