Faceted navigation has vast potential in the automotive industry. It is likely the missing link to connect OEMs and large retailers to customers on a scale like never before, but for many, a lack of knowledge about why that is stopping the idea from coming to life.
The reality is that faceted navigation helps Google and other search engines to rank your site higher because of the information you’re giving it. More specifically, you’re supplying new pages, and these pages are more relevant than ever before with more usability and more scalability than other forms of page can ever truly be, all the while matching the intent of the user, which is the very core of the search results in the first place.
Relevance and intent go hand in hand when looking at any SEO. Search engines wouldn’t choose to show how a video on how to paint a Volkswagen Golf blue when you search for a blue Volkswagen Golf, for example. The same applies here too. Search engines look at what the user is searching and how they are searching it to determine the intent behind the search, and then they look at who has the best result for that search and how good that website is that provides it.
With that in mind, it can easily be applied to faceted navigation with automotive sales. If an OEM or retailer can begin to produce pages that have all available stock that matches a user’s search specifically, and if those pages are built with SEO at their core, the possibilities for relevancy become endless.
Sellers can create relevant pages depending on whatever the user is searching for, and filter using those parameters. Whether it’s colour, age, engine size, trim, or anything else that could matter, pages can be produced with higher relevancy, and as a result, higher rankings likely leading to higher sales as a final result.
The scalability of faceted navigation is the second massive selling point it has to offer, and is just as important when looking at how it can increase SEO value and rankings to a website as a whole.
To put this into context, faceted navigation simply needs to have characteristics that are selected to create an indexable page. Not all search or product listing pages should be indexable, to put that into context, otherwise, every different deposit or postcode input will generate a unique search that will be competing. For the aspects that are relevant, however, a product listing page can be created for any product with any characteristic as and when it becomes relevant.
In a real world setting, an example of how faceted navigation may scale up could be starting off by allowing colours to be used as the search differentiator. A red range rover evoque, for example. This would create a page of red range rover evoques. What about if the search was for a 2021 range rover evoque instead? The same would be applied. Then, it could be a red 2021 range rover evoque, for someone that’s really ready to make the purchase. In the future, it might be a hybrid, or an electric filter, or age, engine size, trim, accessory pack… It can just be built on and built on as and when required, getting incredible results every single time.
Finally, the third pillar of how faceted navigation works for SEO in particular is also how well it helps usability in the process. SEO and UX go hand in hand. Search engine algorithms are constantly updating to appreciate better aspects of UX, especially on mobile and emerging technology like voice search.
Faceted navigation means that for a user’s specific search intent, the results that they will see as a result of faceted navigation will be almost perfect. They will see the products that they are looking for with tailorable filters that are apple, allowing them to browse seamlessly without needing to go through the whole process of making a customised search.
By reducing the length of the buying or even browsing process, you’re massively impacting the potential for conversion, improving on-site behaviour and as a result, announcing to Google or Bing just how worthwhile it would be for your website to get the lion share of the traffic for it.
Overall, faceted navigation is just one of many ways that manufacturers and retailers are able to sell cars at scales that are otherwise unseen in the industry. By removing roadblocks and unnecessary searching that the user is having to do and by predicting optimised pages ready and waiting to meet their expectations, rankings are a natural result of your hard work. Use the scalability that comes alongside this, and you have a futureproofed ranking mechanism that can soar your conversion potential to new heights entirely.