Ease of Setup and Use Make the Echo Device the Winner, So You’d Better Pay Attention to Yelp
We recently had the opportunity to evaluate the Amazon Echo Show 2 and the Google Home Hub in a head-to-head comparison test. This test brought forth a number of early but important observations about the two devices and their implications for SEO for Home Care, Home Health Care and Hospice agencies.
- Amazon Echo Show 2 is the better consumer device, so B2C companies will probably need to optimize for that device
- Google Home Hub is harder to set up and use, surprisingly so for G Suite users.
- Yelp scores a surprising win because Echo Show 2 relies upon Yelp for local business search results. Therefore, you have to include Yelp reviews in your ORM strategic planning along with Google reviews. Bing deserves a bit of concentration too, since it’s the default search engine for the Echo Show 2.
Setup and starting to use: Winner: Echo Show 2
First of all, the Echo Show 2 is much easier to start up and configure. If you already have an Amazon Prime account, as many people do now, the process is even easier, but even without a Prime account you can get the Echo Show 2 up and running within 10 minutes or less. All you have to do is to install the Alexa app on your smartphone and use it to complete the set up process. In no time at all your Echo Show 2 is up and running, useful and entertaining, with the ability to use your calendar and contacts in a useful manner.
The Google Home Hub, on the other hand, requires the installation of two smartphone apps (Google Home and Google Assistant) that are complex and in some cases confusing. Worse yet, if you use G Suite for your email and calendar, as I do, you will encounter significant difficulty in getting your contacts onto the Home Hub for use in calling others and other purposes.
Video Screen Size and Quality: Winner: Echo Show 2
The screen on the Echo Show 2 is much, much larger than the screen on the Google Home Hub. I didn’t actually measure them, but that’s my subjective assessment.
Note: I also tested the Echo Show 1st Generation device for a couple of weeks. My remarks above about the Echo Show 2 apply to the Echo Show 1 except with respect to screen size; the screen size of the Echo Show 1 is virtually identical to the size of the Google Home Hub screen.
Sound Quality: Winner: Echo Show 2
The sound quality on the Echo Show 2 is noticeably better than the sound quality on the Google Home Hub. This may be due in part to the difference in size between the two devices: the Echo Show 2 is distinctly larger than the Home Hub and that may be due in part to larger, and better, speakers in the Echo Show 2.
Search engines: Echo Show 2 doesn’t perform Google Searches; it uses Yelp for local business search and Bing for general purpose searches
The one area where the Echo Show 2 is oddly out of sync with the way that consumers search for answers is that it does not use Google to search for information and answers. That may be due to competitive reasons, but it leads to occasionally odd search results.
This is an unexpected boon for Yelp. Until now, Yelp seems to have been becoming increasingly irrelevant for ORM (Online Reputation Management) strategic planning for anything other than restaurants. However, now Yelp has to be brought back into focus as an important part of ORM and Local Search strategy for other businesses.
Just one example: the search query “Home care agencies near me” produced completely different search results on the two devices. So did the queries “Best home health care companies” and “Hospice near me”.
Also, the Echo Show 2 uses Bing as its native search engine, which is also a departure from the norm for many consumers who are used to searching using the “default” which has become Google in many other cases.
The local SEO strategies for home health care, hospice and non-medical home care agencies are going to have to be revised to once again make Yelp ORM and review strategies part of the plan. Google reviews will continue to be important as well, of course, along with (to a much lesser degree) Facebook reviews.
Also, organic SEO strategies will have to include at least enough time and work to ensure that they are listed correctly on Bing in addition to being listed on Google, Yelp, Facebook and others.
Overall Likely Winner with Consumers: Amazon Echo Show 2 (and therefore, Yelp)
For most households, the Echo Show 2’s superior user experience and utility will make it be more successful in winning the home portal market than the Google Home Hub. Therefore, B2C services providers like Home Care, Home Health Care and Hospice agencies will have to devote time and effort to Yelp optimization and ORM and to Bing listings, perhaps more than they would have liked in the past.