• Search Marketing Priorities for Auto / Car Dealerships

    Posted on by Richard

    Best search marketing priorities for car dealershipsThis is the latest article in a series called “Search Marketing Priorities” which is focused on how different companies should spend their Marketing Dollars in the Online Space.  Due to the maturity over time of the Internet there are so many different areas to invest in that it’s important for a business owner to know how to prioritize. This article will help guide Car and Auto Dealers on what parts of Search Marketing they should concentrate on to help move their auto inventory.

     

    Priority List:

    • Paid Search – 9/10
    • Local Listings/Google Maps – 9/10
    • Website Quality – 9/10
    • Organic SEO – 8/10
    • Social Media – 8/10

     

    Paid Search

    The nice thing about Paid Search for Car Dealers is that this where they can narrow down and focus on their best selling products or autos that they need to move off of their lot. They can also use Paid Search to promote short term sales on particular cars. Google Adwords is ideal for this kind of marketing and it also allows you to just run ads on days/hours the dealership is open.  Paid Search also typically appears above the Local Listings and offers you a chance to be seen first before your local competitors. You can also add additional links to your listings promoting particular cars models that you may have a large stock of.  You can also ttarget many generic keywords like ‘used car’ or ‘luxury car’ that might be hard to rank for either in Local or Organic listings. In this way Paid Search is the most powerful promotion tool that a Car Dealership can use online.

     

    Local Listings/Maps

    Obviously most new and used car buyers prefer to purchase their car from a dealership close to their homes. Even if someone wants a car that is in another state or close by city they can expect to have it shipped to their local dealership where they will be able to purchase it. For this reason Local Searches for car dealerships are very important. The way that Google and other Search Engines treat car searches is important to understand as well. Typically people will put in the make and model of the car they are looking for or simply the Make and the word ‘dealership’. The maps will then come up and they will try to show the consumer the dealerships closest to the location in which they made the search either on a computer or mobile device. Since the maps listings come up very close to the top the consumer will then be made aware of the different dealerships in their area then browse each one for further information. Making sure that your local pages are updated with the proper phone number and website is quite important

     

    Website Quality

    If you were to look at 10 car dealer websites you would likely see the same design 9 out of 10 times. This is not a bad thing as consumers come to expect a flashy home page with big pictures and big lettering promoting the latest cars and whatever promotion the dealership is currently running. The quality of that website and those pictures will often make the consumer feel like you are a trusted brand. This is important but on the other end of that is how well does the structure of your website help your Internet Marketing abilities. You want to make sure that the structure of your website makes it easy for search engines to crawl through and identify the information on that site (the different types of cars, makes , models, year, location etc.) so that when people make a search for a specific car they are more likely to see your pretty site. Since consumers expect to see a pretty standard website how you can make yours stand out is in the structure of that site.

     

    Organic SEO

    For most car dealerships they will notice that their most popular keywords organically are often ‘branded’ keywords from people searching their dealership from offline advertising (like TV or Radio). The stronger the dealerships brand the more non-branded keywords will seem few and far between. This is mainly because of the way that people search for cars online and how Google reacts to those searches.  For instance when someone makes a search for a “Ford Mustang” in Google it is not assumed that 100% of those people are looking to buy one. Google will list the manufacturer website, some information sites, sites that talk about the history of the car or give specs about it. Most of this is totally unhelpful to a Car Dealership who wants to capture this traffic and bring it onto their website. In this way organic search is a poor way to gain traffic for the 10% of people search ‘ford mustang’ who want to purchase one. Although a Car Dealership can structure itself in a way that it can capture a good amount of non-branded traffic if the website itself has an inventory system that Google can actually crawl. So if someone searches a ‘2019 Ford Mustang GT” you would have a chance of coming up. So there is opportunity there to appear both in Paid and Organic but for most Dealerships they waste that opportunity due to a poorly structured website.

     

    Social Media

    Social Media can be an important part of your Marketing as a car dealership if done right. When someone gets a new car they are usually pretty happy about it and they want to share this news with their friends or family. Making it easy for them to do so will pay dividends as the family or friends might find out that your dealership is a friendly place where someone they know got a good deal on a car. So when they go to look for their own car they will think of your brand first.  Posting pictures of people who bought cars and tagging them (with permission of course) on Facebook or other Social Networks is a good idea as well. People who are looking for a new car may also check these Social Channels to make sure that your dealership looks like a clean, friendly place to visit. They might be looking at the sales people to see if they look like they’ll be pushy or intimidating online before they ever step foot in your dealership. More and more people look to those channels for re-assurance of the quality of a brand before deciding on what dealership to visit.

     

    A Car Dealership always has inventory it needs to sell and the Internet always has people looking to buy cars so it is a match made in heaven. If you can utilize Search Marketing in an effective way it can help your car dealership grow, keep your salesmen selling cars and make your business successful. Making sure that you create a website that is an effective marketing tool is important to your success. As mentioned make sure that your Local presence is strong and utilize all the options that Paid Search provides you and you will sell a good amount of cars from your Search Marketing Channels.

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