Automotive local search has a very strong value proposition for the typical retail rooftop. While SEO, or search engine optimization, has long been a mysterious element to many, including automotive GM's – the value of effective automotive SEO has increased dramatically in 2013.
Anything you can do to drive internet traffic to your dealership is important. While paying for online clicks has it's place, there is nothing that will deliver ROI to your car dealership like a well-thought out automotive SEO campaign.
Consider recent NADA data that the “average” new car dealership sees $1700 in front-end revenue. This includes revenue from the actual purchase of the new or used vehicle, trade-in profit, and financing profit made on the deal. The more front-end sales the better. But…how to get more Ups in your automotive dealership? Enter automotive local search!
Automotive Local Search
When your dealership is on page 1, you are now “in the game” online and able to be found. If you are not on page 1 of Google or Bing, you are in essence invisible to online automotive searchers. As the GM of one of our Toyota clients told me, “Where do you bury a dead body online? Put it on page 2 of Google!
Automotive local search is the process of marketing your dealership online in a way to gain visibility for key terms that car buyers are using to research local dealerships. Automotive SEO, or local search engine optimization, is simply about feeding Google and Bing information about your dealership in a way that positions you best in that search engine. The increase in internet leads, phone calls, and physical ups that result from being visible for your key terms is truly amazing.
Automotive search engine optimization is not simply about your website!
A true local search strategy for your automotive dealership is about much more than your website. The following items are critical to your automotive local search success:
Local Citations for your Auto Dealership
– it's critical to have your automotive dealership listed in dozens and dozens of locally focused directories and review sites. This will give your car dealership the needed authority to help boost your local maps listing. A large number of accurate citations will strongly influence your Automotive SEO. By accurate I mean you should always ensure your car dealership's Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) are correctly listed on each local directory.
While videos should be an important part of your automotive digital marketing strategy, they also serve as an excellent source of relevant local links and citations back to your car dealership.
We see many automotive dealerships writing press releases, but unfortunately most squander the chance to gain tangible automotive local seo boosts through these releases. Never miss out on the chance to generate quality “fresh” backlinks to your automotive website using your release.
Automotive reputation management has become front of mind for many dealerships and is now considered a separate discipline from automotive SEO. These review sites are good for more than simply positive PR about your rooftop. The NAP, or name, address, and phone number for your dealership should be exactly the same on all of these sites as in your Google and Bing listing.
Social Media Content –
Since early 2012 Google (and likely Bing) have used social factors to help rank your retail automotive dealership for key automotive local search terms. Things like your facebook fan page, twitter account, and even Pinterest now play a real role in determining where your automotive dealership will rank.
Blog Content –
Your blog is critical to the automotive SEO process. Your blog's content must be written and structured in a way that Google and Bing recognize the fresh content that markets your dealership. The more often you publish fresh content about your vehicle inventory, automotive financing, automotive pricing, and even dealership updates the better. Google and Bing will start to visit your automotive website more frequently, and will likely discover more pages throughout your website.
While having your website ranked on page 1 is excellent, the value of having your automotive website, one or two of your press releases about your rooftop, and possibly your listing on Yelp or Citysearch all visible for your primary searches brings true value!
If you assume an average close rate of 20% (but then again, most GM's will claim a higher close), 100 new Ups per month will result in 20 additional sales. Once again, just using NADA data for the front-end, the value of those 20 new sales is $34,000 a month, or $408,000 in front-end revenue per year! Talk about serious ROI for your automotive seo efforts!
While many “old-school” GM's will view automotive search engine optimization with distrust, forward-thinking GM's are seeing tremendous value in Local Search Automotive rooftops. As an Infiniti GM recently told us, ” … if the prospects aren't coming in to see us, then they are likely buying an Infiniti from our competitor. A small investment in automotive SEO will deliver 30-40x ROI!”
What car dealership GM doesn't like to truly dominate their competitors? A powerful automotive local search strategy for your auto dealership will create a perpetual auto lead machine and simultaneously, leave your local competing dealerships wonder how you do it!