How Can Auto Dealers Grow During Economic Uncertainty?
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the auto industry as supply chain issues keep production low and creating some market scarcity. Fortunately, most auto dealerships adopted digital and internet sales years ago and now it’s the new norm.
But are you getting the web traffic you need—besides that which comes from your brand’s corporate office? Many auto dealers are partnering with marketing agencies to do more to take away market share—something that the brands don’t encourage.
According to research, the COVID-19 pandemic has substantially increased internet use across the U.S. As people spend more time indoors, they’re using their phones to shop online more often.
Whether you’re a full service dealership or just a sell pre-owned vehicles, your auto dealership business needs to increase it’s digital presence.
Here are a few top strategies to help you increase both your leads and your ups.
Strengthen your Online Presence With Local SEO
It’s a know fact that customers are willing to travel more than 20 miles to save $500 on a vehicle they’re considering. If you’re a full dealership, chances are your website is controlled by your brand, but there are still things you can do to gain an advantage in your market. Local SEO (search engine optimization) should be your top priority because it’s not controlled by your OEM. Local SEO strategies are designed to help your auto dealership business rank higher on local Google search engine result pages (SERPs).
Let’s say you offer a high-line brand and you’re looking to increase your pump-ins. If a web user looks up “Lexus dealer in Houston,” they’ll get a relevant results typically ranked by proximity. Needless to say, they’re more likely to click on the first one or two results and shop the inventories of those websites.
Local SEO helps your services show up among those top searches based upon the geographic proximity of your dealership to the user as well as the keyword search. So, while you may not be able to rank highest for “Lexus dealership”, you may be able to rank for “Lexus SC” or “Lexus warranty” or other long tail keywords that your competitors are ignoring.
According to research, 15% of customers don’t trust businesses without reviews. In fact, a whopping 72% of web users don’t take an action without reading customer reviews. Chances are, an auto dealership, you’ve got a lot of reviews, but are you managing them properly?
Your Google My Business page is essential when new customers are looking to buy a car. They want someone who has a proven track record of satisfied customers and fair dealing. While having a reputation for the lowest price certainly helps, it’s not the end-all/be-all, especially when it comes to luxury brands. Manage your Google My Business page by requesting reviews via emails and text to select (happy) customers. Do this immediately after the sale closes when they are happy to be driving home in their new vehicle.
But don’t ignore bad reviews. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can manage the dialogue that unhappy customers post. Always answer with an empathetic and understanding tone and offer to “make it right” with a conversation via phone—never get into an online posting argument with anyone—especially an unhappy customer.
Tweak Your Keyword Strategy
Always review your keywords to see which ones are working and which ones aren’t. Review your keyword strategy by researching high-volume keywords every month. This is a great way to keep up with audience search preferences, trends and create content accordingly.
Use diverse keywords to maximize your chances of appearing in the Google 3-Pack. Use short-tail, long-tail, exact match, and LSI keywords. Give your customers content they can use including auto reviews and vehicle options. This information helps customers who are in the research stage of their buying gather information and use you as a resource.
Hightlight Exclusive Discounts and Special Offers
You know that price matters, so the factory discounts, special offers, rebates and giveaways level the playing field among your dealership competitors. You may have to step up and do more to stand out. Doing something unique can help strengthen brand identity and get the buyers who don’t really deep dive into the research buy from you. Be creative.
Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out to A Marketing Agency
Struggling to put together a winning marketing strategy? We can help. As one of the top digital marketing firms in Houston, we specialize in helping auto dealers reach their audience and boost sales through insightful, strategic digital platforms.
Word of mouth referrals are the best form of advertising, but they take time and they can support a medical practice that wants to scale quickly. If you run a successful medical office, you may already have an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy in place.