July 15th, 2013

Value of Local Search for Automotive Clients

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.

Automotive Local Search

Anything you can do to drive internet traffic to your dealership is important. While paying for online clicks has its 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.

Videos

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.

Press Releases

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.

Review Sites

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.

 

Local Search Automotive

Automotive SEO

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!

Yelp boosts Automotive Local SEO

 

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!

Automotive Local Search

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!

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January 6th, 2011
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Google Places By The Numbers

So you are setting up a Google Places Page for your business and everything is going along fine until you hit the submit button and whats this? You open up the dashboard and take a look at your handiwork but it says your not 100% finished? Google rewards listings that are 100% complete by giving them a very slight boost in the rankings (and every little bit helps!) so you want to find that missing element. You can spend a long time hunting and poking to try and find whats missing, but instead of spending all that time and frustration searching through the listing let me give you a hand!

How to Make your Google Places Listing 100% Complete

After building a number of Places Page listings and having some of them come up less than 100% complete, I finally decided to go through the creation of a listing one step at a time and make myself a checklist that shows the value of each item that Google gives you credit for in completing a listing.

This should help you to find the missing element(s) in your own listing if it is showing as less than 100% complete!

Required Fields = 40%

Company/Organization, Street Address, City/Town, State, ZIP, Main Phone#

Categories = 0%

You must select at least 1 of Google’s suggested categories but this item does not contribute to the completion percentage.

Email Address = 5%

For best results, use an address from the business if one exists. (e.g. contact@bizname.com) Otherwise, just use any valid email address.

Website URL = 10%

Description = 5%

200 Characters or less. Use keywords judiciously here and make it helpful for the customer!

Hours of Operation = 5%

(Any box toggled)

Payment Options = 5%

(Any box toggled)

10 Photographs = 20%

The breakdown for each picture is as follows:

#1 = 5%

#2 = 2%

#3 & 4 = 1%

#5 = 2%

#6 = 2%

#7 = 2%

#8 = 2%

#9 = 2%

#10 = 2%

Video #1 = 4%

Additional Videos (2-5) = 0%

Additional Details = 6%

(One line item)

Total = 100%


This checklist is not intended to be a complete guide to optimizing your Google Places Pages for best ranking performance. It is simply designed to help insure that when you are creating a listing you meet all of the requirements to have a listing that Google considers 100% complete.

For more information about Google Places Listings and Marketing Your Local Business Online, please visit our Services Page.

Feel free to print this information out and keep it handy by your computer for future reference! You can download a copy of our Handy Guide here, “Google Places By The Numbers”

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July 5th, 2010

Is Your Business Going All Out For The Holidays?

With only 10 shopping days left before Christmas it’s time to take one last look to see if your business is doing everything possible to grab the attention of  local, last minute shoppers!

A Local Business Listing gives you the opportunity to post Coupons, Photo’s, Video’s, Discounts,  Specials and Holiday Shopping Hours for your local customers all for free!  This is a game changer for every local business because now you can have the same kind of visibility with your local customers as a giant retailer like Target or Wal Mart without having to spend huge amounts of money for advertising!  With a Local Business Listing  customers in your neighborhood will find you by searching on the internet, via location based search on a Mobile Phone and even in Mobile Apps.  Large or small every business needs to take advantage of the available Local Business Listings!

More and more, shoppers are relying on local search information when making their purchasing decisions and there is more to Local Search than just Google.  Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, City Search, in car GPS navigation service and a  myriad of other sites provide searchers with relevant information about Local Businesses that are nearby! So if you have not yet claimed your local business listings or are not using them to there full potential NOW is the time.

So what can you do with your Local Business Listings to get those last minute shoppers in your store?

Here are Five Things You Can Do With Only 10 Days of Holiday Shopping  remaining…

  • Add Photos of your Business decorated for the Holidays
  • Update your Listings with your Holiday Business Hours
  • Link to a Menu of Holiday Specials or Events
  • Create Special Holiday Coupon Deals or offer a Free Gift with any In-Store  Purchase
  • Add a Video with a Holiday Greeting from the Owner or your Smiling Staff

Now that your store is teaming with customers in a holiday shopping frenzy what’s next?

You need to be encouraging those customers to leave you some positive feedback on your Local Business Listing pages! How you do that is up to you, there are many ways to get the job done. It can be as simple as asking your customers to leave you positive feed back,  print the URL for you Local Listing on your receipts,  print small thank you cards to put into the bags with holiday purchases or as complicated as printing out a 2d barcode for your mobile users to scan while they are in the store or even setting up a computer for customers to logon and leave feedback while they are shopping!  Whatever you choose those customer reviews will go a long way towards boosting your online reputation in your Local Business Listings in  the coming new year!

If you don’t have enough time in your busy schedule, or are just not sure exactly what to do with your Local Business Listing, consider giving the team at Digital Profusion a call to help get you listings set up and optimized correctly for maximum benefit to your business!

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