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While you are sitting there enjoying a strong finish to the end of a great month and want to have a little shock or a serious reality check try this – grab the nearest device and perform a search. If you are a Honda store type “Honda tires” or if you are a Nissan store type “Nissan brakes” and your potential customer should be directed right to your site where they can find out how much a set of tires are or how much it will cost to have a set of factory brake pads installed. Once your customer knows the cost and estimated time to complete the service, they will be able to set an appointment online at their earliest convenience and come see you.
If this happens, realize you are in the minority. Unfortunately when the majority performs this search, the aftermarket owns the first non-sponsored search results that come up. The aftermarket is out performing us in this area. Our customers have more exposure to their products and services digitally, and therefore have a greater opportunity to do more commerce.
Here is the scary part … the latest numbers show 65% to 70% of people will do research online before doing business anywhere. First, we need to identify where our greatest opportunity is. In this case as it pertains to automotive service and repairs there are two types of searches: a branded search and a non-branded search. A branded search example such as “Ford wipers” or “Dodge tires” is the area we need to concentrate our efforts. This type of search represents close to 20% of the total searches made, but we own less than 1% of the business.
All of our websites need to have more content. In short, SEO is about creating high value; unique content and putting it on the Web in a way Google can find and value it. Also think about this, our websites need to be mobile friendly since the average person performs over 100 mobile searches daily. This way when someone is looking for “Ford Brakes” they will have the opportunity to do business with you.
Game plan, start with your in-house Internet Manager. For the last few years Owners and Dealers have lived in this area and have dedicated a lot of time and energy to make sure when someone is looking for a “Ford truck” their dealership pops up first. Once you have found your Internet Manager behind his 60” screen and super computer ask them how much time of their day is dedicated toward the sales department and how much of their time is spent toward service. I would be shocked if any spend anytime with service at all and is really is not their fault. There is a lot to do for sales and typically their income is tied only to sales revenue.
We are in a time where Fixed Operations needs to have a digital presence more than ever. Dealership Internet Managers could lend their efforts to service so we can play in this world that has been owned by the aftermarket.
Today we are talking about 70M searches imagine what increase we can expect of the years to come. With that in consideration how big of a slice of that pie do you want?