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As car dealers look to increase profits and revenue, their marketing agenda lately has focused on social media and how this communication channel can grow their business.
Social media of course is important but a proven money maker for car dealers is being ignored by many dealers as part of their digital advertising strategy.
When I am called into dealership meetings to review their online marketing strategy, rarely does a dealership ask about increasing service revenue through SEO and SEM.
Dealers seem to be content with service direct mail and email campaigns which work very well in most markets. Over the past few months I have been working on an SEO strategy to increase the visibility of car dealers for common service searches in Google.
It is an eye opener to see just how I have been able to increase visibility for car dealers by targeting popular service keywords. A good way to test the service visibility for any car dealer is to type in a common service for a brand that they sell in their own town.
So a BMW dealer in Virginia Beach would test their service SEO by searching Google for:
In the first case, PCG's new Fixed Operations Microsite appears on Google Page One for Checkered Flag Auto Group ahead of all business offering a BMW Oil Change.
The service microsite is www.virginiabeachcarrepairs.com . This added visibility for car dealers over time, will increase service leads, calls and service revenue. The site is about 45 days old and it appears in Google search for a number of OEM brands and services in their market.
If you search Google Videos or YouTube videos for the Phrase "Virginia Beach Oil Change", their service video is ranked #1. Christine at Checkered Flag does an amazing job with their service videos.
Dealers who want to gain an edge in their markets should leverage service microsites and videos to communicate an effective message. Service videos, when they are done so well like this example, can be placed in many places to increase conversion.
In this challenging economy, many dealers have decided to become more price competitive for common automotive services like oil changes, tires, brakes and coolant flushes. I wholeheartedly agree with this strategy.
If dealers have good service advisers, they can extend the dealership brand and customer service experience to owners of cars that dealers do not sell. The service channel can be a more effective sales and lead strategy than any other channel because of the number of car owners they touch each month.
Busy dealer groups service thousands of cars a week and if they were also marketing to all car owners in their market, these numbers could grow significantly. So I would like to cast a vote that Fixed Operations SEO and microsites be on dealership agendas for digital marketing spending.
Dealers should also create a budget to create videos for popular services that they offer which can light-up content pages. Google rewards first responders so before your competitors take the lead for service microsites in your area, make the move.