We all know that the last couple of months have been extremely difficult for everybody, including the automotive industry.
Tracking the data that is provided for search from Google, it highlights how there has been a change in priorities for internet users. When you compare the relevant searches between Dealerships and Grocery Stores over the last 60 days or so it tells a story.
Middle of March
When you look at the United States Statistics and the Canadian Statistics they are almost exactly the same for the period. Around the middle of March, there was a switch in priorities for people.
Before dealerships were shown as more important when it came to search activity online. With the current pandemic thought it obviously shows that people were focused on the essential everyday items.
When it comes to automotive marketing it is a tough time for all dealers. Walking a fine line between pushing inventory, models, or manufacturer information and providing updates on the dealership.
The Automotive Future
This will obviously change over time but there is certainly time before anything drastic happens in the automotive industry. Keep an eye on the future, as we get through this pandemic. It will change the industry forever. There will be more focus on digital showrooms for dealers, an online finance process and arranging delivery.
Below you will see visuals of how the last 60 days has been between the two search categories. It starts off with automotive being key and then around the middle of March there was a sudden switch to the grocery industry.
Stick with digital retail and we will get through this on the other side. One highlight is that with digital retailing now when an appointment is set it is more likely that a lead is going to purchase.
For automotive dealers that are saying you’re not yet using SMS marketing and sending text messages to your customers, ouch you are missing out big time.
Let me explain why today I want to open your eyes to one of the most powerful communication technologies available for your dealership text message marketing with an average SMS open rate of 98% compared to 20% for emails.
A 45 percent response rate for SMS compared to only 6% for emails you can see why your dealership absolutely needs to harness automotive text marketing is the perfect complement to your email marketingstrategy.
But the edge of text marketing doesn’t stop at open rates it takes the average person 90 seconds to respond to a text while it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email that’s because 95% of all text messages are read within three minutes.
Average Read Time
Most on average being read in under five seconds and think about it nobody deletes a text message without reading it now don’t take me wrong I’m not dissing email marketing it is still one of the three most powerful marketing tools to drive traffic and sales for dealerships but SMS marketing is a necessary complement to your email strategy.
This will strengthen some of the inherent weaknesses of an email campaign need an additional kicker to get you onboard with text automotive marketing
This statistic from a digital marketing magazine claiming that 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via text. So, your dealership’s customers want you to send them text messages now. For obvious reasons, the importance of text marketing rides on the coattails of the rising popularity of mobile phones.
Mobile Phone Capabilities
With the growing list of mobile capabilities and functions added to mobile devices daily, you know mobile technology is not something going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact with the meteoric rise of mobile phones, you know most of your customers will have their device in their hands or pockets when you send them your text message.
Which is a marketer dream warning be prepared for some rough replies now if I’m the one hand you have 75% of your customers who would like to get offers by text messages be prepared for some course replies from some members of the other 25% SMS marketing is very personal.
With email, people are used to getting newsletters invoices corporate communications and even some spam in their email inbox but text messages are still mostly used for friends,’ family members, and colleagues.
For this reason, don’t be surprised by some of the harsh replies. You’ll get from some individuals who don’t want your dealership on their phone don’t take it personally and don’t let these few negative voices detract you from your text marketing gameplan. Why would you want to take away from most of your customers something they want because of a few bad apples? Just make sure you always follow the laws and regulations
that are in effect in your dealership area.
Always provide recipients with a way to easily unsubscribe from your distribution list once these people are off your text broadcast list you’ll be left with a captive audience who will embrace your SMS marketing efforts.
Ready to send your first text broadcast? Well, keep it real when creating your text message don’t make the mistake of using a corporate voice as if you were talking to the masses picture one customer in your mind.
Write the text for him or her using simple language just like you would when texting a
friend or family member keep in mind that each text is a hundred and sixty characters long so if your message is longer than 160 characters even by one letter you will be charged for a second credit by your automotive text provider.
I personally like to use the equivalent of two text messages or just under 320
characters I don’t feel that 160 characters or enough to create curiosity communicate.
Call to Action Texts
My call to action and provide the recipients with the ability to unsubscribe just make sure you factor the costs when deciding on the length of the message if your text broadcast
technology allows it you can use merge fields or tokens to personalize your text messages but I haven’t found it improves conversions for our dealers.
What does improve conversions is when you keep it real and stay away from the usual boring corporate tone make sure you also use links to landing pages where people can learn more about the opportunity that you’re communicating just make sure the pages are mobile-friendly and designed specifically for being viewed on phones.
Text marketing and technology when it comes to technology find one that will allow you to manage your unsubscribe lists easily that’s a critical component.
You’ll also want a technology that will allow different members of your team to
respond to people engaging in a conversation. From a cloud-based back-end where your whole team can share it 24/7 you don’t want all those replies going to one single device.
You also want a technology that will allow you to adjust a throttle of your broadcast if you’re sending a few hundred or even a few thousand text messages you want them to
trickle out at a speed that will allow your team members to manage the requests.
Remember most people will respond within seconds I personally like to adjust the throttle to around 25 text messages every 15 minutes you also want a technology that will allow you to adjust your broadcast schedule.
You don’t want to be sending text messages to your customers in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning they will not forgive you I find this sweet spot to be between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and the best response rate to be around lunchtime and right after dinner if you’re using small lists you might also want to look into a text marketing platform.
That provides bot technology this will allow you to automate the dialogue with your prospects in the early stages of the conversation need some help if you require help building your dealerships text marketing strategy.
SEO refers to search engine optimization. It is a process to increase the organic search rankings of a website. There are millions of searches being done online. People search for almost every imaginable thing from how to care for their pets to particular vehicles and services at a dealership.
While searching, people enter some words or phrases in the search box. These are known as keywords or key phrases. A dealership website owner’s aim is to have high rankings for a lot of important keywords related to the site’s niche.
The advantage of high rankings is that you can get thousands of free visitors to your website without spending a dime on advertising. And this traffic will keep coming to your website automatically as long as your site is still ranking high on the search engines.
What’s more – your site will be getting visitors even while you are sleeping, eating or enjoying time with your family.
In order to enjoy all these benefits, we need to optimize our website in a certain way so that it stands a good chance of ranking highly in the search engines. Each search engine is different and gives priority to different factors.
It may be almost impossible to optimize our website keeping all the search engines in mind. Thankfully we don’t have to do so. If we focus on just the top 3-5 search engines, it should be sufficient for us to get thousands of free targeted visitors.
Let us discuss 3 important areas you have to focus on first in order to optimize your website for higher rankings.
Pay Attention to Post Titles
Each automotive webpage has a title. What you place between the title tags is very important from the Automotive SEO point of view.
You should place your most important keywords which you are targeting in the title. The keywords should be placed in the title is such a manner that it should make sense to humans also.
Our webpage titles should appeal to search engines as well as human visitors. If your title is just a bunch of keywords without much sense or appeal, then people will may not click to visit your site even if you have a high ranking in the search engine.
Pay Attention to Header Tags
Header tags are like subtitles of your page. Again, header tags are important from human as well as SEO point of view.
Header tags should also contain your important keywords so that the search engines understand what your page is about. These header tags are also important for human visitors to your website. If someone is just scanning your article, he/she can read through the subtitles to decide whether the article is of their interest and deserves to be read further or not.
Pay Attention to Content
Your articles should be of good quality and useful to the reader. They should serve some purpose.
The article should contain your important keywords written in a natural manner so that it makes complete sense to human readers also. If you write high-quality content and spread your important automotive keywords throughout the content then stand a good chance of impressing the search engines as well as human visitors.
These are the 3 most important parts of your webpage you should pay attention to if you want to gain high search rankings. The benefits of top rankings are immense. So start paying more attention to your blog post titles, subtitles as well as the actual content.
If you do so then you can reap the benefits in terms of good search rankings as well as high conversions from website visitors.
There are many other factors that need your attention in order to improve site rankings, but all efforts should start from here. You should first and foremost try and optimize your content then worry about other factors.
Understanding Automotive SEO basics is vital to ensure that you know how search engines like Google work for car dealerships. When you know how they work, you’ll be able to get your dealer website and blog posts online ranking high on Google.
One of the first things you need to know is that Google ranks websites based on what they scan through whenever they visit a site.
So, if they see a website that has specific words on the site, Google will basically try to put that website on the search engines for that specific keyword.
This is to ensure that those who want help or information in that area will see your web site, as Google only wants to help people find what they really need.
Of course, even if your site says all of the specific keywords over and over again, if there aren’t any backlinks generated for the site, you won’t see the site climbing up the rankings. This is called off-page optimization.
You need to make sure that you have other websites linking back to your site. Google only wants to rank high quality, authority level websites that are popular online with other sites.
How do you get your site to be popular and authority level in Google’s eye? By having other sites linking back to yours.
This can be done by leaving your URL on other blog posts, leaving your URL on other sites, writing posts online, and putting your URL at the bottom, along with many other kinds of ways.
In addition, you need to make sure your page is optimized for search engines. This is called on-page optimization. Your dealership site title, description, and keywords should include your main keywords/key phrases you’re targeting.
Now that you know how it works, start broadening your understanding on the topic of SEO. Continue to learn how to use SEO tactics into your marketing, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes if ever your site doesn’t rank high right away.
Content With Automotive SEO In Mind Increases Sales
Once you’ve done your research on keywords for your dealership, you’ve already gotten started on a good foot. It doesn’t mean you’ll end up with high paying advertisements though, even if you use Google. That’s because you still haven’t written the copy to make sure that the Google advertising server understands which keywords you are targeting. So, it will serve up whatever it wants, regardless of whether it is high paying or not. You get much better results when you also target keyword phrases that have a high CPC too.
When you write copy for the Google search engine, you want to include the keyword phrases in the title as well as the body of the copy. Certain areas in the content are weighted more than other in the algorithms and the title is one such area.
Another area is headings for chapters. Anything bolded, like a subheading, generally receives more attention. Finally, if you use the keywords across the entire article or blog post, that will increase the probability that you’ve optimized in a density that doesn’t trigger any keyword stuffing alerts on Google’s side.
If you are writing blog posts as your website, you want to include the keyword phrases in any tags or categories too that you might be posting for people. Indexing your content with keywords is a great way to make sure they are picked up by the Google search engine. This strategy doesn’t just increase your potential monetary payout, but it also increases traffic significantly.
Original content is also important when you are trying to get noticed by the Google search engine. If it sees duplicate content across the web, the Google search engine will penalize such a site that uses duplicate content excessively.
That’s why many people actually contract writers for original content because duplicate content can do more harm than good for Internet marketers. Even if you are only duplicating your own content across multiple sites, Google won’t differentiate that from plain old plagiarism. So, it is possible to plagiarize yourself on the Internet. Your best bet is to have fresh, original, content for all your web sites either by hiring writers or by writing your own.
Search Engine Optimization and Advertising
In today’s net-savvy world it has become common for any business to have a website which they use mostly for advertising their products and services. With the advent of search engines, it has become even easier for the customers to search for the stuff online. For a website to be successful its link should land in the first three pages which the search engine brings and the rank of the page should be high which means many visitors come to the site. This can be achieved by applying search engine optimization or popularly known as SEO. This is a marketing strategy that increases the quality and quantity of traffic flow to a particular website via search engines.
Automotive SEO not only affects the search engine results but also image search, video search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. It determines how a search algorithm functions and searches what is popular with people. When a website link is submitted to a search engine, a spider crawls through a page to gather links that lead to other pages and stores those pages on the server of the search engine. The information collected from these pages is sent to the indexer, whose job is to extract information from those pages such as the keywords and their weights, the location of the page, and other links that are stored for the spider to crawl in future.
In the beginning, the search engine optimizer algorithms were dependant on the keywords, Meta tags, and index files provided by the Webmaster. Meta tags provided information about a particular page, but using them for indexing the pages didn’t prove to be successful as some Webmasters added irrelevant Meta tags to increase the number of hits and earn huge ad revenue. They even changed the HTML of the web pages to achieve a good rank for the page. But this was a case of abuse as it fetched irrelevant pages.
Search engines then began utilizing complex ranking algorithms, which was difficult for webmasters to manipulate so as to provide web surfers with genuine results. The rank of the web page was calculated mathematically by functions using the strength and quantity of the inbound links. The higher the rank of the page the more chances it had to be viewed by a person. Later algorithms were developed which considered various other on-page factors such as rank and off-page factors such as hyperlink. Since the webmasters couldn’t manipulate the page rank, they began exchanging, selling, and buying links, which lead to link spamming and even creation of numerous sites dedicated to this purpose.
Algorithms became more complex by every passing day and top search engines kept their algorithms a secret. As the cost of Automotive SEO increased, advertisers were roped in to pay for it, which finally resulted in high-quality web pages. Although investing in Automotive SEO is very fruitful, but at the same time is risky because without any prior notice the algorithms being used are bound to change and the search engine will stop directing visitors to the page. Many consultants are available in the market that provides SEO services. They manipulate the HTML source code of the web site like menus, shopping carts, and sometimes even the content of the website to draw more traffic. Search engines like Google have algorithms that extract pages not according to the page rank but according to the cost per click or set fee, that is if an advertiser desires that the page containing his ad be displayed, he is expected to pay money for it. This is a point of controversy, as only the big businesses will be able to increase the number of hits of their page but not the small business who might be having a better quality page.
Search Engines are special sites on the web that are designed to help people find information stored on other sites. There are differences in the ways various Search Engines work, but they all perform basic tasks:
They search the Internet – or select pieces of the Internet – based on important words, phrases, questions, and images.
They keep an index of the words they find, and where they find them, and they allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index.
Early in development, Search Engines held an index of a few hundred thousand pages and documents and received maybe one or two thousand inquiries each day from users. Today, a top Search Engine will index billions of web site pages, and respond to hundreds of millions of queries per day from internet searches. This obviously includes people that are looking for automotive focused inquires.
Before a Search Engine can tell you where a file or document is, it must be found. To find information on the billions of Web pages that exist, a Search Engine employs special software robots, called spiders, to build lists of the words found on all web sites.
When a spider is building its lists, the process is called web crawling. They will crawl all sites from baby tips, sports to automotive dealership web sites.
In order to build and maintain a useful list of words, a Search Engine’s spiders have to look at a lot of pages. How does any spider start its travels over the Web? The usual starting points are lists of heavily used servers and very popular pages.
The spider will begin with a popular site, indexing the words on its pages and following every link found within the site. In this way, the spidering system quickly begins to travel, spreading out across the most widely used portions of the internet.
Once the spiders have completed the task of finding information on web sites, the Search Engine must store the information in a way that makes it useful. There are two key components involved in making the gathered data accessible to users:
The information stored with the data, and the method by which the information is indexed.
In the simplest case, a Search Engine could just store the word and the URL where it was found. In reality, this would make for an engine of limited use, since there would be no way of telling whether the word was used in an important or a trivial way on the page, whether the word was used once or many times or whether the page contained links to other pages containing the word.
In other words, there would be no way of building the ranking list that tries to present the most useful pages at the top of the list of search results.
To make for more useful results, Search Engines store more than just the word and URL. A Search Engine might store the number of times that the word appears on a page. The engine might assign a weight to each entry, with increasing values assigned to words as they appear near the top of the document, in sub-headings, in links, in the META tags or in the title of the page, along with the headers on that page.
Each commercial Search Engine has a different formula for assigning weight to the words in its index. This is one of the reasons that a search for the same word on different Search Engines will produce different lists, with the pages presented in different orders.
An index has a single purpose: it allows information to be found as quickly as possible. There are quite a few ways for an index to be built, but one of the most effective ways is to build a hash table. In hashing, a formula is applied to attach a numerical value to each word.
The formula is designed to evenly distribute the entries across a predetermined number of divisions. This numerical distribution is different from the distribution of words across the alphabet, and that is the key to a hash table’s effectiveness.
When a person requests a search on a keyword or phrase, the Search Engine software searches the index for relevant information. The software then provides a report back to the searcher with the most relevant web pages listed first.
Choosing The Proper Keywords
Search Engines are the vehicles that drive potential customers to your websites. But in order for visitors to reach their destination – your website – you need to provide them with specific and effective signs that will direct them right to your site. You do this by creating carefully chosen keywords.
Think of the right keywords as the “Open Sesame!” of the Internet. Find the exactly right words or phrases, and presto! Hoards of traffic will be pulling up to your front door. But if your keywords are too general or too over-used, the possibility of visitors actually making it all the way to your site – or of seeing any real profits from the visitors that do arrive – decreases dramatically.
Your keywords serve as the foundation of your marketing strategy. If they are not chosen with great precision, no matter how aggressive your marketing campaign may be, the right people may never get the chance to find out about it. So your first step in plotting your strategy is to gather and evaluate keywords and phrases.
You probably think you already know EXACTLY the right words for your search phrases. Unfortunately, if you haven’t followed certain specific steps, you are probably WRONG.
It’s hard to be objective when you are right in the center of your business network, which is the reason that you may not be able to choose the most efficient keywords from the inside. You need to be able to think like your customers. And since you are a business owner and not the consumer, your best bet is to go directly to the source.
Instead of plunging in and scribbling down a list of potential search words and phrases yourself, ask for words from as many potential customers as you can. You will most likely find out that your understanding of your business and your customers’ understanding is significantly different.
The consumer is an invaluable resource. You will find the words you accumulate from them are words and phrases you probably never would have considered from deep inside the trenches of your business.
Only after you have gathered as many words and phrases from outside resources should you add your own keyword to the list. Once you have this list in hand, you are ready for the next step: an evaluation.
The aim of the evaluation is to narrow down your list to a small number of words and phrases that will direct the highest number of quality visitors to your website. By “quality visitors” I mean those consumers who are most likely to make a purchase rather than just cruise around your site and take off for greener pastures.
In evaluating the effectiveness of keywords, bear in mind three elements: popularity, specificity, and motivation. Popularity is the easiest to evaluate because it is an objective quality. The more popular your keyword is, the more likely the chances are that it will be typed into a Search Engine which will then bring up your URL.
You can now purchase software that will rate the popularity of keywords and phrases by giving words a number rating based on real Search Engine activity. Software such as WordTracker will even suggest variations of your words and phrases.
The higher the number this software assigns to a given keyword, the more traffic you can logically expect to be directed to your site. The only fallacy with this concept is the more popular the keyword is, the greater the Search Engine position you will need to obtain. If you are down at the bottom of the search results, the consumer will probably never scroll down to find you.
Popularity isn’t enough to declare a keyword a good choice. You must move on to the next criteria, which is specificity. The more specific your keyword is, the greater the likelihood that the consumer who is ready to purchase your goods or services will find you.
Let’s look at a hypothetical example. Imagine that you have obtained popularity rankings for the keyword “automobile companies.” However, your company specializes in bodywork only.
The keyword “automobile body shops” would rank lower on the popularity scale than “automobile companies,” but it would nevertheless serve you much better. Instead of getting a slew of people interested in everything from buying a car to changing their oil filters, you will get only those consumers with trashed front ends or crumpled fenders being directed to your site.
In other words, consumers ready to buy your services are the ones who will immediately find you. Not only that, but the greater the specificity of your keyword is, the less competition you will face.
The third factor is consumer motivation. Once again, this requires putting yourself inside the mind of the customer rather than the seller to figure out what motivation prompts a person looking for a service or product to type in a particular word or phrase. Let’s look at another example, such as a consumer who is searching for a job as an IT manager in a new city.
If you have to choose between “Automotive job listings” and “Automotive recruiters” which do you think will benefit the consumer more? If you were looking for this type of specific job, which keyword would you type in?
The second one, of course! Using the second keyword targets people who have decided on their career, have the necessary experience, and are ready to enlist you as their recruiter, rather than someone just out of school who is casually trying to figure out what to do with his or her life in between beer parties.
You want to find people who are ready to act or make a purchase, and this requires subtle tinkering of your keywords until your find the most specific and directly targeted phrases to bring the most motivated traffic to your dealership site.
Once you have chosen your keywords, your work is not done. You must continually evaluate performance across a variety of Search Engines, bearing in mind that times and trends change, as does popular lingo. You cannot rely on your log traffic analysis alone because it will not tell you how many of your visitors actually made a purchase.
Luckily, some new tools have been invented to help you judge the effectiveness of your keywords in individual Search Engines. There is now software available that analyzes consumer behavior in relation to consumer traffic. This allows you to discern which keywords are bringing you the most valuable customers.
This is an essential concept: numbers alone do not make a good keyword; profits per visitor do. You need to find keywords that direct consumers to your site who actually buy your product, fill out your forms, or download your product.
This is the most important factor in evaluating the efficacy of a keyword or phrase and should be the sword you wield when discarding and replacing ineffective or inefficient keywords with keywords that bring in better profits.
Ongoing analysis of tested keywords is the formula for Search Engine success. This may sound like a lot of work – and it is! But the amount of informed effort you put into your keyword campaign is what will ultimately generate your business’ rewards.
The methods employed to increase your Search Engine rankings may seem like rocket science to you, so you have probably avoided dealing with this issue. I am here to tell you – the time has come to face your website!
A high Search Engine ranking for your website is so essential that if you have the slightest desire to actually succeed in your business, there is no way you can continue to avoid this issue.
At least 85% of people looking for goods and services on the Internet find websites through Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The idea of optimizing your pages for high Search Engine rankings is to attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to make a purchase.
The higher your page comes up in Search Engine results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your website. That’s what Search Engine optimization is about.
You can immerse yourself in all the technical information available online to figure out how to optimize your web pages to achieve higher rankings.
Or you can look at a few simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. The first item you should examine is the title bar on your homepage.
The title bar is the colored bar at the top of the page. Look at the words that appear there when you access your home page. To increase Search Engine rankings, the words on your homepage’s title bar should include the most important keywords or phrases, one of which would include your company name.
Then click on all your links and examine the title bars on the pages you access. Each title bar on every single page of your site should contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page itself.
However, avoid very long strings of keywords, keeping them to six words or less. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to each other.
The next item to put under your microscope is your website content. Search Engines generally list sites that contain quality content rather than scintillating graphics. The text on your site must contain the most important keywords – the words that potential customers will be typing into Search Engines to find your site.
Aim to have around 250 words on each page, but if this is not desirable due to your design, aim for at least 100 carefully chosen words. If you want to achieve a high ranking on Search Engines, this text is essential. However, the Search Engines must be able to read the text, meaning that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format.
To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able to do this, the text is HTML. If the text will not highlight, it is probably in graphic form. In this case, ask your webmaster to change the text into HTML format in order to increase your Search Engine rankings.
Next, we come to what is called META tags. I know this sounds like something out of science fiction, but it is really just simple code. Many people believe that META tags are the key to high Search Engine rankings, but in reality, they only have a limited effect. Still, it’s worth adding them in the event that a Search Engine will use META tags in their ranking formula.
To find out if your page is set up with META tags, you must access the code. To do this, click the “view” button on the browser menu bar, and select “source.” This will pull up a window revealing the underlying code that created the page. If there are META tags, they usually appear near the top of the window.
For example, a META tag would read META name=”keywords” content=. If you do not find code that reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. This may not do much for your Search Engine rankings, but any little boost helps.
Lastly, we come to the issue of link popularity. This is a factor that is extremely important in terms of Search Engine rankings. Almost all Search Engines use link popularity to rank your website. Link popularity is based on the quality of the sites you have linked to from your links page.
If you type in “free link popularity check” in a popular Search Engine, the Search Engine will then show you what sites are linked to your site. In the case that there aren’t many sites linked up to yours, or that the sites that are linked up have low Search Engine rankings, consider launching a link popularity campaign.
Essentially, this entails contacting quality sites and requesting that they exchange links with your site. Of course, this requires checking out the rankings of the websites you want to link up with. Linking to popular, quality sites not only boost your Search Engine ranking, but it also directs more quality traffic to your website.
Search Engine rankings are extremely important for a successful Internet marketing campaign. Before you go out and hire a Search Engine optimization company, try taking some of the simple steps listed above, and see if you can’t boost your rankings yourself. Don’t ever ignore this all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the higher your Search Engine ranking, the more quality customers will be directed your way.
Increasing Your Link Popularity
Search Engines are the gateway to the Internet; they are the first tool that potential customers use to find the products and services they need. This is why link popularity is so imperative. If the customers do not find your website, you have no possibility of making any vehicle sales.
You’re probably wondering what the blazes are popular about a link! Well, in a word – plenty! Link popularity refers to the ranking assigned to your website by the Search Engines, and it determines the ranking your page gets when keywords are entered into a Search Engine. So, you’re probably wondering, how do I make my link popular?
Search Engines are discretionary, giving status and ranking to sites that have links to their pages from related, quality sites. It’s a simple formula, but a very important one. Google created the system, and now virtually all the most popular Search Engines employ it to rank your web pages in their indexes.
The more commonly used your keyword is, the harder it will be to achieve link popularity, but without achieving this step, it is almost certain your site will never rank highly on any Search Engine. But don’t be discouraged; there are tried and true ways of achieving link popularity using the most competitive keywords.
There are a few things you should be aware of. The first is that just linking up with a large number of other websites will not achieve link popularity. In fact, it may have quite the opposite effect.
This is particularly true when pertaining to websites that are nothing more than “link farms” – pages containing line after line of indiscriminate links. Search Engines may aggressively discriminate against your website if you are associated with a link farm, so steer clear of them!
The next thing to bear in mind is the quality of the site you are linking to. Never link to a page you have reservations about your visitors seeing. The last thing you want your website to appear as is indiscriminate and cheap. Linking to sites of poor quality will only lessen your link popularity, if not completely destroy it.
So let’s get to what you need to do to achieve supreme link popularity and improve your rankings to stellar status on all the popular Search Engines.
The first step, and the fastest way to get your foot in the door, is to get a listing in a popular directory, such as Open Directory Project and Yahoo. If your site is business-related, you will want to be listed on Yahoo, and despite the fact that it will cost you around $300 a year, it will be money well spent.
If your site is non-commercial, the listing will be free, but it will take time and follow-up to actually get it listed. Open Directory gives you a free listing whether you are business-related or non-commercial, but be prepared to make a lot of follow-up inquiries before you see your site listed.
You are aiming to get listed in the highest level of appropriate category, and this just takes some common sense. For example, if your company ships Alpaca wool from an Alpaca farm located in the middle of Nowhere, Tiny State, do NOT submit your listing to “Retailers from Nowhere, Tiny State.”
BIG MISTAKE! All you have to do is look a little deeper – and submit your listing to the “Fine Alpaca Wool” category. You will not only associate yourself with culture and quality, but you will be listed in a national category.
The next step after you have attained directory listings is to locate other quality sites that will increase your link popularity. Try to find sites that are in some way related to yours, so not only will your link popularity increase, but your customer base may also be expanded.
You want to avoid your competitors and look for sites that are useful to your site’s visitors. Let’s look at the Alpaca Wool site example. Linking up to a site that sells knitting supplies would be helpful to your visitors, and the chances of the knitting supply site wanting to link up to your site are also greater.
By linking to a related site that will be relevant to your website’s traffic, you are increasing both of your site’s business prospects – and both of your sites’ link popularity.
Not all sites want to link to other sites, so you will have to do some research when you are looking for possible linking partners. Google is an excellent starting place for your search.
Make sure you enter keywords that you think quality customers will also enter to find your own site. Remember, your criteria are quality, highly ranked, non-competing websites that have a links or resources page.
Go to these sites and objectively assess them. Look at the quality of the product, the graphics, and the ease of use. Then check out the other sites they are linked to, and determine if your own site would fit in with the crowd.
When you decide you have found a good prospect, you must set out to woo them. The first thing to do is to add a link on your own links page to their site. This is an essential first step; it shows good faith, and ups your chances significantly of their reciprocity. After you have added their link, you must contact the webmaster of their site.
Since this is almost always done by email, you want to make sure it is immediately clear that your message is not junk mail. This requires that you tell them right off the bat that you have added a link to their page on your site. A hook like this almost always insures the reader will read on.
Next, be sure to be flattering and let them know how much you appreciate their website. Make sure you emphasize that you have actually visited their site and that their site is not just a random pick.
Give them the address of your links page, and ask them to check out the link for themselves. It’s a good idea to mention that they will not only benefit from the increased traffic your website will direct their way, but you will also increase their link popularity.
Briefly, explain why link popularity is so essential, but do this in a sentence or two so you don’t sound like a professor! Finally, tell them you would greatly appreciate it if they would reciprocally add a link on their own links page to your website.
Go through this process with as many appropriate sites as you can find, bearing in mind the criteria of quality and non-competitiveness. After you have emailed all relevant sites, be sure to check these websites frequently to see if they have added a link to your page. Give it about a month, and if no link appears, try another charming email.
Then give it another month, and if your site is still absent from their links page, it’s time to remove their link from your own links page. The only time you want to pursue a link further than this is if you believe a site is crucial to your link popularity and your business needs. Just remember to keep all your communications complimentary and cordial.
Then set up a schedule to check your ranking in Search Engines frequently to see if your link popularity has improved. This is not achievable in the blink of an eye. It will take some time and a good deal of work. There is no way around the labor-intensive quality of improving your link popularity, which is why Search Engines regard it with such importance.
By the way – make sure you have a beautiful, streamlined site or you will never persuade anyone to link up to you. Be prepared to keep plugging away at this process, as long as it takes until you achieve link popularity stardom!
Maintaining Your Search Engine Ranking
Your website’s ranking on Search Engines is a vital element of your overall marketing campaign, and there are ways to improve your link popularity through legitimate methods. Unfortunately, the Internet is populated by bands of dishonest webmasters seeking to improve their link popularity by faking out Search Engines.
The good news is that Search Engines have figured this out, and are now on guard for “spam” pages and sites that have increased their rankings by artificial methods. When a Search Engine tracks down such a site, that site is demoted in ranking or completely removed from the Search Engine’s index.
The bad news is that some high quality, completely above-board sites are being mistaken for these web page criminals. Your page may be in danger of being caught up in the “spam” net and tossed from a Search Engine’s index, even though you have done nothing to deserve such harsh treatment. But there are things you can do – and things you should be sure NOT to do – which will prevent this kind of misperception.
Link popularity is mostly based on the quality of sites you are linked to. Google pioneered these criteria for assigning website ranking, and virtually all Search Engines on the Internet now use it.
There are legitimate ways to go about increasing your link popularity, but at the same time, you must be scrupulously careful about which sites you choose to link to. Google frequently imposes penalties on sites that have linked to other sites solely for the purpose of artificially boosting their link popularity. They have actually labeled these links “bad neighborhoods.”
You can raise a toast to the fact that you cannot be penalized when a bad neighborhood links to your site; penalty happens only when you are the one sending out the link to a bad neighborhood. But you must check, and double-check, all the links that are active on your links page to make sure you haven’t linked to a bad neighborhood.
There is no need to be afraid of linking to sites whose scale shows only a tiny sliver of green on their scale. These sites have not been penalized, and their links may grow in value and popularity. However, do make sure that you closely monitor these kinds of links to ascertain that at some point they do not sustain a penalty once you have linked up to them from your links page.
Another evil trick that illicit webmasters use to artificially boost their link popularity is the use of hidden text. Search Engines usually use the words on web pages as a factor in forming their rankings, which means that if the text on your page contains your keywords, you have more of an opportunity to increase your Search Engine ranking than a page that does not contain text inclusive of keywords.
Some webmasters have gotten around this formula by hiding their keywords in such a way so that they are invisible to any visitors to their site. For example, they have used the keywords but made them the same color as the background color of the page, such as a plethora of white keywords on a white background.
You cannot see these words with the human eye – but the eye of Search Engine spider can spot them easily! A spider is the program Search Engines use to index web pages, and when it sees these invisible words, it goes back and boosts that page’s link ranking.
Webmasters may be brilliant and sometimes devious, but Search Engines have figured these tricks out. As soon as a Search Engine see the use of hidden text – splat! The page is penalized.
The downside of this is that sometimes the spider is a bit overzealous and will penalize a page by mistake. For example, if the background color of your page is gray, and you have placed gray text inside a black box, the spider will only take note of the gray text and assume you are employing hidden text. To avoid any risk of false penalty, simply direct your webmaster not to assign the same color to text as the background color of the page – ever!
Another potential problem that can result in a penalty is called “keyword stuffing.” It is important to have your keywords appear in the text on your page, but sometimes you can go a little overboard in your enthusiasm to please those spiders.
A Search Engine uses what is called “Key Phrase Density” to determine if a site is trying to artificially boost their ranking. This is the ratio of keywords to the rest of the words on the page. Search Engines assign a limit to the number of times you can use a keyword before it decides you have overdone it and penalizes your site.
This ratio is quite high, so it is difficult to surpass without sounding as if you are stuttering – unless your keyword is part of your company name. If this is the case, it is easy for keyword density to soar.
So, if your keyword is “renters insurance,” be sure you don’t use this phrase in every sentence. Carefully edit the text on your site so that the copy flows naturally and the keyword is not repeated incessantly. A good rule of thumb is your keyword should never appear in more than half the sentences on the page.
The final potential risk factor is known as cloaking. To those of you who are diligent Trekkies, this concept should be easy to understand. For the rest of you? Cloaking is when the server directs a visitor to one page and a Search Engine spider to a different page.
The page the spider sees is “cloaked” because it is invisible to regular traffic, and deliberately set-up to raise the site’s Search Engine Ranking. A cloaked page tries to feed the spider everything it needs to rocket that page’s ranking to the top of the list.
It is natural that Search Engines have responded to this act of deception with extreme enmity, imposing steep penalties on these sites. The problem on your end is that sometimes pages are cloaked for legitimate reasons, such as prevention against the theft of code, often referred to as “page jacking.” This kind of shielding is unnecessary these days due to the use of “off-page” elements, such as link popularity, that cannot be stolen.
To be on the safe side, be sure that your webmaster is aware that absolutely no cloaking is acceptable. Make sure the webmaster understands that cloaking of any kind will put your website at great risk.
Just as you must be diligent in increasing your link popularity and your ranking, you must be equally diligent to avoid being unfairly penalized. So be sure to monitor your site closely and avoid any appearance of artificially boosting your rankings.
With everything going on right now between the Coronavirus and the economy right now, there is still an opportunity. Automotive dealers can certainly focus on the digital marketing aspect for their location. Take the time to focus on how to generate more traffic, leads and fill the funnel for when things get back. While the time is slow expanding some new skills is a great idea and here are some SEO tips to focus on for your dealership website! Here are some tips to help out!
Website Load Speed
Website load speed is the most important factor you should focus on right now when it comes to a dealership web site.
Load speed is integral. We’ve seen it over the last couple of years based on Google feedback. We now estimate load speed being about fifteen to twenty percent of an internal SEO build for any site and it’s making a huge difference.
Google and search engines want your page to be smaller and load faster to help with those data rates. These help people load those mobile responsive dealership websites. They go right onto their phones quickly and get information even faster. Website load speed is firing dealerships up in organic rankings. Getting the more website traffic and getting them those valuable lead conversions that they’re looking for- gaining them customers.
So it doesn’t matter what you’re doing on SEO whether with one automotive web site vendor or another. Having your website load really, really quickly is something that you should focus on when getting your automotive web site developed. If you already have a website, go take a look at the images, make them a little bit smaller. Also, make sure you’re running fewer queries on that site and speed up that load speed.
Google Map Locations
The next tip is straight forward. Make sure you have a map location built within Google Maps. We’ve been testing creating and correcting with Automotive SEO for a couple of years now and there’s a huge correlation between businesses that have a physical location and a Google Maps location or Bing’s location built. Search engines want to see that you have a physical address that your dealership is a building and that is creating business for people in a local market. So whenever you’re working on a website, whenever you’re trying to get that organic reach, start by getting a Google Maps location.
Get that Google My Business profile started. Fill it out completely and make sure as the last tip that everything in your Maps location, everything in those directories, matches your website contact page spot for spot.
Make sure the address is the same, make sure that the phone number is the same, everything is the exact same. It’s going to help more authority. Come to your website and move you up in both in organic rankings on search engines as
well as organic rankings on Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc. Lastly, tip number three-you may have heard of this one before but it’s still really important.
Web Site Meta Descriptions
30 to 40% of automotive websites still don’t have unique meta descriptions. Now it’s more than just meta descriptions. It’s all the internal parts, all the technical parts of your internal SEO build on a website. Your meta descriptions on individual pages, your page titles, your alt text behind the pictures posted. Everything that you can do to help your website grow. Now, there’s a ton of analytic tools out there.
The pillar of your SEO is built that allows you to start working on that external SEO, those citations those backlinks, everything else you need to do to increase your domain’s authority comes after you do that internal build.
If you are interested in having some assistance with your web site – contact me anytime – email@example.com. I am here to help your dealership out!
The future of automotive SEO in 2020 online marketing is essential for the success of car dealerships. In fact, it is increasingly vital since automotive consumers generally explore different makes and models. Using content online before deciding which vehicles to test-drive.
Likewise, they may use online research to determine which dealerships to visit. Customers now even how much they should pay for their next vehicle. SEO or search engine optimization is a critical element of successful online marketing. Campaigns for today’s dealerships involve many areas.
Automotive SEO is constantly evolving your dealerships marketing campaign needs to be at the forefront of change. It is key that your dealership is a true leader rather than a follower. Who wants to be lagging behind? SEO types of changes to searches in 2020, since the way users conduct searches, has evolved dramatically over the years.
Automotive Voice SEO
The next change in this area may be through voice recognition searches. Voice commands have been available on smartphones for years. But the technology is increasingly being used by consumers in addition, voice recognition is now available in new vehicles themselves.
AI will increasingly be used for keyword research. Artificial intelligence technology is rapidly evolving. It will play a role in search engine optimization marketing. Within the next few years consider that search engines could begin connecting users’ demographic details.
Searches with relevant details on your dealership website for rankings. What does this mean for your dealership? With so many potential changes that could affect your online marketing campaign.
Automotive SEO Future
In the near future, you must keep tabs on each of these and other potential developments. Many dealerships may not be aware of these significant pending changes or how to properly use them strategically and advantageous.
This means that your dealership could be positioned to benefit dramatically. If you are prepared to make rapid thoughtful changes you can see that car dealerships must stay ahead of these SEO trends in the next year. In order to continue to maximize the benefits from an online marketing campaign request a consultation with me to review your dealership web site and opportunities to increase SEO.
Automotive Instagram Stories is a great Automotive Marketing option that allows dealerships to capture and post images and videos in a slideshow format. The content is available for only twenty-four hours from the time of posting. Stories also allow for the addition of text, drawings, GIFs, time stamps, location stamps, and more fun features that automotive dealers can utilize!
According to TechCrunch, Instagram Stories usage has soared to more than 550 million daily active users. That’s impressive because it means one-third of Facebook’s 1.57 billion daily users are posting or watching Stories each day.
Here are some Instagram stats that show the power of Stories:
60% of millennials watch and post Instagram Stories on a daily basis
One-third of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are from business accounts
70% of Gen Z-ers watch and post Instagram Stories on a daily basis
Instagram Stories accounts for roughly 1/3 of Instagram’s sponsored content and growing
So potential customers are watching Automotive Instagram Stories, which is obviously good to know. But how can you, as a marketing manager for an automotive dealership, effectively incorporate Stories into your social media game? Glad you asked, here are some thought starters!
How to Post an Organic Story
To avoid redundancy, we will outline how to post an Automotive Instagram Stories on Instagram only placement, but know that you can easily post the same Story on Facebook by selecting a special sharing feature (more on that later).
First, let’s set up the scene. Maybe the newest truck just hit your lot, and you want people to know about it. This is a great opportunity to share an image or video (or both) of the new vehicle on your Story! Here’s what you need to do!
Open the Instagram Application
You can post a Story either from the Instagram news feed or from your profile by clicking on your profile picture with the + icon.
Take the Photo or Video (or select one from your photo library) to post on your Story.
From here, you can add text, emojis, or anything else you think would help give context to your Story. To post the image or video on your Instagram Story, just click your profile picture in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
Adding content to your Story means once you post, it will be available for your followers (and non-followers, if you have a public profile) to view immediately. There is an option to post this same Story to Facebook by selecting the Send To button in the bottom-right corner of your screen, then Sharing Options under your Story, it will then show on Facebook as well.
From here, you can decide if you want to either share this particular Story to Facebook once or set it up so that all of your Stories are automatically shared with the Facebook Story platform in the future.
When to Post Organic Stories
Organic Story posts are great opportunities to showcase your dealership’s culture with “behind the scenes” moments — promoting events, showcasing employees, and sharing anything else your followers would enjoy seeing!
Organic Stories are not the place for only posting photos of your inventory. Your followers know you sell vehicles, and while that’s important, they want to see the faces behind the vehicles.
Reach More Auto Leads Through Story Advertising
Posting organic content on Facebook and Instagram Stories is great for maintaining a good brand reputation among your current followers. But what about people who don’t follow you? How can you get potential leads to view your Story content?
If you already advertise on Facebook, the answer to getting more leads through Stories may be a lot simpler than you think.
Under the Stories section in the ad set level of your Ads Manager, select the Story placements you’d like to include in your ad targeting.
Based on your targeting (either through Custom Audiences, Special Ad Audiences, interest-based targeting, or a combination of all three), Facebook will show your Story ad to people who might be qualified to see it with the word Sponsored in the top-left corner of the ad.
Before you go wild adding the Facebook and Instagram Story placement to all of your car dealership Facebook ads, it’s important to be aware of some of the Story ad limitations.
The Story placement provides a different experience for a user than viewing an ad within the news feed placement, so we recommend editing your ads to accommodate the different placements. Story ads, in particular, remember:
Story ads disappear quickly (usually after 5-10 seconds)
Use minimal text — just enough that users know what your ad is about.
Story ads are not available when your campaign objective is set to “Catalog Sales.”
Unfortunately, this means that dynamic retargeting ads are not available on the Story placement (yet).
Image Ratios Matter for Stories Ads
The image you are using for your news feed ad may not be the right proportion for a Story ad. Preview how the ad looks in the Story placement; if necessary, crop the image, or select a new image to fit the aspect ratio requirements.
Measuring Automotive Instagram Stories
You posted the Story, but did it deliver the results you were hoping for? There are a few different ways to measure Story results.
The more detailed steps to accessing organic Story insights for both Facebook and Instagram are outlined here. Generally, within the analyzation tool, you’ll find metrics including:
Unique Story opens
Paid Stories Results
Similar to how you analyze Facebook ad metrics that matter for your dealership, you can analyze the same results for Facebook and Instagram Story ads.
To see Story stats in Ads Manager, select the Breakdown menu in the top right, and click Placement.
Here, you can see how your ad performed on the Facebook news feed, Instagram feed, Audience Network, Stories, and any other placements you’ve selected.
Pro Tip – Use Carousel Ads
Three-card carousels are a great way to highlight multiple products or collections. Each card can feature a specific product or group of products with call-to-action (CTA) buttons (like “Shop Now”) that linked through to the relevant product pages on your eCommerce website, where visitors can purchase the items.
Pro Tip – Use Collection Ads
This format makes it easy to showcase a range of products in a way that users can easily discover, browse and purchase them. Creatives start with an enticing image or engaging video on top, and feature several product images underneath. The format allows a full-screen Canvas experience with multiple tabs that showcase different groups of products. Tapping on individual products can take users that product’s detail page on your website.
Ways to Take People Behind the Scenes
Shine a spotlight on your people. Whether it’s the business owner, company employees, your customers or your brand advocates, leverage the power of the human element to wow your audience.
Show them what makes you tick. Do you have a special office environment, manufacturing process or support an important social cause? Use it to show and tell how you stand out from the competition.
Highlight your products or services. Use interesting storytelling and great visuals to showcase your offerings and generate interest with history, methods, events that show your uniqueness and authenticity.
Give them a sneak peek. Creating or building something new and different? Partnering with a special or well-known partner on a project? Tell your audience about it with compelling visual content.
In the end, a great Instagram Story ad compels the user to act quickly,
You can achieve this through clear text directions; delivering a slew of lovely products in rapid succession; creating a sense of intrigue and mystery to elevate your brand; using keen narrative techniques, or simply making everyday moments more exciting with Boomerang loops and other video editing tools.
When plotting your Instagram Stories strategy, it’s a good idea to take a look at some great examples of successful Instagram ads and to be aware of these common Instagram ad mistakes brands make (and learn how to stay clear of them).
You have a range of creative tricks at your fingertips to take advantage of this fast-evolving and increasingly popular ad format to distinguish yourself for better results.
Search engines always favor those sites which have been around on the internet for many years, so the domain age is a very important consideration.
Make sure that you update your website regularly since the search engines always favor those sites which are always up-to-date.
Write to your visitors
Always write articles that cater primarily to your visitors. Yahoo!, Google and others have people visiting all the time, but hardly anyone has ever responded positively to singing up for a newsletter, buying anything online, or even calling up for inquiry purposes.
Use Meta tags. They are the invisible tags and the search engines can identify them for categorization of content.
Always use a heading tag, and most importantly, make the heading tag a keyword that should to be relevant to the base of the matter that you are writing.
A site map should always be considered. Using the site maps, the search engines can navigate through each page of your website to index every single page.
Use keywords in the articles and make them bold. But don’t overdo this; it is really a big put-off!
Make sure that there are external links to almost all the pages of your website. If there are links to many pages of your website, then the search engines will feel that your site has a lot of good content to offer, and it will add value to your site. But if most of the external links head to your home page, then the conclusion will be that your site has nothing worthwhile to offer!
If you can get a business address in countries like the United States and Canada, then nothing better than that. They have many directories for company websites, so a lot of scope lies there.
You can offer articles to some publishers who archive the posts. In the archives, the links will stay alive for quite a few years.
If there are image links in the navigation bar, make sure to include text links as well. But ensure that the text links are showed in the source code itself since the search engine robots will follow the primary link to any given page. Additional links cannot be followed on the same page.
You can have many domains if you have varied topics, and each of whom can warrant a website of its own. This is beneficial because the search engines generally target only one page per website, mostly the homepage, so if you have multiple domains, you can increase your exposure easily.
Exchanging links is generally good, but useless at times. But exchanging articles are more useful. You may publish some other author’s articles, and include the link to his website, who may do the same for you.
Adding titles to links can be very useful as well. Besides aiding visually impaired users to know where they are going, search engines can search for relevant information in those titles as well.
Anchoring text is a strict no-no. if you always use your company name or your URL, Google and other search engines look down upon it. At times, relevant tags can be used as well, which provides visibility in the eyes of the search engines.
While starting a project, do thorough research on the keyword. There are free versions of Word Tracker and Keyword Discovery, but they also have a paid version which is even better. So your budget permits, opt for the paid one with many added features.
New PPC account
Opening a new PPC account is very beneficial, notwithstanding whether it is Adwords of Google or any other marketing tool. A PPC account can get you actual search volumes for specified keywords.
Refrain from stuffing the keywords in the articles. Using excessive keywords makes the article meaningless, and puts the reader off.
Some webmasters use invisible content which people cannot see, but are laden with keywords to attract search engines. When the search engines find this out, they may ban your site, so refrain from resorting to such an activity.
Avoid using too many h1 heading tags.
Scope for improvement Automotive SEO is not an event that you can take up once and then forget. The algorithm of search engines change quite often, so what did well last year may not perform in the same manner this year. So you need to be committed to continuously strive for betterment.
The results will not show overnight. If you are new to Automotive SEO, prepare yourself for at least a month’s outlook to see positive results.
Always have a concrete goal regarding what you want to achieve. You need to have good plans for the efforts that you put into Automotive SEO. Besides, you would need an analytical software to constantly monitor what is reaping benefits, and what is not.
Make the best site
Strive to make your site one of the best in business. People always want their site to be featured on the top of the list of the results of a search engine. If you realize that something is amiss from your site, work on it to make it better.
SEO friendly URL
Make URL’s that are Automtoive SEO-friendly. They should be short and any URL which has more than 3 hyphens is generally not taken to kindly by the users. Hyphens act as a purpose for giving space in URL’s but don’t use too many of them.
Take active participation in online blogs. Search engines are very liberal towards blogs in view of the fresh content updated on them on a regular basis.
Search engines often provide you with many tools. Webmaster by Google, and Site Explorer by Yahoo! are a few of those.
Are you not yet using automotive text marketing and sending text messages to your customers?
If you are not, you are missing out big time and let me explain. Today I want to open your eyes to one of the most powerful communication technologies available for your dealership. Automotive text marketing maintains an average text open rate of 98% compared to 20% for emails. And with a 45% response rate for text compared to only 6% for emails – check out some text message stats.
You can see why your dealership absolutely needs to harness this tool text marketing. It is the perfect complement to your emailmarketing strategy. But the edge of text marketing doesn’t stop at open rates. It takes the average person 90 seconds to respond to a text while it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email. That is because 95% of all text messages are read within three minutes with most on average being read in under five seconds.
Text Vs. Email Marketing
Nobody deletes a text message without reading it now. Email marketing is still one of the three most powerful marketing tools to drive traffic and sales for dealerships. But text marketing is a necessary complement to your email strategy and will strengthen some of the inherent weaknesses of an email campaign. Need an additional kicker to get you on board with text automotive marketing well check out this statistic from digital marketing magazine. It states that 75% of people would like to have offers sent to them via text. Yes, 75% of your dealership’s customers want you to send them text messages now.
Mobile Phone Popularity
For obvious reasons, the importance of Automotive Text Marketing rides on the coattails of the rising popularity of mobile phones. With the growing list of mobile capabilities and functions added to mobile devices daily. You know mobile technology is not something going anywhere anytime soon. The stats show that everyday mobile usage grows for all aspects. This includes search, text and even voice search optimization for dealerships.
In fact, with the meteoric rise of mobile phones, you know most of your customers will have their device in their hands or pockets when you send them your text message which is a marketer dream. Warning though, be prepared for some rough replies as well.
Not All Replies Are Positive
Now, on the one hand, you have 75% of your customers who would like to get offers by text messages. However, be prepared for some course replies from some members of the other 25%. Text marketing is very personal more so than email and people are used to getting newsletters, invoices, corporate communications and even some spam in their email inbox. Some text replies could b considered nasty and abrupt. Simply let them have their say and move along to the next message.
But text messages are still mostly used for friends family members and colleagues, for this reason, don’t be surprised by some of the harsh replies you’ll get. Some individuals who don’t want your dealership on their phone don’t take it personally. Don’t let these few negative voices detract you from your automotive text marketing gameplan. Why would you want to take away from most of your customers something they want because of a few bad apples?
Play By The Text Message Rules
Just make sure you always follow the laws and regulations that are in effect in your local area. Always provide recipients with a way to easily unsubscribe from your distribution list. Once these people are off your text broadcast list you’ll be left with a captive audience who will embrace your text marketing efforts. Most people will reply with certain terms to be removed from the list. Build a list of common phrases “Stop, Remove Me, any profanity” and have them removed from the list.
Keep The Text Simple
Ready to send your first text broadcast? Well, keep it real when creating your text message. Don’t make the mistake of using a corporate voice as if you were talking to the masses. Picture one customer in your mind and write the text for him or her using simple language. Just like you would when texting a friend or family member. Keep in mind that each text is a hundred and sixty characters long. So if your message is longer than 160 characters even by one letter you will be charged for a second credit by your text provider.
I personally like to use the equivalent of two text messages or just under 320 characters. I don’t feel that 160 characters or enough to create curiosity. Communicate my call to action and provide the recipients with the ability to unsubscribe. Just make sure you factor the costs when deciding on the length of the message.
Customize Text Messages
If the text broadcast technology allows it you can use merge fields or tokens to personalize your text messages. But I haven’t found it improves conversions for our dealers. What does improve conversions is when you keep it real and stay away from the usual boring corporate tone. Make sure you also use links to landing pages where people can learn more about the offer or vehicle.
Mobile Landing Pages
When you’re communicating just make sure the pages are mobile-friendly. Important they designed specifically for being viewed on phones. When it comes to technology find one that will allow you to manage your unsubscribe lists. That is easily a critical component of automotive text marketing.
Dealership Responses to Texts
You’ll also want a technology that will allow different members of your team to respond to people engaging in a conversation from a cloud-based back-end where your whole team can share it 24/7 you don’t want all those replies going to one single device you also want a technology that will allow you to adjust a throttle of your broadcast if you’re sending a few hundred or even a few thousand text messages you want them to trickle out at a speed that will allow your team members to manage the requests
Throttle Text Message Sends
Remember most people will respond within seconds I personally like to adjust the throttle to around 25 text messages every 15 minutes. You also want a technology that will allow you to adjust your broadcast schedule. You don’t want to be sending text messages to your customers in the middle of the night or the wee hours of the morning. They will not forgive you I find this sweet spot to be between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. and the best response rate to be around lunchtime and right after supper.
Automotive Text Marketing Platforms
If you’re using small lists you might also want to look into the Automotive Text Marketing platform that provides technology. This will allow you to automate the dialogue with your prospects in the early stages of the conversation. Need some help if you require help building your dealerships text marketing strategy? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the automotive text marketing specialists at Shawn Ryder Digital. We have the expertise that know-how and the technology to help you launch your first text marketing campaign within hours. So you can also experience the immediate results of this exciting communication technology.
Are You Ready?
Based on my experience, my objective is to work with dealerships and help with their email communication. This means more traffic on the website, in the dealership and more sales! Contact me to learn more about how I help dealers.
Contact Shawn Ryder
Sign up for Shawn Ryder Digital content, updates, surveys & offers.