3 Automotive SEO Tips
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 locations. 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 website vendor or another. Having your website load really, really quickly is something that you should focus on when getting your automotive website 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 protected]. I am here to help your dealership out!
Future of Automotive SEO in 2020
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.
What Are Instagram Stories?
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!
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.
- Unique Story opens
- Page visits
- Forward taps
- Backward taps
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.
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.
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.
SEO for Automotive Industry
How Do We Start?
Back in the day if a dealership wanted to get noticed it meant renting a billboard or taking out an ad in a newspaper. It could basically mean just standing on a soapbox in the park and pontificating. But now with large search engines being the go-to for lots of information including SEO for Automotive Industry.
What is SEO for Automotive Industry?
For most dealers to make themselves heard, they have been seeking ways to fight and claw to the top of search results. This includes using a process called search engine optimization or SEO. But what is that? Well, you see giant search engines like Google use algorithms to try to push relevant results to the top of the page. So that when a user types in “computer mouse” they’ll get links to buy a new input device rather than pictures of Stewart Little trying to use a PC now.
So the first SEO mistake is thinking Seach Engine Optimization is dead. I am sure if you’re trying to figure out how to get more traffic, you’ve probably encountered the idea that SEO is dead – likely from those pushing Google Paid Search placements.
And here’s the truth. SEO of the automotive industry has definitely changed but it’s more alive than ever when it comes to search engines. And here’s the proof that SEO is more alive than ever. Number one is trends. Just go to Google Trends and compare SEO to any other channel online. No channel online is more popular than SEO – including Voice SEO.
Finding Potential Customers
What’s the best place for your potential customers to find you organically online? Is it, A, social media; B, search engines; or C, email? Well, if you answered B, search engines, then nice work because there’s data to prove this. Just go to SimilarWeb and examine the top five websites with the most traffic.
What do these top five websites have in common? They’re either a search engine or feature a prominent search engine, and Google is by far the most popular website and search engine in the world.
How Many Searches?
On average, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. Then you have YouTube, which is by far the most popular video search engine in the world. After that, you have Amazon, which is by far the most popular e-commerce search engine in the world. And lastly, you have Yahoo, which is the second-biggest traditional search engine.
What is the SEO Algorithm?
Understanding how to get organic search traffic is a good use of time and resources, but that’s not all. How exactly the search engine algorithms work are usually closely guarded trade secrets. But there’s enough public knowledge for webmasters to attempt to tune their pages to boost their position in the search results, in fact, Google even puts. out a search engine optimization starter guide to help website owners improve.
Search Engine Optimization Audit
Believe that the number one thing you need to do if you want better SEO results is to perform an SEO audit. SEO audits are one of my favorite activities because it reveals all the issues holding your SEO performance back.
Plus you’ll also get the intel you need to make better decisions. And by better decisions, I mean that you’ll be able to prioritize your actions based on what will have the highest impact.
The truth is a well-designed site architecture can have a positive SEO impact for several reasons.
First, a strong site architecture helps Google crawl your site more efficiently, which as a result helps Google index your pages faster. Secondly, a strong site architecture will grow your site’s overall authority, which makes ranking much easier. In other words, you won’t need as many backlinks to rank.
Web Site Layout
Adobe discovered that 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content and layout is unattractive.
This alone should make you value UX and UI optimization much more, but how do you actually optimize UX?
Well, there are obvious UX optimization actions like increasing your website’s loading speed, making your site more mobile-friendly, not using aggressive interstitial pop-ups, and not using disruptive ad placements.
Investment into SEO
Over 65 billion was invested in the SEO industry in 2016, and this number is expected to rise to 79 billion by 2020. More and more capital is flowing into the Automotive SEO Industry as well. Focusing on strong content for dealership web sites. This includes building out specific model content, local search content and preparing for the forthcoming Voice SEO increase!
Climbing the Search Ranks
The chances of earning the coveted top result are certainly difficult for starters. A good idea to optimize the metadata of your page is all the stuff other than the actual content people will see in their browser window. Accurate metadata things like descriptive page titles or embedding a short explanation of what’s on the page into your HTML. Which you can often end up seeing underneath the Google result can help push your site up to the top. A more recent development is making URLs themselves more information. You’ve probably seen this on news sites that have started to use file names.
Search Engine Optimization Text Links
Most modern search engines use how often a page is linked to as a key metric of its importance. Providing descriptive text links in the body of a webpage to other pages on your site can be very helpful. Search engines are also aware of things like topic headers and alt text for images to help categorize the site the key as with any metadata.
Search Engines – Information and Descriptions
But also being informative and descriptive as possible to make it easier for a search engine to determine that your site is relevant to a particular topic.
Stay Away from Blackhat SEO
Of course, though everything we’ve outlined so far is a legitimate SEO strategy there are plenty of other tricks that might be employed by unscrupulous site owners. These collectively are known as blackhat SEO or spamdexing and their goal is to try to make the page seem more relevant to a topic than it actually is for the search engines. These tricks can take the form of anything from citing keywords in invisible text. Such that a user would have to highlight to see, to buying link backs or even traffic from other sites. Thereby using irrelevant keywords that might just be trending at the moment. Or even just overusing the relevant ones this kind of behavior.
This has certainly resulted in a bit of a digital arms race between search engine developers. They are constantly looking to weed out these pages for their users. Of course, the spammers or site owners who are desperate for clicks and aren’t above using shady tactics so who will ultimately win well let me put it this way as search giants like Google deploy.
SEO Backlinks Matter
Backlinks are the fuel of every successful SEO campaign. Don’t get fooled by these ideas that backlinks don’t matter because they aren’t grounded by facts or data. According to a massive ranking study, the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor.
Semrush had very similar conclusions. They found that the higher the domain’s position on the SER the more referring domains it has. Backlinks matter and will continue to be critical to Google’s algorithm now and into the future.
In order to prepare for leads now and into the future – Search Engine Optimization is key. Ensuring that content is relevant on the web site will bring in more traffic, more leads and ultimately more sales for the dealership.
Automotive Text Marketing for Dealers
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 email marketing 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
We are going to look at the best Automotive Email Marketing Strategies for 2020. We’re starting right now if you want to transform your mailing list into a customer or lead generation machine I’ll show you all my best tips tactics and secrets.
Looking for some awesome Blogs? Check out Feedspot here – Automotive Sales Blogs
Automotive Email Marketing Strategies Report
There is a new report shows that for every dollar a company spends on email marketing they make about forty-four dollars in return. Which makes that just an incredibly profitable marketing tool. As with any marketing channel you know things change and shift over time. Things that worked last year done necessarily work this year.
Digital Marketing Techniques
Automotive Email Marketing is a great addition to your other digital dealership marketing activities. Why? It builds customer loyalty and leads to engagement without breaking the bank. And, it works on mobile as well! Develop a contact list and how to speak to different audiences based on their interests.
As with any type of marketing, your first step in email marketing should be to set goals. Do you want to use email to showcase the vehicle makes and the service department bringing more visitors to your location? Do you want to use email to drive dealership results, like distributing a manufacturer promotion that brings in at least 10 sales? No matter what your goals are, a good place to start is by building a list of people who’ve expressed an interest in your dealership.
You don’t want to overwhelm your automotive customers or leads with too much content. Either in one email or too many emails in succession. Start with a friendly hello and an introduction to the dealership. Next, you might send information about your particular location and the manufacturer lines that you sell. At this point, you can ask them one or two questions to narrow down their interest a bit. For example, somebody looking for financing doesn’t need to know about the newest luxury model that has arrived.
Then, when you have information about your customers, you can send them specific offers or content they might find interesting. For example, if you know that’s a group of these customers recently purchased dog food, you might showcase your most popular toys, collars, and leads for dogs. Be sure to include useful information and relevant offers like tips for dog training or a coupon for dog treats
Automotive Email Marketing Tips
So in this post, I’m going to give you my six best tips of things that are working like crazy right now. To really help you keep that relationship alive over the course of someone deciding to get on your list before actually becoming a paying customer. Hopefully, these tips are going to speed up that process for you
The first thing I want to mention is simpler or no email design. Every time I put together a new email funnel for a new client I start getting emails from them of like little screen grabs or email forwards from big companies. They say why don’t we do something like this. I get it those really designed heavy emails look really cool and they look great in the inbox.
Of course, you would want something like that for your business. Almost every email provider out there even the cheap ones they come with obvious templates. These are built right into the software itself. So why not actually use those templates? It’s really simple because they look like one big fat commercial when they hit your inbox.
Simple Email Sends
Think for a second about what email is actually primarily supposed to be used for, communicating with family and friends. Of course, most use it for work as well. When’s the last time you sent an email to a friend that looked like a full image email? The idea here is to casually slip into your customers’ inbox as a friend or at least as a helpful person.
That they can trust that’s not gonna sell to them but gonna help guide them in the direction they want to go, so I just recommend doing what successful internet marketers have already been doing and that’s just sending out boring old plain text emails.
Inbox or Promotions
It sounds boring but these emails are much more likely to be read. Because they just look like a genuine email you would get from your friend, neighbor or family member. And the other reason to ditch those template emails is that all the images inside with the links is the best way to make sure that you never reach your customers’ inbox. They often end up in the little promotions tab in Gmail. You don’t want to end up there, you want to end up in the actual inbox.
Images and Links
Let’s try to keep those images and links in the email to a minimum. I recommend no more than a single link per email and preferably no images at all. But if you have to use one if it adds some color or add something special to the message of the email go ahead. Do one but limit it to that one. The way I like to add an image to an email is not by adding a product image or anything promotional.
Animated Gifs and Humor
Perhaps add some kind of an animated gif that either supports one of the points of the email. Also, add some humor or fun to it so it’s a little more memorable. Just choose it wisely you know your audience you know what they’re gonna find funny. So just make sure it hits home with them and they get the reference all right from the email they receive.
Storytelling in Emails
Next, let’s look at storytelling in your emails. This is something that I want all dealers to improve this year. It something I definitely want to start incorporating into my overall email marketing strategy. Rather than just delivering a tip or vehicle option in the email make it count for more. Including a really short story that illustrates that point. There are whole parts of your brain that just light up and fire off when it hears a good story. Plus it makes it more relatable and personal. Certainly, if you’re talking about something in your own past or a current or past customer. So rather than just explaining the feature and benefits of a vehicle.
Videos in Your Emails
Incorporating video in 2019 injury emails and not only put video in your emails but say so write in the subject line that’s gonna double your open rates. The other benefit is people are much more likely to actually consume your content and get the message you’re trying to send. A video format versus reading plain text and almost everybody is much more able to you know understand and retain that information.
When they’re seeing it and hearing it in video just take whatever content you were gonna put in your email. Just make a short video about it and it doesn’t even have to be high production value. That can make people up to thinking they have to get a whole camera crew and spend hundreds of dollars on a video. You 100% don’t just use your smartphone to do a short selfie-style video it’ll connect just fine and you get your point across.
Finally, you just upload it to YouTube and get a little screen capture of the thumbnail. Put that image right in your email and then link it to the video itself alright next play.
Using Email Content
Many dealerships get really intimidated when they start thinking about putting together an email campaign. But more times than not they already have content that they can repurpose and string together into an email series. They can just send up once and then it gets automatically sent out. These can go out to new email subscribers at the exact moment that they end up opting into it on the site.
Email Sending Cycles
So if somebody opts in for information today, the series starts today with a new helpful email every week until that series is over. Then when somebody else opts-in next April her cycle starts then getting the exact same email series. So if you have some great blog posts already or an interview you did or a video. Anything like that content that you can use you just have to introduce it in the email.
If you don’t have anything yet that’s okay just start writing one new email a week for as long as you think the series should go on. Then just put that email every time at the end of that campaign so essentially you’re just building this email campaign.
Email Marketing – Content is King
I do recommend splitting up the content here and there. Maybe some blog posts, some videos and some weeks you can even go a little easier on yourself and just put the information or the tips right in the body of the email itself,
You could even link out to content every once in a while. It had nothing to do with creating just put your own spin on it in the body of the email letting people know why you think it’s helpful for them. Then just link out to it for the reader to review the content. The other thing that’s working really well now is by using some simple segmentation. Let’s say your dealership offers a few different types of makes or has a few different types of services that interest in different types of customers.
Setting up Email Sequences
Options for your dealership then they get put in that email sequence. so they’re on services and they start getting helpful content related to the service department. This is really powerful because these are different types of customers that have a different goal in mind (sales, service, finance, and others). So if you started just sending out a mixture of those topics to all of those customers a lot of them might start unsubscribing.
You could have one overarching umbrella that’s kind of interesting to everyone. And then have a simple option where they check which vehicle, make, model or service are they most interested in at the dealership. Then you can use a campaign they would see what box they checked and that automatically puts them on either “Track A “or “Track B” for the right content from the dealership.
Scrubbing and Spam
Now we want to look at re-engaging or scrubbing your list. It’s really good to have a big list, you know quantity can be good as sometimes it is a numbers game. But it’s more important to have a quality list that actually opens your emails. If they are looking forward to hearing from you every week so. When you have a big list of people who really aren’t even opening your emails you run a higher risk of your emails being flagged as spam or getting high unsubscribe rates.
These are basically really bad signals to the email providers like Gmail and what happens is if you get enough people who are flagging your emails as spam box. They may end up either the promotions tab or even worse you can wind up in the spam folder.
That goes for your entire list, not just the people who flagged you as spam. You have someone flags you as spam they’ll they won’t get your emails anymore. But all the people who even like hearing from you it’s going to go in their spam folder as well. You definitely don’t want that to happen.
Another advantage of having a leaner list of only customers who are most likely interested in hearing from you is the sending cost. Most of these service providers basically bill you based on how many subscribers you have on the list. So it makes sense to weed out some of the ones who are just dead weight essentially but before you start.
Recipients That Don’t Open Emails?
The email marketing program again can be used to strip emails. Segment out people who haven’t opened any of your emails for the last 90 days. Then you’re going to want to start a brand new campaign that’s geared just to those people. I would recommend a series of four value-based emails where you’re just educating something helpful about a model or service. Giving some advice in these emails. They are not to be promotional or selling at all these are just pure value.
At the end of the two weeks, anyone who hasn’t opened any of those emails now’s the time when you’re gonna kick them off your list. I know this sounds counterintuitive especially if you don’t already have a big list. But the truth is you know by getting rid of the people who don’t want to hear from you. It’s going to really make your deliverability better for the ones that do want to hear from you. So you can wind up where you want to be which is in their primary inbox.
Custom Email Sends
Then, when you have information about your customers, you can send them specific offers or content they might find interesting. For example, if you know that’s a group of these customers recently purchased a particular model, you might showcase your most accessories, services, and features of that model.
Be sure to include useful information and relevant offers like how to do something with the vehicle, perhaps a feature YouTube that highlights something they could use some education on about the vehicle.
While you’re educating your customers about your business, you can use marketing emails to learn more about them as well. Ask your subscribers if they’re interested in receiving updates for other products or services. Then, find out how often they prefer to hear from you. For example, do they want to receive emails weekly or monthly? Record what you learn in your email contact database for future email campaigns.
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
Are you looking for an easy way to have Automotive SEO Basics explained?
Imagine for a minute that you’re a librarian but not a normal one you’re a librarian for every book in the world. People depend on you every day to find the exact automotive vehicle or automotive service they are looking for in their market. They need a system to know what’s inside every book and how books relate to each other. That system takes in a lot of information and spits out the best answers for customer questions it’s not an easy job. However, search engines like Google and Bing are the huge librarians of the internet. That is where we start by studying Automotive SEO Basics.
So, basically SEO is optimizing your website to generate organic traffic. It’s getting people from search engines to actually find your website, monitored by keywords related to your make, models, service and local market.
Search Engine Information Collection
All search engines collect information about every page on the internet. So they help people find exactly what they’re looking for on the internet. Every search engine has a secret recipe called an algorithm for their own search results, with Google being the most common. Those specific algorithms turn all that information into useful search results for the viewer. For your own dealership website search results, this means that when your pages have higher rankings, it helps more people find you on their automotive journey. The key to higher rankings is making sure your website has the ingredients. Search engines need recipes, this is called search engine optimization or SEO. However, it turns out most of the big ingredients are known to let’s take a look at some key requirements.
Narrow Search Engine Results
Search engines account for every word on the web, including automotive. This way when someone searches for automotive repairs the search engines can narrow results. Only the pages that are about those specific words with second titles matter each page. On the internet, an official title is key but you may not ever see it because it’s in the code. Search engines pay a lot of attention to page titles because they often summarize the page. It is very similar to a book’s title.
Dealership Web Site Links
Links between websites matter a lot in the eye of search engines. When one web page links to another it’s usually a recommendation telling readers this site has great information. A web page with a lot of links coming to it can look good to search engines. But some organizations try to fool the search engines by creating or even buying bogus links all over the web that point to their dealership website. Usually, search engines can detect when a site has a lot of them. They account for it by giving links from trustworthy sites more weight in the recipe.
The words that are used in links matter to if your web page. For example, as we all know Amazon has lots of books. On the internet, the word “books” is linked to search engines many, many times. This certainly means it can establish that amazon.com is related to the word books. This way when someone searches for books that site will rank exceptionally well.
Dealership Web Site Content is King
Search engines care about reputation sites with a consistent record of fresh engaging content. From the dealership web site, growing numbers of quality links may be considered rising stars. Do well in search ranking, there are just the basics. The recipes are refined and changed all the time within the search engines. So SEO is about making sure your website has great automotive focused content that’s supported by the ingredients that search engines need for their recipes.
Dealership websites that will show up organically when it comes to vehicles or services aren’t going to be charged for clicks. They don’t have to pay on Google AdWords, since they are organically grown by promoting their website with SEO.
Are You Ready?
Based on my experience, my objective is to work with dealerships and ensure that all aspects of Automotive Marketing SEO are covered for organic growth. This means more traffic on the website, in the dealership and more sales for the dealership! Contact me to learn more about how I help dealers.
Contact Shawn Ryder
All dealers focus on the front end and moving new/used vehicles. However, there is still a big need for Automotive Service Marketing Ideas to drive people into the Service Department for the dealership!
Within the automotive industry – there are new cars, used cars and service locations. While the service side is key to all dealerships, it is often overlooked. In a dealership environment, general managers know the fixed side is key, the absorption rate is measured and safety is in place. However, when it comes to marketing, most don’t put a lot of resources towards the back end of the dealership.
On a daily basis it is busy and on a seasonal basis keeps the funnel full. But let’s look at how it can grow.
Service Web Site
While there is a huge focus on the sales side of the business when it comes to a web site. There is often not a lot of resources focused on the service side when having a web site. Within this website, the service department can focus on growing their own brand within its market. For example, while they may focus on one particular manufacturer they could also build out content that isn’t specific to that brand. And build content that is generic for the off makes as well. All dealers can do work on vehicles outside of their lineup but often don’t market that aspect to the best of their abilities. “All Makes All Models” is often said but very little put into the digital marketing aspect.
Using a service-specific web site allows for Automotive Service Marketing Ideas that are unique for the dealership. Build content that helps drive people in the market for repairs or maintenance to the web site and booking appointments.
When it comes to service, there is a huge need for departments to build out social media. While not as key as the sales side of the business, still a requirement to highlight the overall service department. For example, you aren’t likely going to show customers picking up their recently serviced vehicles. However, there can be sharing of service specials, recommend seasonal maintenance and highlights of team members. Does a technician do something cool after hours? Be sure to share some details. Do an amazing service on an off make be sure to let followers know!
Google Ad Words
When it comes to Google Ad Words for service – there is an untapped need for using Google Ad Words and covering Automotive Service Marketing Ideas for dealerships. Build out a landing page (more thoughts soon) and direct people to that page and focus on a seasonal idea. For example in the fall and spring do a Tire page that outlines rotations or getting new tires for a vehicle. Then drive traffic to that specific landing page using Google AdWords. However, the page can be more “generic” and not necessarily focus on one brand. It can help build out off make content ideas and using keywords to bring in traffic that is focused on the service of all makes and models.
Search Engine Optimization
If you create a separate service web site or need to focus on the dealership web site, both need quality content. This is where some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play. If you want to build out content on a particular model service or specific service for vehicles while focusing on the local market. It would be best to focus on content that is relevant in the market and season. One key service option is certainly tires – so write lots of content around tire changes, seasonal tires, and the importance of rotations. Other thoughts are batteries, brakes, oil changes and other key maintenance services.
Here is an example of content from Canada that highlights “Tire Changes” in the last 12 months – you will notice the peaks and lows, but again content focused.
Service Landing Pages
As mentioned above – Google AdWords needs to be a focus for the service department at the dealership. Hit on the keywords in service – brakes, batteries, and tires along with other performed services. However, instead of doing that work and sending them to a full web site, focus on a landing page. Here there can be specific offers tailored to the traffic brought to the page. For example, in spring you push a landing page with tire rotation options on the page and in turn a way to schedule appointments for the dealership as well.
A key area for service is certainly the production of videos for the department. There are limitless ideas when it comes to videos for the service department. These include a walk-through of the department when the drive-through doors open, meet the service team and visit the actual service shop.
Here is a great example of a dealership service video!
A great tool that is underutilized for all dealers – sales and service simply using Google Business for their dealership. This allows for people to learn lots about the dealership quickly and easily when conducting a search. Dealers can include photos – tires, service drive-through, and, the service shop. Also, allow for specials to be listed under posts that link to the web site or landing page. Also, allows for products to be listed so that dealers can include oil, parts, accessories and more. So listing those will help gain exposure once somebody searches for the dealership and wants to see more about the dealership. Obviously there is a need to increase reviews on Google as well – so watch the reviews that come in and if you need to reply do that and obviously ask customers that have a great experience to leave reviews as well!
In conclusion, when it comes to Automotive Service Marketing Ideas I hope that these will be some though starters for your dealership and help grow digital marketing to highlight the service department as well. Should you have specific questions or thoughts please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime.