In this post I will be focusing on one of the things as a dealer you can do to generate more leads from your dealership website. If you recall from my previous post "How do I make my dealership website an effective lead-generating resource?" the first thing we need to do is drive traffic to your website.
So here are the methods you can use to drive traffic to your website:
- Online marketing
- Search Engines
- Natural/Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
- Paid Inclusion
- Classified Sites
- Search Engines
- Offline marketing
What do you do when you are looking for something online. If you are like me and most other online users you'll likely visit your favorite search engine and type in what you are looking for. According to some studies and our web stats there is a likely a 70% chance that you found this post and our dealer website product by using a search engine. So getting your site listed in search engine matters greatly for driving targeted traffic to your website. There are three search engine marketing methods you can use to increase your visibility, Natural/Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and Paid inclusion or Search Engine Marketing.
Natrual/Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Is a method of increasing your visibility in the natural search engine result pages (SERPs). So when someone searches for your targeted keyword(s) your site appears in the first few pages of SERPs and not the sponsored search results on the top, bottom or right. This is a very very very high level look at things and no way I could cover SEO in this post... However here are the few things you can do now to increase your rankings in the SERPs
- Pick your keywords carefully
- Have the main keyword in the title of your page do not use Welcome to XYZ dealership as your title
- Do not keyword spam (frequency of keyword is higher then normal, using unrelated keywords)
- Have good content on your homepage and use your keywords. Use the main keyword in heading tags or bold them
- Avoid full flash based sites as search engines can't index them
- Get incoming links to your site.
Pay-Per-Click Its a method that allows you to choose the keywords you like your site to appear for on search engines. And you decide how much you are willing to pay when someone clicks on your ad. The places these ads appear are top, bottom and/or right of natural search engine results. This is an excellent way to get traffic to your website. However, this should not be the only method used for online advertising due to the cost involved. Here are few tips that could save you some green when doing PPC or you can always hire a third party like us to manage your PPC campaign.
- Setup your campaign using GEO targeting.
- Choose your keywords carefully and be specific do not use general keywords like "auto dealer"
- Use ad Variations and test your ad copy
- Integrate your PPC programs conversion tracking tools into your website
- Keep an eye on content match and ban sites from your network or not use content match all together.
Paid Inclusion You pay a price to have your site included in natural search engine result pages. Inclusion is guaranteed however placement is not. Personally I think it is just waste of cash. Google search engine does not offer this option, very good thing.
For classified sites I cut them into four different categories, national auto classified sites, regional auto classified sites, generic classified sites and local classified sites.
National auto classified sites contain the likes of AutoTrader, Cars.com, vehixdiscountdirect.com, CarsDirect.com, Edmunds (I think AutoTrader powers their site but you can sign up for dealer listing) and etc. I won't be covering them much as most off us already know the value of these from personal experience.
Regional classified sites are the unknown in your local region examples being IowaMotor.com or WheelsForYou.com. Google for some others as the cost to get your inventory on these sites is going to be lot less then national sites some may even post your inventory for free and you may see better ROI from these then national.
Generic classified sites are the onces ignored by most dealers... these include craigs list, kijiji.com, Oodle.com and others. All these mentioned sites offer free postings. For craigs list and kijiji.com the posting process is manual but it is well worth the 5 mins it takes to post one listing. As that one listing could generate up to 250 unique visitors to your site and get you 5-7 leads. When posting your listing on these make sure to include a link back to your site from the ad content. Please please follow the rules when posting on these sites, as it will keep everyone happy.
Google base and Oodle.com will take your full inventory file and can be automated unlike the other two. BTW AutoJini.com sends your feed to Google Base and Oodle.com for Free.
Local classified sites are the local websites started by a web developer in your city. Almost every city has few off these use your fav search engine to find them. Contact the site owner and let them know that you can send them your inventory in electronic format. Most will add your inventory for free as they need content.
I won't cover this in here as ton of books and blogs are available on this already. Two things I will mention:
- Your web address should appear anywhere your name appears
- And checkout article "10 Strategies to Increase Traffic to Your Auto Dealership Website" by my colleague Syed Azam
I hope this sheds some light on methods available for getting traffic to your site. In the next post we will look at how to turn this traffic into leads.