OPE Business has turned to Shawn Puckett, director of Product Management at ARI, to provide insight on the critical role your OPE dealership’s website content plays in meeting the priorities of potential customers.
By Shawn Puckett
Online searches have increased dramatically in the last few months, and more searches for units and services mean more opportunities for you to connect with potential customers. Optimizing your website content to match online searches improves your website’s search engine optimization and gets your dealership in front of more motivated buyers.
Search engine optimization (SEO) increases your website’s online ranking with the goal of your website appearing at the top of search engines — which is more important than ever. The industry is changing, and more customers are beginning their buying experience online by submitting search queries, reading reviews and determining which dealerships they want to contact. If your dealership isn’t being found online, you are missing out on valuable leads and sales opportunities.
Neglecting your website’s SEO can negatively impact your organic search rank and brand exposure — and regaining your original search ranking will cost time, effort and money. Perpetual SEO efforts are the key to ensuring that your website — and your business — remains successful.
Aligning your website content with the information that online leads are searching for will boost your website’s visibility. Consumer priorities have shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and people are much more interested in reading informative content versus being sold a product. According to Conductor, consumers are 48% more likely to become customers of brands that deliver educational material over direct sales pitches. You can appeal to a larger volume of online leads by replacing your sales pitches with SEO-focused informative content that emits transparency, comfort and integrity in the message. Blogs are an excellent resource to provide your audience with educational content while achieving better search rankings.
Written content isn’t the only method to draw more leads to your website — there is something to be said about the value of video in building brand exposure. YouTube in particular is known as “Google’s other search engine” because consumers often rely on YouTube videos for important “how-to” content, such as “how to choose the right mower for my lawn acreage.” Furthermore, the recent surges in search volume suggest an increase in first-time buyers, who are the most likely demographic to search for “how-to” content. By providing resources that simplify the buying process, you can capture the interest of new customers. These can include step-by-step guides or videos such as “what to expect in the buying process for your first rototiller” or “what to look for when choosing your first snowblower.” And it doesn’t hurt to inform your audience about “why you should visit our dealership!”
SEO is an ongoing strategy that yields long-term success, and the more effort you put into your strategy the greater results you’ll see in the future. The content you create, optimize and publish today will increase your website’s ranking over time and can be updated as needed to reflect your dealership’s evolving business goals. So long as you remain invested in SEO, it will continue to be a valuable commodity that allows your dealership to capitalize on the year-over-year increase in search growth and increase your ROI.
Shawn Puckett is director of Product Management at ARI Network Services, Inc.