Harnessing the Power of the Customer Journey to Drive Business Growth

drive business growth

Mastering the Customer Experience

Managing customer experiences is crucial for any business looking to drive business growth and retain customers. After reading reviews about a business, almost all potential customers will take their next step in a space that the business has complete control over. This means that the majority of customer interactions and experiences are within your control. Whether it’s through your website, physical location, or communication channels, the power to shape the customer experience is in your hands. By effectively managing these spaces, you can turn leads into paying customers and create a positive, lasting impression that will keep them coming back. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the importance of managing customer experiences and provide you with tips and best practices for optimizing your website, creating a positive in-store experience, and managing communication channels to improve customer engagement and satisfaction.

The Customer’s Journey: By the Numbers

  1. 96% of adults read Local Business Reviews
  2. 91% of consumers take the next step in the buyer’s journey.
  3. 51% of those people will visit your website.
  4. 27% of those people will visit your physical business location.
  5. 13% of those people will contact you (phone, text, email, live chat)
  6. 8% of consumers move from reviews to your social media profiles.

Source: The Impact of Local Business Reviews on Consumer Behavior

Harnessing the Power of the customer's journey to drive business growth Owning the Customer Experience

It is more important now than ever to create a positive and seamless customer experience across all touch points. By effectively controlling your website, physical location, and communication channels, your dealership can create a consistent and cohesive brand image and message. Additionally, you can use customer data and insights gathered from these spaces to personalize and optimize the customer experience, improving the chances of conversion.

Maximizing your control over the customer experience starts with identifying and addressing pain points. Utilizing data from your website, physical location, and communication channels can help you do just that. By analyzing website data, you can pinpoint areas that need improvement and enhance the user experience. Similarly, data from your physical location can be used to optimize store layout and improve the in-store experience. And by monitoring communication channels, you can improve customer service and address concerns in a timely manner. By utilizing data from all these sources, you can create a seamless and positive customer experience that drives business growth.

Let’s take a deeper look at each touch point.

Utilizing our website to drive sales Utilizing Your Website to Drive Business Growth

Having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses in today’s digital age. A website can be a powerful tool for attracting and retaining customers for lawn mower, tractor, and outdoor power equipment dealers. A well-designed website can provide customers with information about the products and services offered, as well as detailed specifications and pricing. It can also allow customers to easily browse and purchase products online, making the buying process more convenient for them.

Your dealership’s website can also be used to create a sense of trust and credibility with your customers. By including customer testimonials, photos, and videos of products in use, and detailed information about the company’s history and experience in the industry, a website can establish the business as a reputable and trustworthy provider of lawn mower, tractor, and outdoor power equipment.

A website can also be used to provide customers with ongoing support and education. For example, a dealer can provide information on how to properly maintain and repair equipment, or tips on how to get the most out of their equipment. This can help to build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business.

If your dealership has no website, or it isn’t quite up to par, we can help. Dealers Digital can help you maximize your online exposure and boost sales. We are the green industries digital marketing experts with over twenty years of digital media experience. Contact us today to get started.

Optimizing Your Dealership’s Website

Here are a few tips and best practices to optimize your dealership’s website to drive conversions and improve the overall customer experience.

  1. Navigation: Make sure that your website is easy to navigate. Use a clear and consistent layout, organize your content in a logical and easy to understand way.
  2. Optimize for Mobile: Over 80% of people browse the internet via mobile and expect for their experiences to be seamless. Your website should be responsive, meaning it adjusts to fit the screen size of the device being used to view it.
  3. Clear Calls to Action (CTA): Your site should have clear CTA’s that guide visitors towards the next step. Whether that is to make a purchase, request more information, or to schedule a consultation.
  4. Contact Information: Make it easy for visitors to contact you by including your phone number, email and physical address and contact form prominently on your website.
  5. Testimonials & Reviews: Use testimonials and reviews from satisfied customers to help build trust and credibility with potential customers.
  6. Search Engine Optimization: Optimizing your website for search engines (IE: Google) can help increase your visibility and drive more traffic to your site. There are many free resources out there to learn about and implement SEO, or you can hire an agency, like Dealers Digital, to help. Get your Free Local SEO Report.

The Value of Your Physical Location

Reviews are a powerful tool for driving foot traffic to your dealership! Reviews provide customers with valuable information about your dealership’s products and services, and can influence their decision to visit your dealership in person. A dealership with a high number of positive reviews is more likely to attract customers, which in turn, increases sales.

Your dealership should make an effort to encourage customers to leave reviews, and respond to both positive and negative reviews in a timely and professional manner. The way that a company handles a poor review says a lot about who they are.

Cultivating a Positive In-Store Experience & Utilizing Your Physical Location

Here are some tips on how to cultivate positive in store experiences and utilize your physical location to drive sales.

  1. Create a Positive In-Store Experience: A positive in-store experience can help to turn customers in loyal brand ambassadors and encourage them to leave positive reviews. By providing excellent customer service, having a knowledgeable staff and creating an inviting and visually appealing store layout can help you to achieve this.
  2. Utilize Your Physical Location: You can offer promotions and sales that are only available in-store or highlight products that aren’t available for purchase online. You can create in-store displays, or by offering special discounts or deals for customers who visit the store in person.
  3. Provide in-store consultation: Offer in-store consultation services like product demonstrations, product trials or shopping assistants. This will allow your customers to have a more hands-on experience and get more personalized recommendations, which can lead to increased sales.
  4. Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews by providing a clear call to action, like a sign or card that directs them to the review. Respond to reviews in a timely and professional manner, and then use the positive reviews to help promote your dealership.

3 Types of Communication Channels

Effective communication is crucial for providing a positive customer experience and driving conversions for lawnmower and tractor dealerships. By managing phone, email and live chat effectively, your dealership can ensure that you are responsive to customer inquiries, provide accurate information, and address any issues in a timely and professional manner.

Phone: Phone communication allows for immediate, personal contact with customers. It is important to have well-trained staff who can answer questions and help quickly and efficiently. Business texting has become increasingly important in managing customer pickup and service notifications.

Email: Email communication can be used to provide detailed information to customers, such as product specifications, financing offers or promotions. It is important to respond promptly to customer inquiries and to make sure that the information provided is accurate and up to date. We offer automation solutions.

Live Chat: Live chat allows customers to receive immediate assistance while browsing your dealership’s website. It is important to have staff available to answer to chat requests in real time, or use a chat-widget, like Dealeramp to provide 24/7 automated responses.

managing customer service Managing Communication Channels Effectively

By effectively managing these communication channels, your dealership can improve your customer’s experience and increase the likelihood of conversions. You’re also likely to increase your customer engagement and satisfaction while you are at it. Customers can reach out to your dealership in the way that they feel the most comfortable and convenient. This provides them with a greater sense of control over their buying experience.

  1. Set clear expectations: Let customers know when they can expect a response to their inquiry, regardless of the channel. This will help manage the customer’s expectations and reduce frustration.
  2. Respond promptly: Respond to all customer inquiries as quickly as possible. This shows that your dealership values the customer’s time and is committed to providing a positive experience.
  3. Train Staff: Ensure that your entire staff is well trained in your dealership’s products and services, as well as in communication and customer service best practices.
  4. Personalize your communication: Address customers by name and make sure to use a professional and friendly tone. Your customer will feel more valued and comfortable.
  5. Gather and act on feedback: Regularly gather feedback from customers and find ways to act on it. This can help the dealership identify areas for improvement and make changes to better meet customer needs.

The Importance of Social Media Marketing

Despite the statistic that only a small percentage of customers may move from reviews to social media profiles, managing and maintaining a strong presence on social media platforms is crucial for any dealership’s marketing strategy. While the customer journey may vary, social media offers a variety of opportunities for dealerships to increase brand awareness, engage with customers, manage reputation, generate leads and stay informed about industry trends and customer preferences. By effectively utilizing social media, dealerships can improve the customer experience, drive conversions, and gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Brand presence and awareness: Having a strong social media presence can help increase brand awareness and establish your dealership as a reputable and trustworthy source.

Customer Engagement: social media offers an opportunity for your dealership to engage with customers, answer questions and provide information about products and services. This helps build loyalty and trust with your customers.

Reputation Management: Social media can be used to monitor and respond to feedback from customers. This can help your dealership proactively address any issues and maintain a positive reputation.

Industry insights: social media can be used to track industry trends, competitors activity and customer preferences.

Managing Social Media Profiles

Let’s look at some tips for creating engaging and effective social media profiles that can help drive business growth.

  1. Define your target audience: Understand who your ideal customer is and tailor your content to fit their interests and needs.
  2. Create a consistent brand image: Use consistent branding across all of your profiles.
  3. Use Storytelling: Use storytelling to create engaging content that highlights the dealership’s unique selling points and the benefits of its products and services.
  4. Engage with customers: responds to comments and messages in a timely manner and use social media as an opportunity to build relationships with customers.
  5. Create a content calendar: Plan and schedule content in advance to ensure that you project a consistent and organized approach to your content.

Harness the Power

Mastering the customer experience is key for any business looking to drive growth and retain customers. By harnessing the power of managing customer experiences, dealerships can take control of the customer journey and turn leads into paying customers. Through effectively managing your website, physical location, and communication channels, businesses can create a consistent and cohesive brand image, personalize, and optimize the customer experience, and improve the chances of conversion. By utilizing data from these spaces, businesses can identify and address pain points, creating a seamless and positive customer experience that drives business growth. By implementing the tips and best practices discussed in this post, businesses can maximize their control over the customer experience and drive business growth. Harnessing the power of mastering the customer experience is essential for any business looking to succeed in today’s competitive market.

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Geofencing: The Ultimate Local Business Marketing Tool

Geofencing: The Ultimate Local Business Marketing Tool

Geofencing is an extremely effective method of marketing that can help get more local customers through your door. It works by targeting people by their proximity to your business and sending them special offers to help get them in the door.

Mobile marketing is taken to the next level with Geofencing. A virtual boundary is setup around your dealership using GPS, Beacons & Radio Frequency Identifiers.  It can help to grow your customer-base and strengthen your brand identity over time. Geofencing allows you to target internet-enabled devices within a specific geographic area. Customers who enter the geofenced area receive notifications about your brand’s current offers, limited-time promotions, and events where they can engage with your company. Geofencing is a great way to reach out to potential customers and increase brand awareness.

Does Geofencing Benefit My Customer?

In contrast, geofencing offers a plethora of opportunity for mobile users. Interactive shopping & Pick-up reminders, home security, garage door openers, automatic coffee pots and limited time offers to your favorite restaurants are just a few of the benefits. Geofencing can help consumers find new businesses or try new places they may never have known about otherwise.

Benefits of Geofencing for your Dealership

  • Increase Local Sales: Search Engine Optimization focuses on increasing your rankings on search engines, and the benefits of ranking in the top 3 are quite clear. 54.4% of all clicks on searches are on the top 3 results. Geofencing is a relatively new way to improve your local performance. By sending push notifications to customers within your defined geographic area, you can increase your sales.
  • Provide Personalization to Your Customer Base: The data that you collect during your geofencing campaigns is of immense value. It will allow you to better personalize your offerings by giving you insight into the demographics of the local population. It also tells you what type of offers interest them and get them in your store. You can use purchase history to determine the products that your local customers prefer and adjust your promotions accordingly.
  • Connect Your Brand with the Customers Most Likely to do Business with You: Many companies sell their products and services online as well as in the store. Outdoor Power Equipment Dealers do most of their large business in their stores versus online. You already know your local customers are the backbone of your business. A Geofencing strategy can cultivate a strong local following that you can expand over time.
  • Cheap and Effective: Most companies already utilize Google Adwords, you already have all you need to create an effective geofencing campaign. Google allows you to set location-based parameters for your paid ads and business listings at no extra cost.
  • Understand Offline Behavior: Understanding how your customers behave offline can give you important insights into how to better advertise to them and give your brand a competitive edge. Brands can use this data to understand how often their customers visit the neighborhoods where their stores are located, how long they stay in those areas, and what kinds of activities they engage in while they’re there. All of this information can help create a more customized and relevant advertising experience for your customers.
  • Crush Your Competitor: You can apply geofencing technology to your competitor’s as well. Create a geofence around their location so that when a customer gets close to their store, they receive an ad or promotion from your business! You are able to persuade them from visiting the competitor and visit your business instead. This is a fantastic way to drive foot traffic to your business.
  • Immediate Impact: Geofences are a powerful tool for getting people to take action when they’re in the perfect location to do so. By sending out messages automatically as soon as someone crosses a geofence, businesses can capitalize on the fact that most people only take a few minutes to read messages after they receive them. This makes geofences an ideal way to get people to do something while they’re still in the same general area.
  • Increased Transparency in Measuring Campaign Success Rates: Marketers can use geofences to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns by combining advertising with data collection. For example, they can create advertising geofences to count how many people entered the areas where they are serving digital ads or were exposed to a physical advertisement (such as a billboard). Then they can create visit attribution geofences around the businesses they are advertising to measure how many people entered stores.
  • Increase Your Online Presence: In addition to creating targeted marketing campaigns, companies can also use geofence-based advertising to increase online customer engagement. By setting up geofences around their stores (or even just in strategic locations nearby), they can notify people who enter the area of where to find their website or social media accounts. This can prompt people to go online for more information, news, and even discounts from the company. Customers can also go on social media to ask questions or provide feedback, helping the company improve its products and services.

Future Outlook

When it comes to providing a satisfying digital marketing experience, one of the most important things you can do is cater your messaging to your audience’s real-time needs by offering discounts and promotions related to their physical location. By tailoring your call to action to consumers’ interests and needs, you’re much more likely to boost acquisition and retention rates, build loyalty, and increase affinity with your brand.

As AI develops more and the market continues to change, it will become increasingly important to be as personalized as possible in your messaging in order to stand out in a crowded marketplace. It is very easy to implement geofencing into your digital marketing strategy. The experts at Dealers Digital can help you determine your target audience and manage your cooperative advertising dollars while implementing geofencing as a part of your strategy. Want to learn more? Contact Us.

Keep up to date with all the latest news by following us on Facebook or Instagram. Learn more marketing tips and strategies for your Outdoor Power Equipment dealership by reading our blog.

Link Building – Why It Matters!

Link-building Strategies and Why They Matter

The thought process behind link building is simple. Place and/or earn more links pointing to your website so that your domain and page authority grow. This will help you rank higher in organic search results. There are dozens of ways to approach building links to your sites. We will cover some of the basic strategies in this post. It is also important to note that we are working toward gaining free backlinks. We do not participate in, nor do we recommend any of our dealers participate in paid backlinks or social media followers, as it is against Google Policy.

What is a Backlink?

A backlink is a hyperlink on the internet that points back to a page on your website. They are important because they are considered a marker of trustworthiness to the Google algorithm. If other sites are linking back to yours, you must have relevant, high-quality content, or the author would not add the link.

Link Building Strategies are meant to help your dealership generate high quality links with intention and earn domain authority as well as direct traffic from the clicks on the backlink.

Link Earning

Link earning is a passive strategy. Link earning is designed to create situations that naturally will incentivize other people to link to your site. It’s important to mention that not all link earning strategies are the same. Everyone has their own methods of earning links. Some like to get creative with their content and make interesting articles that are sure to attract the attention of others. Others just want to pick low hanging fruits to get the site out there and get it some momentum. A lot of people tend to go with the latter because it’s more straight forward and easier. But there’s a lot of risk involved with that. If you post too much of the same stuff, you’ll lose the eyes of your readers. The key to link earning is to diversify your content.

Manual Link Building

Manual link building is more hands on. You will want to work with sites that already have a lot of other links or traffic. You will have to do your research and create content that leverages or builds off content on their site. Find the big sites in the green industry– the sites with a lot of traffic– and see if they’ll allow you to link to them.

Manual link building is not just more hands on, but also a lot more time intensive. Sites with a lot of links or content have a lot of users, and you’ll need to put in a lot of effort to get a link. Time is a valuable commodity. With manual link building, you’re expending resources for every link you build. If you don’t have a lot of time, you might want to consider using a tool to help you get links more efficiently.

What is considered a High-Quality Backlink?

High-Quality links have the potential to last indefinitely, increase your rankings and will also forward traffic to your website directly. They are from high authority websites and placed in well written content.

On the other end of the spectrum, Low-Quality or spammy backlinks will most often lead to a penalty with Google or one of the other search engines, and this will set back your efforts by multiple steps.

Strategies For Earning High Quality Backlinks

  • Avoid building links indiscriminately. This is more about what you shouldn’t do, rather than what you should do. Newcomers or beginners are tempted to build as many links as possible without thinking about what types of links they are building or how they build them. It is important to have a clear idea of what you are trying to accomplish before you start reaching out. It’s always better to earn a few number of extremely helpful links versus a large number of bad links that may end up hurting you in the long run. Be picky about which links you are trying to get.
  • Embed your own links in good content. Good links exist in good content. You will want to focus on obtaining links from quality sites, embedded in quality content. The link should have the appropriate anchor text and point to a relevant page to the content topic and the referring domain.
  • Favor New Domains Over Already Linked Domains. Links pass authority from one site to another, but the authority diminishes the more links to the same site and page. As a general rule, getting a new link is better than getting a second link from the same site.
  • Link to Your Highest Quality Pages. You want your backlinks to link to well optimized, well written content. Make sure that you spend time on the page that will get the link as well.
  • Make Sure Your Link Adds Value for Readers. The whole point of a link is to add value, clarity or more information about the current topic. The reader should have a better understanding of your concept by following the link.
  • Make Sure Your Content Is Relevant. If you aren’t providing high quality content that is interesting to your target audience, you are doing yourself a severe disservice. Try not to be business centered in your content, be customer centered. There are many resources out there to help you define your target market, if you don’t already know it.

Track Your Progress

Link Building takes time. You will want to track who you have reached out to, when and any notes about contact with the potential link so that you don’t waste time asking for links you already have, and don’t lose sight of the fruits of your labor. Be patient and consistent with your effort and you will earn the backlinks.

Link Building Matters

Link building is an essential part of a successful SEO strategy. By building quality links, you can tell Google what your website is about. This can help increase your rankings on search engines and make your website more visible to potential customers. If you need help with your link building strategy, please feel free to contact us. We offer comprehensive link building services to fit your dealership’s needs.

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Drive Your Dealership’s Sales with Local SEO

Local SEO

Drive Your Dealership’s Sales with Local SEO

What is Local SEO?

Local search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your online presence to increase local traffic, visibility and brand awareness. Unlike traditional SEO which focus on ranking for keywords and phrases for a search term, local SEO focuses on ranking for city, state, region or local area keywords and phrases. These keywords and phrases are commonly searched when consumers are looking for local businesses on the internet.

Local SEO focuses on optimizing your business’ presence on the web so more and more people in your local area will be able to find you. It is also about making sure that your online content presents your business in the best light and makes it easy for local people and businesses to engage with you. When done properly local SEO can be a great way to reach out to more local customers.

What Does Local Search Look Like?

Local Search Results look a little different than regular search results. This is also sometimes referred to as the local pack, or the map pack when you are looking at your search rankings. When it comes to local search rankings, things like proximity matter. With 72% of consumers that perform a local search visiting a store within 5 miles of their current location, it is easy to see why you want to be easily found online.

How does Local Search Work?

When it comes to local searches, there are a few more layers in top of the regular algorithm. These are used to help the searcher find the best match for their query. 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day. With billions of search queries being entered every day, that’s a lot of sales!

Relevance: How closely related is the result to the words used when the searcher entered their query.

Distance: How far Google believes the searcher physically is when they perform the search.

Prominence: How important Google believes one business is over another similar business.

With that, you get 2 types of results for local searches. The local pack (which consists of Google Maps & Business Profiles) and Organic Results. One thing to remember, is that a user does not have to specifically imply locality, for Google to display local search results. Sometimes, Google believes that the locality is implied.

Where to locate Keywords for Local SEO

Local keyword research is essential for any business that wants to improve rank in search engines for local products or services. Targeting these keywords will result in more local traffic to your site and, ultimately, more customers.

To get started, you’ll need a short list of keywords that people can use to find your local business. Once you have your list, you can begin optimizing your website for those keywords to improve your chances of ranking in the search engines.

Check out your Competitor: One way to find keywords is to analyze the keywords that your competitors are ranking for, and work to gain some of that traffic. If your business is targeting the same keywords as your competitors, then you’re likely on the right track. These keywords are relevant to your business and will help you reach your target audience. You can add any new keywords you discover as you move through the different strategies.

Use Google Autocomplete: Utilize a variety of different local keywords and terms to see what works best for you and your business. With some trial and error, you’ll have a comprehensive list of keywords that will help bring local customers through your door. Google will automatically show you the most searched keywords for your given topic based on your location.

Optimize your Dealership for local SEO

Google Business Profile Optimization: is an important piece of the Local SEO puzzle. If you are not regularly updating and refreshing the information you provide Google, how do you expect to show up on Google Search. As previously mentioned, businesses with a GBP get preference when it comes to local search results. If you want to learn more about optimizing your Google Business Profile, read more here.

NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Citations: It is important that your basic NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) remain consistent and correct across the internet. Inconsistent Data can confuse Google and cause you to rank lower in the Search Engine Results Page. Submit your information to popular directories in your local area and industry as well as Google, Bing, Yelp and other popular business listing management services.

Online Reviews: It is important to manage and respond to businesses reviews that you receive online. This is part of brand reputation management. A lot of consumers use a businesses reviews (or lack therof) during the consideration stage of the sales funnel. Having a large amount of good reviews helps build credibility and gives you brand equity.

On-Page SEO: The rise in online shopping has led to a rise in search engines for local businesses and services. Though “local SEO” can be intimidating, there are some simple techniques and tips any company can use to succeed. When you are optimizing your website for local search, the most important thing to remember is to make sure your site is both relevant and detailed to your business. Whenever you’re listing your business address, make sure you have the correct address and use the city, state and zip code. Some people make the mistake of putting their address in their phone directory, but you may only be getting visitors from your area which means that you won’t get as many visitors as you could be getting.

Backlinks: Having a backlink strategy is crucial to any online marketing campaign. A backlink strategy is a specific blueprint used to manage the number and type of backlinks you are obtaining from sources that point to your website. Having a good backlink strategy will help you in the long run build an online reputation, increase your online presence, draw in more potential customers and generate more revenue.

Just One Piece of the Puzzle

There are a lot of pieces to each part of the marketing puzzle. By optimizing for your dealership, one channel at a time, it’s certain you will see an increase in sales. Are you too busy running your dealership to handle your search engine optimization, local or otherwise? We can help! Contact us for more information on how we can help direct traffic to your store! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news!

Google Business Profile: 8 Absolute Best Ways to Optimize

8 Tips to Optimize Your Dealerships Google Business Profile

What is a Google Business Profile?

A Google Business Profile helps your dealership get found online. According to Google, “with a Business Profile, you can manage how your local business shows up across Google products, like Maps and Search. If you run a business that serves customers at a particular location, or you serve customers within a designated service area, your Business Profile can help people find you. Verified businesses on Google are twice as likely to be considered reputable.”

With Google boasting 92% of the world’s search traffic, it’s easy to see why it is important to optimize your Google Business Profile.

Benefits of Creating & Maintaining Your Google Business Profile

With a Google Business Profile you can maintain accurate information about your business online, interact with your customers, and attract new customers.  When your dealership shows up at the top of the search results page; it is much easier to make a positive and professional impression, which will result in a higher CTR, or click-through rate on your website.

An active Google Business account is a powerful tool that can help you improve your website’s ranking in Google search results. Your Google Business Profile is the first thing a lot of internet users see, and sometimes, the only thing they see. It is important to make sure that Google can find you and that it has the right information.

It’s important to remember that potential customers will be comparing you to your competitors. That’s why it’s essential to have a complete and optimized listing. By making a good first impression, you’ll increase your chances of converting those users into customers.

Google Business Profile Optimization

Google Business Profile Optimization

Key Elements to Optimize:

  • Use your actual business name. Stuffing your listing with too many keywords is not only against Google’s Terms of Service, but it can also result in your listing being penalized.
  • List a local phone number. If you want to rank high in local search results, it’s important to have a legitimate local phone number. If you’re using a call tracking number, make sure to enter the tracking number in the primary slot. This is the number that will show up to users. Put your actual local number in the secondary slot.
  • Make sure your hours of operation are correct.
  • Write a compelling description. Make sure your business description includes information about who you are as a company and what you stand for. You don’t want to stuff this section with random keywords just to try and boost your ranking in searches – that won’t work. The description on your GBP won’t affect your ranking, but it will give potential customers and partners a good idea of what you’re all about.
  • Upload lots of high-resolution photos. This includes exterior, interior, and product shots. This will help the customer feel more familiar and comfortable should they visit in person.
  • Upload videos, if you have them. Videos must be 30 seconds or shorter and smaller than 100 MB.
  • Be Consistent. One of the most important aspects of digital marketing is staying consistent. You must post and update regularly to stay front of mind with your ideal customers and to remain an authority in the Outdoor Power Equipment world.
  • Get reviews from happy customers. A large ranking factor for Google is customer reviews. Businesses that have more reviews tend to seem more credible and reliable to consumers. Asking for review should be ingrained into your sales process. Why? 71% of consumers will leave a review, if asked. This is why it is important to have a strong brand reputation management strategy in place as part of your overall marketing objectives.

This Seems Like a Lot of Work – Is it Worth it?

A solid marketing strategy includes social media, brand reputation management, business listing management, dealership SEO, plus many Outdoor Power Equipment Dealerships also employ paid advertising in the form of Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Display Advertising and many other digital advertising strategies. With so many options, it can be daunting! At Dealers Digital we know what it takes to maximize your online exposure and boost your sales! Our focus is on the Green Industry. We know your market, we know your customers, and we know how to reach them. Whether you are looking for a do-it-yourself platform, (Here’s looking at you DealerAmp), or want someone to handle all of your marketing needs, we have a solution for you! Contact Us to start the conversation about upping your marketing game!

Organic VS Paid Search Engine Results

The Mystery of OPE Dealership Ranking on Search Engines

The Mystery of OPE Dealership Ranking on Search Engines

Google Search Engine Ranking Factors

Search Engine Factors for Google

What is a Search Engine?

A search engine is an application designed to search for information on the internet. Google, Bing and Yahoo are examples of search engines. A search engine will look for information and index it based on what it finds. It will also assign each page a PageRank score. PageRank is a score that Google assigns to each page. The PageRank is based on the number and quality of other sites that link to the page and the importance of the sites that are linking to it.

It is key to understand how search engines work to fully understand how to optimize for them.

The search algorithms used by Google and other search engines are large collections of other algorithms and formulas, each with its own purpose and task. These algorithms work together to produce results that a user will be satisfied with.

In fact, there are algorithms in place specifically to monitor the satisfaction of users with the results they get, and to make adjustments where necessary.

Paid Search Results

Organic VS Paid Search Engine Results

Organic VS Paid Search Engine Result Page

Organic search results are not a means of generating revenue for search engines like Google, but they do have other powerful uses. If there were no organic search results, paid search results would become less relevant, reducing views and clicks in the process. While organic listings may not generate revenue for Google directly, they do indirectly contribute to the company’s bottom line by keeping users engaged with the search engine.

Why does this matter? The layout changes, existence of search features and click through rates of organic results are all driven by this. By displaying a featured snippet, Google allows users to find answers to their questions without having to leave the site. For commercial intent questions, Google adds an additional paid search result. This is due to these driving factors.

How do search engines rank pages?

Before we think about how, lets think about why. It would be a lot cheaper and easier for search engines to display pages randomly, by word count, freshness or any other variable or easier sorting systems. They don’t do this because no one would want to use the search engine if they did it this way.

First, search engines classify the query that is coming in. This gives the engine the necessary information to perform the rest of the steps. For example, is the query local, a question, etc.

The next step is context. This is where the search engine relies on any relevant information they have on the user entering the query. This could be the location of the search or many other factors. This is where historical and environmental data comes into play.

The search engine then weighs different factors in importance relevant to the query. (Authority, how recently it was published, etc.) The layout of the page is then created based on the context gathered. What is important to remember here, without getting too technical, is that the different elements of any given search results page are determined almost instantly.

Finally, ranking can take place. After all the information is gathered and analyzed, the search engine can rank sites based on the criteria determined in the previous steps. This is an extremely simplified version of how search engines work- machine learning is also a huge part of Google and search engines as well. For more information about how search engines work, check out this guide from Search Engine Journal.

With so many factors at play- how will I ever get my site to rank?

You can use the machine learning systems of the search engines to assist in your content development strategies. With Devices and technology changing rapidly, keeping up with what is happening with search engines can give you clues to how your consumer interacts with content and what types of content they expect.

Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the process of optimizing a website for search engines. This has become more important than ever for small businesses who aren’t able to spend millions of dollars on advertising. Ranking at the top of search engines is what will get your business noticed.

Search Engine Results Google

Google Search Engine Results

A Few Tips to Help Your Rankings

NAP: Make Sure that your Name, Address, and Phone Number are correct across all listings. When this information remains uniform, it tells the search engine that this is the correct information. Make sure you spell your name the exact same way across Facebook, Google, LinkedIn or other social media as well as business listings such as Yelp and the Yellow Pages.

Backlinks: Pages with more backlinks tend to rank higher than those with fewer backlinks. A backlink is a link from another website to your site. You should always work to add more of these to your site. A simple way to do that is to sign up for all the free listings you can, Yelp, Google My Business, Bing, Yahoo, Yellow Pages, and any other niche/service pages to which your services are used. Links from more authoritative sites are also weighed more heavily than from lesser sites. There are multiple strategies you can employ to help add backlinks.

Good Quality Content: Google wants to rank sites that are worth ranking. Having a customer first mindset when creating content versus stuffing for keywords will get you much further. Consistently providing well written, quality content, will help your overall ranking on your page.

Mobile Friendly: Since most people search the internet via their phones these days, its no surprise that mobile friendliness is a ranking factor for search engines. This part can get a little technical, so it may be advised to use a professional for this. The main goal is to ensure a smooth experience regardless of where the web page is being used.

There are many other ranking factors and the ranking factors can vary from search engine to search engine. If you keep the basic idea in mind that you are creating content that will be useful for your target audience, it is relatively easy to employ some of the basic SEO principles.

You don’t have to know it all! Your customers are looking for you online. Give them what they want and make it easy for them to find you. Let Dealers Digital help you maximize your online exposure and boost your sales.

Contact Us now to learn more about how we can help your business grow with Search engine optimization, Dealer Websites, Digital Advertising, Reputation Management, Social Media and more!

Check out our blog for more marketing tips! Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with all the latest news!

Local Inventory with google merchant Center

Google My Business Is Changing. Again.

 

This article originally appeared in OPE Business.

If you’ve been a frequent reader of this space in past issues, you know how important and powerful I think the Google My Business tool is for local businesses. In November, however, Google announced that they were doing away with Google My Business in favor of a more streamlined business management model known as Google Business Profiles. This isn’t an uncommon practice for Google as this particular product has been renamed multiple times over the years. Anyone remember Google+ or Google Places? They were just prior iterations of what will be known as Google Business Profiles going forward.

So what does this mean for business owners who had just gotten used to utilizing the Google My Business app to post updates, images and product information?

First, the Google My Business app is going away in 2022. It will be retired in favor of allowing businesses to manage their details directly from Google Maps or Google Search apps or websites. So as long as you are a signed in to your Google account and you are a manager of your business, you’ll be able to make edits on the fly from within the existing web interface itself. If you’re used to going to google.com/business to manage your business, now you can simply go to google.com and search for “my business” and you’ll be able to manage your details directly from the search results page.

One big exception to this change is that if your business has multiple locations, you’ll still be able to use the existing Google My Business website to manage those listings just as you always have. That website will become known as the Business Profile Manager and act primarily as a support hub for businesses with multiple locations.

With this update, Google has announced some additional features that should have now rolled out to all users.

  1. New verification process
    1. If you need to claim your business listing, you can now do it directly in Google Search or Google Maps, without the need to go through the Google Business Manager.
    2. Some businesses will see faster methods for verifying businesses, including video verification.
  2. Call history
    1. Call history helps you keep track of phone calls from your customers on Google Search and Maps. Using call history can help businesses respond quickly to missed calls so that you don’t lose an opportunity for a sale. Plus, any call that you receive that originates from your Google Business Profile will have a short whisper message informing you that the call came from Google. This is a great way to understand just how much traffic and visibility you’re getting from your listing.
  3. Instant messaging
    1. Your customers can now message your business in real-time directly from your business profile. You can customize your automated welcome message, share photos and store your conversation history. In order to provide an optimized experience and promote trust and engagement for your customers, Google requires businesses to respond to messages within 24 hours so if that’s not a watermark you’re comfortable with, it’s best to not activate this feature for now. However, businesses that are committed to an above average customer experience and respond quickly to messages will get the benefit of users seeing messages like “Usually responds in a few minutes” directly on your Google profile. If you can commit to responding and engaging with your customers quickly, you’ll likely see more customers taking advantage of this method of communication and you’ll be first in line when they are looking for the products you sell.
  4. Marketing kit
    1. Another recent addition is the new marketing kit that allows you to create free marketing materials to promote your business. Customize and download print-ready posters, windows stickers, pre-made social posts and more. As long as you have a verified profile, you’ll have access to these materials to encourage customers to review your business or even automatically create a quick video to use on your social media channels.  

Local Google search results are powered largely by how well you engage with customers and optimize your business profile. Google benefits when they can provide the best possible results for searchers and your business benefits when you take the time to utilize all of the free resources at your disposal. According to Ipsos Research, an up-to-date Google Business Profile is:

  • 2.7x more likely to be considered reputable.
  • Gets 7x more clicks
  • Is 70% more likely to attract location visits
  • Is 50% more likely to lead to a purchase

All of these factors add up to make the new Google Business Profiles the single most important free tool you’ll ever utilize for your business.

demo-attachment-1028-09

Rep Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

This article originally appeared in the November edition of OPE Business.

There seems to be a never-ending deluge of marketing buzzwords that inundate business owners year after year. And every year, the next hot thing that you just HAVE to do for your business changes. So, the toughest thing for any business owner to figure out each year is whether that next hot thing is actually the next must-have to take your business to the next level. One topic I get lots of questions about is reputation management.

Over the past several years, dozens of companies have entered the landscape touting the importance of reputation management. You’ve likely even been contacted by companies that market themselves as end-to-end reputation management companies. But what is reputation management and why is it important?

At its core, reputation management is exactly what it sounds like – tools that help you manage your business’s reputation online. There are three main pillars that make up the foundation of your online reputation.

  • Review Generation & Monitoring
  • Business Listing Optimization
  • Website

Review Generation and Monitoring

I know every dealer has had the importance of reviews pounded into their consciousness over the past several years. And for good reason – they’re that important. Consider the following data from Qualtrics.

  • 91% of 18–34-year-olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • Customers are willing to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
  • 94% of people say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business.
  • 3 is the minimum star rating of a business consumers would engage with.

The value of reviews goes beyond just driving consumer action (or inaction). Businesses with positive online reviews get more love in Google search rankings too!

One of the most frequent questions I ask is “can you remove a negative review for our business?”. Most of the time, the answer to that question is no. It is possible to flag a review with Google if you can prove that it’s not actually a review of your business, overly offensive or explicit or creates a legal concern. If you’re successful, the review can be removed, but it’s a rare occurrence.

The absolute best thing to do is respond to every review, positive or negative. When customers see an articulate response to a negative review of your business, it has been proven to create a positive impression because it shows you care enough to reach out to try and make things right.

Understanding the importance of reviews is one thing, but generating reviews at scale is where you gain real momentum and that’s where software comes in. Automating your outreach is the key to making massive gains in review generation. It’s also the quickest way to bury bad reviews. When you consider that 72% of customers will write a review if a local business asks them to, investing in review generation is a no brainer. I recommend this to every dealer I talk to.

Business Listing Optimization

Business listings play an integral role in your business’s online reputation. While reviews and social listening are more customer centric, business listing optimization is a key component of your reputation in Google’s eyes. If you recently added a new location or maybe moved from an old location, making sure your business details are accurate is extremely important for search engines and how the judge the integrity of the listing. There are hundreds of directory websites that Google uses to assess the value of your listing and you’re not going to update those manually, are you? Of course not. And even if you wanted to, many of them wouldn’t allow you to edit the listing if you tried. I recommend business listing optimization so every local business we work with because it has measurably positive effects on your local SEO efforts.

Dealership Website

I’ve mentioned in this space before that 75% of consumers admit that they judge a business’s credibility on the quality of their website design so the importance of your web presence can’t be overstated enough. While your website isn’t necessarily a tool like the review generation or business listing optimization, but I absolutely consider it to be central to the overall brand experience of the dealership.

Where the OPE industry is unique from many others is that dealers often rely heavily on OEM co-op funds for most of their advertising and typically have outside firms managing their campaigns. This means that I see many instances of dealers not being privy If you’re a heavy spender in digital media, sending traffic to an unprofessional website might actually be hurting your business. A banner ad campaign with a modest budget of $1,000/mo could drive over 10,000 visits to your website on average. That’s a lot of eyeballs to expose your poorly designed website to.

It’s an age-old phrase, but it’s never been truer than it is today. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Managing your online reputation properly means being a customer’s first thought, first interaction and first option for their sales dollar. It takes a long time to earn a positive reputation and, in the Internet age, a short time to destroy it if you don’t proactively protect your good name. Investing in reputation management can provide quality and consistent long-term ROI for your business and that makes it a must-have for your yearly marketing budget.

google search engine

Promoting Your Inventory for Free

This article originally appeared in the September edition of OPE Business.

Promoting Your Inventory (For Free) on Google

It is no secret that all OPE dealers have been affected in way or another by inventory shortages this year. Every dealer I have spoken to has spoken at length about the long-term implications of the disruption in the supply chain. But what about the inventory you DO still have on your showroom floor? The cupboard hasn’t been left completely bare, it’s just the shift we are seeing is that customers who may have been looking for a lower end model, might be more easily upsold to a more robust machine. So how do you make consumers aware of the models you do have available?

When the pandemic hit, online retailers were obviously in a much better position to serve customers than physical retailers who don’t have online stores, further widening the gap between online and offline retail. Outdoor equipment dealers should have been more insulated from this because most manufacturers don’t allow whole goods to be sold online. Yes, I know that there are a handful of online stores that are selling zero turn mowers on the web, shipped directly to your door, regardless of OEM rules and regulations. But for those of you who play by the rules, you are left to figure out how to compete in the online space. Enter Google.

Last year, in response to the pandemic, Google announced a program that largely flew under the radar that allows physical merchants to use Google Merchant Center to carve out a presence in search results normally reserved for shopping ads that shows local inventory available for pickup at a local store. This program was aimed at leveling the playing field for local merchants who could offer the one thing the online retailers cannot – the instant gratification of same day local pickup. So, when someone searches for a specific model like a Cub Cadet XT2, the search results at the top of the page will show shopping ads for local retailers that carry that model or models like it. Local consumers will now be driven to your storefront, instead of to an online store. According to Google, a shopping 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical store within 24 hours and 28% of those visits result in a purchase. Clearly, the dealers that make the effort to optimize their local presence, will reap the benefits.

It takes a little technical know-how to get set up in Merchant Center so that your on-hand inventory is consistently accurate, but once you are set up, the process can be automated so it is truly a set it and forget it marketing tactic.

 

Adding products to Google My Business

I’ve spoken at length in the past about the important of Google My Business because it’s the single most important (and free) tool that you can use to promote your business. If it’s been a while since you’ve logged into your Google My Business profile, you may not have noticed that there is now a Products section where you can add equipment directly to your profile.

This is a more manual process, but with a few clicks to upload a product image, add a product name and description, you can create an entire online catalog directly with your GMB profile. Adding rich data like this not only increases your exposure to local shoppers, but it helps the overall visibility of your profile.

You can also manage your profile directly from the GMB app on your smartphone, making it easy to add products, directly from your showroom floor, including used equipment or hard to find parts. These products can be categorized by make, model or type and they do not expire so ongoing maintenance of this section of your profile is minimal.

Google has done an admirable job of attempting to champion small and medium businesses in their struggle to compete against larger companies with seemingly unending resources. Google My Business and free local inventory ads are specifically designed to put local businesses on even footing with large chains and big box stores by providing customers with local shopping options. All you have to do is take advantage of the tools available to you.

 

 

Brett Morris is the owner of Dealers Digital, a digital marketing agency for outdoor power equipment dealers and dealerAMP, a marketing automation platform for the OPE industry. He can grease all the fittings on a Woods Batwing in under 7 minutes.

 

Brett Morris
Dealers Digital
859-552-4392
[email protected]

Local Inventory with google merchant Center

Promote Local Inventory for Free

Promote Local Inventory with Google Merchant Center

While physical stores are now open, many folks have moved their shopping to digital channels. Online stores are seeing a huge surge in online buying behavior, and even brick and mortar stores are more likely to have orders placed over the phone or on their site after seeing an ad.

With millions of searches coming through Google each day, businesses have what customers are looking for in stock, they just need to connect with those customers. Merchants  just need to get the word out about what they have in their stores. 

Google noticed this trend, and opened up the Shopping section of their Merchant Center. They announced in a recent article that they’re aiming to make it free for Merchants to share stock on Google. Retailers can now upload products directly to their Google My Business, promoting inventory and specific models they currently have in stock. 

 

Local Stock Becomes Free Advertising

While Google My Business is usually used as a free listing to let customers find driving directions, contact a business, or learn their hours, this new change means businesses can also push local product options to nearby customers without paying extra for online advertising. 

 

To put it simply, if someone searches for “Cub Cadet Ultima Lawn Mowers in Lexington” then a local business like Central Equipment, who sells Cub Cadet mowers in Lexington, can have their individual mower listings show up in that Google search along with their store’s location. Since that person is searching for Cub Cadet Ultima mowers, Central can show them specific Ultima models, and show ‘In Stock!’ at their local store using Google’s Merchant Center.

Lawn mowers are a pretty expensive ticket item for most folks, so seeing that a specific model is in-stock to physically check out and test at a local store makes it more attractive than just shopping online. After all, many Outdoor Power Equipment dealership websites act like a catalog, showing all the possible items rather the ones they have in-store.

Example of Google Merchant Center Local Inventory

Here’s an example of what product in the Merchant Center Local Inventory Feed looks like. 

You can see individual models of shovels, their price, and whether they’re comfortably in stock or the current stock is limited. 

This is especially useful for hot items during peak season sales – one store may be out of stock, but you can advertise that you DO have stock of it. 

It may be winter now, but this is an excellent time to get this system set up and become accustomed to it before the real rush hits. 

If you want to learn more about how you can upload products into Google’s Merchant Center, or if you want us to take care of it for you – feel free to reach out! Dealers Digital offers Business Listing Management services.