Recession Proof Your Dealership with These 5 Tips!

Recession Proof Your Dealership

Recession Proof Your Dealership

Recession Proof your Dealership with These 5 Tips!

There has been a lot of discussion about a recession being on the horizon, and with inflation rates at an all-time high, it’s understandable to be worried. Recessions can be devastating, and many businesses never recover from the financial loss. So how can you make sure that your business makes it, regardless of the state of the economy?

Lead by Example

As the leaders within your organization, you can stabilize your work environment and maintain health and balance within the workplace. You do this by leading by example. Show your employees that you are all on one team. And lastly, cut costs where you can but don’t sacrifice quality or your employees’ livelihoods. Your morale will be easier to maintain, and you will have a greater capability of responding to crisis. People want to do business with those they know, like and trust. By ensuring customer excellence is achieved in all interactions, you increase the likelihood of creating a loyal customer. Trust becomes even more important at economic downturns occur.

Targeted Marketing

Promoting your business during an economic recession might seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually essential to surviving tough times. To be successful, you’ll need to be tactical in your approach. The best way to reach your customers is by meeting them where they are – whether that’s online, in-person, or through word-of-mouth. Hyper targeted marketing is a low-cost way to reach your consumers. A few ways to utilize targeted marketing are listed below:

  • Content: Good content is essential for SEO success, and it’s also key to attracting organic traffic to your website. When creating content, make sure it’s high-quality and targeted to your audience. Relevant content will not only help you rank higher in search engines, but it will also attract more organic traffic to your website.
  • Social Media: While, like most things, you can spend money on social media. It is not necessary. You can achieve the basics of social media without spending a cent. When it comes to social media, you get what you put in.
  • SEO: SEO has the highest potential for value per dollar of any other marketing effort. The successes of good SEO will stick with your site, long after you stop paying for services. No matter how long you have been in business, your website can always benefit from an SEO update. SEO is a crucial part of being seen by your customers.
  • User Experience & Website Design: Existing in the digital world is an essential part of being a business today. The success (or failure) of your online efforts can often be determined by the appearance and usefulness of your site.

Recession Proof 2 Stay Ahead of the Curve

Talk to your partners and suppliers now. Do not be surprised by supply chain or staffing shortages. Be aware of trends for your industry and allow yourself to anticipate not only business needs but also the needs of your ideal customers. There is a good chance that other companies in your industry are dealing with the same obstacles, so communication with suppliers and customers is not only crucial but can be game changing. You want everyone on your team to be on the same page. This can help you to identify pitfalls before they even happen.

Think Twice About Big Investments

It becomes even more important to manage your cash flow when you are in the throes of a recession. Looking at your finances and projections can help you anticipate where cash flow might get a little tight so you can prepare solutions and adjust ahead of time. Do everything you can now to evaluate your operations and trim the fat to strengthen your cash position prior to entering into a recession.

Stay on Top of Accounts Receivables

During a recession, everyone struggles financially. Your customers may start paying more slowly and you may have a more difficult time collecting receivables. Evaluate your customers paying habits and make adjustments now, to save you lots of time and headaches later. Stay on top of collections. Offer additional ways for clients to pay: such as, electronic payments. You can also stop working with clients who are reluctant to pay or stop extending credit if your cash flow can’t withstand it.

work smarer, not harder Work Smarter, Not Harder

There is nothing you can do to control the economy. It is important to focus your attention on what you can control, and that is how you run your business! A recession will bring countless struggles and challenges for your company. Knowing your numbers and leaning into smart changes will help you to lead your company with a fearless growth mindset and allow you to overcome and emerge a leader in your industry.

If you find that you don’t have the time or expertise to handle your dealership’s marketing, we can help! Dealers Digital has a proven track record of helping Outdoor Power Equipment Dealerships maximize their online reach. With over 20 years of digital marketing experience, we know  your market and we know how to reach your customers! Contact Us for more information about how we can help your Dealership turn those clicks into cash!

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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!

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dealership-SEO

Local SEO – Demystifying What SEO Really Means For Your Dealership

This article originally appeared in the March 2022 issue of OPE Business.

I once had a dealer tell me that the “S” in SEO, stood for snake oil. I chuckled at the sentiment. Mostly because I knew where he was coming from. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has gotten a bad rap over the years due to unscrupulous marketing providers selling back links and blog and well, snake oil. And it’s difficult not to understand how SEO got that rap. Results can be hard to quantify. Customers don’t always give it the time required to start working. Positive results can be written off as the seasonality of the market. And Google changes their algorithm ALL THE TIME. What used to work 5 years ago and drove tons of traffic to your site, may now be considered spammy and the Google will swiftly devalue your site to the depths of – gasp – page 2 or worse of the search results, never to be seen again. But SEO doesn’t have to be this mythical bag of tricks that nobody understands. The concept of SEO is actually quite simple. How can we optimize your web presence so that the people who are looking for your products can actually find you? How we do it though, is the most important thing to understand. The first thing we need to do is differentiate between Local and National SEO. Understanding the difference will make all the difference in the tactics you use to optimize your business.

National SEO

National SEO means you are trying to rank as highly as possible for keywords or phrases that relate to your product or service on a national level. Simple right? Well, yes and no. Go Google a product you sell, something simple like Cub Cadet XT1 and note the results that pop up. The first few results are going to be dominated by links to cubcadet.com, followed by large national retail outlets like Home Depot and others. It certainly makes sense that Cub Cadet would show up at the top for searches that relate to “cub cadet”.

There are many factors that go into their position at the top of the search results. Important aspects include

  • Domain authority
  • Number of quality back links
  • Rich catalog data
  • Quality of on-site unique content

It takes a lot of time and effort (and money) to make sure all of the ingredients for Google’s secret sauce are accounted for and the truth is, it’s a large investment that most dealers simply don’t need to make. Because you’re trying to reach ready-to-buy local customers, not try to outrank cubcadet.com. If Cub Cadet is doing a great job with their national SEO, that’s going to help brand awareness and local searches that lead customers to your doorstep. If you are a national brand, an e-commerce store or a very large chain dealership that has a wide net to cast for eyeballs, national SEO is extremely important, but for smaller dealerships, it’s neither realistic or necessary.

Local SEO

Local SEO means that you are trying to make sure your business shows up as high as possible when potential customers are looking for the product you sell. In the previous example, someone searching for “cub cadet XT1” should expect to find the product page at cubcadet.com rank near the top of search results. The important thing to remember with SEO is that you have to consider the intent of search. Think about how a search for “cub cadet XT1” vs “cub cadet XT1 near me” or “cub cadet dealership” changes how Google interprets the searcher’s intent. When a searcher adds a local qualifier like “near me” or your local city/state to their original search, Google understands that the searcher is looking for a business in their local area and returns results. So go google something like “cub cadet dealership near me” and note the results. At the top of the page you’ll like see what we call the “map pack”. The map pack displays the top three businesses in your general area that match your original search term.

Think about the importance of a local search and local search intent. If you search for a “cub cadet dealership near me” or “lawnmower repair near me”, it stands to reason that you’re looking for a business near you that sells Cub Cadet mowers or can repair your lawnmower. So if you can optimize your business to appear at the top of that list, research indicates that a whopping 75% of local-intent searches result in a store visit within 24 hours, ready to buy what you’re selling.

So how do you optimize for local-intent searches? Your Google Business Profile holds the key to dominating local search results. I’ve spoken at length about Google Business Profiles (formerly known as Google My Business) in the past, but understanding how to properly optimize your profile leads to dominance in the Google map pack.

SEO doesn’t have to be the black magic tactic that many think it is. It’s perfectly valid and extremely powerful when done correctly. But when done poorly, it can also have a negative effect on your business. So as with any task you outsource, it’s important to seek validation, ask the right questions and work with a vendor that you know you can trust.

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How Smart Dealers Can Market Themselves in an Inventory Crisis

This article originally appeared in the July edition of OPE Business

Do you remember last year when the pandemic hit, how much fear swept across small retail businesses? Nobody knew how the pandemic would affect sales and ultimately their livelihoods, causing many of our dealers to pause their marketing and advertising efforts. And while COVID was certainly unkind to many small businesses, many of the dealerships we work with reported better than expected sales volumes. The smart dealers who continued to advertise in the early stages of the pandemic, reaped the benefits of being proactive in their messaging.

Fast forward to 2021 and the lasting effects of the pandemic are starting to manifest in inventory scarcity, resulting in a different type of crisis. Again faced with uncertainty, we’ve heard from many dealers who are pausing advertising programs, which is understandable if there is no inventory to sell, but the most proactive dealers can still position themselves to be top of mind when supply finally catches up with demand.

Here are three ways you can keep your dealership visible to potential customers.

Utilize Google My Business
If you’ve sat in any marketing webinar in the past two years, every dealership marketing consultant has likely driven home the importance of utilizing your Google My Business (GMB) profile and I am certainly no different. Why? Because it’s free and it’s extremely powerful. Here’s are two new features that will hep you make the most of your GMB profile:

  • Turn on GMB Messaging: Google recently turned on the ability for customers to message you directly from your GMB profile. Make sure you go into your GMB settings and turn on this functionality. Eliminating any friction between you and your potential customer is important, especially in this competitive space.
  • Add products to your profile: In 2020, Google gave businesses the ability to manually add products directly to their profiles, complete with photos and pricing information. So if a potential customer is searching for “Cub Cadet Ultima ZT1 42” and you’ve added that product to your local profile, you’ll boost your chances of being discovered for that product.

Engage Your Existing Customer List
In the OPE industry we find that dealers will spend tens of thousands of dollars per year to acquire new customers and ignore (or just take for granted) their existing customer base. According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of converting an existing customer is between 60 – 70%, but the probability of converting a new prospect is only between 5 – 20%.

The way our industry is structured, especially with how co-op ad dollars from OEMs work, the majority of our focus tends to be on new customer acquisition. And while acquisition is extremely important, think about where your business really makes its money and its margins. Most would say it’s in service and repeat purchases.

Every dealership has a customer list, but do you have contact information for your customers? An email address? A cell phone number? Maybe buried in your DMS somewhere? Smart dealers can take control of their data but utilizing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management). If you don’t have a CRM or a DMS capable of exporting your customer list, making this a priority for the second half of 2021 is a good move. When coupled with an email marketing and text automation tool, creating and maintaining a robust CRM pays dividends multiple times over by allowing you to communicate with existing customers in real time, informing them of service promotions or other incentives. And if you DO happen to have good inventory on a particular model, you may be in a unique position to sell quickly to a captive audience.

Once you have a system in place to capture and nurture those contacts, consider driving more people to sign up to join your list. Be creative by creating a “wait list” for customers to sign up to be informed when new inventory arrives you can have them sold by the time they hit the floor.

Don’t Stop Spending
If you decide to completely stop your advertising programs during slow times, remember that there is always a competitor out there who is maintaining some level of spend to make sure that their name is the first one found when customers are searching. You should definitely cut down your ad programs from your usual peak spending highs, but make sure you maintain a presence to keep your dealership in the spotlight. You can stop video ads, banner ads and even social ads during this time, but consider keeping some budget in the Google network, either utilizing Search ads or Local ads. These ad types appear when someone is specifically searching for you or products you provide so this tactic allows you to be present when a potential customer is showing some intent to find you. Best of all, if they don’t click, you don’t pay.

It is important to spend any “down time” preparing for when inventory starts to arrive because this forced shift in seasons won’t last forever. If you are proactive now, you won’t be scrambling to move late-arriving inventory before selling season is completely over.

seobanner

3 SEO Tips to Improve Your Keyword Optimization

Keyword Optimization is an essential part of SEO!

Improving SEO can help your site get found more easily, but you do have to go after it the right way.

Although you may not always notice them, keywords play an integral role when it comes to helping a small business get found online. You’ve probably heard that implementing keywords into the content on your website, blog, and URL are key strategies for improving your SEO ranking. 

 However, including the wrong keywords or too many keywords can be just as detrimental. Long gone are the days where you can fill up a hidden box with thousands of popular keywords to pop up in searches everywhere. Now, we have to be purposeful. 

So let’s get to it by breaking down the long and short (tail) of it. 

Do Your Own Keyword Research

Keyword research should never be a one-time commitment, but rather an ever-changing process that involves a strategy and a comprehensive understanding of your business and your industry. Including keywords that are specific to your business and industry will help to ensure that the right customers are being driven to your door rather than just any customer. Although we want to increase our customer base, we don’t want to target consumers that may not find the value in our business.

So, if you’re trying to attract customers who are in the business of commercial farming, you probably don’t want to use keywords that appeal to Grandma Daisy down the road.  They’re both interested in lawn and garden tools, but proper keywords can help you pick out the right person.

 

Using the Right Keywords

Short-tail keywords, or keywords composed of very generic keywords, might seem appealing because they’re searched more often than long-tail keywords, however, they’re also a lot more competitive. So, unless you’re writing content for a large organization, like Apple or Macy’s, and consumers are likely searching specifically for your product, you don’t want to enter into a sea of competitors with big brands that have even bigger pockets.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, may not be as frequently typed into a search engine—think, “Egg” vs. “Poached Egg with Avocado and Bechemel”. By including more long-tail keywords into the content on your page, you’ll attract a larger number of customers who are likely to search for any combination of those long-tail keywords. People who already know EXACTLY what they want, and are ready to take action. 

Location-based keywords 

Are directly related to your business’s physical location. For example, if your business is a bakery in a popular neighborhood in Lexington, KY, you’ll want to include not only Lexington, but also the name of that specific neighborhood. By doing so, you’re more likely to target visitors in your area rather than across town who may or may not ever make it to your location. This is a great way to elevate your keyword optimization.

location based keywords local marketing

 Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Speaking of misleading customers that may not find value in your business, adding practically any keyword under the sun is referred to as keyword stuffing and is largely considered a taboo in the digital marketing world. Like with any other digital marketing rule of thumb, less is more and quality will always conquer quantity. Ideally, a website’s content should include keywords in a natural way, through product descriptions, blog articles, and generally having public content available that appeals to their targeted audience. 

However, by inputting keywords into a few sentences and repeating them over and over, you’re stuffing your content. Even if you think they’re good keywords, it’s still too much, and your ranking will suffer.

Creating genuine content that is naturally appealing to your targeted customer base is a good place to start. Giving headlines and subheads that accurately describe what the article is about will also help. 

There’s more that goes into it, but that’s just a few tips to improve keyword use in your quest for Search Engine Optimization.

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