Digital marketing and SEO tips for the automotive industry
Every business needs digital marketing and seo, but the tips and tactics for different verticals such as the automotive industry should be unique, see how.
Image Source: Carvana
For many industry sectors, the exponential growth of the World Wide Web has seen a parallel growth in the virtual marketplace as the preferred place of business for buyers of goods and services.
Recent marketing studies have shown that, for potential car buyers, the online website presence of the business concerned rated in importance above and beyond any other media source as the key element in the buying process.
For this reason, a solid industry-specific marketing and SEO strategy cannot be underestimated. There are some key considerations pertinent to the automotive industry that can greatly assist in the formulation of a successful inbound marketing and SEO strategy.
The automotive industry and online presence
The automotive industry is characterized by intense competition, with the online shopfront having rapidly surpassed the traditional brick and mortar showroom as the first point of customer interaction.
Both new and used vehicle buyers as well as motorists seeking after-sales servicing and on-road support now typically shop around for product and services online, before narrowing down their choice and visiting a physical showroom, shop or garage.
This market has become so broad and diverse that car dealerships and auto servicing ventures struggle to attract, and then hold the attention of prospective clients.
The website for vehicle sales and car servicing Scotland typifies the online presence of many in the automotive industry.
The important underlying element is that the online shopfront for a vehicle sales and service business is considered to be the primary point of contact for new business, and therefore it becomes critical to not only attract the attention of online browsers, but also to hold them on-site with superior layout and content.
Car buyers are generally proactive – car repair customers are generally reactive
An important point to consider is this – when shopping for a new or used car, buyers are typically proactive. They start the purchasing journey with a broad plan, and while over 90% of car purchases are completed in the showroom, the majority commence with an online search.
Customers seeking repairs and maintenance, on the other hand, can be reactive – that is, they seek out a maintenance or repair shop often for unexpected or unscheduled maintenance. The online search engine is typically the place they turn to when needing information quickly.
The key elements of SEO for the automotive industry
The first consideration – attracting the attention of online traffic – is addressed by an understanding of the industry specific needs as they relate to search engine optimization and analytics.
For the purposes of investigating the SEO strategies pertinent to this particular industry, it is important to consider two broad sub-sectors:
- Vehicle sales, or the ‘car showroom’
- Vehicle maintenance, repair and servicing, or the ‘car workshop’
The key to understanding digital marketing and SEO for the car showroom sector is the notion that the decision-making and purchasing process for a vehicle (both new and used) is a lengthy one. Perhaps more than other retail sectors, prospective buyers will typically move from site to site to make comparisons and compare available product.
Because of this fact, it becomes of primary importance to attract and generate traffic to the website with the SEO strategy, then hold those viewers with high-quality product graphics and comprehensive, easily readable product descriptions.
For the car workshop sector, the requirements are somewhat different. Car owners tend to be driven more by geographic location with respect to vehicle servicing and repair. Thus, the SEO strategy for this market sub-sector needs to consider key word selection relevant to a specific location or region. Furthermore, because of the diverse range of services available, website data should be detailed with respect to the range of services on offer, together with pricing as applicable. Local SEO really becomes the name of the game for the workshop sub-sector.
The importance of keywords
As with any competitive online industry sector, the selection of keywords is the basis of good SEO. Long-tail keywords work well, and should be embedded not only into website content, but also in titles and meta descriptions.
For the car workshop business concern, local keywords are of fundamental importance.
Quality photos and graphics
For the car showroom sub-sector, the use of a good range of quality photographs for each item (in this case, vehicle) offered for sale is paramount. This is key to maintaining the interest of a potential buyer, and encouraging them to remain on-site and perhaps view the other stock on sale.
In the same manner as the traditional brick-and-mortar showroom, once the marketing has attracted the potential customer to the businesses showroom, the presentation of that showroom should be of a standard that holds their interest, gives them buying confidence in the business, and inspires them to look further.
Appropriate image optimization for SEO should also be considered here.
Local SEO tips
Given the prime importance of local geographic SEO for the car workshop sub-sector, consideration should be given to setting up a Google business profile, if this has not already be done.
This allows customers to ascertain business opening hours and check the address and directions to reach the garage or workshop.
Importantly for the digital marketing of the operation, the profile further provides SEO potential in positioning the business in rankings for local searches. Embedding Google maps does affect the ranking and SEO of the landing page, provided that it is incorporated into either the “About Us” or “Contact” pages of the site.
Understanding the unique requirements of both the car sales sector and the car maintenance sector is the first step to success in:
- Directing and driving traffic to the business website via a relevant SEO and inbound marketing strategy and;
- Increasing conversion rates of browsers to customers by holding traffic on the site with relevant dynamic content.
With moves in progress to shift from petrol and diesel technology to more environmentally friendly EV and hybrid-type vehicles in the near future, the market will remain highly competitive and heavily internet driven.