Will Automotive SEO Still be Important for my Car Dealership in 2024?

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The Importance of SEO to Your Dealership


Did you know that many automotive dealership websites aren’t utilizing a search engine optimization strategy as part of their marketing efforts? While any dealership can funnel money into commercials across social media platforms, television, and the radio, there is a limit to what paid advertising can do. This is especially true with rapidly increasing cost-per-click and airwave rates as your competitors bid on the same keywords and ad placements. Focusing on organic traffic and search results allows you to concentrate on more intent-based keywords: what your customers are searching for in terms of sales and service. By working on your organic presence, you’ll be able to focus on areas that better meet the needs of prospective customers and build trust in your brand.

Why is SEO Important for Auto Dealers?

While SEO might not be as flashy as having your ads show up on social media or running on TV, it is more consistent and can build a higher level of trust in your brand than other forms of advertising. Although traditional advertising methods like newspaper inserts, mailers, radio spots, and television commercials are important for driving awareness of your dealership, these efforts are also easily ignored or scrolled through by prospective customers. SEO is more deliberate than other marketing efforts because you know the customer is searching for a certain term or query. Whether you are focusing on specific keywords for models and services or want to target neighboring towns for clientele, SEO can help your website rank on the first page and even appear as the first listing.

Targets are critical to achieving success in SEO. Prospective customers who are searching for your business are typically further along in the sales funnel, allowing you to vary your keywords from broad initial research to specific actions. If getting customers in to cultivate relationships through ongoing service is one of your top priorities, your website can be optimized for those keywords to appear, even outperforming local and national competitors.

If you work with Wikimotive, our team of trained professionals will develop a custom set of keywords based on intense local market research, search volume, and search intent to ensure your marketing dollars are contributing to an effective strategy. Other automotive SEO companies talk a big game but cut corners by using a predetermined keyword list without ever checking to see if they’re getting any traffic, let alone actual leads. Our tailored approach is designed to get people to your website who are in need of high-quality vehicle services, building content around the most effective keywords for your business and region. Our goal is to maximize growth and profit potential for your business by focusing on those search terms when developing ongoing content and optimizing your website. All of our efforts are done within Google Webmaster Guidelines to prevent penalties on your website and to make sure our efforts are being put to good use.


When we’re asked to explain the differences between SEO and traditional marketing, our eyes light up. While you may think that traditional marketing may be the enemy of SEO, it is not. Traditional marketing and SEO can work together to get potential customers to your dealership and increase awareness of your business. However, their distinct differences make it important to pursue both, rather than one or the other. Traditional marketing covers many aspects of your marketing strategy, including print, television, radio, billboards, and direct mail flyers. Depending on your overall marketing budget, you can reach a wide cross-section of customers across a wide geographic range. However, reaching more people does not necessarily translate into generating more sales. Because there’s no way to target based on intent or interest, you’ll be reaching a ton of people who may not need a new or pre-owned vehicle or a new place to get their car serviced. That’s where SEO comes in. While traditional marketing can reach anyone, the SEO work performed by Wikimotive can narrow down to users based on intent, interest, and where they are in the sales funnel. Because SEO is directed towards getting potential customers already searching for similar businesses and services, it can be easier for the right users to find you, leading to more leads that can convert into lucrative sales. As a more concentrated strategy, SEO can be a more cost-effective way to generate brand awareness and sales. Another difference is in the overall competition. While SEO has your business competing against local and national dealerships optimizing for the same keywords, traditional marketing competes against any other business using the same methods to get their message out. Instead of just competing against other auto dealerships, you’ll compete against restaurants, stores, non-profits, activity centers, and contractors. By choosing to work with Wikimotive on your automotive SEO, you’ll be able to avoid spending unnecessary dollars reaching customers who aren’t going to work with your dealership. We work to develop and execute data-driven strategies that drive potential customers looking to purchase or service a vehicle to your website. If you are already pursuing traditional marketing efforts for your dealership, our work can be done in tandem with this. We can help fill in any missing gaps, enabling you to target users who may have seen your ads and searched for you online after the fact. To get started, contact Wikimotive to begin a complimentary website audit and consultation!  


A key factor that goes into the Google ranking algorithm is your website’s domain authority, or level of trustworthiness and expertise on your field and subject matter. One of the ways to build your authority is through link building: acquiring backlinks from other high-quality websites that users trust. Relevant backlinks help build trust in your website from a user standpoint as well as improve your reputation in the eyes of the algorithm. Linking was one of the original ranking signals in early algorithms, and has been helping determine how reliable a website is for years.

At Wikimotive, we maintain stringent quality standards when it comes to link building for your website. Other automotive SEO companies promise more than they can offer and often rely on less reliable sites to generate links, which can hurt your authority in the long run. When our team works on generating links to your website, we focus on only relevant websites within the automotive industry to make sure they have a positive effect on your SEO strategy. Utilizing links from irrelevant or spam websites can eventually result in penalties from Google, which can cause your rankings to drop regardless of how the rest of your strategy is working.

To determine what makes a good backlink, there are several factors that go into play. We look at the overall authority of the website linking to yours, the relevance of the site and the page housing the link, the anchor text embedding the link and the location of the link in the page. Along with analyzing websites to determine if they are relevant to your dealership, we want to make sure that you are getting the most out of these links. If a link to your website is buried in the footer or in a sidebar and the anchor text is only part of your dealership name, that is an ineffective link that could have a negative impact on your SEO. If your website is linked in the body text of a page and has a relevant keyword, such as “automotive SEO services in Peterborough, NH” or the full business name as the anchor text, it is more beneficial and can stay in place to continue to build authority.

An additional measure we take while building links to your website is cleaning up your overall link profile. After pulling a list of existing links to your website, our team will go through and determine which are healthy links helping your website and which are spam and should be removed. We will work to remove some bit by bit as removing too many at once can raise red flags and have a negative impact on the overall effort. One final measure we take is continued monitoring of your link profile for the duration of your relationship with Wikimotive to ensure we catch any spam links as they come in, rather than letting them build up over time and negatively affect other SEO efforts. To get started, start a chat with a member of our team today!




Content Marketing is a term that is thrown around a lot, but its meaning is often confused with other terms used in modern digital marketing, including SEO. While the two can and should be used together, SEO and content marketing are truly separate services with different focuses.

  • SEO works to make a website more search-engine friendly through technical optimization, content, link-building, and other efforts. These are not necessarily targeted at the end-user but at search engines instead.
  • Content Marketing, on the other hand, is all about creating content and context for a target audience in order to create a connection between the individual consumer and the products or services your business provides. This content can be video, imagery, or written pieces based on the audience and budget.

One of the most successful examples of content marketing is Dollar Shave Club, a subscription-based razor business that created a funny video promoting its service. It was short, sweet, high-quality, and extremely entertaining. Within days of its release, it had gone viral, receiving millions of views. Three years after its release, the video has been viewed nearly 20 million times, and Dollar Shave Club is valued at over $615 million after receiving $75 million in a recent round of funding. And while its service is outstanding, the company’s content marketing helped propel it into the mainstream, allowing the company to grow at a rate that would have otherwise been impossible.

That’s amazing for Dollar Shave Club, but you’re probably wondering how you can do the same for your dealership, right? Well, the viral video approach is one you can try, but success is never guaranteed, and the budget necessary to create a truly memorable and marketable video means it’s not a safe investment for most dealerships. However, Wikimotive’s approach to content marketing, which enhances our already powerful automotive search engine optimization service, works like a charm.

With our automotive social media services, we promote brand-focused content to users in your dealership’s local area. We utilize advanced targeting on Facebook and even re-market to your customers in order to build more interest in your inventory through quality, entertaining content. Users love the content because it’s not trying to sell them anything in a direct way; it’s simply showing them what your brand’s vehicles have to offer and entertaining or informing them. Users get to enjoy great content related to your vehicles through your business’s Facebook page. The connection we build helps facilitate brand loyalty and increased sales thanks to the reach this content receives.


In recent years, Google’s algorithm has placed more importance on local-based results in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). The idea behind this shift is based on getting users the information they are searching for—like where to get the services they need—in a more efficient manner, so they can be on their way in a matter of seconds from the initial search. In addition to helping the users find what they are looking for quickly, the pivot to local search helps businesses get more customers to come into their brick-and-mortar locations. Wikimotive is able to build SEO strategies around a local search focus to make sure you are getting the right customers around the immediate vicinity of your dealership.

Local Pack & Online Listings

The Local Pack is one of the most important parts of the SERP: appearing near the top of the page, these truncated listings are among the first results a user will see, along with the number of reviews and a business’s proximity to their current location. In order to increase your probability of appearing in the Local Pack, it is important to make sure your Google Business Profile is completely built out and verified through mail or a phone call. Within your GBP dashboard, you’ll be able to add photos of your business and past work performed, information about product inventory or services you offer, and enable users to set up an appointment right from the SERP. You can also update your hours, whether for the season, a special occasion, or a holiday, so that it accurately reflects when you are open based on the time a user is completing a search. Other listings and online directory sites can also help bolster where your Google Business Profile appears on the SERP. In conjunction with a fully fleshed-out and completed GBP, it is important to make sure you have active and updated listings on high-profile directories, including YellowPages, DealerRater, Edmunds, and Yelp. These sites have been around for years and are considered some of the top listings you can have as an auto dealership. Because they have high domain authority, having your dealership website linked on your profile on each of these sites can have a positive effect on your SEO efforts. Having your listings completed can also provide potential customers with more locations to find your business and get into contact about their desired outcome, whether it is a vehicle purchase or service transaction. If you have a Google Business Profile and haven’t been able to improve reviews or are still appearing lower on the page, the team at Wikimotive can help! We will build out your profile to include relevant information about your product inventory and location to help boost your ranking and increase your business’ online authority, especially when it comes to local search. To get started, call or start a chat to get a demo of our services today!


Wikimotive was founded in 2009 with over 20 years of experience in the automotive field. Our goal is to deliver tangible, data-driven results measured in vehicles sold and services performed at your dealership. The client relationship comes first, and Wikimotive prides itself on being the first automotive vendor to add an exclusivity clause to our client contracts. While other agencies may sign your business up for services and sign up every other dealership in your region, Wikimotive will create a radius around your location and will not pursue a business relationship with any competitor within that area. We even allow our clients to pick specific competitors to help focus our strategy while also keeping your competitors in the dark about our services.

SEO, much like the rest of the internet, is constantly changing and evolving to meet current needs and protocols. At Wikimotive, our team follows industry and Google trends closely in order to keep up with the needs of our clients, adapting to any algorithm updates to stay within best practices. Unlike other SEO companies that talk a big game while performing shoddy work, our team is constantly evaluating our strategies to ensure we are following white hat practices as determined by Google. By following these best practices, clients should be able to see results more quickly and sustainably, consistently ranking high on the first page. Black hat practices, or SEO tactics not recommended by Google, may provide a quick jump in the ranking of your website and content but cannot maintain such rankings against more effective content.

When it comes to optimizing your website to appear more frequently and higher in search results, Wikimotive understands the importance of a multi-channel approach. To complement our content marketing and technical SEO efforts, Wikimotive also offers social media and reputation management services. When it comes to building trust in your brand, things like a consistently updated Facebook page or negative reviews on your Google listing can make or break a customer’s likelihood of shopping with your business. Our dedicated team will be able to curate a social media strategy and calendar that drives users to your website while addressing your entire audience, from past customers keeping up with your page to prospective buyers interested in learning more about the services your dealership offers. If negative reviews come in, we can help strategically de-escalate the situation and respond to each in a professional, timely manner that matches your dealership’s voice.


We realize that everyone promises the moon while few deliver on their pie-in-the-sky promises. So, don't just take our word for it. We're so confident in our results and our client's experience such consistent performance that we're happy to put references right where all the world can see. If you would like to talk to some of our clients to find out what it's really like to work with us, we encourage you to reach out to us for a complete list of our happy customers.


“How can I increase my car sales?” It’s a question asked by almost every dealer principal, general manager, marketer, and salesperson out there. If you ask us (as so many have), you might be surprised by our answer. It’s an unpopular opinion, but we’re firm believers that there aren’t any tricks to help you increase your business. There aren’t any hidden secrets that hold the key to unlocking record sales. The potential for success comes down to an open mind and a simple willingness. A willingness to invest the resources at your disposal, utilize the tools that are available to you, and follow through on strategies that are designed to deliver results.

In the simplest terms, we’ve just described automotive SEO. Then again, we’ve also described marketing in general. So…how dare we serve up an article titled ’10 Tips to Increase Your Car Sales?’

Simply put, these 10 tips may already play a foundational role in your marketing and operational strategies. If they do, that’s great (we’d love to hear more about your results). But if they don’t, take note because we’re here to provide you with tools. Some are digital, and some are practical. Some are based in marketing, while others are operational. How effective these tools are comes down to your willingness to put them to use, but every one of them can help your dealership to tell a more compelling story.


Accessibility is key to any successful business. Whether we’re talking about:

  1. the number of days that you’re open each week
  2. your hours of operation, including your willingness and ability to offer extended hours
  3. your in-house customer service
  4. the online support you provide

It’s imperative that your dealership is there to answer the needs of both existing and prospective clients. Remember that those needs will be different for each customer. The same applies to the unique demands of their budget and lifestyle. The extent to which you acknowledge those differences while prioritizing overall satisfaction is tangible. Invest in your availability, and you will reap the benefits.


How often do you audit the pricing of your local competitors? More importantly, do you perform regular audits at all? Consider this: banks perform weekly audits of competitive interest rates from nearby institutions to prevent themselves from being priced out of local business. Now consider the growing prevalence of comparison-based websites that make it easy for users to compare pricing. Regardless of how much importance you place upon comparative pricing, it’s the primary focus of your potential customers. Fail to be competitive, and you’ll sabotage your own potential.


While it’s important for any business to recognize and optimize their revenue streams, it’s equally important to recognize the potential ROI of low-cost perks and incentives that could help to make your dealership more enticing. More importantly, it’s important to set yourself apart from the sea of keyring punch cards for a free oil change by doing something unique. A willingness to explore all of your low-cost products and services and to identify those that could help you stand out without hurting your bottom line could be exactly what you need.


Your willingness to streamline your processes in the interest of creating the most expedient experience is a huge component of battling perception. This begins with your online presence, making sure that your website is user-centric, responsive, and designed with mobile users in mind. The incorporation of digital and app-based operational tools can help improve both your customer experience and your team’s efficiency. This means more satisfied customers and more customers being serviced.


Communication matters in any relationship, but communication exists on a number of levels, both internally and externally. Improving your team’s familiarity with your CRM can help to refine their understanding of the expectations placed upon them. Increased support in product and sales training can be instrumental in refining their approach, and a focus on effective follow-ups through calls, emails, and texts could prove hugely impactful on your month-end numbers.


More specifically, make accountability a cornerstone of your operation and honor it from the top down. By refining expectations and defining the manner in which those expectations are enforced, you’re creating a stronger infrastructure within your operation. The use of an effective CRM tool can play an instrumental role in this process, enforcing the importance of delegation and improving management’s visibility of your dealership’s ‘moving pieces.’


If you’re sick of hearing us mention your CRM, you’re probably utilizing the wrong one, or it’s not properly integrated into your overall process. Internal data (such as sales and service records, customer contact info, leads, etc.) is a critical component of both short and long-term strategies, so why wouldn’t you want to have the most effective means of collecting, analyzing, and applying that data? And if you have a great tool already in place, why wouldn’t you want to find every means of putting it to use?


Just as important as internal data sets are those that are available to you outside of your own CRM. Third-party aggregation is big business, and the right partner from that industry could help you fortify the lead information you already have access to, better defining the demographics that make up your existing and targeted audience. Research your options, and gain a more thorough understanding of who you’re doing business with and who you need to be doing more business with.


As a general rule, consumers are better informed than they’ve ever been. Accessibility of information and the ability to perform online research on one’s own time and on one’s own terms has increased the expectations that each prospective customer places on your team. An uninformed employee is no longer excusable, and their breadth of information should extend from the OEM to product knowledge and include familiarity with all aspects of your dealership. Anything less is becoming progressively more unacceptable.


Some of the most successful and lucrative dealerships have proven the potential impact of large-scale rebranding. From a full cosmetic overhaul to the inclusion of new customer-centric amenities, there are no limits to how ‘big’ a rebranding effort can be. That said, there’s also no limit to how modest an effective effort can be. At the end of the day, rebranding can mean a lot of things, but it comes down to recognizing a shortcoming and rectifying it. If you’re unsure, start small; just be sure to be consistent and to tell the story of whatever changes you’ve made.

Remember, you have a direct line to your consumer base through your website, CRM, and social media platforms (in addition to traditional marketing platforms). People want to know when you’ve begun to do something differently, especially when it’s something that helps to distinguish you from competitors or conveys a commitment to continual improvement.

So There You Have It

We’re pretty sure that there weren’t any real surprises here. Most of you have probably enacted each of these 10 tips in some form or fashion. But if you haven’t, remember, these are small actionable steps that you can build upon to increase your car sales. They’re just starting points, but they’re points in the right direction.


If you were to approach the average car buyer and ask, “how do car dealerships attract customers?” you might be surprised by the results. You’d be likely to learn that public perception aligns itself with outdated and unflattering stereotypes. You’d be blindsided by claims of deceptive holiday sales, assaulted by recounts of loud, repetitive commercials and the cliched imagery of “wacky, waving-arm inflatable tube men.” But today’s most successful dealerships understand that the majority of traffic comes as a result of automotive SEO and digital marketing strategies.

So with that in mind, let’s set the record straight. Together we’ll explore proven ways a dealership can attract new customers, generating more leads ripe for conversion. Some of these will be geared toward your digital marketing strategies, while others are based practically in reality. That said, let’s get down to it.


The need to establish “why someone should buy from you” is Marketing 101. It begins with a mission statement and extends through every operational facet of your dealership, from products, services, and pricing to marketing initiatives, practices, and internal culture. For a dealership to attract business, it should have a clear sense of self; one that is reflected consistently in all that it does. This means consistency in branding, message, intent, and an enduring commitment to excellence – all of which reassures qualified customers that their expectations will be met if not exceeded.


The likelihood of customer satisfaction rests heavily on the team that you have in place. While it seems like common sense, training is almost criminally under-prioritized in most workplaces, and dealerships are no exception. Salespeople lacking in practical automotive knowledge, sales experience, or those that are uneducated on the models they’re attempting to move is more common than most dealerships are willing to admit. Investing in your team through training and compensation will strengthen your infrastructure, reinforcing your value proposition. In addition, it will improve the likelihood of customer satisfaction and positive reviews, and drive more opportunities your way.


You can always do better (every business can). A commitment to continual improvement is a trait shared by any successful business. That means evaluating what products and/or services could help you better differentiate yourself from your competitors. It might also mean enhancing your existing services, extending hours, or upgrading amenities and courtesies. That said, once you’ve done so, it’s equally important to take pride in your efforts and tell the story. Once again, it comes to defining your value proposition, recognizing it, and highlighting it for all to see. Which brings us to…


This is where our list transitions from real-world steps to the digital landscape. Over 90% of all car buyers begin their search online, utilizing Google as a means of researching pricing, comparing models, valuing their trade-ins, and identifying the dealership(s) they’ll do business with. It’s imperative that every element of your online presence is optimized to help you rank higher in search results. Enter automotive SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a process of refining your website, its content, your Google Business Profile, your social media accounts, and online reviews (among other elements) to ensure you gain favor in the eyes of Google. By ranking higher, you’ll be more visible, with a greater likelihood of attracting new leads.


As we transition from website to social media platforms, dealerships should understand the importance of a clear call to action. To convert website traffic into a lead, that website must offer simplified means of placing inquiries, obtaining answers, scheduling test drives, etc. The same need for ease applies to social media platforms; after all, social media CTAs generated a whopping 36 billion calls to U.S. businesses in 2019!


It’s estimated that nearly 90% of today’s car buyers are on Facebook, making it a platform that any business would be short-sighted not to capitalize on. That said, we’re not going to spend much time talking about the convenience of posting or social sharing. Instead, let’s talk about Facebook’s targeted ad feature, which empowers dealerships to market directly to those whose online activity suggests they’re actively searching. It allows dealerships to refine the parameters of their targeting based on user data. This delivers ads directly to the user’s Facebook profile, making it convenient for them to explore a vehicle via the dealer’s website. It’s worth mentioning that automotive Facebook ads have proven to be up to 2x more effective than other targeted ads, which makes them a valuable component of any automotive marketing strategy.


With more than 30 million active monthly users here in the U.S. and a projected domestic growth of .3% in 2020, it isn’t hard to argue the merits of Twitter. The median age for Twitter users is 40, meaning the platform is relevant across multiple generational demographics. Twitter ad engagement increased by 23% from 2018-2019, and video ads can actually reduce your ad spend on the platform by 50% while offering up to 10x the engagement. If you’re still unsure if Twitter is right for your dealership, consider the fact that the platform generated $716 million in automotive sales seven years ago.


In 2020, estimates put Instagram’s stateside use at around 112.5 million users. The visual platform is projected to reach 117.2 million U.S. users by 2021 and offers a pretty even split in terms of gender mix. More importantly, it provides an ideal means for a dealership to reach the ever-growing number of Gen-Z car buyers without losing contact with their Millennial and Gen-X customer base.


That said, Snapchat was cited as the preferred social media platform by over 50% of Gen-Z users, with a sizable skew towards female users.


When it comes to transcending divides (be they generational, cultural, social, or economic), YouTube stands as the clear victor of social media platforms. With 1.9 billion users worldwide, 500 hours of video content uploaded every minute, and 70% of viewed content determined by YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, it’s hard to remain blind to the possibilities. Whether you’re serving up targeted ads or creating high-quality content that’s configured properly, YouTube could yield great results for your dealership.


The ‘story’ feature offered by most social media platforms has become one of the most important and influential components out there. It can provide digestible, real-world/real-time glimpses of your dealership, culture, inventory, and offerings framed within a new context that makes it feel unique from your other marketing efforts. Not convinced? 2019 saw story-based sharing on Facebook grow 15x faster than newsfeed sharing, with nearly one billion users favoring the story features on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp. Those kinds of numbers make it hard to ignore.


A multi-platform social media strategy is designed to cast a wider net in the hopes of attracting more attention, but there’s bound to be some overlap. This can prove to be a benefit or a detriment, but it comes down to how each factors into a dealership’s strategy. To be as effective as possible, a dealership should operate each platform independently from the others, offering unique content and eliminating any risk of redundancy. Platform-specific promotions are a great way of exploring the potential of each and also incentivize more people to engage with the dealership across a variety of platforms.


The value of unique content is immeasurable, but its effectiveness is reduced if the source fails to engage with the users who react and comment on it. A dealership should always view its social media activity as an opportunity for an ongoing dialog. Failure to do so makes the relationship appear one-sided, reducing the likelihood of the dealership attracting new opportunities.


Engagement with online reviews, praise, and criticisms are an even more important extension of this idea. Regardless of whether it’s positive or negative, failure to acknowledge feedback reflects poorly on a dealership – not just to the person who left the feedback, but to any other users who can see that it went unanswered. While follow-up conversations can move offline, it’s important that a dealership’s initial action takes place in response to the posted feedback. This conveys a sense of transparency and an appreciation for customer relationships.

How each of these tips might fit into your dealership’s marketing strategies is bound to be subjective. That said, a trusted partner like Wikimotive can be a crucial ally in guiding you to the best possible results.


When it comes to marketing, a dealership is really no different than any other kind of business. Dealer principals are faced with the question, "how can I promote my car business?" And then, their respective marketing teams are charged with the task. The answer to that question, of course, is a well-executed automotive SEO strategy, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, we need to understand how that digital component fits into a wider, forward-thinking marketing strategy.


To create a forward-thinking marketing strategy, it’s important to recognize that a successful one operates on a number of levels. It’s executed across both the physical and digital space that your dealership occupies. It echoes through your internal culture and the environment that you offer to your customers. It should be almost tangible, felt in all forms of communication and in everything that bears your name. That said, when it comes to marketing, the automotive landscape has never been known for its sense of subtlety. It’s more commonly associated with loud, fast-talking voices, repetitive statements, and big attention-grabbing promotions. This is especially true at the dealer level, where it’s hard to escape the damning shadow of the ‘wacky, waving arm inflatable tube man.’ But understand this: while the challenge is universal, the solutions aren’t. There are no easy answers or one-size-fits-all solutions, and a marketer who implies otherwise isn’t worth your spend. What works for one dealership may not work for yours. But, since the challenges are universal, there are lessons to be gleaned from dealerships that have been successful in redirecting themselves. And it’s with that in mind that we share these nine simple insights as to how you can promote your car business.


It’s a common misconception that ‘increased exposure’ means greater ad spend. It doesn’t. I mean, sure, it’s important to get your name out there across as many platforms as possible, but it’s also important to do so with purpose. Television commercials, radio spots, and print ads are fine - as long as people are paying attention to them. The same applies to your website and social media profiles, but at some point, both traditional and digital marketing efforts become redundant unless you’re proactively grabbing hold of people’s attention. ‘Increase Your Exposure’ might be number 9 on our list, but it’s from this point on where we tell you how to make it happen. It comes down to what your dealership has to offer and how you go about telling that story.


Most of us have heard the phrase "Traditional Marketing Is Dead," and while we’ve recently seen a grassroots rekindling of our love affair with traditional marketing, there’s no getting around the importance of an optimized online presence. After all, more than 90% of consumers begin their search for a new vehicle online, comparing models, researching pricing, locating potential dealerships to do business with, reviewing available inventory, and valuing their trade-ins. Nine out of ten online searches are performed through Google. When answering a query, Google ranks websites by interpreting their search signals and assessing their likelihood of meeting their user’s needs. As such, a website might as well be invisible if your search signals aren’t optimized to improve your search engine ranking position. This is where Search Engine Optimization (or SEO, a key facet of any digital marketing strategy) comes into play. Without an SEO strategy, you’ll never increase your exposure or stand out from the crowd.


If SEO is about attracting traffic to your website, social media is about delivering your message directly to the general consumer. Plus, Social Media activity counts as one of the search signals that you want to optimize as part of your SEO strategy. Simply put, it provides various platforms to…


Nobody has ever been successful at standing out or setting themselves apart by doing the same things as their competitors. You need to embrace (and emphasize) what makes you different, and if that’s a department that you lack in, it’s time to get creative. The steps you take to rebrand your dealership as a destination will do more than attract new business…it will enrich the relationships that you already have. You need to do more than emphasize a vast selection and a “low-pressure sales environment.” You need to do more than just offer complimentary coffee and a dwindling selection of semi-fresh donuts. You need to create a welcoming environment (more importantly, you should create a unique experience) built around the wants and needs of the customer while anticipating and exceeding any expectations. Remember, you’re being judged against a long-standing stereotype. Identify the elements of your dealership that you have the freedom to reimagine and be bold in doing so. Nothing calls for "increased exposure" quite like new products, services, amenities, or a refreshed aesthetic.


It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about traditional or digital marketing efforts; you need to recognize the community you call home as your strongest asset. The local populace will inevitably make up a large share of your business and, if treated right, can provide incremental sales opportunities. That said, you need more than just the convenience of proximity in your corner. You need to recognize the important role you have to play as a local business. You need to invest as much energy into marketing your community to the world as you invest in marketing your dealership to that community. It’s a great reason to…


Your willingness to support local events and organizations through sponsorship, hosting, or online promotion strengthens your relationship with your community and emphasizes the core values of your dealership to prospective car buyers everywhere. It can also inspire great local blog content that holds serious SEO value, highlighting your dealership as an established voice within your geographic area. Whether you’re part of local stories or simply helping to start conversations about them, you’re supporting your community and helping it to stand out among neighboring communities in your country, state, or region. And guess who else will stand out…that’s right, your dealership.


Let’s address the elephant in the room. You can’t please all of the people all of the time, and you’ll inevitably attract feedback that’s "less positive" in nature. In fact, you’re more likely to receive criticism (constructive or otherwise) than you are to receive praise. That said, these situations can provide great opportunities to correct a less-than-satisfying experience, redeem your reputation, and convey your willingness to do right by your customers in a timely fashion - all in the public eye. By embracing feedback, in whatever form it may take, you’re making it clear that your customers are a priority. Plus, there are ways to secure positive reviews in an honest and organic way.


Satisfactory experiences should be shared more often than they actually are, but what’s the best means of securing positive reviews without directly soliciting them? Why not create an in-house program that incentivizes customers to share their stories on your website, social media, and/or third-party review sites? The reward of a discount, complimentary service, or outside perk might be a perfect investment. Not only will it have a real-world payoff, but it may pay out immeasurably online.


You have insights to offer. Whether you’re a dealer-principal or a marketer, you designate a valued member of the management team or a skilled team member, or if we’re referring to your dealership as a collective entity, there’s value to be found in your willingness to share those insights. You can do so through blogging and posting via the social media platforms that your dealership utilizes. From products and services to industry headlines, culture, and management to local news stories, you have the opportunity to create thoughtful content that inspires support and engagement while fueling inbound traffic in both the digital and physical realms.


These are just broad strokes, of course. They’re proven strategies, but it’s important that you think of each as a starting point. Build outwards and understand how each can be best employed in an organic manner within your own culture. Even if you’re already employing some of these strategies, lend some serious thought to how you might utilize them ‘better’ with the aim of improving the results. The bottom line, there is always room for improvement. Assess your results, evolve the manner in which you incorporate these techniques, and you might be surprised by the results. Better yet, you could partner with a trusted partner like Wikimotive, assuring the best possible results without having to personally navigate the nuances of these strategies.  
Dave Estey General Manager at Wikimotive

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