Start Using Keywords | Help Your Customers Find Your Dealership
Keywords are aptly named, because they hold the keys to successful digital marketing. They help customers find your dealership online. So if you’re ignoring keywords as an opportunity – or you just don’t give them much thought – you do it at significant peril. There are lots of ways to improve your dealership website’s chances of getting found, but none rivals keyword selection. Think of everything else as back-up.
Here’s the good news: finding keywords that work really well to help customers find your dealership isn’t that hard.
More specific keywords help you appeal to different audiences.
Long-tail keywords (the ones with more words in them) work best — “trucks” vs. “heavy trucks” vs. “heavy trucks Albany NY”. They have extra value for two reasons. You can more precisely target your marketing to those who are actually interested in you and your products. And long-tail keywords are less competitive if you’re using pay-per-click advertising, so they typically cost less.
Some of your long-tail keywords should include your OEM’s name, equipment types and even model names. You want to attract interest from those who have a strong allegiance to the brand(s) you sell as well as prospects who haven’t made up their minds yet.
Add your location.
Searchers want geographically relevant results. So adding the name of your town or region will assure you appear in their results. Incorporate the names of all locations you serve, whether or not you have a physical presence there. And make sure they appear in several places around your website. Location-based keywords are especially important for your after-market side – parts and service. People want to find the nearest help, because time and travel equate to money.
There are lots of tools you can use to find and refine keywords.
Website analytics – you can see what search words people are using to find your website and specific pages within it. Register your website with Google Webmaster Tools to see search phrases and average ranking.
- Google AdWords keyword tool – even if you aren’t using PPC, you can identify good keywords and also see how much competition you have for them.
- Google Insights for Search – you can filter keywords for category, location and search history, to learn not only how “hot” the keyword is but also which sources generate traffic for that keyword and even similar versions that might work for you.
- Keyword graders – these special applications help you identify which keywords are performing most effectively for you and follow that over time to make further refinements.
- Google trends – another way to see how popular keywords are over time, this tool looks for words in new article headlines.
- The Internet. What keywords do your competitors seem to be using? What words and phrases are commonly used – or are emerging – in your trucking or construction industry publications and online articles? These are potential keywords.
Start with yourself.
Electronic tools are great, but who knows your prospects and customers better than your own people? Your sales reps, parts and service reps, receptionist and accounting folks all interact with customers every day. What words do people use when asking questions? Those are potential keywords. The questions people ask are perfect topics for online content beyond your website, too – blog articles, Q&A social media posts, etc.
Keep a list of possible keywords and research them using the tools above. Like everything to do with online marketing, it’s an ongoing process.
Finally, conduct your own search using your current keywords. Are those the results you want? If not, use these tools to generate new ideas and evaluate them. Then deliberately use the best ones in all your online content, not just your website copy. When you help customers find your dealership, you’re opening the door to building a future relationship.