Light-vehicle sales continue to stagnant and decline and other general economic indicators are iffy. The average dealership, therefore, must refocus its efforts to boost sales in the service and parts departments. During 2018, according to a February 2019 report from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), their gross profit was 46.3% of all service and parts sales and 16.2% of total dealership net profits.

Service excellence, competitive pricing and superior customer service are certainly necessary ingredients for success. The strength of your online presence, primarily your website, however, can be the “secret sauce” for your service/parts business. 

Much of the data from multiple sources, including Fixed Ops Digital, supports a proactive content and SEO strategy for tire sales as one of the best methods to increase overall website traffic and maximize customer loyalty.

I gave a presentation at the August 2019 Digital Dealer 27 Conference & Expo in which I explained how tire sales can lead to the loss of customers.

  • At FCA dealerships, 57% of customer “disloyalty,” or defections, occurs from tire sales.
  • When customers schedule service for their vehicle at an FCA dealership, they’re three times more likely to buy their next vehicle from the dealership.
  • When an FCA dealership sells customers a set of 4 tires, 72% of them purchase their next vehicle from the dealership.

The conundrum, however, is too many dealerships aren’t taking advantage of the opportunity for increased tire sales (and increasing their overall website traffic).

Fixed Ops Digital gathered data from 75 dealerships in 15 states, with the following sobering results: 

  • The average number of tire pages on their websites was 1.7.
  • Nineteen dealerships had no website tire pages. 
  • “92” was the average Google SERP rank for “tires for sale city +state.” 
  • 81.3% of the websites had duplicate content. 

With this mediocre scorecard, it shouldn’t be surprising dealerships aren’t selling many tires. They are also not utilizing the power of robust tire content and a high-producing SEO strategy to maximize total website traffic. 

According to Modern Tire Dealer, 2018 was the first year the entire US replacement tire market exceeded $40 billion. Independent dealers, especially the major chains, command a 62.5% market share. Mass merchandisers, warehouse clubs, company-owned stores, auto parts chains, auto dealerships and others account for the other 37.5% – and most of them are down the street or around the corner.

The average margin for passenger replacement tires remains attractive, or 24.2% for 2018, a negligible decrease from 2017’s 24.8%.

The Action Plan to Increase Your Tire Share

The most important part of my presentation was sharing a focused strategy with a series of action steps that will boost your tire sales and overall website traffic and strengthen customer loyalty. 

It starts with understanding the most visited service page on your website is the Service Specials Page, which is where your tire-sales strategy begins. It should consist of several features to maximize eyeballs, page viewing time and click-thrus.

  • Menu page style UI/UX
  • OEM recommendations
  • 10 to 15 services
  • Pricing
  • Clear conversion path
  • Click-thru to details page

The optimal number of pages for the tire sub-section of the service section of your website is more than 10, and excellent content starters include:

  • A consumer-friendly explanation/overview of a vehicle’s TPMS
  • Promoting a fix-a-flat service
  • Brand-specific pages
  • A features/price comparison page of the offered brands

The NADA’s February 2019 report also stated the average dealership spent in excess of $560,000 for advertising during 2018, and 56.3% of that total was on the Internet, or a bit more than $315,000.

With you and every other dealership willing to spend that much money (on average) for Internet advertising, those dollars must be spent wisely. A robust section of tire content on your website is a wise use of your Internet advertising budget. When advance SEO tactics, are applied, your tire section becomes a force multiplier for revenue growth, maximum website traffic and improved customer loyalty. 

SEO tactics have evolved considerably within a short time, which means their application requires the assistance and support of professionals, such as the team at Fixed Ops Digital. Selling and servicing light-vehicles is your business and one you know well. Fixed Ops Digital’s business is using advanced technologies and analysis to help you sell more tires and transform your website into the ultimate marketing, selling and customer service machine.

Checkout this site for more information and start a no-obligation conversation about how we can give your dealership’s website the power to drive more sales and attract a maximum number of qualified customers.

Owen Moon

Owen Moon

Owen Moon is the CEO of Fixed Ops Digital, a full service fixed ops marketing agency and creators of Dealer Wallet, a mobile wallet marketing solution. For almost 20 years Owen has been helping dealerships with both traditional and digital marketing strategies to help sell more cars and drive more service revenue. Owen has been a content contributor for publications like Auto Success and Modern Dealership Magazines and a speaker at automotive industry events like Digital Dealer, Innovative Dealer Summit, and the Fixed Ops Conference.