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Start By Being More Visible To Your Potential Customers Online.

As each and every car dealership is building budgets and planning for 2019, the challenges that face our industry today are the same challenges that we have faced in previous years.  Slowly declining vehicle sales, profit pressure on multiple fronts like Carvana and lastly the difficult question on how to grow our businesses year over year. It certainly helps that we are seeing more and more vendors and tools which will be broadcasted at NADA 2019; however,  when looking at Fixed Operations Marketing it is more challenging and the options are fewer and further between.

Today – let’s talk specifically on how your dealership can build greater visibility on search engines like Google in order to drive more Fixed Ops Revenue today.  

Being Seen By Today’s Customer:

First, moving the needle for Fixed Ops requires more content to increase visibility. Modern automotive dealership websites have little to no content for service, parts and or collision marketing. Building pages for service(s) like oil change and tire rotation are common, however, pages like the following are non-existent.   

    • Brake Pad Replacement
    • Transmission Fluid Replacement Service
    • Windshield Wiper Replacement
    • AWD Alignment Services
    • Cabin Air Filter Service
Online Service Center Increases

When combining the domain authority of your OEM + the city that your dealer resides in, It is very easy to start seeing huge gains in visibility on Google. See the screenshot below – this dealer is a Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership in St Louis, MO. By starting to build a solid foundation of Fixed Ops related content and using sound SEO strategy, we have created huge gains in website impression share on Google.   

You can source this information inside Google Analytics by following the steps below or you can contact us at Fixed Ops Digital to help guide you through this process.   

    1. Under Acquisition Tab – Click on Search Console
    2. Under the Search Console Tab – Click on Queries
    3. Be sure to choose Impressions and filter by “Service”

You can see from this example that within 90 days there is an almost 400-500% increase in impressions based on “service” related searches. Building service-related content that is optimized around Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in addition to building content revolving around services that the dealership offers has shown to bring great rewards. This is not uncommon either – in fact, this is more of the norm as it relates to the 200+ Dealers, Fixed Ops Digital works with today.    

To Recap – building content and creating a sound technical SEO strategy each and every month for each and every business line inside Fixed Ops not only will provide results, but those benefits and rewards will come quickly as your competition is most likely not taking advantage of this marketing strategy. In fact – they are asleep at the wheel.

Paid Search and Facebook Marketing – The Do’s and Don’t

Please, please, please…DO NOT send any service customers directly to the Schedule Service tool. Every dealership today that listens to their agency and throws $1,000 to $2,000 into some form of paid advertising does this. So that is exactly what you are doing throwing your money away.   

Let me make this comparison. When a potential car buyer comes into your showroom, do you immediately put him/her into F&I? Ok, let’s make a digital comparison. When buying Paid Search on Lexus RX for sale, do you send that consumer directly into a Trade Appraisal page like KBB Trade IN tool? That is exactly what the customer wants; to answer 57 questions before getting any information.   

So why is sending a potential client into a Service Schedule tool a good user experience? It is not.   

Just like in vehicle sales: build value, provide information and bring the consumer down the funnel. It is no different in any walk of digital life and it applies to Service as well. Building content for your service department means that you have chosen to create a rich catalog of landing pages that rank organically for service related terms. On top of that, you have also created a place to send paid traffic to when deciding on a paid campaign.  

Why run Paid Search Ads when your service department is closed? There is one simple answer -Service departments have shorter hours than sales. Especially either proximity or needs based searches such as “near me” or “best” are common amongst oil changes, batteries, and tire rotations. You will, however, find that Paid Search Ads for services are running without any time limits.   

When trying to build more Fixed Ops Revenue for your dealership in 2019, really start with the basics of building content. Just like a new home, start with a solid foundation in order to do things right. If we have learned anything from the automotive industry, it is that companies like CarGurus, who have a solid long term strategy as it relates to Content + SEO will pay huge dividends when being patient.  

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.

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