SEO and PPC are popular digital marketing terms, but what does each mean, and how can they help dealerships? Individually, they can benefit a dealer’s marketing efforts, but utilizing both strategies together is what creates a successful marketing plan.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a page’s ranking within a search engine based on searchable keywords. While using SEO tactics, dealers can have a website or webpage rank #1 for a keyword search such as “VW service center,” making that page most likely to accumulate quality traffic that will hopefully convert to scheduling an appointment. A landing page like the Service Department with higher SEO value will be ranked at or near the top of the search query, giving it the most opportunity to receive organic traffic.
The best way to improve a page’s SEO is to ensure the page is relevant to the keywords included and that these keywords are highlighted with bolds, italics, and heading tags to stick out to the viewer. It is also essential to include metadata with titles and descriptions to give a first look into the page before interacting. Lastly, the page needs to be link-worthy to provide authority to the domain and the informative webpage. Linking is also a great way to enable customers to flow between important landing pages like the Homepage, Service Department, Service Specials, and Service Scheduler.
Pay Per Click
Pay Per Click (PPC) is an online advertising model in which an advertiser pays a publisher every time an advertisement link is “clicked.” PPC is based primarily on keywords and shows in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Unlike SEO which can take some time to rank well, a PPC strategy can have ads with links to dealership pages appearing in the first position on a SERP within a day of starting the ads.
Dealerships starting a PPC strategy require keyword research and analysis to determine when it’s best to show ads based on various search queries for the products and services they provide. By using this keyword data, dealerships can narrow the scope of their potential customer audience to those most likely to convert and yield higher profits. PPC is an intent-based strategy that provides the opportunity to advertise to potential customers actively searching for related content. In contrast, an audience-based targeting strategy may show ads when a potential customer is not ready to take action.
Successful PPC Campaigns
The difference between a successful and unsuccessful PPC campaign is how well the campaign can turn clicks into conversions, such as phone calls, form submissions, and store visits. Return on investment can be increased by narrowing keyword usage, matching landing page content with ad content, and optimizing ad copy to match search intent with the services offered and target audience observation. These factors combined can result in a better quality score, meaning that the ad lifecycle isn’t simply “post and forget” but requires constant analysis, testing, and management. A higher quality score means a lower cost-per-click for ads, allowing for more clicks and conversions within a specified budget.
Using Both SEO & PPC
While beneficial when used separately, SEO and PPC together can ensure more consistent ranking and, in many circumstances, double the visibility of a site. The additional references to a site and connections between ads and landing pages could be the difference between a consumer visiting a dealer’s site over the competition’s, which leads to a higher opportunity for conversions. These two campaigns together create a cohesive strategy based on keyword data and testing to fine-tune marketing efforts through accuracy and more informed decisions. Although different, PPC and SEO can complement and strengthen the effectiveness of one another to bring extra online success against competitors.
Want to develop the best SEO and PPC strategy for your service department? Click the link below to schedule a demo with our online service marketing experts.