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Stay competitive with local search

By Colleen Malloy

Colleen Malloy BlogThe SEO landscape is constantly changing, and in recent years, local search has taken high priority on the top search engines. One driving factor for this emphasis is the increasing prevalence of mobile. Year over year, the number of location-enabled mobile searches is growing. Mobile shoppers want to find the businesses that meet their needs nearest them, and Google wants to ensure it's serving them the best results.

Today when shoppers search for “powersports dealer near me” on Google, they’ll often see a map with the three highest-ranked businesses pinpointed for them right at the top of the page. On mobile searches, this “local pack” real estate takes up most of the screen.

In coming months, you might be able to reach more potential customers by buying a pin on the map, but for the moment, use these tactics to stay competitive in local search.

  1. Set up Google My Business.

Making information about your business easily accessible online is a strong first step to increasing your local search rank, and Google My Business is a great tool for doing just that. The program allows you to create a profile for your business with Google that displays on the right side of the search results page when shoppers search for you.

Google My Business lets you feature your NAP information (name, address and phone number) as well as your hours, services you offer and photos. Customers can also review you directly on your Google My Business profile, which can help other potential shoppers to choose your dealership over the competition and help improve your local search ranking.

  1. Think like your customers.

After you’ve set up your Google My Business page, head over to your website and look at it through your customers’ eyes. Does it include the information that’s going to answer their questions? Is it easy to navigate? Can you find products quickly?

If your answer to any of those questions is “no,” you might need to make a few changes. Your website is more than just a business card or an advertisement. It’s a tool that can help you convince a potential customer to make a purchase with you, and making your website a strong resource for your shoppers can help increase your local search rank.

Think about the questions shoppers ask in store. If service is a big draw for you, be sure to list the services you offer and have request forms to make it easy for your customers to book appointments. Including content that answers common questions on your website shows Google that you’re a relevant fit when shoppers search for those questions.

  1. Let Google know you’re important.

One of Google’s key factors in local search ranking is prominence. Are you well-known in your community? Do shoppers love you? You can prove your prominence to Google in a few different ways.

First, include relevant links that support your dealership. On your “About Us” page, be sure to link to your local Chamber of Commerce if you’re a member or to community groups or events you sponsor. This gives the search engine more information about you and helps demonstrate that you’re well-connected in your community. You can also include national links – linking to your OEMs’ websites is an easy way to do this.

Fostering reviews is another great way to show Google that you’re important in your community. The easiest way to do this is to provide fantastic customer service and let shoppers know where they can give you feedback about their experience. Google looks at the number of reviews you’ve received and your positive ratings when determining your local search rank, and it also shows potential shoppers what your current customers think of your dealership.

Having a strong local search presence can help you reach new customers and drive sales. If you need help managing your local search strategy, tools like ARI’s Digital Marketing Services can help. Reach out to me if you have any questions at colleen.malloy@arinet.com.

Colleen Malloy is ARI’s director of marketing. Malloy has more than a decade of experience in the powersports industry and previously served as the editor of Motorcycle & Powersports News. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!

Email: colleen.malloy@arinet.com

Phone: 414/973-4323

Website: arinet.com

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