In my March blog post, I discussed the importance of ongoing SEO to earn a top spot in the organic search results. Now let’s look at how a combined SEO and SEM (search engine marketing, also referred to as pay-per-click) marketing strategy can help you further dominate the search results, and what makes each valuable in its own right.
When prospects are searching for a vehicle or dealership, chances are good that they’ll review the results on the first page of the SERPs (search engine results page). Roughly 90 percent will not even go beyond the first page. Your best opportunity at being found by your target market is by not only performing the ongoing steps of search engine optimization to be seen in the top of the organic results, but to also have SEM campaigns in place to secure a presence in the upper portion of the search engine results page. Seventy percent of the space above the fold on the SERPs is taken up by paid ads, and the top three organic search results combine for a total of 61 percent of search traffic1.
By combining SEO with SEM, you increase your presence in the search results by maximizing the benefits of each. Some things to consider when thinking about your SEO and SEM strategy:
- SEM advertising offers immediate results, placing your ad above the organic listings on the first page of the search results. SEO is a long-term strategy to generate a steady flow of highly qualified, ready-to-buy leads.
- SEM (search engine marketing) advertising is an excellent way to generate leads for short-term marketing campaigns, like promotions, events and new product lines. SEO will help you build a strong web presence and improve your brand recognition and reputation over time.
- SEM campaigns should have a targeted, focused approach to drive specific segments of your audience to your website (targeted landing pages serve as a great entry to your site from a paid campaign). SEO efforts should focus on relevant keywords and phrases that best define your brand and let the search engines know the purpose of your website.
- Let your paid and organic results work together — link paid ads back to the home page or a specific product page on your website. If your site is optimized for the user, they are more likely to dig deeper into the content on your website which in turn, positively impacts your pay-per-click quality score, resulting in higher ranking and lower costs on your PPC ads.
There are more than 40,000 searches per second on Google. It’s about time you take your slice of the pie. Increase your traffic and lead opportunities by increasing your dealership presence in the SERPs. Use SEM and SEO together to attract a growing number of prospects, expand your brand authority and increase your sales.
Kim Rocco is the director of Marketing for DX1, the complete dealership management platform for the powersports industry. DX1 gives dealers access to everything they need to manage and market their dealerships, including DMS, website & online marketing tools. Dealers save time and eliminate frustration with the efficiency of one login, one dashboard and a single database where customer and inventory data is stored.