BY LAUREN LABUNSKY
For years, statistics have shown that people are shifting from desktop computers to mobile devices when accessing the Internet. The increased use of mobile devices has only heightened the need for Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy. As it is most likely that your dealership sells mainly to customers who live in or are visiting your area, local search is a vital marketing need to earn those customers.
Between 2016-2017, the percentage of people who said they primarilyused a smartphone to access the Internet increased from 41% to 61%* – meaning that in 2019, that number is likely to be much higher. This cultural shift in the way people go online is important because searches conducted on mobile devices are more likely to be local searches. Similarly, 2018 research shows that 82% of smartphone users use search engines when looking for local businesses and 32% of all Google mobile searches are related to location.* This research makes it clear that, because consumers are relying on mobile devices more and more, investing in SEM needs to become an even higher priority for local businesses.
The warm summer months are typically the most popular time of the year for powersports sales, and the majority of powersports dealers tell us it is their busiest season. That also means that it’s the busiest season of the year for your local competitors. You don’t want your dealership’s absence or lackluster showing on search engines to shift those summer sales from your store to theirs. SEM strategy targets specific users who are most likely to be in the market for units like yours, using information like location, demographics, past search history, and more. SEM also helps ads for your dealership to appear at the very top of search engine results pages, above organic search rankings. It’s a recipe for success – getting the eyes of your most likely prospects on ads for your dealership in a prime spot online.
Research has shown that 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles, and 28% of searches in which the person used the term “nearby” resulted in a purchase.* Not only are people using search engines to find local businesses, but these searchers are serious about purchasing. SEM drives local traffic to your business with text and display ads catered to your individual dealership’s marketing goals. These ads are specifically designed to entice likely buyers and encourage them to both visit your site and submit a lead on the unit they are interested in.
It’s also important to remember that, though Google is by far the most popular search engine, it’s not the only one that your local prospects are using. YouTube, which is owned by Google and serves video ads, brings in billions of views per day. Facebook, the largest and most popular social media site, serves ads daily to its over 2 billion users. And other platforms like Yahoo and Bing operate and deliver ads to searchers much like Google does. A smart SEM strategy will incorporate multiple campaigns and platforms to bring your business the best results.
Lauren Labunsky is the public relations manager at Dealer Spike, a leading web services provider for powersports dealerships. The award-winning digital advertising company is focused on helping dealers increase sales through powerful, distinctive website design and a full suite of online marketing tools to drive results. Dealer Spike’s expertise comes from real-world dealership experience and a team of professionals who also ride. When you work with Dealer Spike, you’re working with digital marketing experts who have a passion for your industry.