After you get done reading this article, go to the computer and pull up Google.com. I want to you try a little experiment. Try typing in your dealership name in the search area. Do you come up? Are you even ranked first, second, third? Now try typing in a few different combinations – the makes you sell plus your town or used makes and your town (Chevrolet St. Louis, Used VW Pittsburgh). Coming up now?
From my research about 90% of you will not appear. That is not necessarily your fault or your website provider's. It is something that you need to fix. Back in the "old days" (last year) it really did not matter how you appeared in the search engines. In this day and age the Internet Search Engines are the New Yellow Page Ads. If you did not have a yellow page ad in the past chances that you would not get the first call. Search engines are the exact same way. You have to be there for them to call your website.
Google has become the leader in the online race. You may have heard of this little company whose stock has doubled in less than a month. I get questions all the time about why is Google stock is so much. It is because advertisers, advertising companies, and consumers can connect and connect easily without all the junk that is on other sites. People are looking for easy ways on the Internet to find the information they need. Google connects you to your customer.
Some will say that they do not use Google. You might use MSN or Yahoo or twenty other different engines out there. It does not matter which one you use. You have to be there on all of them in some shape or form. You can pay a company to do it or you can research it yourself and make it happen.
Most people do not know how valuable having a good ranking on the search engines is for their business. The ones that do know it – do not want you to find out. When you look at all the other media that is out there and you break it down, it becomes real simple to see why the manufacturers are dumping money into online advertising. It is cheaper in relative terms and provides in many cases and return on investment.
The rules have changed for everyone. Many makes out there will now allow you to co-op this advertising expense. It has come from the Internet being the evil step child of advertising to one of the shining stars for dealerships. If you do not know already, find out if your brand allows co-op and be the hero of the dealership by finding a way to bring more qualified traffic and leads to your website.
As recent as last year, they said that Internet advertising was dead. It was almost. The difference is that it evolved. It changed from epileptic banners all over to the place with deceptive offers to letting the customer search for some thing and then giving them a choice whenever or not to find out more information. With the evolution of choice and the sites that directly market to the customer needs, it has made Internet advertising the home run that ad agencies and advertisers have tried to find since the direct mail piece was printed.
I have preached in many articles that taking a serious look at Internet advertising should be something each dealership should do. Some have listened and many have not. Find the best solution for your dealership in your hands. Those who start on this journey are in a better position tomorrow. The Internet constantly evolves. Imagine back in the 70's if you bought a Honda dealership. Yes, there was an upside from gas crunches and the trend toward more fuel efficiency. You did not sell them like they were going out of style. Imagine what that dealers would be worth today in a nice growing metro area.
The point of the story: investing in the Internet today is like buying a Honda dealership in the 70's. Except this time you have the foresight to see what is coming up over the next few years. Building your online presence is a return that you will reap for years to come no matter how small or how large the investment. So find a way to start making it work for you today. Search engine advertising and marketing will be done in your area. Lock it up with your operation now before your competition does.