If you own or manage an RV dealership, you’ve probably heard about local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and may even have integrated it into your digital marketing campaign. If you have, good for you! You’ve taken an important step in attracting visitors to your website and creating opportunities for them to become lifelong customers of your dealership.If time, budget, or other constraints have kept you from participating in local SEO activities, this is a great time to get started so you can reap the benefits of digital consumer trends and keep from getting further behind your competition. If you need to be convinced of the importance of local SEO, consider the following:
- 29% of US adults spend more time on digital than on TV.
- One out of every five Google searches is related to location.
- Google searches for “nearby” have grown five times since 2011.
- 57% of consumers searched online for a local business more than six times in the past year.
Our technological landscape, and thus the digital territory of RV dealers, is definitely changing. Local SEO is the vehicle for covering that territory in a way that offers the most benefits – meaning opportunities for increasing revenue – for RV dealerships.
Now that we’ve established the necessity of local SEO, let’s define it. If you haven’t participated in local SEO activities before, it’s easy to get confused by the number of offerings on the market.
First, in order to benefit from advertising that drives traffic to your website, your site needs to be attractive, user-friendly, and up-to-date. If your site hasn’t been refreshed within the last two years, an assessment is mandatory.
Whether you have e-commerce on your RV dealership site or not, your website functions as a local storefront and the introduction to your company. Customers will draw impressions from it that they will rely on, whether consciously or unconsciously, in every interaction with your organization.
This is a common mistake for local businesses; they invest large amounts of money in their brick-and-mortar storefront, but their websites are low-budget afterthoughts. If you’re among those who realize the importance of a website that brands your business as you want it to and converts digital visitors to brick-and-mortar customers, you’re probably way ahead of most of your competitors.
Just as you wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars on a billboard and send prospective customers to a dank, dusty dealership with limited inventory and no way to find what they need, you need to make sure your website facilitates the selling process instead of hindering it. Of course, this also means that your website must be mobile-friendly. Spontaneous visits to your dealership are an opportunity to capture customers at the beginning of the buying process!
Once your website is as it should be, the fun of local SEO begins. Unfortunately, another common misconception for local business owners is that once the website is launched, it will naturally attract traffic. In the old days (the 90s!) of the internet, this was more accurate. Due to the lack of competition in most industries, it was easy for local businesses with web presences to rise to the top of search results.
But the internet boom has quickly made the days of “If we build it, they will come” a thing of the past. If you don’t participate in local SEO activities to market your RV dealership website, it will probably never bring in significant traffic, because searchers won’t be able to find it.
The reason that local SEO activities are so important is that search engines recognize that those who are doing the work of promoting their websites properly are more likely to be creating a good experience for users. The job of a search engine is to provide relevant results to searchers’ queries; algorithms have an inherent distrust of stagnating websites, and for good reason, because they are more likely to be out of date.
Local SEO activities let you tell search engines, and by extension users, that your website is alive and well and should be considered a relevant search result for queries related to your business. So what exactly are “local SEO activities?”
- Blog: Adding a blog to your website allows you to add helpful articles to your site that will attract website visitors and increase their trust in your dealership. Every article you add shows search engines that you’re maintaining your website.
- News and Events Webpages: Establishing your business as a full participant in your industry and in your community also goes a long way towards reassuring customers that you will be there for them before, during, and after their purchases. Since these pages, by definition, are updated on a regular basis, they also help show that your site is being maintained.
- Local Directories: Directory submissions provide internet searchers with accurate information about your company when they land on them instead of on your website – as long as you keep the listings current. If you don’t maintain them, they frustrate potential customers by providing them with inaccurate information or with no information at all. Since the name of your business is likely to be listed in a number of directories even if you haven’t requested listings, it’s worthwhile to take control of that process and ensure that potential customers are given correct information.
- Social Media: According to Website Magazine, 80% of consumers expect businesses to be active in social media. This is an interesting statistic, since some of those consumers may not be particularly active on social media themselves. But it shows that the public relies on a company’s mere presence on social media platforms like Facebook as a credibility factor.
There are many other digital marketing activities that improve local search engine optimization, such as a robust content marketing strategy, but the above list would be a great start for any RV dealership with an interest in local SEO.
Comments, questions, and concerns are welcome! Just let us know in the comment section below or by contacting us.
About the Author: Rachaelle Lynn is a Google Certified and Bing Accredited digital advertising consultant with over 12 years of experience in website development and internet marketing, including e-commerce, SEO, PPC, and social media. She has helped many businesses, from small local companies to large international organizations, establish online presences and leverage them to increase revenue.