Here’s the current situation around the automotive trade. Where they are online and what they’re missing out on. Considering the 5,000 businesses in this sector, it has a very low online profile here in NZ. Less than 2% ever show up on page one of a Google search result.
Yet the number of online searches around WOF and car servicing is massive. Almost 50,000 per month. If you add in items like tyres, then this climbs to 90,000!
If spread evenly, this means that for those 50% in the trade that have a website, should average 500 or more visitors per month from Google leads alone, plus another 500 from direct visits using traditional activities. This should equate to several leads per day (new customers), on top of their regular clients. Typically in the US, where an expert online-offline marketing strategy is in place, sales growth of 20-30% pa is the norm, even in a bad economy.
Do you have a marketing system or strategy?
The reality is that most small business automotive operations have no marketing system and any website they have is lucky to get more than 250 visitors per month in total, contributing just a few sales leads. Most sites are poorly coded, not keyword optimised and with too few backlinks.
p.s. That chart comes from Google directly, showing how often people use them to find a car repair or service provider. But we know that this isn’t being spread evenly. Instead, over 95% of most online searches are going to the top 5% of high profile industry providers. They have obviously made the decision to invest in and optimise their online presence.
I’ve Got a Website – I’m fine
According to an analysis of the Yellow Pages listings, around 50% in this sector already have a website. These plain brochure sites have bad coding, no domain authority and often lack good, relevant content or any keyword focus. For most of these websites, 300 visitors per month would be a good result and maybe one or two leads.
Like the live ranking analysis shown (courtesy SEO Profiler), indicates most sites appear on page 2, 3, 4 or 5 of a search, which few people view. And often, the phrases they rank for are not the ones the website owner wants. The example shows the business is ranking (be it poorly, resulting in few leads) for brake repairs. Was this the business intent? I doubt it.
So, these businesses owners with low website traffic and inquires innocently conclude that websites generally and this ‘internet thing’ is a waste of time and money. But it’s not the internet, it’s their clunky old website and complete lack of attention or funds to online that’s been lacking.
2. But I’m in Yellow, Finda, MTA – They’ll see me right
Yeah, right… It amazes me that these directories still exist today and that some actually pay top dollar to be listed in them! Most automotive and tradespeople I know also put endless faith into their industry organisations and in Yellow to promote them in print and online. The relationship has gone back many years and they’re afraid to change. Yet most can’t recall the last sales lead they received via these channels. Yellow salespeople especially like to push the fact that they will do it all, be it very poorly.
All the data and surveys clearly tell us that very few leads will come via these old school sources be they print or their online versions. At best, all these third party directory sites combined, only cover 5-10% of the marketplace, (down from 20% last year). Customers seldom use them. Yellow manipulate traffic data to give the impression they still work.
Need proof? Here’s a real website traffic chart (right), listing monthly traffic numbers to a busy trade website with a good online profile. It has a good website of high organic ranking, regularly on page one, plus supplements leads with Googles pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. It also invests in all the local online directories from Yellow, Finda, Localist, Gopher etc.
Organic search provided 1,894 visitors, Google Adwords 1,478, direct traffic of 856 and Yellow pages 90 visitors. Finda, Gopher and Localist barely in double figures.
Money being wasted
The thousands spent with these third party directories contributes less than 3% to their website traffic! And although Yellow reps say otherwise, most people visit your website (and hence be tracked) before they phone. This means that is you’re currently allocated say $10,000 pa to advertising and online, only $300 should rightly go to Yellow Finda, Gopher, MTA listings etc… Any more than this amount is wasted.
The remaining $9,700 should be put towards updating and expanding your online presence with Google where people are searching - For those really wanting to steal some of that massive Google traffic the big companies get, we can help you get in on the action. Check out our automotive marketing package for details.
The old school methods clearly aren’t working any more. Install an affordable, professional-grade marketing system that actually works. Email me at zn.oc.gnitekramizenull@nivek or complete the form below