It’s not about attracting a bunch of eyeballs to your site


Bob McCann, Director of Education, ARI
September 6, 2013
Filed under Guest Blog

As I began working on the curriculum for our Crank Up Your Search Engine Marketing ROI workshop at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, I started jotting down topics that we needed to make sure were covered.  Very quickly, these topics turned into questions that need to be answered by every marine dealer before embarking on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign.

Whether you’re currently using or considering starting a PPC campaign or plan on attending MDCE this year (and hopefully our workshop), I encourage you to take some time to turn the following list into a brainstorming session at your dealership.  You’ll want to involve your associates, including a few from outside the sales department.

Who are your customers? In order to reach potential customers through your PPC campaign, you need to first determine your target demographic, starting with the city and/or zip codes of the customers you are looking to reach. Be sure to think about outlying areas that could be a source of new business.  You can even target male/female customers within a specific age group if you create a campaign utilizing Google’s display network.

What brands, models and products do you carry? Think about how you utilize search engines when you create your campaign. Most people search for a specific type of boat related to the activity they want to engage in, such as high performance, sailboats, fishing or pleasure. They may also have a brand and model in mind, which could be very specific such as “Fiberglass Bass Triton 17 Pro”. If this seems like a daunting task, not to worry, Google Ad Words and other search engine advertising tools feature keyword generator tools that can assist you with this process.

What makes you different? Selling pre-owned vs new boats is targeting a completely different audience when it comes to PPC campaigns, so it’s important to segment your budget to fit your specific business model. Next, think about your unique value proposition, or your competitive advantage. Every marine dealership has one, so hone in on yours to get a leg up on the competition.  Examples include hard to find service offerings, unique storage facilities, grand opening events or open houses that you host annually.

The answers to these questions are essential to starting out on the right foot when creating PPC campaigns.  Remember, it’s not about attracting a bunch of eyeballs to your site, it about attracting the right eyeballs, attached to buyers that want the boats and services you sell in the region you sell them. Once you create effective ads for all the search engines, your website will draw more visitors and help you sell more boats. Do your homework now. That way, you’ll be prepared for to kick off a successful campaign as well as what we’ll share with you at MDCE. Hope to see you in Orlando, hopefully right in the front row!

Bob McCann is ARI’s Director of Education. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! – online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments, and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage our website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!


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