Target online prospects based on behavior

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a powerful strategy to reach customers. Targeting capabilities within platforms like Google are advanced and specific, allowing you to pinpoint audiences that are likely to be in the market for your products. However, online users don’t stay on a search engine forever. It is just the first step they take before visiting the website they are interested in.

Based on the search query an online user enters, that person then navigates to a website related to their query. The goal is to advertise on websites that are relevant to your website, appealing to people with likely interest in your dealership units based on their search and browsing behavior. For example, a search like “proper winter boat storage” might lead to a website titled Winterizing Your Boat. As a boat dealership owner, ads for your business would likely resonate with the people making that search and visiting that website.

Behavioral Targeting allows your ads to reach online users demonstrating a likelihood to buy in two different ways: Search and Context. There are often search bars within websites – a place where readers can filter for the information they need. The keywords that a website visitor types into a search bar can signal that an advertisement would be relevant. Additionally, when online users read content with keywords that match your business, that also demonstrates good reason to target. These strategies allow you to pinpoint people who are showing that they are likely to be in the market for the units you sell, taking your advertising efficiency to the next level.

Consider the customer journey as people navigate the Internet, considering a boat purchase. It is possible that someone in the market for a new boat might type “boat dealership near me” into a search engine and go directly to your dealership website. However, in most cases people are doing more research and being more thoughtful online before deciding to browse your site. The first website they visit may have an article about ski boats vs. pontoon boats. Next, they may conduct a search for the most popular ski boat models of 2018. Later, they may research content about equipment for water skiing. While none of this behavior links that person directly to your dealership, it clearly demonstrates that the person is interested in buying a ski boat. Ads for your dealership promoting the ski boats you sell would make complete sense for this online user.

We know that search engines play a big role in a customer’s online path to purchase, but don’t limit your ads to search engine platforms only. Behavioral Targeting provides access to prospects you may never have been able to reach before. Innovative in strategy and highly effective in execution, this method of targeting prospects online gives your dealership a major edge in achieving more online leads and sales.

Lauren Labunsky is the public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides innovative websites as well as a suite of powerful online advertising solutions that help marine dealers help increase sales and service profitability. For more information, visit or call 800-288-5917.

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