You may be a relatively new dealer or a second generation dealer with a large market share. When it comes to website presence, it doesn’t matter. In order to grow your business, optimizing your website and message is an absolute must.

Internet searches for products and businesses who sell those products is the number one way people decide how and where to purchase. This is true for all age groups. Surprisingly, seniors 65+ are now the fastest growing group who are learning to use the internet.  In addition, nearly every procurement person or manager from a company looking for a golf car, people mover or utility vehicle will start their search by using the internet.

So, now you are saying, “yes, I know it is important, but I just don’t understand it…. And, I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on something I don’t understand and don’t know what I will get out of it”. Let’s start with search engine optimization (SEO). When it comes to SEO, whether your company and/or products pop up on the first page of a web search largely depends on how effective you (or whoever actively manages your website) are at discovering, researching, analyzing and selecting the best search engine keywords for your website.

Keywords are simply the words and/or phrases that a person types in when they start to search for a product or service.  For our industry some examples of keywords would be Golf Car, Golf Carts, Utility vehicle, people mover(s), Low Speed Vehicle, etc.

Your use and placement of keywords and descriptions have a major impact on how you will rank in a web search.  There are really three phases to a person who uses a web search to find a product or service.

  • Exploration phase – Where can I get a golf car?
  • Comparison Phase – What are the best golf cars and where can I get one?
  • Buying Phase – How much does golf car brand X cost and who has the best price/service?

In order for your company and products to be considered, it is imperative that your company ranks in the first page for the most common key word searches. Do you know where you rank on web searches for Golf Cars or Golf Carts? Try doing a search right now and see where you pop up. If your company does not pop up on page one for a google search, your website structure needs some work to improve your web ranking for keyword searches.

“So what, now what”? What do I do next if I want to work on improving my web presence? Start by reading up on the basics of the internet, SEO and what impacts you websites ability to consistently show up on the first page of a web search for the products/brands you sell. Learn about Title tags, links, content strategy, meta descriptions, importance of images/pictures, website structure, website speed, etc.

Here are some good books for learning basics about websites and website structure along with other related marketing strategies:

  • Website basics by SSRG Solutions
  • The Small Business Bible by Steven Strauss
  • Guerilla Marketing by Jay Levinson

While most of you don’t have the time to devote to becoming a website expert, you must have some basic knowledge of how the internet works and what drives company and product rankings. This will give you a more educated approach to picking the right people or companies to help build a new site or improve your existing website.

While you are working on building your web presence, another great short term tool to get your company to pull up on the first page of a key word search is pay per click.

A Google pay per click campaign will allow you to spend

as much or little as you want to target certain key words. For keywords like golf cart or other, you will pull up in the top three or so spots in your specified marketing area. Each time a person click to enter your site, you will pay a fee based on the “competition” level for that key word. Longer term, you want your site to pull up in the first page “organically” or free of cost. This will come over time as you optimize your website.

My hope is that I have created a desire for you and your team to learn more about the internet and how you can improve your website to grow your business. May your business have a very successful 2015.

Let’s sell some EV’s!