New Vehicle Models Bring Attention to Showroom and Sales for All Inventory
BY DENNIS GALBRAITH
, and rightly so. It’s also critical for the dealership. When it all goes right, the dealer often realizes higher sales and average gross profit per unit in the early phase of a vehicle’s life cycle than it will later on. Additionally, new model launches can attract attention to the store, resulting in the sale of other vehicles and position the dealership as a leading authority.
The time to start working on a new model launch is months or even a year before the product arrives. In the era of digital advertising, online shopping, and social media, dealers who are proactive regarding model launches enjoy a bigger advantage than ever before over those who simply react once the product is available. The cost to generate marketing advantages in advance of a vehicle launch is usually very inexpensive, or simply generated by in-house staff.
Customize Your Content; Let Shoppers Know What’s Coming!
Custom content on the dealer’s own website often formulates the core of the dealer’s proactive strategy. Letting shoppers know what kind of product is coming to the store may sound like a risky move. After all, there is usually something comparable already in the showroom still needing to be sold. However, the chart below demonstrates the many advantages associated with promoting future models on the dealer’s website.
Of course, not all launches are the same. The Acura NSX is a halo car. It was not designed for high unit sales like the MDX, RDX, or ILX. A large part of its purpose is to raise the image of the brand, which can ultimately increase demand for other models. Leading Acura Dealer, Pohanka Acura, created a plethora of unique content for the NSX tailored to communities the store competes in. The graphic below shows all this content linking from the main menu bar (via mega menu) for superior SEO advantage. Any content linked directly from the main menu bar of the website is seen by search engines as having more authority than if it had not.
These articles appeal to fans and enthusiasts. The store knows most readers will never purchase a new NSX, but the articles meet the needs of those who might, while enhancing both the factory and store brands among those who will not.
Other launches are for big-selling models in hotly contested vehicle segments. The Toyota Tacoma competes head-on in the rough and tumble pickup truck market. The graphic below shows the custom content on Thomas Toyota of Joliet’s website placing even higher in organic search results than the factory content. Note that the search is extremely generic and covers the dealer’s entire state, “2017 Tacoma IL”.
SEO Advantage Stands FIRM
Once this kind of SEO advantage is established, it is difficult to displace it. To achieve this advantage, the page is both written and tagged properly. Written properly no longer means stuffed with keywords. Search engines are much smarter than they were even a few
years back. The custom content that best meets shoppers needs is more likely than ever to also be the custom content scoring highest in organic search results. Eliminating any space between these two objectives is Google’s stated goal, and they are making rapid progress. Nonetheless, content authors still benefit from doing their keyword homework before they write.
Compliance with manufacturer standards and guidelines is essential. There is no point in establishing the benefits of posting early only to see the content brought down later. Professional writers in this industry know what the manufacturer’s standards are for existing vehicles and new model launches. More than ever, SEO and compliance go hand in hand. One cannot sustain the former without adhering to the latter.
Automotive retail is dominated by month-to-month thinking, and the importance of monthly goals is as important as ever. It is how dealerships survive. However, long-term planning and investing is how the best dealerships thrive. No matter how well one executes in June of 2017, the results will not be as spectacular as they could be if the appropriate new-model content is developed in June of 2016 and the months that follow.