Search engine results pages are a prime place for meeting new customers. When consumers search for something they need, they discover your business and see that you can help them solve their problem.
If you are investing in auto industry SEO, you already know this.
But even if you know that showing up in search is a powerful way to make introductions to new customers -- are you maximizing the process so you can reap the full benefits of your SEO plan?
To get the highest return on investment for your SEO plan, you need each of these three essential elements.
Essential Element 1: Search Visibility
The first step in connecting with audiences through search is getting visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). You want your business to show up when customers search for a term related to your brand and business.
You can maximize your search visibility by appearing in:
- Organic results by improving your search engine optimization (SEO)
- Paid results by utilizing pay per click (PPC) advertising
- Featured listings by creating a Google Business Page
However you show up in search, the important piece of your presence is a click to call feature.
According to “The Role of Click to Call in the Path to Purchase,” a Google research study -- 40 million calls are driven by Google ads each month. To tap into that high volume of interested callers, you need your phone number to appear near your search listing.
Essential Element 2: Click to Call Option
Your business listing and paid ads should include a feature that allows mobile users to click to call. This enables users to go from your listing to calling your business with one motion.
“Click to call is one of the most used features on the mobile search engine results page. 70% of mobile searchers have used click to call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page,” per the Google report.
Customers in all industries use the click to call feature.
But customers in the auto industry use click to call more than other types of consumers.
According to the Google report, 60% of respondents said they would be likely to call an auto business if it had a click to call feature in their mobile ad (versus 51% of tech customers, 44% of restaurant customers, and 37% of retail customers). Only local services had a higher demand for click to call with 69% of respondents wanting to use the feature.
If you are showing up in search in the auto industry, you need to utilize the click to call feature. If you don’t, you risk losing and alienating potential customers.
From the Google study, 47% said they were “more likely to explore other brands” if they were unable to call a business directly from search results.
Another 47% said they would be annoyed in that situation, 35% said they would be disappointed in the brand, and 33% said they would be less likely to use the brand.
Once you have visibility and a click to call feature, you need one more piece of the puzzle to drive your auto industry SEO strategy home.
Essential Element 3: Exceptional Calling Experience
Through your SEO efforts, you guide customers toward calling your business.
So you must continue to deliver on the next customer touch point -- the phone call -- if you want to maximize the return on your investment.
The Google study reports that the average length of calls driven from search ads are six minutes. You need to have a plan for managing and leveraging those calls.
One way to prepare for calls is to use an on-hold messaging system that includes the information the caller is seeking. So if you are unable to quickly field the call, you can still get interested audiences the information they need.
According to the Google study, respondents called auto shops for the following reasons.
- 60% to check business hours
- 57% to schedule appointment or make reservation
- 57% to inquire about inventory or availability
- 52% to inquire about pricing
- 40% to inquire about promotions and deals
- 43% to inquire about a product
- 42% to get directions
As you plan to field the calls driven by your auto industry SEO, also consider how you can equip your staff with the information they need to serve customer once they get them on the line.
According to the Google study, survey respondents said they were likely to call an auto business during the entire buying process from inspiration and research to purchase and post-purchase.
Respondents also said they were most likely to call during the purchase phase.
So, make sure your team is equipped with the tools and information they need to connect with callers and guide them through the sales process.
What Happens If You Don’t Have Auto Industry SEO Essentials?
SEO efforts are directly tied to the customer call experience. It’s not enough to invest in auto industry SEO if you can’t manage the experience through next steps.
As you can see:
- Without search visibility -- customers can’t find you.
- Without click to call option -- customer can’t easily and directly connect with you.
- Without an exceptional customer calling experience -- customers will be turned away and left with a list of other competitors to call instead.
You need all three essential elements to leverage your SEO plans and get the highest return on your investment. So if you are already investing in auto industry SEO, paying for ads, or working to improve your organic listings, don’t stop there.
Make sure you can follow through with the full process by also investing in creating an exceptional customer calling experience that ties the whole process together.
Need helping with designing a plan for your on-phone experience?
Get our full whitepaper on maximizing on-the-phone opportunities and creating exceptional on-hold experiences that will ultimately improve your SEO efforts and increase your ROI. Download the free guide below.