How to mine Google gold and land increased traffic

Staff
By Staff Writer
Nov 30, 2021 | Sponsored Content, marketing | Posted in Features | Never miss an article

Photography Credits: Matt Koffel and NeONBRAND via Unsplash

Sponsored Content Presented by Automotive-Marketing.com.

These days, making a great product isn’t enough to be recognized in the automotive aftermarket. You have to market it properly. And that’s where Automotive-Marketing.com comes in.

“It’s all about the Google results,” Shane Ryans of Automotive-Marketing.com says with a slight chuckle. “I’ve been in this business for long enough to see how things have changed and developed over the years, from traditional methods to digital marketing pipelines, and the way the market is going, those Google results are just everything now, so that’s what we focus on as an agency. Then it’s up to the company to deliver the product, but we’ll deliver their customers to them.”

If that sounds oversimplified, it’s probably because it is. And that’s mostly because it’s a side of the automotive aftermarket that we rarely see, even though we experience its effects every day.

The adage of “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” may still be technically valid, but if the world doesn’t know where your door is or how to open it once they get there, their arrival may be delayed indefinitely.

So that’s why companies like Automotive-Marketing.com exist. While huge companies have in-house marketing departments that can guide products and services from conception to delivery, much of the automotive aftermarket runs leaner than that. Our industry thrives on small, flexible operations from one-person-in-their-basement-type concerns to larger companies you know well yet still operate more from a product side of the equation than a marketing side.

And that’s why guys like Ryans are around: to fill those gaps in knowledge and ability so customers can find those newer, better mousetraps.

Looping back to the Google comment, Ryans and the crew at Automotive-Marketing.com see Google as the primary weapon in getting business to their customers–which makes sense, as it’s the primary tool most of us use when starting our quest for parts or services.

“There are other paths to getting the message out for some of these companies, but–particularly for smaller or newer companies–until you have Google sorted out, it’s almost not worth focusing on the more granular marketing,” he explains. “So with any new company, we start right with Google optimization, which we try to do as organically as possible.”

The process of optimizing Google sauce “organically” is not really as alchemic as it sounds. Google has automated agents constantly crawling the internet looking for certain things: words, phrases, pictures, descriptions of concepts, and even certain functional metrics and interfaces on particular websites.

Basically, Google keeps a catalog of what the web at large wants, what it likes, and what people who use it like. Websites that adhere most stringently to these guidelines are ranked higher in Google searches than ones featuring flying toasters and misspelled profanity.

The trick is that these factors are constantly moving targets, as Google is constantly crawling the web. Keeping on top of it in a way that can positively affect a company’s results–and being able to implement the changes needed to stay on top of those results–is a full-time job. That’s why big companies have departments devoted directly to those ends, and why small companies have the ability to hire independents like Automotive-Marketing.com to fill those roles.

Still, even within those parameters, Ryans says there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to marketing a product or service in this industry. “With some companies–larger ones or ones in more established industries–there tends to be a bit more of a road map,” he explains. “Obviously all companies are different, but in general, companies in any industry tend to evolve along some clear parallels that make the process a little more straightforward when we’re dealing with someone who is established or someone who is introducing a new product into an already saturated market. It may be a better product, but at least we know that there’s already potential customers out there trying to solve a problem that this product solves. So we have a lot of prior precedent to develop a marketing strategy.”

The biggest challenges, Ryans says, lie in scenarios where the potential customers for a product must essentially be created. “Sometimes we’re in a situation where we’re marketing something so new or revolutionary that people don’t even know how to ask questions about it,” he explains. “That’s a different challenge–not necessarily bigger, because we have strategies for those situations, too, but it definitely lets us get creative with our approaches.”

One of Ryans' favorite weapons for situations like this is Automotive-Marketing.com’s stable of auto-savvy writers. “It’s so frustrating to see things like blatant technical misinformation in press releases. If you hire a marketing company to market your product and your product is highly technical, that needs to be communicated accurately or you instantly lose credibility.

“We have a team of experienced, professional tech writers from the auto industry that we work with to make sure we’re communicating tech concepts accurately,” he continues. “We definitely see in this industry–especially on the performance and motorsport side–that the customer is really, really savvy and knowledgeable. If you get basic facts and concepts wrong, that will ultimately hurt your credibility in a way that it’s difficult to recover from. So getting that right is paramount for us.”

The tech-centric content generation has paid off for the company as well. Where once it was a full-service agency across multiple sectors, its reputation within the automotive industry has led to it honing its approach.

“We were having great results with our approach in the auto sector,” says Ryans, “so we decided to more heavily focus on that niche. Now it’s over 50% of our business. And that’s everything from small-volume manufacturers just getting into e-commerce, to brick-and-mortar, service-based companies that we have to focus on more geographically, to large companies and high-end dealerships that need a broader but still more specialized approach.”

As with all marketing efforts, though, quantifying results is as much art as science, especially in smaller marketplaces. “We try and focus on conversions as our key metrics for our customers rather than clicks,” Ryans notes. That means measuring actual sales rather than tire kicks.

“And with any marketing effort,” he continues, “the results are not always instant, and it’s not always easy to convince someone they’re spending money for a good cause when it’s not instantly flowing back to them in increased sales. But part of our job is educating our customers about how to analyze the metrics properly so they can make a more informed decision as to whether or not an outside agency like us is even a good fit for their product. Ultimately, I’d rather not have someone as a client if we can’t make them happy than to have them disappointed down the road because it wasn’t a good fit for their situation.”

And sometimes educating those clients comes in the form of going a little deeper in their in-house processes. “It’s not something we love to do because we like our clients to have their autonomy, but because we focus on conversions, we have to sometimes consult on our clients’ e-commerce practices. We can get people to their site, but if their site can’t close the sale, that isn’t helping anyone. So we have the knowledge to go in and make suggestions on best practices on their end as well.”

With the pandemic moving huge portions of our marketplace online–even in the service sector, where more shops are making most of their initial contacts with customers virtually–success in the automotive aftermarket only begins with a good product.

And where in years past it was easy for smaller companies to get buried under a tidal wave of in-house marketing from the big guys, companies like Automotive-Marketing.com are democratizing the process of marketing, giving independents the same access to professional marketing techniques that the big guys enjoy.

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Comments
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Duke
Duke MegaDork
11/30/21 9:06 a.m.

Soooo, yeah, I almost clicked on this and reported it to the mods as a canoe.

 

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/30/21 9:24 a.m.

Hot singles in your area want to do maintenance on your car. 

 

I will add. There is a ton of value in taking control of the free offering of Google page for local operating automotive repair and service businesses. When I was working for the consulting firm it was one of the things that we preached early for clients to do and it resulted in an increased car count of 28% with a $0 financial commitment. The ability to create calls to action with regards to recruiting technicians was also greatly beneficial. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/30/21 9:31 a.m.

What is Google really looking for? Quality information that is kept up to date. 

Best thing you can do for good search results is to actually provide this over a long period. It's more effort than the SEO trend of the day and you don't need to hire an agency for it, but it works.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
11/30/21 9:32 a.m.

Can we conclude from the existence of this article that posting on the GRM forum is one of the variety of mining techniques for said Google gold?  A marketing firm marketing their marketing firm on a motorsports website owned by motorsport marketing is certainly some marketing for a marketing firm.

 

 

 

Marketing.

Buck Futter
Buck Futter SuperDork
11/30/21 10:20 a.m.

Yep. This is the answer I needed. It's definitely time to jump ship. So long GRM people. It's been a weird WTF ride here. Only been here ten years. The changes are real. And not worth my time anymore. This post confirms it. 

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
11/30/21 10:27 a.m.
Buck Futter said:

Yep. This is the answer I needed. It's definitely time to jump ship. So long GRM people. It's been a weird WTF ride here. Only been here ten years. The changes are real. And not worth my time anymore. This post confirms it. 

Like it or not, it's the world we live in now bud. 60% of the internet is hosted on an Amazon server and most new applications like Discord use Chromium APIs. Google essentially owns all of adspace on the internet. Everything is monopolized.

Anonyminity died out around ~2014 unless you TOR everywhere.

EDIT: Heck, screwed this up. What I meant to say is, everyone has to play the adsense game.

Cooter's Scooters
Cooter's Scooters PowerDork
11/30/21 10:29 a.m.
Buck Futter said:

Yep. This is the answer I needed. It's definitely time to jump ship. So long GRM people. It's been a weird WTF ride here. Only been here ten years. The changes are real. And not worth my time anymore. This post confirms it. 

I haven't read the article yet, but upvoted the original post just for off chance it was truly responsible for this flounce.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
11/30/21 10:32 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

What is Google really looking for? Quality information that is kept up to date. 

Best thing you can do for good search results is to actually provide this over a long period. It's more effort than the SEO trend of the day and you don't need to hire an agency for it, but it works.

Square left in 50 caution ocean! - Author of How To Build a High Performance Mazda Miata

This.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UltraDork
11/30/21 10:42 a.m.

So, many years ago we raced with a regional motorcycle club; their very thick rule book was 50% advertising. The rule book came with your membership, all those ads paid for that.

GRM routinely posts these ad-articles; as I am on this site every damn day, clearly I find GRM valuable. I don't have issue with them doing this as it makes GRM viable. 

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE Dork
11/30/21 10:57 a.m.

Wait

I've never seen Buck post here before.

... are we sure this isn't a source of manufactured replies for attention?

Captdownshift (Forum Supporter)
Captdownshift (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/30/21 11:00 a.m.

In reply to Buck Futter :

Insert commentary regarding this location not being an airport. 

Shadeux
Shadeux GRM+ Memberand Dork
11/30/21 11:51 a.m.

I read the article and... I don't know what I read. It's like word salad.

CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/30/21 12:18 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

GRM routinely posts these ad-articles; as I am on this site every damn day, clearly I find GRM valuable. I don't have issue with them doing this as it makes GRM viable. 

Yuuup. The amount of good information and enjoyable conversations far outweighs the occasional sponsored post. It's the same thing as an advertisement in the magazine.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
11/30/21 1:21 p.m.

I can see someone with a lot of sponsors and their own website finding this helpful.

slefain
slefain PowerDork
12/1/21 8:19 a.m.

I'm a marketing weasel, this is my world. Interesting read with some good points and ideas. As for sponsored content, it makes the publishing world go round now. When the buff books collapsed a decade ago a lot of the writers got picked up by manufacturers to knock out "turn key" tech articles that were given to magazine editors for free. I know, I was one of those editors. If this helps keep the lights on, then roll on man.

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