Generate more phone leads and better online reviews with a local search campaign

Local search is the sleeper tactic in your digital marketing toolkit. Case in point: in a 12-month span, 350 local search campaigns for Search Optics clients achieved astounding results. On average, 3,400 phone leads were generated at approximately a $1.30 cost-per-lead (CPL). This is exactly the type of campaign that auto dealers dream about: driving up lead generation while driving down costs.

Some dealers lump local search in with their SEO strategies, but really these are not mutually exclusive and directly influence the other. By parsing these out separately, it pays dividends in the form of increasing organic search results and improving reputation management. The tangible benefits come in an increase in new vehicle sales, a boost in fixed operations, more one-on-one engagement with customers, and better dealership review scores.

Local search directly impacts your online reputation. If you're not taking control of your directory listing and monitoring or updating it frequently, you're not doing local search OR reputation management well.

Yet this is often the most overlooked and ignored strategy that can drive more than 60% of all leads for dealers.

Imagine your customers search for you but can’t find the right hours or address. What happens if a former employee claims your directory listings and changes your store location to “closed”? Even more important — how many phone calls do you receive from directories and local search?

Each directory has its own set of rules: some may require postal mail verification of your location, and others will require that profiles be updated to receive the latest features, such as video and reviews. Google uses a separate algorithm to score local search queries.

Claiming, cleaning, and maintaining these various profile listings on G+, Yahoo, Bing, and 50 other small directories is not easy, but it is incredibly important. Starting with Google and moving down the food chain to smaller directories should be an ongoing strategy for dealerships to reach low-funnel customers.

Just look at the numbers below. They speak to the incredible value you can generate with a local search campaign. Let us know — how many phone leads are you averaging per month, and are there opportunities to land more?

CustomerAverage phone leads per month
before a local search campaign
Average phone leads per month
after a local search campaign
VW dealer in Florida1201,600
Ford dealer in Michigan20350
Chevy dealer in Vermont1475
GM dealer in Illinois0796


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