Is This The Best Way To Increase Online Attendance?

So you’ve come to terms with the fact that your online business needs a little more attention, and you are looking at what you can do to increase your virtual footprint. Immediately, you begin to gravitate towards that buzz word that has been popping up every time you’ve read an article, or spoken to a marketing professional about gaining more traction, online. Perhaps you have gone as far as requesting a quote to distinguish whether your desire is commensurate with the cost. Chances are, you’ve looked at the number, and thought, “Absolutely NOT!” It is quite the investment, and you have such a narrow market. So you leave it alone for a while, but then you realize that your alternative to doing something was to do nothing. Now you think…Maybe you could try it out for a couple of months, and if you aren’t seeing anything magical happen, you can just withdraw your participation? What should you do? You are in the Auto Auction industry, and this is unchartered territory. How important is SEO…really?

First of all…

Thinking SEO is a complete solution is like thinking you only need your 9 Iron to get through 18 holes of golf. What you really need is a Digital Strategy that provides your online customers with a virtual equivalent to the brick-and-mortar experience. Since your reach is limited, your focus should be quality over quantity. The most effective plan will serve to humanize the digital experience for your customers, and increase their level of confidence in conducting business through your digital channels, whether the purpose is to transact, or just communicate. The Internet has already introduced the optimal customer experience through many platforms that currently engage your target audience. So they are learning to distinguish the good from the bad. Still, many auctions insist on classifying their customers into a single category. The key is to understand your online segment just as well as the lane customers that you have come to know and appreciate over the years. Your online efforts should be equally as thoughtful as their physical counterparts, despite the discomfort your team will initially experience as they adjust to the operational modifications that may be needed to compliment your initiative.

Quite honestly…

The question should not be whether or not you need to focus on SEO. The question should be, “What are your online goals”? Based on this response, you would determine the extent to which your plan should include SEO, PPC, email, social media, and other online marketing techniques. You may also recognize that you need to patch some holes in the foundation before you continue to build. It seems that many auctions quickly look towards gaining new customers by fueling sales initiatives, but overlook the ongoing struggle with conversion and retention. In addition to having a reluctance towards accepting a new customer profile, auctions have had an aversion towards redefining the traditional experience. It would appear that if you admit the first, then you would be obligated to amend the second. So if the intent is only to drive traffic to your site, you are still going to have the same obstacles that pressed you to question your approach in the first place.

My apologies…

I know this isn’t the answer you were looking for, but I pride myself on bringing the auto auction industry a continual virtual reality check. Your competitors are no longer just the auctions within a 500-mile radius. They are faceless platforms that can be downloaded from an App Store, providing instant access to an endless supply of inventory. To distance yourself from this option, you will need more than online visibility. You will need a culture that supports this demographic, and provides them with the personalization, content, and flexibility to engage with your business at their convenience. You will need to re-invent yourself so that when new customers find you online, they will not see you as another brick-and-mortar auction struggling with its own virtual identity.

To put it simply, SEO is not a tool that you deploy to build your online business. It’s a tool you deploy to invite your audience after your online business is built.

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