Episode Transcript

Welcome to the Boat Marketing podcast, where will feature tips and advice that will help your boating business grow and thrive while you’re listening. Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. And now here’s your host, Kristen Bachmeier.

Hello, everyone, and hopefully you all had a great Fourth of July holiday and enjoying the week so far. Thanks for listening. This is another episode of the boat marketing podcast. And today we wanted to talk a little bit about your website and really focus on the five pages that you should have on your boat dealership website today. We’re just going to focus on boat dealerships if you’d like to hear some tips for any other marine industry type websites for boat rentals, boat service or any of those, just feel free to email me a podcast at Boat Marketing Post.com and I’ll make sure to cover it in a future episode.

For now, though, we’ll focus on boat dealerships. And at this point, it’s 2021. And I hope I don’t need to make this podcast about why your boat dealership needs a website and that you have one by now. And if you do have a website, that’s great. You’re done with the first, probably hardest step. And just so you know, it’s really only the beginning. When you make a website, obviously, you want your business to have a place online, but have you thought about the content on your website?

Is it built to convert what we call in the industry, as you know, tire kickers or converting customers into actual leads? So a part of what I’m going to talk about today is some of the sections you should have on your website in order to get those qualified leads. And then also some additional tips for what should go on those pages. So to start start with the five pages that I think every boat dealership must have on their website. And here we go.

So first and foremost, inventory. So now that 2020 and 2021 have been completely explosive for the marine industry. So having inventory on your site might be a little bit of a job right now because there’s no inventory really to display, depending on what type of boats you’re selling. However, if you think about where we will be in a post-pandemic world, what that will look like, you know, it’s really important to have inventory on your website.

And now more than ever, customers are pre-shopping online. Most of the time you know, based on data that we see, most customers know which kind of both they want. They know what kind of brand they want because they’ve gone and done additional research on their own. And so when you display your inventory on your website, you want to make sure that it’s listed in a way that makes sense to the end customer. So, for example, break your inventory down, buy new versus used or preowned.

A little tidbit here is that I know that preowned sounds like a little bit of a nicer word, but in the search space, so on Google, what we see is a lot of people search for used boats. So that’s just something to keep in mind when you’re naming your boat pages. Another good example tip I can provide in terms of listing your inventory, make sure, if possible, that you can list it by the boat brand. So one of our clients, you know, they sell Grady white boats. So we make sure that on their website we have new boats is the top line item. Then you get into great white boats and then each of the subsequent models of great white boats that have come out for that model year. So it makes sense to the user. They know they’re looking for a new great white boat and they can just filter down that funnel to see the boat that they’re looking for. The next big section you’d want to have on your website is a section for service.

So both service and boat maintenance if your dealership offers those services to your customers. But I highly recommend that you have an entire section about that service and parts on your website. So make sure that you break down, if you can, maybe a recommended service schedule or at least the types of services that you offer. And most importantly, you know, a call to action for if somebody wants to inquire about service for their boat. Some of our boat dealership clients also offer mobile service. So if somebody is out at a dock and they can’t get their boat to start and you’re able to come and help them, just make sure to highlight that on your website as well. The next big section you’d want to have on your website is going to be a blog. If you listen to any of our podcasts downloaded, any of our white papers or read our blogs, you’ll see that blogs are pretty common. It’s a great marketing tool. We mostly recommend this for SEO purposes.

So the more content you can easily add to your website, the better off you will be. And this more often than not includes having a blog on your site. Some tips for blog topics that you can include on your website are, you know, if you have a new boat model that’s coming out, if you’re attending a boat show, especially some of the bigger ones. So where we’re at in Fort Myers, Florida, the Fort Lauderdale boat show is a large show that a lot of the boat dealers and marine industry businesses go to in Fort Myers. Locally, we have the Fort Myers boat show, which is what we kind of refer to as the kickoff to boat show season. So you can write a blog about both shows you’re attending new product announcements, anything any news about your company, any news about new features as it relates to maybe some rigging and accessories and those kinds of things? So just when it comes to blogging, it sounds a little bit silly. People still attribute a blog to being a personal space for a journal or for opinion pieces and whatnot. But blogs on websites nowadays, especially for businesses, are really meant to drive traffic through SEO, help you get ranked better in Google and a blog is just an easy way to do that. The next big section you’d want to have on your website is a contact section. So you focus on your inventory, focus on your blogs and your service section, and calls to action all throughout the place. But make sure that you have a contact page that lists the important information about your business.

This includes your phone number or phone numbers. If you have more than one location, your addresses, and a contact form. And if you do include contact form on your website and you use a customer relationship software of some sort like Salesforce, just make sure that you work with your web developer, whoever is managing that for you, to make sure that those leads who are contacting you on your website are also getting added to your CRM. We also recommend to try to include what we call a quick contact form on each individual boat listing.

So. As a user is viewing a boat, say it’s the rebels are 360, and then you want to on that individual boat page list of forms that somebody looking at that boat, they can very quickly send their name, their email, the phone number to contact you to inquire about that boat. You know, we’ve worked with boat dealerships for years, and these quick contact forms have proven to be highly converting contact forms and account for many of the inquiries that come in for any specific boat listing.

So that’s another little tidbit for you there as far as contact forms. Last but not least, one of the biggest sections I would recommend to have on your website would be a section for events. So as we know, if you’ve been in the marine industry for quite some time, boat shows are huge for driving sales, for driving, you know, marketing. And I think a lot of boat dealership owners already know that. But if you’re attending boat shows and you’re probably investing a lot of your time and your money to get ready for these boat shows, I would highly recommend that you have a major place on your website for those boat shows.

Capitalize on the opportunity of adding those upcoming boat shows to your website and if you can try to do it as soon as an advance is possible. One of our clients attends a boat show in November every year and we try to have that that event on their website no later than, I would say, February or March, just to capitalize on people who might be searching for that event already. And as somebody who is attending this boat show, as a sponsor or a vendor, you know, your website could show up first for when somebody searches for that boat show at some cases know we’ve seen that we add boat shows to our clients’ websites well in advance, and then we see that our clients then rank on the first page for when people search for that boat show. So they’re not even searching for that client. They’re searching for a boat. So that’s a little bit unrelated. But because they’ve added their event to their website, they show up in the search results for when people search for that. So if you don’t have your boat shows that you’re attending listed on your website, try as hard as you can to get those listed and maintain a section just dedicated to boat shows and a boat show calendar. That’s all I’ve got for you today.

And with that will see you in a couple of weeks on the next episode of the boat marketing podcast, Happy Boating!

Thanks for listening to this episode of the boat marketing podcast. If you have any questions for Kristen and the Boat Marketing Pros team, send them to podcast@boatmarketingpros.com for additional resources and strategies to help grow your business. Visit boatmarketingpros.com. That’s boatmarketingpros.com


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