You work too hard running your marine dealership to be betrayed by a bad website. Don't let your online front door bring you down. Implement these five tips for a more efficient and better-producing website.
1: Images Tagged Correctly for SEO
It's not something many Marine Dealers think about when putting images on their inventory but properly saving and uploading your images with the proper tags can mean your site ranks higher on overall search. It's important that your site not only ranks higher but that the images are properly tagged to ensure your website visitor is being served the best inventory experience possible. Every image you upload needs to have ALT-Tags and the file needs to be properly saved for the keywords you are attempting to target. Proper image tagging will help maximizing your search results and make a better experience for your customer. The majority of your competitors don't do this. This can be an easy win for the dealership that invests a little bit of time.
This example shows a dealer who is using SEO best practices for image tagging properly. They also appear to be targeting the keywords "fishing boats for sale."
2: Up to Date Inventory
One question we would get from newer marine clients is should I be spending my time constantly updating my inventory? The answer: YES, never let it go out of date. It could cost you a sale. As we said in point 1 "you want to serve your visitor the best possible inventory experience." Nothing is worse than a customer clicking on a boat they are interested in purchasing and discovering it's actually sold. This hurts the customer experience and hinders your sales team success rate. By keeping the inventory fresh and up to date you're establishing your brand's professionalism and ability to serve boat enthusiasts. Managing this in-house can be very time consuming and you may want to consider the possibility of outsourcing your inventory management.
Note: it is a common practice to for dealers to use services like Boat Trader, iBoats, and other similar third party platforms, while these are beneficial for developing leads they could be potentially hurting your website's website traffic rank.
3: Add Details to Your Inventory!
Whether it's your first boat or the 5th in your fleet your customer is interested in what's under the "hood". Your visitor is going to want to know what size the boat is, the draft, the engine type, hull material, color, coverings and possible trailer size. All of these details are crucial elements to include in your inventory description.
Tip: One huge error many dealers make is simply bullet point listing the options and features. It hurts your SEO rank and it hurts customer experience. Tell them the story of a boat and why it's perfect for them.
4: Create a Great Customer Experience
You have an excellent opportunity to give the customer added value in the boat descriptions and details. They may often wonder: is this package customizable? Does this pontoon have a radio to host our deck boat parties? How about a fish finder or bbq grill? The extra bits of information you can provide on your inventory may be exactly what nudges your visitor to push "add to cart" or call one of your well-trained sales reps. We've all heard the saying "less is more" well this couldn't be farther from the truth when it comes to your Website's Inventory Page. The more you can give the customer a great experience the more they will want to do business with you which should ultimately increase your sales numbers.
5: What About Used Boats?
You wouldn't buy a used car without some much need information and this doesn't change with boats. Here are two things to focus on if your inventory includes used boats.
5A: The condition of the boat:
This is where you could put into practice our tip on picture tags. The more pictures you can include of the used boat the better the visitor will feel when considering a purchase. Why not add a video? The details are important, how old it is, a number of hours the motor has been in use, has it been winterized and stored correctly and all the details and specs on the boat need to be listed so that your visitor has all the information they need when deciding.
Tip: did you know that "used boats for sale" is searched exponentially more than "new boats for sale" is?
5B: The price reflecting previous ownership:
This is deeply rooted in consumer psychology; the buyer is going to want to see the price reduced because of previous ownership. The best way to do this is to take the price of that model if purchased new or the NADA going price and compare it to your selling price. It seems simple but so many sites fail to show customers this, and that could confuse them on where they should see the price. By establishing the reference point of the boat you're creating value for the customer by offering the used boat at such a deal. It sounds simple, but more often than not we see boat dealers miss out on this easy step.
We hope you found these market proven tips helpful and applicable to your marine dealership. This may take a little time to develop as part of your daily schedule but it will be well worth it when the fish start jumping in the boat!