Automotive copywriting and SEO webinar

Last week we treated our car dealer clients to a free webinar on copywriting for the automotive industry.

The webinar aimed to do three key things: 

  • Give you some things to bear in mind
  • Help you to cast a critical eye over your writing
  • Give a little insight into SEO and keywords

If you couldn’t attend the webinar, don’t worry! Here are some of the key points so that you can improve the copy on your dealer website or digital marketing activity.

Who is your copy talking to?

You won’t always know who you are writing for – but an educated guess can tell you want direction to lean your copy in. Great content will consider its target audiences and develop copy that works for them specifically.

Consider a few examples:

  • Each sub group will have a different set of needs and expectation. A technical jargon-filled piece may be spot on for the practical minded, but first time buyers might be put off.
  • People with money to burn will care about the luxury, whilst you’ll find mums probably lean towards convenience and safety.
  • Long-term customers already know who you are and that you’re experts in your field, where Motability customers might need reassurance that you know what you’re on about.

If you’re not sure who you are writing for, consider speaking to your manufacturers to see if they have any demographic or key buyer information about your key models. Alternatively, your CRM system or even Google Analytics can help you to work out some key audience factors to bear in mind.

What is your content trying to achieve?

A lot of the time your copy will be trying to get people to enquire on a car or book a test drive. However, there are other goals (such as service booking), and sub goals such as convincing a customer that this car is ideal for their needs, or needing to make them trust your business so that they’ll feel like you are worth buying from.

If you know what your copy is aiming to do, you can use your common sense to write content that works for those aims.

Take, for example, a blog post where you are trying to show your expertise, and also probably trying to improve the level of content on your website for SEO. You need to include keywords and SEO-friendly text, but you also know that you need to make it explicit that your business knows what it is on about. By identifying the goals you’ve avoided writing SEO-friendly but business-pointless content.

Why should readers bother enquiring?

Sometimes, if you find the exact car you are looking for, you will just enquire. However, for most customers there are a lot of things that contribute.

Benefits and reasons need to be evident in your page in a number of different forms – from the body copy through to headers, call to action buttons, images and much more. Together, they combine to incentivise your customers to enquire.

Pay attention to your microcopy.

Microcopy refers to the tiny pieces of copy on your page – such as asterisks, buttons, form fields and more. These elements are all too easy to overlook, but can be the difference between an enquiry of purchase, and a nervous customer abandoning your website.

  • The examples above show microcopy being used to its best advantage:
  • Offering reassurance by addressing a common concern
  • Demonstrating transparency to increase how positively the customer sees you
  • Promises invoke trust so they won’t worry about taking an action
  • Finally, offering encouragement two fold – in a small way by using exclamation marks to make it seem exciting and urgency, and via a little paragraph of text.

Bear in mind the reader's attention span!

All of the above could of course lead to one of the longest, most detailed pieces of copy ever known. However, copy will only work if people read it! As such, there are some key, logical considerations to bear in mind:

  • Be concise and don’t use too many extra words to get your message across
  • Try your hardest not to be dull – if it’s a boring topic, you can use tone of voice and metaphors to make it more interesting and relate it to the reader
  • Be brutal and chop out unnecessary text – this is part of always reading and rereading your copy.
  • Make your copy work with the page - with layout, images, font sizes and more
  • And finally, that old chestnut – tell them why they should care!

Always think about how search engines will read your copy

  • Good content that is relevant to your business will always be good for SEO, so all I’ve already covered applies. However, you can still improve the search engine impact of your text, and there are some useful steps to help you achieve the holy grail of SEO and excellent copy, combined:
  • Come up with some target keywords. Use common sense to begin with – what would you search for? As your family and friends to – we know, for example, that not many people outside of automotive will actually search for “aftersales”
  • Break up and supplement your text with headings and images. The structure of the page matters, and there are things called header text you can use in an HTML editor to tell google what the page is about.
  • Don’t drop your keyword din ever second word – google is clever, it will know what you’re doing. Instead, make the copy relevant to the keyword and use synonyms – it’s much more likely to have a positive effect.
  • If you can, consider writing on very relevant external blogs that can link back to your site.
  • Finally, put effort into writing your meta data too – the behind the scenes tags Google will use in search results.

If you’re a car dealer and this article has been useful, then you might want to know how to improve your existing copy. The webinar workshopped a few pieces of content submitted by our car dealer attendees – watch the short video below to see the suggested improvements:

If this all sounds bit too much effort, then Bluesky Interactive can offer a full range of copywriting services from our excellent and highly qualified in-house team.

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