Welcome to our second article in our series: Website Marketing From The Ground Up.
In this article, I’ll be going over the four main stages of the RV customer buying cycle and how it pertains to your website. I will outline where the buyer is in the buying cycle, how they search online and how you can specifically target them using your website.
In our last article, we address Google Analytics and how you can utilize it to see where your website stands in terms of performance and how to adjust for increased conversion.
By understanding the customer buying cycle, you will understand the psychology behind what your customers are thinking and how to position your business in front of them. Doing this will drastically help your analytics by increased traffic, lowering your bounce rate and increasing conversion.
Let’s get started…
Customer Buying Cycle Stages:
When buying an RV, the online visitor will fall into one of the four stages: Newbie, Novice, Expert, and Client. We have broken the buying cycle down into four main stages because Google Analytics data has shown that customers have distinct styles of searching when they search online. This is just our classification.
This is an easy group to classify online. The Newbie is obviously new to RVing and doesn’t really know anything about buying or owning an RV. They may have been camping with another couple that own an RV, but have never done any research into owning one themselves. Until now.
Online visitors in this stage will search Google for very general keyword phrases like: How to buy an RV, what type of RV to buy, RV towing guide, best RV dealer near me, Renting vs. Buying, New or Used RV among other keyword phrases.
As you can tell, there are quite a few different ways that a Newbie will search online when they are just starting out. Can you think of a couple more?
The question is: Does your dealership’s website lend itself to the Newbie?
Meaning, does your website have a dedicated page on all the topics that a Newbie RV buyer is searching for? If not, then it's time to use the topics listed above and start creating content to attract this type of visitor.
Hopefully the keyword phrase list above will get your wheels turning into other keyword topics you’ve noticed the Newbie searches under.
The Novice stage has done their background research into beginner RVing tips and what to look for. In this stage in the buying cycle the Novice will start searching online by class type, manufacturers or brands and even by floorplan style.
For instance, a Novice knows that they have a half ton truck they will be searching for a travel trailer or a light-weight fifth wheel that his or her truck will handle.
Maybe one of their friends owns a specific brand of RV that they really liked, the novice will thus be searching by brand. And the same goes for the floorplan style.
This is also where the Novice will start to be more active in their search. They will start searching for RV shows in their local area and also getting information on how to drive an RV so they can feel comfortable in driving an RV off your lot without getting in a wreck.
You can start to see where I’m going here. It's time to start creating content around every stage in the buying cycle for your website. For the Novice, it's time to evaluate your website to see if you have specific RV landing pages for each class, brand and floorplan that you sell. Plus, don’t forget about RV shows and possibly starting your own RV show locally to meet this buyer.
Clearly, buyers are not the experts, RV dealers and those directly within the industry are the experts. However, I mention this group as the experts because they know exactly what they want down to the exact year make and model.
Basically, they have the check written and are searching for the dealership’s name to write in the “To” field.
National statistics show that only 3 percent of people are ready to buy in any industry. Guess what, the Expert’s are your 3 percent-ers. Of all of the marketing that you do, the topics in this stage should be at the top of your to-do list.
In addition to that, they have already done some research online into the best RV financing options for them, what type of insurance fits their needs and have had some training into how to drive, park and backup their RV of choice.
How does the Expert and how they search online compare to the content that your website has? Do you know if your website already ranks on the top 2 pages of Google for when a customer searches for the exact year, make, and model of your top profit margin RVs?
Do this, make a list of your top 5 RVs that provide the best profit margins. Do a Google search for those RVs. For your search, type in the year make and model.
Are you listed on the first page? Second?
If not, you will need to add more content to each one of those pages. And I mean a lot of content. While the last article in this series talks about writing content and sharing it across the web, I’ll keep this brief. A recent Google case study, by Brian Dean with Backlinko, was done that shows that pages that rank on the first page contain an average of 1,890 words. Does your top 5 RV landing pages have over 1,890 words? If not, it may be time to start writing.
Do you have pages on your site for RV insurance info, financing or host to drive and RV of each class type on your lot?
The Client RV buyer stage are all of the current RV owners out there who have already been through the entire process of purchasing an RV. Most likely you will have a huge database of clients that you’ve already sold to. That’s great. Here’s what they need moving forward.
Online searchers in this stage have a completely different style of search. They are not in the process of building up info to buy an RV, they are in the process of using their RV.
The Client RV buyer will be searching online for things like, RV repairs, RV Service, winterization, RV upgrades and the best local RVing hotspots within 50 miles of your dealership.
This provides your dealership various sources for trying to attract visitors to your site. And creating content on your website going into depth about each one of these topics is huge.
Some of the best avenues to attract current RV owners is through “How To” videos on the main topics above and uploading those videos to YouTube. Doing so will allow you to create something once and receive residual traffic to your site for as long as the video is online and relevant.
Make a list of the top 10 - 20 videos and content you can create for your website and YouTube to attract current RV owners.
Creating the RV Buying Cycle Stages isn’t anything revolutionary. But it’s essential to list it out and to see what opportunities your website has to start targeting each one of those buyers.
By seeing how the RV buying cycle is separated out, it will give you a blueprint into how to improve the data of your Google Analytics that we visited in the prior article.
As we move forward, we will be building off of the customer buying cycle in our next two articles: How to Rank in Google; and Creating Content and Sharing It Across the Web.
Jason Noel is the founder of Infule RVs. He is a Green Bay Packers fan and is terrible at golf. Loves traveling with his wife, sunsets over the Colorado mountains and helping RV Dealers sell more RVs. For more information about internet marketing for your business, visit www.infuleRvs.com or call (970) 639-0777.