Here’s a question that everyone reading this post ought to have an answer for: What’s the FIRST thing consumers do when they need (or want) to buy a part or accessory?
The answer might surprise you.
Search Is What Consumers Do Before They Do Anything
87% of consumers – most of whom are armed with a powerful search engine that fits in their pocket (aka their smartphone) – use Google, Bing, Yahoo, or their favorite ecommerce site to search for something. This data comes from Google, who surveyed 1,000 people and learned that 90% use search whenever they first start anything.
- Sometimes, people are searching for answers to questions like, “How do I know if my fuel pump is going out?” or “What’s the best lift kit for my 2015 Ram 1500?”
- Sometimes, people are searching for the best price on the part they need – going as far as to search for the specific part number.
- Other times, people search for their favorite retailer. Once they get to the retailer’s site, they’ll search for the part(s) they’re interested in.
- Sometimes, people search for their local auto parts store, and then drive over and ask a question.
Whatever it is people want to do, they start doing it on a search engine about 90% of the time.
Here’s What Most People DON’T Do First When They Need (or Want) A Part
Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s important to understand what this data from Google really means:
- Most people don’t go to Facebook and check their newsfeed
- Most people don’t go to Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram either
- Most folks don’t go to their email and check all their old messages
- Most people don’t turn on the TV and watch their favorite car show, hoping to find the info they need
- Most people don’t open up their favorite automotive magazine and start scanning through all the ads
Search is the key to selling parts and accessories. If you want to sell someone a part or accessory, you’ve got to get their attention during the search process. You can get their attention by having content on your site that addresses the consumer’s search, and then making sure your content is ranked on Google. You can also get their attention by using PPC search ads, or putting your content on popular retailer’s websites (like eBay, Amazon, Walmart.com).
But you can’t get someone’s attention during a search by marketing on social media, or sending out emails, or buying TV ads. Social media and email marketing are important, but they’re not usually the right tools for acquiring new customers. TV advertising is great, but it’s not the key to growth.
To sum up in two sentences: Search engine marketing and advertising is the key to reaching almost every consumer before they buy a part or accessory. If your company’s marketing and advertising isn’t centered around search, you’re probably missing out on a lot of opportunities.