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June 2016

Paying Attention to your SEO?


SEO ImageThe world, it seems, buys from the computer. If not making the direct purchase from the computer we, at least, go to the Internet to find where we can buy an item. The Total Retail Survey of 2016 looks at the buying habits of consumers and in the United States and Canada 40% and 38% respectively make decision purchases based on product and supplier reviews.

But, first they have to find you.

We just completed a quick study using five different computers that have had zero interaction with agricultural parts. In other words the words "Ag", "Tractor" and "Parts" were never used in any product search. We know because we picked people without any connection with agriculture. In each test we asked our subjects to do a search for "Ag Tractor Parts" just to see who and what popped up.

The good news is that several National Tractor Parts Dealer Association regular members showed up on the first page of the search. There were also paid advertising on the first page and that varied from computer to computer. 

The bad news is that many of our members did not make the first, second or even the third page of the search. What can you do to improve your ranking and "findability"?

  • Paid Google Ad Words - You can pay for keywords and that investment will drive your search results but, frankly, it's a gamble;
  • Review Your Home Page - If the wording on your home page has not changed in some time the "search bots" look at that and think, "Nothing new here, let's move on!" It's critical that you alter, at least every month the wording on your home page and your "About Us" page. It will help get you found;
  • Social Media Interaction - If all you are doing is Facebook it is not enough. It helps but remember, you are limited to your "Likes". To reach out further you'll have to invest in other platforms. You could start to Instagram parts tractors, combines and people you work with. You could do SHORT YouTube videos of a delivery or a parts tractor or a burned combine it all matters and making sure you have keywords in your description helps;
  • Do a Blog - What better way is there for people to learn about your "back-story"? Tell about your founding, your experience, your customers...it all adds up.
  • Don't Just Broadcast - If you do Social Media don't just broadcast your message but interact with others. Ask questions, do a poll, have some fun. People don't always want to be "sold" they just want to be human and interact.

Hope this helps move your SEO and your website ranking.

 


Not So Rosy Down on the Farm

The numbers are staggering.  According to the USDA Farm sector profitability is forecast to decline for the Harvest Imagethird straight year. U.S. net cash farm income is forecast at $90.9 billion, down about 2.5 percent from the 2015 forecast levels. Net farm income is forecast to be $54.8 billion in 2016, down 3 percent. If realized, 2016 net farm income would be the lowest since 2002 (in both real and nominal terms) and a drop of 56 percent from its recent high of $123.3 billion in 2013.

So what?

Farmers all across the United States will be seeking ways in which to hold down their costs just to break even with last year. There isn't much they can do when it comes to seed and inputs but there is plenty they can do when it comes to fixing and repairing their equipment.

This is a golden opportunity to increase your sales and your standing in the agricultural community.  How? It may take some work but here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Let Farmers Know - Don't expect that all farmers know about you and your business. Take some time, and some cash, and let farmers know that you exist. That can come in the form of paid advertising or in social media; 
  • Focus on Cost Benefit - If you offer free shipping, quick delivery or any number of added value options make sure your customers are aware;
  • Create a Call to Action - Not every visitor coming to your website knows exactly what to do. Make it easy for the visitor to go to the right place. Tell the visitor if you have live chat or a message service where you can answer their questions quickly and accurately. Consumers often need to be told "what to do".

The downturn in farm income is real and when you reach out to your customers and let them know you understand and you are willing to help...you'll boost your brand and your sales.

 


Because We Want to Know!

We are already gearing up for the 2017 Annual Meeting and Trade Show in San Antonio and we want to hear Topics for San Antonio Survey from you! (You can click on the image to make it larger...)

Last week the Membership Committee asked that we send out to our members a simple survey asking YOU what you might want to learn during our meeting.  We sent out this simple survey this week and we really, really want to hear from you.  

What do you think is important to learn for your business?  What might help you grow your business? What might the association do to help you?

If you have not yet looked at your email please do and take a few minutes and help us better serve you. Our goal at NTPDA is to offer you and your business real value from your membership.

If you missed the survey and want it sent back to you contact Kim at 877-668-0900 and we'll send you another.

Thank you for your membership in the National Tractor Parts Dealer Association!