Carwash owners and operators can follow some best practice strategies whether they are looking to use traditional or new media, such as Internet marketing. The following are some important considerations:

  • Know your target audience. Today, many customers want quick and easy, especially for carwash types such as flex-serve and self-serve. These customers tend to be self-sufficient and on-the-go, so online marketing strategies, including social media, will likely appeal to this target audience. Also, in order to effectively understand your target audience, study your area’s demographics and implement marketing strategies aimed at those age groups and social standings. If your area has a lot of dog owners, for instance, consider adding a pet wash to your services to capitalize on this business opportunity.
  • Match your message to your target. Once you have identified your target audience and how best to reach that group(s), you will want to ensure your marketing messages make sense for the audience. For instance, a “quick and easy” customer might be more interested in the number of bays you have operating than an early bird special, which might be more attractive to other customers. Using the pet owner customers from the previous example, these types of clients may be more interested in the cleanliness and safety of your wash area.
  • Track your programs. Just like anything else, you will want to measure the success of your marketing and advertising programs. For example, when trying to measure the success of your website and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, Google Analytics and the site’s webmaster tools are helpful. When using traditional media, a coupon code might prove to be effective.

Stay plugged in

While traditional media has remained basically the same over the decades, newer marketing strategies, such as SEO, continually change. Carwashes should be mindful of Google’s recent algorithm updates to focus on mobile devices, particularly smartphones.

According to CIO magazine, website owners must be aware that every page on their mobile websites needs to meet Google’s new standards in order to move up in the rankings. As a result of this update, Google searches will consider each page and elevate pages that meet the new criteria in search results, while demoting those that do not.

Customers now use mobile search and maps to find your location more than ever before. Cisco Systems Inc. research notes there are now more mobile devices on Earth than people. And, 53 percent of American consumers use their smartphones to access search engines at least once a day, reported a Google and Mobile Marketing Association Survey.

Helpful SEO resources are available for carwash operators to ensure their SEO know-how is updated, including www.searchengineland.com, www.techcrunch.com and www.mashable.com.