By Kevin Frye, Marketing Director, Jeff Wyler Automotive Family
Join fellow dealer Kevin Frye for a deep dive into the latest automotive issues during his session, Don’t Mind Me – Just Sipping Some Tea, at Digital Dealer Tampa 2022!
If I am to believe my two children, “sipping some tea” is about spilling the gossip on the hot issues of the day. And in automotive, there are always hot issues to discuss, isn’t that part of what makes the automotive industry so exciting?
When your goal is to lead and innovate, it is always important to constantly question everything you do, and ask yourself “is there a better way to do this?”, or “is this still necessary?”
With that in mind, here are some of the hot issues I would like to “spill some tea” on:
Do we still need to pay for SEO (search engine optimization) services? I know this topic will certainly be controversial, however, Google and the other search engine algorithms have advanced to a level where trying to “game” the algorithm has become incredibly difficult. Further, it is very expensive to pay for SEO services which often build a couple of pages per month for your website that get minimal traffic and have minimal conversion.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not “anti-SEO” at all. I do believe in following the Google SEO guidelines for your website. My question is whether there is a better, more efficient way to spend your invaluable marketing dollars to target a certain search query, eg. “Chevrolet oil changes in Indianapolis”. Your first option might be to spend money on SEO efforts to build a landing page and some supporting content, and hope that Google will reward your efforts with some “free” organic shoppers. Note that I put “free” in quotation marks, as this is not free if you spend thousands of dollars to generate this traffic.
What if you took that same amount of money, and ran a marketing message with a 6-second video on Youtube stating “Our dealership is the place to go for Chevrolet oil changes in Indianapolis”. My experience is that I can buy these impressions for about 7/10 of one cent each. For $1,000, I could generate over 140,000 impressions with this message! Where would I get the most impact for my spend? With an SEO approach, or a marketing approach?
Is search engine marketing (SEM), also known as “pay per click”, still as effective as it once was? Over 15 years ago I remember when the cost of SEM was less than a dollar per click. Today (in the Midwest) we see the cost per click for many automotive search terms ranging between $3 to $17. Are there alternative ways to market that are more efficient?
With any marketing effort, there is a cost to generate that shopper who arrives on your dealership website. With SEM, that cost is simple, it is the cost of the click that brought them there. Are there cheaper ways to generate shopper traffic on your site?
One of the inexpensive areas where you can generate this shopper traffic is on Facebook and other social media sites. Carousel ads featuring your inventory that are placed in front of in-market shoppers on their Facebook feed can bring shoppers directly into your website, and at a cost typically less than one dollar each. When you leverage third-party data to create custom audiences on Facebook to put your message and vehicle in front of an in-market shopper, you have a winning solution.
The next question is the quality of the shopper you have generated. Savvy dealers have taken the time to build up to 20 goals and event-based goals in their Google Analytics for each of their websites so that they can best measure shopper engagement. With a simple campaign tag placed on your social media traffic and SEM traffic, you can compare the engagement levels of each.
What if I told you we have found that SEM has a much higher cost than alternative sources like social media, and is engaging less than that same social media traffic? Have you noticed with these first two examples that both issues, SEO and SEM, are well-established practices and solutions that have been in place with automotive for almost 20 years? When you are looking to grow and lead, nothing is sacred to question to see if you can do things better and more efficiently.
Join me in my session “Don’t Mind Me – Just Sipping Some Tea” to dive into these issues deeper at Digital Dealer in Tampa. I will also be talking about how important digital retailing is (or is not), should you still be using website forms, and addressing the biggest elephant in the room – where is our market headed in the next 12 months.
I hope to see you in my session at Digital Dealer. If not, we might just be sipping some tea about you.