How’s Your Site Post-Mobilegeddon?

The purpose of this article is to provide information to automotive dealers about Google’s new indexing changes and the technology and opinions related to them. The article has links to all my research for you to expand in the topic.


It is safe to assume that by now we have all heard that Google rolled out a “mobile-friendly update(1) on April, 21 2014. It is important to understand these changes as they are the beginning of the way our websites will be accessed by our customers. We are moving from desktops to mobile devices and the way Google works for mobile changed.

The update will begin to change how Google ranks and indexes website content for mobile searches. This is an update to force website owners to improve their websites so they are mobile compatible. You can no longer ignore mobile traffic. Period.

Google’s goal is to offer mobile friendly links on search results therefore improving customer experience on their search engine.

Moz (2) analyzed the changes in traffic globally (not just automotive industry) and they haven’t been very relevant. So far this update hasn’t been a big deal as you can see in their “7-day analysis(3). But don’t think this is over, here is why:

  • The algorithm change only affects mobile (smart phone only, no tablets!) searches, not desktop.
  • Most companies that were already ranking well for high value keywords were already mobile friendly.
  • The changes will take time to spread, re-index, and notice changes—if any.

On a side note and quoting Google (4) about content and the effects of the mobile changes: “The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query.” Google will prioritize indexing of high quality useful content versus just the fact that the architecture of your site is mobile friendly. In my opinion this should be specially noted for long tail searches.

Google is looking to bring content parity (5) so the websites “provide the same content to both mobile and desktop visitors”. Your customers (and now Google!) “expect to be able to do anything on their devices that they can do on a desktop”. Quickly, we are breaking the myth that consumers will not perform certain tasks on a mobile device VS desktop, data shows the opposite, mobile devices are becoming the center of how we look for content and interact with products.

You can check if your website is mobile friendly by using this free tool provided by Google: Mobile friendly test(6). 

Autobytel Acquires Dealix

Here we are, just talking about the quality of 3rd Party Leads and the few 3rd Party Lead providers.


Well, as of this evening, the number was reduced once again as Autobytel acquires Dealix (wholly-owned subsidiaries of CDK Global, LLC), for $25 million.

The acquisition adds approximately 600 retail new dealers and 300 retail used dealers to the Autobytel network, for a combined total of approximately 4,954 dealers. These dealer additions do not include the 450 retail new and 170 retail used overlap dealers that were receiving leads from both Dealix and Autobytel. Autobytel management expects the acquisition to be accretive to net income in 2015.

Read the the full Press Release

Do you TRUST your 3rd Party Lead provider?

Dealers are always questioning the quality of 3rd Party Leads the Lead Providers they come from – OEM programs are NOT excluded.


WE KNOW – we (dealers) get sold duplicate leads from time to time.
WE KNOW – we get sold recycled leads from time to time.
WE KNOW – we get sold straight-up FAKE leads sometimes.

It happens, it’s the lead business.

BUT CAN the quality of 3rd Party Leads be IMPROVED? The better question might be, does anyone WANT TO IMPROVE THEM?

My guess is NO. But let’s assume it could be. But HOW?

I’ve been an advocate of Lead Scoring for years now. I’ve used Polk (IHS) Lead scoring with good to great success when applied at the dealership and vendor level. But let’s face it, lead scoring for whatever reason has never really caught on.leadid-logo

There’s possibly another solution that I stumbled upon several months ago - LeadID.

To summarize: LeadID provides a script that resides on the same page as the lead conversion form. Their script/technology not only records the user form fill session but also appends a unique ID to each lead. So if you can imagine:

comScore Smartphone Penetration-Mobile-Subscribers by Age May2015

Smartphone penetration reached 77% of the US mobile subscriber market (13+) during Q1 (the 3-month average ending in March), up from 74.9% in Q4 2014 and 68.8% in Q1 2014, according to the latest comScore figures. Compared to that ~8-point year-over-year increase, penetration growth has been strongest for subscribers aged 13-17 (up 10 points to 85%), 45-54 (up 10.7 points to 63.7%) and 65+ (up 11.6 points to 49.1%).

It’s worth remembering that the data is limited to mobile subscribers rather than the general population. A recent survey from the Pew Research Center, for example, found that just 27% of adults aged 65+ own a smartphone. - MarketingCharts

5 Tips Dealers Need To Beat Chrysler Digital and FCA Digital at Their Own Game

Just what is ShiftyDigital / Mutha FCA Digital doing to their dealers? If you don’t already know, you’re about to find out!

chrysler dealers lied to
I am going to preface this article by strongly encouraging Chrysler Dealers to take a few minutes to read and familiarize themselves with Brian Pasch’s recent expose prior to reading this.

I can easily pin the origins of my distrust of Chrysler to around 2 years ago. The Dealer group I was working for at the time had just received a report from Chrysler, showing that our internet closing ratio had dipped over a 3 month span for reasons that seemed to be unexplainable – even to Chrysler.

The best course of action would be to create a handful of email addresses and submit bogus leads (primarily through our own website) to determine any issues. Within minutes we found a potential issue, the Chrysler Concierge service.

For those unfamiliar with Chrysler’s Concierge program, it’s essentially a third party company employed by Chrysler to follow up with CDJR dealers’ internet leads.

Long Term Follow-up – Does it really matter?


I have asked several industry “experts” this question many times over the years and have never received a satisfactory answer…so I thought I would bring it to the floor for discussion.  Engagement Rate with Ghost Internet Leads…first I need to establish a few definitions:

  • Internet Lead = email lead from any source which hits your CRM and has valid contact information – either in the form of a good email or good phone number
  • Engaged Internet Lead = any Internet Lead who responds to an email or connects via phone/text etc.  In other words a two way conversation has been established
  • Engagement Rate = the rate at which you are able to engage with internet leads
  • Ghost Internet Lead = any Internet Lead who has not engaged despite multiple high quality attempts (phone, email, text, Facebook, IM, you name it, etc…) to contact over a 14 day period
  • Ghost Rate = the rate at which Internet Leads are not engaged within the first 14 days
  • Intermediate Follow Up = any follow up attempted with a Ghost Internet Lead after day 15
  • Long Term Follow Up = any follow up attempted with a Ghost Internet Lead after day 45 or perhaps day 60 or day 90

So – hypothetically lets say that a dealership gets 400 Valid Internet Leads each month – and has an Engagement Rate of $75%, or 300 leads, and therefore a Ghost Rate of 25% or 100 leads.

The Questions Are:

  1. Of these 100 Ghost Leads, what engagement rate are you able to achieve by conducting Intermediate or Long Term Follow Up?
  2. Is anyone tracking this metric?
  3. What engagement rate would you rate as worthy of devoting resources to these Ghost Internet Leads?
  4. If you are performing this Intermediate and Long Term Follow Up, is it causing any unforeseen negative impact on either productivity or morale of your team?
  5. Are you even tracking Engagement Rate??

Click here to comment in the forums  [ 15+ comments so far]

TV’s Not Dead. Our Imaginations Are.


A curious byproduct of the data age is that, despite our access to technology that lets us segment, dissect, and analyze like never before, we tend to talk about marketing in sweepingly broad terms, often limiting our discussions to the platforms themselves.

You’ve heard this conversation, I’m sure—“What’s your Facebook spend? Are you doing any print?” And so on. The sheer number of different platforms is partially to blame, but there’s also a false equivalence at work here that could be costing your dealership a legion of opportunity.

False equivalence #1: All advertising on a given platform is equally effective, therefore the platform itself should be the main consideration when making advertising decisions.

Let’s take TV, for example.

Can Too Many Vehicle Photos be…BAD?

According to a study by our friends over at CarStory – any more than 9 photos causes “image fatigue”. Did anyone else catch this article on Automotive News?

Get this…

According to the report, used vehicles posted for sale with nine images generated:

  • 50 percent more leads than those without any images.
  • 56 percent more leads than those with 20 images.
  • 71 percent more than those with 30 images.

The more images after that, the more lead volume drops off and “image fatigue” sets in, said Chad Bockius, CarStory chief marketing officer.

** this analysis is based on marketplace (vehicle listing websites) activity, and not your own dealership sites.

Only 9 photos? What do you think when you read this?

Click here to comment in the forums  [20+ comments]