6. Internal marketing departments will continue to add specialists who focus on their individual areas of expertise. Highly focused automotive search performance officers will become integral members of the marketing teams. Dedicated social media individuals and/or small content teams will continue to expand and work closely with the marketing department, the search team and even the dealership staff to drive the socially aware ecosystem every store should have in place.
I’ve been using Google Glass for a couple of months now and wanted to share my experiences with the automotive community. My hope is to shed some light on where this segment is heading and what our industry can prepare for in the near term.
Google Glass is currently the most popular example of the future of wearable technology. There are plenty of helpful and practical wearable technology solutions currently available. The most popular example falls within the Quantified Self category, this includes health tracking tools such as the Nike Fuel band.
The range of solutions continues to expand as smart watches by Samsung have already been released (Galaxy Gear) Apple and Google are rumored to enter this space with their own solutions as well. There are also other competitors trying to introduce their own version of Google Glass. Many of the competitors are trying to position themselves differently claiming other uses for athletics or specific industries leveraging 3D augmented reality.
Video is hot these days, and is a great way to engage your potential customers. When it comes to online video, YouTube is probably the first site that pops into most people’s minds, so I thought it might be a good idea to discuss some of the Pros and Cons of putting your dealership videos on YouTube.
The Pros of using YouTube:
When I talk to car dealers about YouTube, invariable one of the first benefits mentioned is search engine optimization (VSEO). Videos hosted on YouTube are indexed well and generally show up highly in search results (after all, YouTube is owned by Google).
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world? More than 1 Billion unique users visit YouTube each month. Even though 70% of this traffic comes from outside the United States, YouTube still gets over 120 million viewers in the US a month. That’s a lot of eyeballs!
Social Network Integration
Google+, Facebook, Twitter, GMail, and others integrate YouTube embeds into their platform frameworks. That means that when one of your dealership’s YouTube videos is posted to or shared on a social network, a prospect can watch that video directly from his feed or timeline without having to click a link and go to another page
You don’t have to pay YouTube a dime to host your videos. It’s free! You get access to all of those viewers without paying for it. Of course, as one of my former colleagues would say, “YouTube is free if your time isn’t worth anything.” To take full advantage of YouTube, you’ve still got to put the time in to make sure you’re producing compelling content, uploading your videos with good titles, and optimizing the video descriptions with important keywords.
The Cons of using YouTube:
As you might have heard, we’ve been busy here in the land of Oz. On April 1st, 2013, Suzuki of Wichita became Subaru of Wichita, which meant we had a lot of switching to do.
In the digital realm, I was most concerned about our listings across Google properties, and I’ll be the first to admit–I didn’t do everything perfectly. But then again – there’s not a good instruction manual for this. Straight up–changing anything on Google can be a challenge, and I’ll admit I wasn’t very optimistic about what would happen.
At several points in this process, however, Google surprised me.
For the sake of sharing what I learned from this experience, I documented what happened on which days with the hope of gaining some insight into how Google works. Of course, I’m not suggesting that if you do the same things I did, you’ll get the same results–this is just what happened for us. First, here’s what we were working with prior to the transition:
Stop what you’re doing and watch this video from Google’s Matt Cutts. It isn’t often we’re given the opportunity to hear about what changes are coming in updates.
Google’s Ten SEO Changes Are Coming:
- Major Penguin Update
- Advertorial Spam
- Spammy Queries Being Looked At
- Going Upstream At Link Spammers
- More Sophisticated Link Analysis
- Improvements On Hacked Sites
- Authority Boost In Algorithm
- Panda To Soften
- Domain Clusters In SERPs
- Improved Webmaster Communication
Comment and let us know what action you’re taking!
Picking a Fight Against Paid Search
A great discussion broke out on DealerRefresh Forums and I was compelled to comment, but then it turned into a longer story! Ed Brooks used a “tried and true” technique to engage readers with the eBay study data, and it worked. Behind the eBay story was Ed’s point that dealers should investigate the ROI of branding keywords like buying their own name.
However, the discussion did not just stay on that one point, which is common when passionate professionals engage on DealerRefresh. There were so many points in the discussion that peaked my interest. So let me address a few of them to stir the pot (like Joe) and to add my perspective.
The Dataium Study with Cars.com
First, let’s discuss the Dataium study. I like the products that Dataium delivers to dealers and OEM’s and I respect their mission. However, I contend that the entire premise of the report is flawed. I think it actually is a step backwards in in helping dealers sell more cars at a lower cost. Also the data in this report does not match my experience working with hundreds of dealers and their analytics.
The Dataium study did have great data about audience overlap and the influence of Cars.com on dealership website traffic. I wish the study stayed on that topic; showing dealers the value of being part of the Cars.com platform. That would have been helpful in educating dealers why they should always have Cars.com as part of their sales strategy.
Picking The Wrong Fight
Dealers are spending their marketing dollars in significantly worse ways than on SEM, which deliver a poor ROI in regards to getting eyeballs on their inventory. Why the fight with SEM? Why not pick the fight with the $15,000 a month in newspaper, the $25,000 a month on radio, or the $40,000 on cable TV? How well are those investments generating VDP views on a dealer’s website and at what cost? Cars.com never needed this comparison; they deliver the lowest cost per VDP on the planet.
Of the dealers I work with, they are generally spending $3,000-$5,000 on Google Adwords per store, $3,000 on Cars.com, and $5,000 on Autotrader.com. This is an average and the premium packages offered by third party classified sites raise that number higher, depending on the local market.
With that said, these three investments are very good at producing VDP views at a reasonable cost. The premise of this article seems to want to pick a fight between dollars that could go to third party classified sites that are being funneled to SEM. That’s where the study lost me. All three should be “first in” dollars.
FREE Clicks (SEO) Becoming More Costly?
If you happen to be one those folks who clicks on the first search results listing on page one of Google, you’re in good company.
The majority, in fact, click on this before clicking on an organic ranking just a few listings under that paid advertisement. But, hold on. According to a recent infographic full of great data collected from WordStream about Google AdWords, over 45 percent of those searching wouldn’t know a paid ad search results listing from an organic search results listing had they not been separated by those nifty right columns.
Hard Hitting Facts:
Paid ads are gaining traction, and more often than not, getting more clicks than organic listings. But, don’t dump your quality content just yet. Not all keywords are created equal and PPC can’t replace SEO just like SEO can’t replace PPC (er, not always…)
You’ll still need to rock both paid and organic rankings and rock them well. According to WordStream’s data, if an advertiser buys ads for keywords they currently rank organically for, 89 percent of the traffic from the paid ads will be new traffic. And, don’t jump ship on Google for Facebook ads just yet. The click-through rates on Google ads are 600 times higher than Facebook ads.
Take a good look study at this infographic. Every fraction of an inch on this is filled with information that can help you and your dealership.
- Are you seeing your Paid Search Ad Spend Increase (CPC)?
- Are you tracking your High Commercial Intent Keywords?
- Does your GM still not know the difference between a paid and organic ad? (fun question)
Sound off in the comments after feasting your eyes on this infographic!!