Dealership Marketing

Harness the Power of Video Online to Increase Traffic and ROI

Guest Posting by Karry Moore

Video online is the newest way to increase dealer exposure on the Internet.

What is online video and how can it benefit your dealership and help you sell more cars? Using video on the Internet is a great way to promote your dealership, your cars, as well as your own customer testimonials.   The Internet and more specifically Videos about your dealership and your own website has become your new showroom.  88% of all car buyers go online FIRST to research a vehicle and a dealer before they ever step on to a lot.  What does that mean to you?  You need have as many

opportunities to be in front of that customer, from the very top of the funnel down, as you can.  Not only that, you are advertising your dealership using the richest medium ever VIDEO, which incorporates Sight, Sound, and Motion.  Traditional web advertising only delivers Sight (static website).

Will uploading your videos on YouTube increase your exposure?

Absolutely!!!  YouTube has just surpassed Yahoo as the 2nd largest “search engine” behind its parent Google.  That’s right, I said search engine.  People are going to YouTube to research and watch videos about products and services in droves.  13 hours of video content is uploaded every minute to YouTube, 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube each month and growing.  Your dealership needs to be on YouTube.  But is YouTube the only video site that people search?  No, there are multiple video search sites already like;, AOL Video, Truveo, Jumpcut, MSN Video, Yahoo Video, and Metacafe with more popping up every day.  Why is this important?

In May of 2007 Google unveiled Universal Search, which put succinctly is the aggregation of all of the information that Google indexes; Web, Images, News, Maps, and VIDEO and returns a more media rich result.  This means that when consumers are searching for a particular vehicle, they may see a map of the closest dealership, or an image associated with the car, or even a video that extols the benefits of a particular vehicle or a customer testimonial about your dealership and the great experience they had buying from you.  What is the value of being on the first page of Google? What is the value of having multiple listings on the first page of the search engines?  With the launch of Universal Search it has become very important for your videos to be not only on YouTube but on as many of the other video search sites that now populate the web.  The bottom line is as follows:

  • Uploading to YouTube alone only marginally increase your visibility. You need a combination of proper video optimization and wide scale controlled distribution and management of you video content to maximize your results within Universal Search
  • The more places you are on the Internet the more Google indexes your videos and thus the more relevance Google gives to your video when a search is initiated by a user.

Utilizing this method will give you the opportunity to capture valuable territory on the organic listings of the first page of Google and other traditional search engines, and dominate your DMA.

Now that we have a clear understanding of Video online how do we use video to convert traffic into sales and calculate an ROI.  We all know that buying 3rd party leads can be expensive and can be difficult to close.  On average only 8% of 3rd party leads ever close with 16% closing when a lead is submitted to a dealer’s website directly.  By taking advantage of Universal Search you are putting your dealership in the position all of the lead aggregators are vying for, except now you have your dealership to have that lead come directly to you.
How can you track your success with VSEO?

Techniques a dealer can use to track the success of a campaign.

  1. Watermark a campaign specific URL throughout your video that will have users going to a specific page.  For example: or
  2. Watermark a unique 800# on the video and track the phone logs.
  3. Build a page on your website dedicated to customer testimonials.  You can make the videos clickable (if you are hosting your own website) and drive traffic directly to a lead form.

Remember, television and radio advertisements, you can never be 100% accurate on who is actually hearing your message, or how you track that customer who heard that message back to your dealership and to a specific sale. But with Video SEO you have an active audience that has said they want information about your product and now you have the opportunity to deliver your message through video.  This is an example of Demand Driven Advertising in which a customer is actually looking for you, whereas Radio, TV, Print, and Billboard are passive advertising.

The biggest reason for doing any type of SEO or Video SEO is for the exposure you get for your dealership, BRANDING.  The Internet has become the proverbial Haystack and your website is the proverbial needle.  The true ROI associated with online video advertising is comparable to TV advertisements as videos in the search engines are still not clickable to a website.  We know that people watch TV and we know that videos online are being watched.  How that traffic arrives at the website or to the showroom is directly related to the amount of exposure a dealer has within their DMA.  The real ROI will be recouped by the dealers that take advantage of the technology and are there to ride the upswing when the market comes back. Dealers have to find ways to out think their competitors, do things different, take advantage of technology, and separate themselves if they are going to survive in a down market.

About the Author: Karry Moore is the President
for Car Buyers Engine

A big thanks to Karry for his guest post. It's not everyday I have a vendor post here on dealerrefresh, but with the rising interest in Video and VSEO within the dealer industry I asked Karry to write something due to his expertise in Video and VSEO.

My main interest of this article is HOW TO TRACK the ROI of your dealers online video efforts. Tracking the ROI isn't always easy with this medium.

What are your thoughts on tracking the ROI for your video and vseo efforts?
VSEO absolutely works for Google ranking. We have used YouTube video for a few of our Micro Sites and the videos on YouTube get great ranking when optimized.

Not only can you harness the power of YouTube to drive traffic to a Micro Site or Dealer Web Site, you can also embed the same video into your sites from YouTube.

You may also submit the video URL to blogging web sites for submission into their database as well as gaining ranking. You can submit the video link to Digg as a video and this will help in Google ranking the video.

Make sure you use all of the available tools on YouTube as the Stats can also be very valuable. Geo Map your dealer location. Track the insight stats.

One more video submission not mentioned is Even though they own YouTube, you can still submit your video here.

Use the manufacturers videos in your own YouTube account and optimize it for your web site and dealer location.

Lastly, make sure when you embed the video on your sites, that you click on the little blue cog wheel next to the embed code and click on Don't include related videos, then you can choose your color and embed the video. You want to do this so you do not include your competitors videos.

And have fun making your own videos. Some dealers have their sales people make videos and optimize them on Google. It's a great way to motivate your staff and get them involved as well as something fun to watch.
Thanks for mentioning the various things that now come with Google local search: phone number, address, map, images, reviews, and now videos. I think this part of Google is widely missed.
Has anyone seen the Johnson Automotive commercials with the Badger on you tube?

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    Tony Weaver
  • November 25, 2008
We have applied all the methods of video branding that Karry Moore explains above. We have deleted 99% of our videos as we are heading to a new platform (better quality video), but here is some useful information to help add to this post.

If you have a video account on Myspace, Metacafe, AOL, Google, Youtube, Blogger, & Yahoo you can be on your way to owning the search engines. I am not promoting a product, but to get your video out there applying everything that Karry Moore explains you have to have a way to distribute it.

I use I actually have multiple free accounts there. You can take one video and upload the video to up to 20 different sites. Take note, the video web sites see duplicate videos, so only post a video to a site one time. To get the same video up you can change the title, keywords (descriptions) and meta info, but you have to change the video too, then it will post. This is easy as you can simply change the introduction and ending with different credits.

When you upload and distribute a video it only allows you to have one title, one description, and one set of meta information in the mass distribute. The great thing about this is you can dominate over any other company by trying to get on a number of targeted searches you are going for. Just remember you have to title your videos, with Keywords that you think a customer is searching for, back up those same keywords in the description and Meta tags.

If you search for your own dealer by name in Google look at all the third party venders trying to get the consumer to their site instead of yours on the first page in Google. With video, you can push the competition off the entire first, second, even third page in. This works in my area but search for “Berglund Toyota” in Google. Here (our area) we have the first 15 listings (the 16th is a job posting for us) in Google. Then look at page two and three… You can do this for every search for your site, but be carful as you can trump you own URL with video and you do not want to do that!

Then you move in on the competition by using your used inventory. If you are a Toyota dealer and you want to get in on the Nissan and Honda pages it is very quite simple, you just basically manipulate the title, Meta info and description. BTW I found that if your title and the first sentence in your description are the same, and you have your number in there, it helps both for organic placement in your targeted searches, and an increase in phone calls.

You also need to name the dealership you are going after in the Meta tags, this may or may not work, just depends on how savvy you are at making the search engines think this video is relevant to that dealer. Never name the dealer in your title or description! You can however; Say a competitors name is Roanoke Ford, simply do a play on words, like “In Roanoke, Ford F150 4x4 for sale 888-757-7550”. See how Ronake and ford are together, but not as a name? This will come up on searches for that dealer, and for Ford F150 Roanoke search, and others like it. The more you put in the description the more searches the video will appear…

I pulled most of our videos down as we are moving to a new platform, but if you type in Google, “Nissan Frontier Lynchburg” which may not me the greatest of search phrases, you will find we are number 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10. We used to have the first 20 listings. Anyway, you can dominate every make and model this way. Branding baby!

There is a lot more to it than this but with a little playing around you get placement within an hour. This works well for sales events, walk-a rounds, & testimonials- (which are great for your dealership name search)...

As far as tracking goes, you can get you results on by all video accounts, or individual video accounts.

Hopefully on this post I will not get any crap from people who think the videos we have up suck or whatever as we are moving to a new representation. I am just offering more information on how to do it yourself. Good luck!
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    Eric Painter
  • November 29, 2008
I have worked with Karry and I can tell you firsthand he knows exactly how to VSEO and make it dominate the search engines. Great points througout the article.
I've been doing this for some time for my eBay auctions using real video made on my digital camera. I'd piece it together using Windows Movie Maker adding titles and smooth transitions. I originally wanted to do this just to add another element to my eBay auctions. In addition to good photos, documentation, and an emotional description, I included a video that walked around the car, up and down the sides and throughout the interior, but also highlighting what made the car special. You would hear the engine start and run, and sometimes I'd take it for a spin. I tried to shoot the video as if I were looking at the car for myself, from the buyer’s point of view. The response was good and I think it built confidence in our online presence. Because of the branding from the titles like name and phone number, people still do call on the video ads long since the cars have been sold. I also used videos from YouTube from shows like TopGear. Embed one of these somewhere. I even used them live with the client at my desk and left them watching the segment of TopGear while I sent a car to cleanup or worked the managers.

I don't recommend that every ISM go out and make custom video ads for their cars this way. It's not practical, is it nor efficient. Take a look at some of my videos on YouTube. Too many RedBulls and my hands are shaking. There are simply some better alternatives out there.

I like some of the video slideshow products available. Specifically, those that allow you to produce a slideshow with recorded or text to speech options. The best I've seen have the ability to record and send to an email contact. Imagine how strong of an impression that is to get a video slideshow with your own recorded voice in front of a buyer explaining how this model has the specific wheels or package you were looking for just as it pans over the picture. Throw in automatic distribution to YouTube and CARFAX integration...all I know is never had a tool like that.

David - Good point on clicking the cog to not include related videos.

Here's the example I promised.
Man thanksgiving set me back on reading the posts for sure!

Great post on video Karry, I agree the dealership branding is key and essential to set yourself apart from competition.

Tony, dude!? Seriously... do you have a wiki or a video walkthru on this vseo thing you did? LOL, That's alot of work bro! The tubemogul prop is good stuff too, btw.

Derek, I've seen your videos, very nice work!
I like the recorded voice option, that's strong! You mention easier ways to do vids, do you mean the slideshow videos? Are you using that too, and getting autouploads to youtube? Hit me off post if you want.

I'm glad to see someone doing videos like you are. Currently we can provide our clients with an automated used car video. It's the best product out there but I really think the future is to have stations set up where you have a live camera on a track loop around the car. You'll produce steady shots at every angle and really give customers a movie-like experience when viewing the vehicle. I know this is going to be expensive but the first dealer to do this right will really benefit from this.
Justin, your idea is cool and probably someday will be standard. I checked out your website, it looks like you're using Sister tech's Video carlot automated slide show videos for your dealers.
I noticed they've been hyping 5fifty free, which on their website says free walk around videos for a website, w/youtube uploads..?
What's up with that? What's the catch?
Why would they give dealers free videos? And I've heard they make videos every month w/5 uploads to youtube for free???
Is anyone doing this free video from them right now?
Here's an example of how we here at Flash Point are utilizing YouTube as a marketing tool for car dealers:

Let us know what you think!
I loved V-SEO. We started popping out videos left and right and immediately they started showing up for the keywords we had targeted with them. The only problem was they weren't professional looking. I think this was a big set back for us. Some of the videos did really well in traffic but few to none of them sold cars. I think if you are going to do it you have to really be prepared to put out a good walk-around.