We all know about search engine marketing and most of you have already given it a try for your dealerships. Some of you have seen great success with Pay-Per-Click advertising and some of you have really just wasted a lot of money. Everyone knows where they fall. There are tons and tons of vendors out there targeting the automotive industry and selling search engine marketing like a snake oil salesman sells oil.
I lead a team that conducts search engine marketing campaigns for our in house agency clients. I would like to share with you an experience I had this week.
Before starting any search engine marketing campaign either I or one of our team members researches the current climate surrounding the keywords our client will be using. As we all know, certain areas and franchises have much more competition then others. In my keyword and competitive research I typed in the keyword "newburgh cadillac" and in the top sponsored links I saw the result for a dealership named Tunstin Cadillac. Here is a screenshot:
I thought this was interesting since I am quite well versed in the local dealerships and had never heard of this one. I continued my search by searching on the general term "Cadillac." Tunstin Cadillac once again appeared:
My initial reaction was that whoever is doing their search marketing is at least covering all the bases. I was interested in finding out more about the dealership so I typed in www.tustincadillac.com (I didn’t click the sponsored link because I didn’t want the dealer to get charged). Upon further research I found out that this dealership is located in Tustin, CA a whopping 2,799 miles away.
I have no knowledge of what vendor is running their search campaign. Maybe its even the internet manager at the dealership. Either way my point boils down to this. Make sure that your SEM vendor is acting in your best interest. Audit their results and check your site logs to make sure that you aren’t receiving traffic from regions outside of your general market area. Google Analytics is also a great and free tool to help you audit your search marketing results. Many SEM vendors work on percentage of spend. If they get you to spend more by running your campaign almost 3,000 miles away from your dealership It won’t matter how much you spend, your search engine marketing campaign will always be a failure.
Guest posting by Brandon Hoffman
Director Of Internet Marketing at KEA Advertising, Inc