Search Results for Car Dealerships

Many dealerships have grown accustomed to subcontracting their marketing efforts or giving their BDC autonomy and the budget they ask for.   As a result, they rob themselves of the basic knowledge necessary for due diligence as a business owner.  Owners should understand the basics of how search engines work and always keep an eye on their positioning in organic and paid search results. Nobody understands a business as well as its owners. Marketing bridges the gap between goods and services sold and the consumer. How you reach potential customers is paramount to your success as a dealership. Car sales is an old business but the latest technology can help you narrow down your demographics based on location, interests, search history, and more.   

When an individual types in a search query, the SERP (search engine result page) will be littered with results. Whether the person is just looking for information or ready to buy a product, search engines will put the most relevant information possible in front of the user. These search engine results are broken down into a few categories. Both ads and organic search results will be displayed. The ads are positioned via quality score and bidding strategies by interested parties hoping to put their information, services, or products in front of a potential consumer. Ads can index in generic search results, on local maps, under shopping, and more.  The actual ads can be generic or display ad extensions such as links to specific parts of your website or show reviews under a local listing.

Automobiles are a big purchase and a huge part of our economy and culture in the United States. In the digital era, many businesses have capitalized on this demand from a marketing standpoint. Third party websites have bridged the gap between consumers and their questions in a way that search engines can’t. CarGurus, Kelley Blue Book, Carfax, TrueCar, and AutoTrader are some of the many third party websites that help consumers learn about different makes and models of vehicles they are interested in. In addition, consumers can learn about the value of their car, the cars they may be interested in purchasing, and more.  

Third party websites compete in search results for both organic searches and pay per click. As a result, it is challenging for dealerships to compete with these big businesses in search results. Dealerships need to acknowledge that these third party sites are multi-million (and multi-billion) dollar tech companies. They are big businesses and understand how search engines work. As a result, competing with these companies in search results requires tact.

There are a few things that your car dealership offers that these third party websites do not. The first is something TANGIBLE! Your dealership has the inventory. You have the cars sitting on a lot ready for their new owners. CarGurus doesn’t have a dealership down the street with 100 cars to choose from. Carvana has certainly tried to bridge the gap and create an online marketplace but at the end of the day, cars are a huge purchase. People want to see what they are getting. Another component that your dealership offers that these big businesses do not is a local context. You know your demographic and have the ability to target consumers in your area.

A sound marketing campaign knows how to capitalize on the strengths of your business and the weakness of these bigger businesses. Put your inventory in front of the customer through third party websites but don’t hesitate to compete in organic and paid search results as well. By using phrase or exact match keywords to display your inventory, you can snag customers by putting what the consumer wants in front of them. In addition, a good website combined with financing options and a decent inventory will allow you to reduce friction and convert leads into sales.

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