By Brian Pasch
A large percentage of car dealers are using Google Adwords to drive traffic and shoppers to their website. Adwords is an effective strategy to create immediate traffic to a dealer’s website. When Adwords is managed properly, it can generate a very strong Return On Investment (ROI).
PCG Digital Marketing is a Google Partner and Adwords advocate; dealers should invest in Adwords to connect with car shoppers during the Zero Moment of Truth.
Google Adwords however has its limits; rarely does anyone talk about these practical limits for car dealers. The normal message from Adwords agencies is, “spend more because it works!”
I will be pleased to look back on 2013 knowing that, through my writings, dealers have realized the practical limitations of Adwords.
Spending MORE is not necessarily going to generate MORE of the same results or ROI. Spending more may not generate more VDP views at an affordable cost.
CPC Is Misleading – CVV Is Not
In the graphic above, the Adwords campaigns designed to sell new and used cars, highlighted in red, are fairly well optimized on a Cost Per Click (CPC) basis. However, when you look at these campaigns on a Cost per VDP View (CVV), a very different picture emerges.
For this Toyota store, the Adwords campaigns (new/used) had a range a $1.00 – $5.00 per VDP View, which is better than most dealers. Many Adwords campaigns I inspect have Costs per VDP View (CVV) as high as $25!
At PCG, we are re-tooling all our client Adwords campaigns for 2014 as I write this article to include CVV metrics. These new marketing metrics are also automatically calculated for dealers in the ROI-BOT dashboard.
Also, take a look at the bounce rate variations in the Adwords campaigns; 34% – 57%. If dealers take the time in 2014 to calculate their effective cost per VDP view in Adwords, they will find that some campaigns are expensive to drive shoppers and others are doing great.
Do you know which Adwords “campaigns” are the poor performers for your dealership?
So, make the commitment in 2014 to look at Adwords campaigns, designed to sell new AND used cars, in light of the cost to get a consumer to a Vehicle Detail Page (CVV). The reason why I bring this up is because when dealers want MORE sales and MORE quality traffic, they should be looking at incremental strategies to compliment Adwords.
The answer may NOT be increasing their spend in Adwords, although for most dealers they are under spending. The answer I have found is a combination of Adwords optimization and adding LotLinx.
LotLinx Drives New Shoppers At A Fixed Cost
The same dealer, in the same time period is utilizing Lotlinx to compliment their Adwords strategy. In this 30 day period, they drove 1,016 shoppers to Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP); with a nearly perfect VDP hit rate (99%).
The majority of the shoppers were NEVER on the dealership’s website. In fact, Lotlinx delivered 92.42% NEW traffic to the website with a low bounce rate (24.70%).
Compare that to an average of 65% new traffic generated by Adwords and twice the bounce rate. The visitors from Lotlinx visited 2.35 pages on average, which brings the cost per VDP View under $2.00.
So, if more traffic by qualified shoppers, to a dealer’s Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP) will increase the velocity of sales, why would dealers not include LotLinx in the 2014 advertising strategy?
The answer is simple: LotLinx is a new program and dealers have not been measuring their Adwords campaigns on a cost per VDP view (CVV).
Let’s Compare Results
Keep in mind that these Adwords campaigns were already partially optimized, to get VDP costs under $6.00. Dealers will be surprised just how high some of their campaign CVV costs can be; this is a call to action for 2014. Stop focusing on CPC and look at CVV.
Double Check Your 2014 Budget Priorities
PCG is FIRST to market encouraging dealers to get their inventory syndicated to the 130+ websites in the Lotlinx network. As the first digital agency to signup as a reseller for the LotLinx, I can assure you that we have vetted their strategy and are confident that this investment is a smart choice for dealers in 2014.
In fact, you can request a copy of my recent webinar “Doing More With Less – 2014 Automotive Budget Planning” which is designed specifically for car dealers looking for an edge in 2014. LotLinx is part of a “smarter” digital strategy that aligns marketing costs with activities that sell cars with greater velocity.
PCG is educating dealers on how to maximize their results in 2014, and that strategy can be obtained by watching my latest webinar.
If you want the 90 minute video of the webinar to watch with your team, just complete this request form and in the comments include “2014 Budget Planning Webinar Recording”.
If you would like to super-charge your inventory exposure on a fixed Cost per Click basis that is affordable and fully transparent, contact the PCG sales team at 732.450.8200. We can get your inventory working for you in Lotlinx in as little as 10 days!
Brian Pasch, CEO