A recent blog post took a shot at automotive paid search, stating that “we’ve fallen behind as an industry”. The assertion is that SEM providers have oriented their products to conform to what is easiest to sell to dealers (“glitz and glamour”) rather than ROI effectiveness.
First, I’ll provide some context about myself and my perspective. In my career with a leading dealer group, our team was one of the first to embrace paid search (PPC). We did it internally and externally. We developed one of the first inventory-centric paid search systems. We used non-auto agencies and auto-specific technology alike. We directed people to landing and dealer site pages. We measured everything, all the way down to gross profit on keywords. We also tied in correlations like market share and store OEM effectiveness to truly measure our effectiveness.
My point is that I’ve seen a lot of the innovations in paid search up close, and I can tell you that automotive SEM is still rapidly evolving.
And during the last 12 months, Showroom Logic introduced three game-changing innovations:
Dynamic Landing pages – Contrary to the blogger’s belief, these pages aren’t primarily for tracking. They fundamentally improve a dealer’s marketing performance. Dealers can replace the traditional VDP with conversion-optimized Dynamic Conversion Pages (DCPs) and potentially increase leads by 27%. That’s what we’re currently seeing across all OEMs. Another recent study showed that five dealerships from a particular OEM increased leads by nearly 300% over the dealer website.
Real-Time Payment Display– Injecting loan and lease payments in your paid search ads – AND automatically syncing them to your landing pages so the shopper sees the same terms everywhere – is revolutionary to the automotive industry and driving on average a whopping 30%
Market Share Optimization – Now, we’re getting somewhere. Forget about wasting dollars on a scattershot paid search campaigns (yes, even a supposedly geo-targeted PPC campaign can create a lot of wasted dollars and hand-wringing). Using a tool like the recently launched ZipDriven helps dealers spend ad dollars on specific vehicles in the zip codes where those vehicles are most popular. This new approach to paid search campaign management is driving tremendous results so far, with dealerships seeing noticeable improvements in market share, cost-per-sale and click-through rate. You can try it for yourself: Find your dealership’s market share by zip code here.
Everything I’ve just mentioned is making waves in automotive paid search. In just the last few months, ZipDriven has drastically changed the discussion of paid search campaign effectiveness, as did Boost and DCPs before it. Innovation is happening right now in automotive paid search, and your dealership should be a part of it. Anyone saying otherwise simply isn’t paying attention to the companies that are driving innovation.