Automotive SEO

Automotive SEO

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly…

The importance of Automotive SEO has been highlighted by an Automotive Buying Influence Study done by RL Polk and, on the influence, the Internet has on New and Used Automotive purchases. The study results are from 4,005 U.S. participants who has purchased a new or used vehicle from an automotive dealer. The Automotive Buying Influence Study results are as follows:

1. The internet is both the most utilized and influential media for both new & used car buyers.
2. 71% of car buyers utilize the internet during the purchase process of new & used vehicles.
3. 97% of car buyers who used the internet were NOT influenced by Social Media (aka Facebook, etc…)
3. The internet usage in the purchase of a vehicle is 2x as great as any other medium.
4. The internet is rated as the most influential and helpful source of information compared to referral from family and friends, cable, broadcast, radio, outdoor, direct mail, etc… (listed in the descending order of influence.)
5. Car buyers spend more time on 3rd party sites than on Automotive OEM & Dealer Sites.
6. Car buyers spend on average 60% (10.8 to 11.4 hours) online with the rest spend offline (ie. visiting dealerships.)
7. 50% of the visitors a dealer website receives is from search (*hint Automotive SEO.)
9. The majority of car buyers make initial contact offline.
10. 45% of car buyers utilize the internet for information specifically on pricing and cross brand comparisons.

Reasons Car Buyers Utilize the Internet

Reason New Car Buyer (%) Used Car Buyer (%)
Pricing Information 43% 44%
Cross Brand Comparison 45% 43%
Photos of Vehicles 37% 34%
Locate Actual Vehicle 26% 33%
Vehicle Reviews 33% 31%
Safety and Quality Info 28% 29%
Trade-in Value 24% 28%
Specials, Rebates, Incentives 42% 28%
Locate Dealer 22% 23%
Price Request 19% 15%

Click here to read/download the actual study.

So what does this mean to you, an automotive dealer?

1. Are you proportionally allocating your marketing dollars towards the internet specifically towards search (automotive seo)?
2. Out of your ad dollars allocated towards the internet how much of it has been for “social media”?
3. What type of information does your website provide? Does it answer any of the questions that a car buyer is asking?
4. Other than the automotive industry standard dealer website (ie. homepage, new & used inventory, about us, contact us.) what other web properties do you have in your arsenal? & how are you utilizing them?

These are just some of the questions you and your staff should brainstorm and evaluate. Even though the internet & SEO is not a new piece of technology it still provides tremendous opportunity within the franchise dealer’s marketing space.

Here’s something you might not like or want to hear, the “Automotive SEO” being utilized in the automotive space is sub-par compared to the rest of the market. This is extremely interesting since, the automotive industry spends more dollars in marketing and advertising than any other industry, however, new technology has a hard time to breaking into the “Good Ole Boys Club”. So what ends up happening is you have a number of automotive marketing veterans, whom by the way we have extreme respect for, trying to deliver a product/service (Automotive SEO) utilizing knowledge and skill sets of traditional advertising.

The good news as we’ve previously mentioned, this presents a HUGE opportunity for dealers, like yourself, that is willing to venture out and pull away from the pack to discover what the SEO market has to offer.

Automotive SEO in reality is conventional SEO re-purposed and leveraged towards influencing variables a potential car buyer is looking for. Automotive SEO reaches well beyond the scope of conventional SEO in terms of simply ranking is not enough, it about dominating the search results page for every make, model, & target PMAs. Yes, content is important, however, unlike what most “Automotive SEO”, we don’t use content generation as a justification of why you hire us, ranking results and market domination is what we focus on.

What are you waiting for? Give us a call, and we’ll show you the true potential of what Automotive SEO really has to offer, and how it will impact your bottom line!