Internet Directors and GMs are bombarded with automotive vendors nearly daily with solutions for their automotive digital marketing struggles. During my time as a professional digital marketer, I have bumped shoulders with plenty of fake gurus. Automotive advertising professionals struggle with dealer’s mistrust. Dealers want to know, “How do I determine who is an actual expert and who is just selling me smoke and mirrors?” So, let’s break it down by exploring the top three most important automotive digital marketing investments dealers should be wary about due to the abundance of snake oil salespeople: Social Media, SEO, and PPC.

Automotive Digital Marketing: Social Media Flops

It’s a bit confounding that there are still many dealerships that have not invested in a quality automotive social media presence. Even more worrisome are the dealerships purchasing social media services from agencies selling them nothing more than syndicated posts, a few un-targeted boosted ads, and lack-luster creative that often leave page fans scratching their heads. When shopping for a social media agency for your dealership, ask about what matters. Who are they targeting? Are the posts hand-written and unique? Will you engage with my local community? Will your posts and ads generate sales? If they answer yes to all those questions – ask for proof. Any reputable automotive digital marketing agency will be able to provide a plethora of examples of ads, posts, and ROI.

Automotive Digital Marketing: SEO Failures

Dealers should be focused on showing up at the top of search results for all terms relevant to their brand, dealership, and locale.  But with every company promising to deliver the number one spot, how do you know who will actually make it happen? Dealer Authority’s Vice President and resident SEO expert, Erika Simms, offered this advice:

“Know what efforts are most impactful vs an Easy Check List. Most companies say they “do SEO” but most do not have a well-rounded approach. If you break it down into three areas, it would be:

  • Technical: Making sure your website is functioning correctly using Google search console, or tools like it, to understand how Google sees your site.
  • The Meat of SEO, Content:  Content creation should still be top priority for car dealers. Fresh, unique content should be added to your website constantly.
  • Linking:  In all other industries, businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars each month trying to get links to their sites or content on their site picked up. Some companies even sponsor bloggers to write about the products and services. If an SEO company doesn’t have a well-defined strategy around this area, then you will be missing out on potential future gains.”

What it comes down to is quality and strategy – never settle for one or the other.

Automotive Digital Marketing: PPC Pipe Dreams

Effective pay-per-click for car dealers is the art of selling more cars by using custom paid search campaigns which are continuously monitored and tweaked to result in the highest number of clicks to your website for the lowest amount of money. Many vendors offer a “set it and forget it” strategy (or lack thereof) which cannot adapt to changing trends and market shifts. PPC for car dealers requires hands-on attention from a trained strategist. Your strategist must constantly review all campaigns to optimize for the best possible results. The primary goal is to get more in-market shoppers to your website and in your showroom. When vetting PPC agencies, ask what their strategy will be on a month-to-month basis. What actions they take to ensure success. Ask what key terms they will be going after and what percentage of your budget will be dedicated to those terms.

The dedicated SEO, PPC, and automotive social media strategists at Dealer Authority are available to review your digital marketing efforts with you to find areas for improvement with a no obligation consultation. Please call us at 888-963-9617 or learn more on our website