Driving Digital Success

Alex Melen
Alex Melen


Driving Digital Success

Before we talk about how you can drive digital success in 2021, 2022, and beyond – let’s take a step back and talk about why digital is important. Pulling up one of my favorite websites, internetlivestats.com – there are over 5 BILLION internet users in the world. On Google, there are over 6 BILLION searches performed EVERY SINGLE DAY. That’s only Google, and Google isn’t the dominant search engine in many countries – Russian users, for example, prefers Yandex.

Search Behavior Today

What’s more interesting is that out of the billion searches made on Google every day, 15% have never been seen before and are completely new. What this means is the consumer journey is now more unique and unpredictable than ever before, with more searches happening during discovery, research and consideration.

google search

In fact, 75% of US consumers have tried different stores, websites, or brands during the pandemic. And 3 in 4 surveyed CMO’s said post-pandemic changes in consumer behavior will impact marketing strategies.


Search Trends in the Automotive Industry

At the same time, search engines continue to dominate everything we do. In the automotive space, consumers used search engines 79% of the time to decide on what car they will buy; followed by online video (57%), dealer websites (57%), OEM websites (46%), and vehicle review/ comparison sites (41%). On the used-car side, those in-market used search engines 92% of the time, followed by all endemics at less than 50%.

Search engines continue to be an integral part of our lives and thus should be an integral part of your dealership’s digital marketing strategy. In fact, a recent study by Google showed that $1,000 invested in Google Search Ads, produced results for up to 9 months from the initial sale. Over that period, that $1,000 was shown to impact the decision of 6.5 car purchases. In other words, $1,000 invested today can develop your sales pipeline for months to come and will directly influence up to 6.5 car purchasing decisions.

google ads result

How to Get Value from Your Search Engine Advertising

So how do you ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck in your search engine advertising? As I’ll be discussing at NADA in March 2022, the must-haves are:

  • Implementing auction time bidding, utilizing Google’s AI algorithm
  • Switching to value-based bidding – optimizing on the value each conversion brings you
  • Enhancing your profile – making sure you’re utilizing all of Google’s extensions
  • Implementing audience targeting – target your existing customers whose leases are ending soon, or perhaps those who haven’t been in for car service in a while. You can also target individuals based on what they searched on Google (and target them outside of Google!)

And of course – there is a world outside of Google Ads. Microsoft Ads continues to be more relevant: expanding their reach, partnering with niche search engines like DuckDuckGo, and integrating LinkedIn audiences into their platform.

Don’t Forget SEO for Auto Digital Marketing

And last but not least on everyone’s radar should be SEO. While the ranking signals that determine your rankings continue to change – the basics continue to hold firm:

  1. You need to have a GMB profile (and make sure it’s optimized).
  2. You need to make sure your site is fast, has good usability and has no technical errors.
  3. You need to create unique content on an on-going basis
  4. You need to have an outbound link building effort to get relevant, authoritative websites to link to you.

Want to learn more? Make sure to attend my session at NADA where I’ll go in-depth on all of the topics above and you’ll walk away with a clear strategy of how to improve your digital marketing efforts to ensure digital success for your car dealership.