Strategies To Drive Sales At Your Dealership


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Did you know that 70% of consumers researching vehicles turn to search engines first in their car buying journey? That means getting new buyers to your dealership requires the tools and measurable results of digital marketing. So, how can you create a digital strategy that translates to cars moved off the lot? Keep reading to see ideas from our experienced automotive team.


Build Trust With Your Customers

In today’s digital age, it’s more than just selling cars, it’s about building a foundation of trust with customers that keeps them coming back for more. That lasting trust needs to be built up through each stage of the buying experience starting with your online presence. So how can you build that relationship before a single step on your lot? Let’s reflect on our own experiences. We’ve all done it, we’ve researched online and probably reacted to customer reviews. A modern take on “word of mouth,” reviews are one of the most powerful marketing tools you can have, so it’s important to utilize them to the best of your ability. On Google, Yelp, and Facebook, start building up a repertoire of reviews in every form. Capturing customer success stories or video testimonials can be used across all of your online platforms and recycled for paid ad campaigns.


Utilize SEO

We’ve established search engines are the first place users go to start to research vehicles, now how can we ensure your dealership gets discovered when your audience is looking? Execute a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. With consistent performance monitoring and optimization, your website can appeal to both your customer and search engine crawlers, ensuring your dealership is found first.


  • Ensure Metatags are updated and include keywords that both you want to rank for and are relevant to the specific landing page.


  • Take steps to speed up the load time of your desktop and mobile site which can be measured here.


  • Ensure all images on your web page have alt tags.


  • Each landing page should include a minimum of 500 words inclusive of relevant keywords.


Guarantee your spot at the top

While SEO can get your website to rank organically, search ads are going to be your guarantee that users searching for vehicles find your dealership, because you only pay for measurable results. Adding simple optimizations can bump your ad above the competition.


  • Use Extensions–Search engines love extensions. Adding extensions can boost your ads ranking in the eyes of Google or Bing. “Contact Us” or “View Inventory” can give even more chances for the user to find exactly what they are looking for on your site.


  • Create A Seamless User Experience–When someone searches for “used cars” they don’t want to click an ad and end up on the new cars page. Google bots can actually scan your page and either boost or lower your ad score depending on how the user experience will be throughout the entire journey.


  • Optimize, Optimize, Optimize–Especially at the beginning of the campaign, go into your campaigns and look for optimization opportunities. Negate irrelevant search terms, schedule your ad for the highest performing dates and times, and adjust budgets according to the results. Optimizations will get you the best results possible with your budget!


Be Aggressive

Even though search engine marketing is a great way to get your dealership in front of users, they utilize a bid structure which creates competition between you and your competitors. Aside from the obvious “used cars near me” keywords, consider adding your competitor’s branded keywords to your campaign. Not only will this allow the ability for your dealership to come up when someone searches your competitor, but they might be bidding on your branded keywords too.


Adjust Your Budget

Just like your business fluctuates throughout the year, so should your ad budget. Reflect on when your busy, steady, and slow seasons are and adjust your budget accordingly. Maybe you are having a big sale coming up and you want to promote it, raise your budget. Perhaps it’s a busy season and your inventory is low, lower your budget and reallocate those funds to a slower part of the year. By adjusting your spend to align with your business needs, you can get the most out of your marketing budget.


Know Your Target Audience

BMW and Porsche dealerships would have different customers than Honda and Hyundai. The audiences would have different questions, concerns, and wish lists that need to be addressed before making that purchase. What type of customer would be looking for the vehicles at your dealership? Knowing your audience and using that information in your ads can help you connect with them, leading to more clicks, higher foot traffic, and increasing sales.


Use Unique Offers

Incentivize customers to come to your dealership with unique offers. Get creative by linking an offer that resonates specifically with your target audience. For example, if suburban moms are your target market, free oil changes for the first 3 years might be an appealing offer. It’s all about getting your customers to choose your dealership over your competitors, so don’t be afraid to look at their offers and create more attractive ones.


Utilize Calls

Getting someone on the phone is often a relief for customers and an easy way to activate your sales team to create those meaningful connections. Google offers call extensions, mobile bid adjustments, and call tracking to get the most out of your phone number and entice customers to use it.


Use Your Email Lists

Good email lists are one of the most coveted targeting tools in digital marketing. You can utilize your lists to create lookalike audiences off recent car buyers to reach the most ideal customers. If you have a good email list, use it! If you don’t, it’s time to start building one so you can add it to your targeting strategy in the future.


Whether you are looking to promote your upcoming sale or want to build up your brand, the goal is always the same. Sell more cars. By utilizing things, you already have, phone numbers, email lists, unique offers, and a marketing budget, you can see meaningful results with thoughtful execution. If you are looking for a personalized digital strategy that will give you real results that translates into cars moved off your lot—and lifelong customers that trust you with every milestone, connect with one of our Automotive Specialists today.

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