Auto Dealers Expand Paid Search Strategy to Deep Linking

Consumers are turning to online resources in ever higher numbers to research their upcoming automotive purchases. At the same time, dealers are spending more of their ad budgets online, especially on search. But are they spending their search budgets effectively? newcarLotLinx, a new search marketing service provider, thinks dealers could do much better by using a ‘deep linking’ strategy.

LotLinx presented the results of their new research at the 2014 National Automobile Dealers Association Conference and the data highlights the paid search strategy used by auto dealers. The typical dealer shells out 50% of the online ad budget for search engine marketing and uses keywords in the hopes of driving traffic to its site. But when a dealer spends its search budget on ‘deep linking’ strategies like listing inventory on syndication sites, shopper traffic and potential sales jump.

The firm’s analysts note that the typical dealership gets about 763 clicks in a typical month as a result of its Google AdWords’ campaign. But Google’s service is expensive, running an average of $18.55 per vehicle viewed and $73 for each acquired shopper. In addition, only 30% of these clicks are coming from serious shoppers.

LotLinx Founder Len Short explains that consumers have changed the way they shop online. Dealers need to move beyond a simple Google strategy and expand their connections. In a test study, analysts found a typical dealer that lists inventory on syndication sites as part of an online search strategy can expect to see 489 shoppers arrive at its site each month, 94% of whom are new, for a total cost of $1,933. All of these visitors are looking for new vehicles. Alternatively, a dealer can spend $17,444 a month to get 223 new shoppers to its site using Google AdWords.

What do you think of this study? If you’re working with automotive marketers, do you think it’s time to explore search ad campaigns that include deep linking to syndication sites?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.