Automotive Dealership Marketing Miami
Other than a home, cars can be one of the most expensive purchases for the average consumer. In 2018 alone, over 5 million cars were sold in the United States alone. Cars are expensive and the margins per unit can be excellent for dealers. With that being said, consumers are only becoming more educated and third-party websites such as CarGurus, AutoTrader, etc. have dominated the online space. As an independent dealership, how do you compete with larger players in the industry?
Pick your battles
Car dealership owners need to understand their strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to organic search results, it will be nearly impossible for a dealership website to compete on SERPs with the big players. Websites such as CarGurus, Carfax, AutoTrader, etc. all have massive domain authority. They offer price comparisons, loan calculators, and most importantly TRUST for consumers. Their presence online has served to bridge the gap in consumer distrust for car dealerships. Cars are a big purchase and it’s intimidating walking into a dealership. Luckily, most buyers can do plenty of research without stepping through the door.
Dealership Websites are the Last Step
Dealership websites are the last step for a potential buyer. You can’t necessarily compete for organic visibility with these large sites but you do offer something they don’t: inventory. At the end of the day, dealerships sell cars, not websites (with the exception of Carvana and those brave enough to buy a car off eBay).
Capitalize on your Strengths- Build Trust
Recognizing that you are the end result of the buyer’s journey toward their purchase of a car is a huge step in understanding your marketing presence. The distrust toward car salesmen (especially used cars) is pretty ingrained in the average buyer’s DNA. Your dealership website should do EVERYTHING it can to build trust for the consumer. Be genuine with your content, attentive with your branding, and transparent about your pricing. Make the buyer feel comfortable from the moment they land on your website and keep that momentum as your business development center transitions a lead into a sale.
Can Dealerships Competing in Search Results
While visibility for broad, organic search queries are nearly unattainable for most car dealers, there is an opportunity for Google Local Listings Link, and visibility for long tail search queries with a local context. You might not ever appear on the first page for “chevy Silverado for sale,” but you can appear for “chevy Silverado for sale in Miami.” This is a long tail keyword and the specificity of the search query might slip under the radar of larger sites. Using your product display pages to target a variety of long tail, local search queries can be an effective organic approach (assuming you have some domain authority). These long, specific, exact match searches have less volume than more vague searches but they are HIGH INTENT customers and can easily transition to a sale.
Adwords for Car Dealerships
Adwords is an effective way to rank above the most authoritative sites but it does come at a cost. With as average profits ranging from $1,000-$4,000 per unit, some dealerships have pretty immense marketing budgets and the bidding wars reflect that. If you do decide to pursue an ad campaign, make sure you use dynamic ads so you have customers land on vehicle display pages, not your home page. Focus on long tail keywords so you can use “micro-moments” on the buyer’s journey to help close the sale. Remember, you are selling cars, not a dealership. Attract buyers to their site by providing them what they are looking for. Once they land on your site, use trust, honesty, and always focus on reputation management so you have the highest possibility of converting sales.
Inventory and Staff
Your online efforts are virtually useless if you don’t have a decent inventory or competent staff. Because of the information available online, many buyers know what they want and you should work with third party websites and make sure you have a diverse inventory and competitive pricing on these sites. Inventory is huge when it comes to automotive sales and it’s imperative that you have competent staff that can reduce friction per sale while simultaneously capitalizing on front and back-end profit. Marketing is just one piece of the puzzle.