Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: None

SEM to Dealer VDP Pages Is Like Throwing Money Out of The Window

By Dave Page on Feb 28, 2013

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) has really taken off  in the auto industry the past few years. With all the changes happening in Google from Pandas to Penguins and Google Place Pages to Google Local, dealers have now been pushed against the wall to get traffic to their website the old fashion way, PAY FOR IT.

This brings me to a major problem happening in the industry today. Car dealers are not aware of  MOBILE SEM to the VDP (Vehicle Details Pages) of their website.  Car dealers must realize that 30% to 35% of all traffic comes to their website from a mobile device. What car dealers do not know today is how much of their SEM budget is being spent on mobile marketing.

Our industry has been educated/or persuaded by industry experts such as Dale Pollak ( Founder of V-Auto) to measure the amount of VDP views per month to determine success. This type of thinking has paved the way for Vehicle Details Page Search Engine Marketing. A very successful company by the name of HAYSTACK has revolutionized this concept for auto dealers that want to get more aggressive online and advertise inventory specific vehicles on Google, Bing & Yahoo. That being said, what is being overlooked here is the “mobile spend” portion of this strategy and whether car dealer website vehicle detail pages are mobile compatible and ready to take on this strategy.

We tested this strategy on a car dealer using this type of  strategy below, and as you can see the results were not good!

Lets put this problem on display:

Customer goes onto Google to search for a 2012 Kia Sorento on a mobile device

After Clicking on www.zieglerchevroletschaumburg.com, you will notice the customer is sent to a NON-COMPATIBLE MOBILE WEBSITE

As you can see from the screenshot above, the image to the right prominently displays a website that is not optimized for this type of SEM, so basically this car dealer is throwing money out of the window!

A mobile optimized website should look like the picture below when looking for a Kia Sorrento.

This is what a mobile optimized website should look like when an ad is clicked from a mobile device. – Platform by Dealer e Process

Here’s The Tip:  If you want to test your website to determine whether or not your VDP pages are mobile compatible, all you need to do is copy the URL to one of your VDP pages, place it in the subject line of an email, send it to yourself as an email, and try to open that URL from your mobile device and you will have your answer!

Comments

Hey Dave,
How do you have dealers address Google's change to "Enhanced" where you can't split Mobile and desktop search ads? ... Most "dealer websites" can't convert their landing pages to mobile landing pages... This is another problem that is lurking around the corner.
Dave Ortiz
Rogers Auto Group

Feb 28, 2013

Dave, great article and very valid point. A 2013 problem, with a 2008 solution. As mobile traffic eventually eclipses desktop traffic, dealers need a better strategy.

Feb 28, 2013

Excellent concept, Dave. I'm going to wait for more replies from the community before voicing my opinion but I'll be watching this thread VERY closely.

Feb 28, 2013

I would respectfully disagree with this. If a dealerships website is built on a Responsive Platform, the VDP will dynamically adjust to the mobile device the customer is using. The URL for Mobile is the same for Desktop. According to Google, this is their preferred method for creating mobile websites. Having an m.dealership.com or iphone.dealership.com is Google's 3rd choice. You can read it directly from Google:

https://developers.google.com/webmasters/smartphone-sites/details

Not only a better customer experience, but also helps with Organic Search as you're sending all your traffic to one URL.

Feb 28, 2013

Dave - solid example of a face palm moment for dealers and the marketers providing these type of solutions.

Old School Strategy: SEM campaigns pointed to the dealership home page.
New School Strategy: SEM campaigns point to effective mobile VDP pages.

Great tip provided by Dave - follow it!

Feb 28, 2013

Doesn't responsive sites solve this?

Feb 28, 2013

Jeffrey - it should. But how many dealers even have a mobile compliant site - much less a responsive solution.

Another key element is simply grasping the concept of how much mobile activity a dealership's site is receiving - many dealers are not even aware of this shift in behavior and how to respond to it.

(There are other issues to be considered with regards to how well your responsive solution plays with the search engines)

Feb 28, 2013

Responsive platforms absolutely will handle this problem, although you might be quite surprised to learn what vendors (large ones) do not have this figured out yet! Not only do some of these vendors not have it figured out, some of them dont even own their own mobile technology which makes it even worse.
In addition to inventory, think of all the custom pages dealers create for the desk top version of a website, and how many of them dont appear on a mobile device.

Feb 28, 2013

Eric - The bigger issue is segregating mobile ads from Desktop although now Desktop and tablet are soon to be 1 target on Google Search, Search Partners & GDN. VDP on tablet will soon reflect the desktop version NOT a mobile site. We've seen that Tablet usage for searching inventory is substantially higher then that of smartphones. Paid search text ads for VDP is in itself questionable when leveraging re-targeting with dynamic pixels and a DSP has a much higher CTR and lower CPA. Making dynamic pixel re-targeting substantially more effective versus running VIN specific ads on the Search Network. Running Search based text ads makes sense if you have dynamic pages generated reflecting a multitude of similar models, that way the CPC is inexpensive and the ad continually runs while providing a fair amount of "granularity" to the consumer. For Example: A VW Dealer running a text based used Jetta Ad continually with text in the ad stating "From $9,995 A month" or "a payment" running to a Used Jetta inventory page that would be continually fueled by new Jetta inventory. Bread and butter cars, not one off's. One offs are better served being advertised on 3rd party sites as they are served up in the same fashion; in a vertical of similar cars.

Feb 28, 2013

David Ortiz,
If your website platform is "truly mobile adaptive" every single page of your website "including the custom pages you built" should be available in the mobile format. If you would like to test what it is I am talking about, do this - while sitting in front of your desk top go out to: http://www.lexusofedmonton.ca

While your on this website (in the bottom left of the toolbar, you will see a red QR Code scanner button, go to ANY page on this website, click on the QR code scanner and scan a page, and you will see this exact page in its mobile format.

This works for custom pages, inventory, VDP pages etc.

Feb 28, 2013

Comments 1 - 10 of 37

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Dave Page's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Dealership Site Speed

    While most dealerships have a website, and some are mobile-enabled, many have not been optimized to provide the fastest delivery of content.  Whether it's a slow loading picture or a bad piece of flash animation, site speed is still an issue for a lot of automotive dealer websites. Even a small delay in site speed with regards to load times will dramatically decrease customer satisfaction, page views and conversions.  Most people expect a site to load in just a couple of seconds, and many will abandon a site if it takes too long to load.  Businesses like Amazon and Walmart have taken steps to remedy slow site speed and have noticed lifts in conversions. Some quick ways to improve site speed include reducing the number of elements on a page, using CSS instead of images when possible, combining several stylesheets into a single file, and reducing the amount of scripts running.  Similarly, cleaning up extra spaces, line breaks and indentation in the code can shave some load time.  ...Read post

  • All in One Base Essentials Pack Plus, Business Edition, Gold.

    Software developer Steve Jives takes you on a tour of his new software that does everything. Introducing: Multi-Office All in One Base Essentials Pack Plus, Business Edition, Gold. See why no business would want this system in this funny look at the B2B software world from Capterra. Read post

  • Best time to buy cheap rs 07 gold from May 20 to May 27, 2015 to save money

    trustable site to buy osrs gold without phone confirmation.Caso em que voc comea a sua boa vontade e o seu dinheiro.. buy old school runescape gold It simply uses Words and Boxes as it's two main, onscreen Graphics. Curses fall somewhere in between the other three types, and use body and other runes for various curses against opponents, like weakening or freezing them in place.. Big discount coming RSorder Profitless Sale From?May 20 to May 27, 2015, buy old school runescape gold on RSorder, and you will gain a chance to save money. There are three types of savings to you: 1.?$1 off $18 by code “RS1MAQ”: this code can be applied to save $1 when your entire price is equal or greater than $18 for Runescape 2007 gold or Runescape 3 gold buying on RSorder. 2.?$2 off $30 by code “RSRW2S”: this cash voucher will make you save $2 when the entire price of your order is equal or greater than $30. 3.?$5 off $50 by code “RSM3FK”: applying this cash code, you will get $5 sa...Read post

  • Dealers Still Not Embracing Data Mining

    According to new data compiled by DealerSocket, dealers are still focused on driving new traffic into their stores from webleads. The issues with webleads: -Cost $20-$50 per lead -No exclusivity -Little info, lucky if you get a phone number -Low gross -Low CSI Benefit of using CRM/Data Mining: -Low cost, dealers already own customer -Use data to find people in equity, lower payment, etc -They know you -Send relevant message to right person, at the right time, for the right reason -Exclusivity and ability to pull customers into the market before they submit a weblead -High Gross -Higher CSI While dealers are seeing the advantage of Data Mining and using tools to do this, data shows that dealers still have yet to embraced it. Marketing spend by dealers is as high as 70% directed to drive new traffic to the store and as little as 5% on repeat customers. Many dealers using Data Mining tool still don't have a great appointment process in place. Average dealers only have 7% appointment...Read post

  • Honor Loyal Customers to Keep Them Coming Back

    Whether you believe it or not, your customers are your dealership’s most valuable asset. Especially the loyal ones who continue to come back regularly for service work and purchase multiple vehicles from your dealership. If you’re under the belief that all customers should be treated equally, then this post may not be for you. In fact, we believe your most loyal customers deserve extra savings and attention to ensure they continue to come back to your dealership for future vehicle needs. Here are three easy to implement ideas to honor your customers. Offer a First Class Experience If you identify loyal customers who are scheduled to visit your Service Department, think about rolling out the red carpet. Start by having one of your Service Advisors greet them with a small gift upon arrival. Then, have refreshments and free goodies ready to satisfy them as they wait for their vehicle’s service work to be performed. Maybe even offer free shuttle services, free car wash and vacuum, o...Read post

  • Using Recalls to Your Advantage

    A recent article in Auto Remarketing reports how Penske Automotive Group is using recalls to increase their service business through recall work, but also as an opportunity to sell more vehicles. “I think recall business is good,” Penske Chairman Roger Penske, stated. “We welcome it. I think that’s why we’ve committed to the large fixed operations that we have in order to be able to handle it as it comes in. And I think it also gives us the chance — think about this one — it gives us the chance many times to see vehicles which we haven’t seen. So, it gives us the chance to connect with a customer with an older vehicle and in many cases we’re converting those into used-car or new-car sales.”   Penske makes a great point. However, the very first thing to get an effective handle on is how to connect with these recall customers in the first place. How do you get through to them and inform them of the recall so that you can connect and get their service business? W...Read post

  • Pinterest - It’s Not Just for Women

    If you asked a room full of women how many of them were on Pinterest, it wouldn’t be surprising to have most of them raise their hand.  They love the recipes, crafts and clothing ideas.  But there’s so much more to it.  What is Pinterest?  Think of it as an online cork board, where you have pinned photos of your favorite things.  When you are online doing research and you find something you like, you can pin it to a board and keep track of it.  A board is a way of organizing the things you’ve collected, something like placing it in a file cabinet.  And now all those favorite things are online, in one place.  How’s that for organization! Let’s say you’re planning a wedding.  You can create a “My Fabulous Day” board on Pinterest and pin your ideas that you find online.  You can also find inspiration from others on Pinterest and pin those ideas on your own boards as well.  Everything is organized and ready for planning. Pinterest launched in 2010 and has over...Read post

  • First-Ever Women in Automotive Convention to Debut in 2015 – Industry Pioneer named as Keynote Speaker

    Orlando, FL – The inaugural Women in Automotive Convention will take place this summer with the purpose assisting the automotive community in recruiting, retaining and developing female employees and leaders. Women make up just 17% of employees at auto dealerships according to NADA – and organizers of the conference are working diligently to raise this number, beginning with this event. The conference is set for Tuesday-Thursday, August 18-20 at the Ballroom at Church Street in Downtown Orlando. The three-day conference includes speakers, breakout sessions, workshops and booth displays – all centered on the goal of educating and inspiring women in all areas of the automotive industry. Keynote speaker, Lisa Copeland, has been a pioneer in the field of automotive marketing and management for more than 25 years. She is currently Managing Partner of Fiat of Austin, the top Fiat retailer in North America since the brand’s return. “The topic of women in the automotive industry h...Read post