Automotive SEO - Pasch Consulting Group
by 4 comments · 1 likeson Apr 28, 2015
This week a Google AdWords approved vendor, in the Chrysler Digital program, told us that they couldn't connect the dealer's Google AdWords account with the dealership's Google Analytics account. We asked why. We were told that it was a Shift Digital policy.
We called Shift Digital and the dealer support representative confirmed that they would not allow the company to connect the two accounts. No reason was given other than it was the company policy.
Before I publish my full report on this dangerous decision and the current advertising reporting pratices supervised by Shift Digital, I wanted to give both Chrysler Digital, Chrysler Dealers, Approved OEM Vendors, and Shift Digital an opportunity to reach out to me and explain their position.
Google Recommendations The Connection
I wonder where Google stands on this matter? Google specifically recommends that Google Analytics and AdWords are connected. In this article, Google states that:
Linking a Google Analytics prope Read Post
by 0 comments · 2 likeson Nov 2, 2013
By Brian Pasch
Have you noticed the increase in photos in your Twitter newsfeed? Twitter is making a change to their platform to increase the number of photos that automatically open in the reader's newsfeed.
In the example on the right, I loaded a "goodie bag" photo with my tweet about speaking in Holland, When I looked at the tweet on my mobile phone, the photo was expanded, increasing the visual impact of the tweet.
This is a big change for marketing professionals. As Twitter evolves, expect more creative ways to use Twitter to reach local car buyers and to accelerate B2B marketing.
Note: The Twitter IPO will be coming to market this month and it will be interesting to see if it succumbs to market hype bolting the shares to the moon in the first day of trading.
Twitter Ad Formats
At the top of this post, a graphic is shown, which is the opening page to Twitter Ads. Twitter gives you two choices on where your ads will display. &n Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Oct 23, 2013
By Brian Pasch I wrote this week about calculating the Cost Per Shopper (CPS) and the Cost per VDP View (CVV) and a number of inquiries came in asking how to setup Google Analytics to count VDP views. You can setup a "Data Segment" in Google Analytics to filter data by VDP view or you can setup a Goal that triggers when a consumer visits a Vehicle Detail Page (VDP). The goal is a preferred method because then you can see which traffic sources are generating the most VDP Views. If you setup goals for VDP Views, then you can also use Multi Channel Sales Funnels (MCSF) to see a better picture of the attribution associated with consumers looking at your inventory. However, MCSF will be a topic for another day. The Goals Area of Analytics You will need to have Admin permissions to set goals. Click on the Admin menu in Google Analytics and you should see a series of choices, like I have shown above. Click on Goals, shown in the red box, and t... Read Post
by 5 comments · 0 likeson Oct 22, 2013
By Brian Pasch Recent research from Cobalt has shown that as vehicle get more VDP views, they will sell faster. Vehicle Detail Pages (VDP) are a proxy for the stealth shoppers that do not submit a lead, call the dealership, or chat with your agents before they show up at the dealership. So if this is one metric that is aligned with increasing the velocity of sales at your dealership, are you keeping an eye on VDP view trends on your website? You should make this a part of your monthly marketing review and analysis of traffic. ... Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Oct 21, 2013
By Brian Pasch There have been many articles written about the importance of Google author tags, but did you know that Google makes it easy to see how your authored content is performing. In Webmaster Tools, there is a section called "Labs" and in that section you can see your author stats. The dashboard shows you how many articles it found with your author tag and how many times the post was seen in organic search and clicked. It does not count how many times the page was viewed. The first article in the list that had 1,600 impressions in Google search was the "Six Horsemen of Automotive Innovation" and 70 people clicked on the article in organic search. You can use this tool to track your content and to see if anyone has copied the content with your author tag embedded. So, if you haven't inspected your authored content, here is a quick way to see how well your articles are performing. Brian Brian Pasch, CEO PCG Consulting 7... Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Oct 21, 2013
By Brian Pasch The fall automotive conferences showcased a number of technology solutions that were mobile friendly, adaptive, responsive, or packaged as a mobile app. The marketplace is getting flooded with new products. The product ROI claims are getting hard to substantiate, so I'm turning to the dealer community to help me with some important research. If you are using mobile apps or mobile friendly software for inventory management, sales, CRM, F&I, or Service would you please take a minute to send me your feedback on what is working in your dealership and what failed to deliver the results that were promised. You can send your experiences confidentially to me via email at email@example.com. I will not be publishing your quotes or mention the vendor feedeback you provide online. I am working on a new research paper and upcoming book and I need dealer feedback from the field. Automotive Software Solutions For example, there are a number of com... Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Oct 20, 2013
By Brian Pasch Dealers looking for insights into which digital marketing and social media investments are helping them sell more cars may find the answer is much simpler than they thought! There are some differences in how dealers measure new car sales vs. used car sales, but both share a common ROI metric: Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) views. Recent research from Cobalt shows that just 12 more VDP views can make a vehicle sell 44% faster! Inventory "turns" a year is directly related to net dealer profits. So let's see how we can accelerate car sales by focusing on Cost per Shopper (CPS). If VDP views are one of the key metrics to define if a car shopper is coming to a dealership website, shouldn't dealers inspect the cost to drive a shopper to their website? For some advertising expenses, like Google Adwords, the cost per initial shopper visit can be calculated. However, if the shopper comes back a second or third time organically, then the costs ca... Read Post
by 4 comments · 0 likeson Oct 20, 2013
By Brian Pasch Have you taken the time to submit a lead on your own website? Many website platforms present a "thank you" page after the consumer submits their contact information on a lead form. The image shown above, is an actual page that is presented when a consumer submits a lead, on a dealership website. Are you impressed with the dealer's creativity? What do you have to say about this page? I would love your feedback. Let me share a few of my thoughts: Dealers should consider the "thank you" page as an opportunity to re-engage a consumer and not tell them goodbye...someone will call you. The example listed above, does not take advantage of the opportynity to re-engage. Who is this man in a car? Does this image give you a warm feeling? The "thank you" page should provide links to resources that would best serve the customer and the dealership. Those links could include: Customer Testimonials Current ... Read Post
by 1 comments · 0 likeson Oct 15, 2013
Danny Sullivan addressed the 2013 DrivingSales Executive Summit today and the crowd was glued to his insights into Google search and the latest digital strategies for car dealers. There were many points that resonated with the audience, just check the Twitter feed for #DSES2013. One point that I wanted to share with the DrivingSales community that could not attend was the point that there is no longer a standardized Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Every search that Google presents is customized based on relationships it establishes directly or indirectly about the consumer conducting the search. Read Post
by 7 comments · 0 likeson Oct 14, 2013
Dylan Swift from Yelp addressed the dealers at the 2013 DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES) and of course the room was packed. Yelp impacts dealers in many ways especially since Yelp is integrated with Apple Maps, Siri, and even some OEM vehicles. According to Dylan, dealers should not ask their customers for a review. That means no kiosks in the dealership, and no direct requests to post a review online. Dylan suggested that dealers could put Yelp stickers on their showroom windows. This would be passive engagement with customers which basically says that the store has a listing on Yelp. Yelp Believe In Organic Review Growth Dylan felt that if dealers have hundreds of transactions a month, that organically some of those customers will post a positive review on their own, without any prodding. However nice that sounds, this is NOT the reality for so many dealers. There are dealers that have service centers that perform THOUSANDS of rep... Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Oct 14, 2013
At the 2013 DrivingSales Executive Summit, Jared Hamilton's opening keynote address challenged dealers to invest in a "Fixed Ops First" strategy. Jared clearly outlined the opportunities dealers have to increase Fixed Ops revenue and customer retention by implementing a Service BDC. Jared also encouraged dealers to invest in a digital marketing strategy. When local consumers use Google to find Fixed Ops services does your dealership show up for oil changes, discount tires, brakes, and alignment? Take a minute to search a few phrases and see if your dealership is in the first 3 listings on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices. Fixed Ops Managers Not Invited To The Party Many dealership budgets omit a comprehensive digital strategy for Fixed Ops by design. In fact, FixedOps Managers are often left out of the "digital party" and rarely are they invited to digital conferences. Jared suggested... Read Post
by 3 comments · 0 likeson Oct 13, 2013
One of the benefits of Big Data research in the automotive retail industry, is the direct correlation that Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) views on vehicles have on the velocity by which they sell. A recent automotive study conducted by Cobalt, clearly shows that vehicles that have more VDP views sell faster. The chart, shown above, tells dealers that cars with more than 30 VDP views, sold on average in 76 days compared to 135 days when they had less than 20 views. If dealers want to sell more cars, they need to get their inventory VDP's in front of as many Internet car shoppers as possible. A strategy that increases VDP views will increase the velocity of cars sold at the dealership. Thus, dealers should be focused on one question: How do I get more consumers to select and view my Vehicle Detail Pages? Adjusting Our Focus to VDP Views Dealers who want to increase VDP views, have to be careful about the costs to drive consumer traffic to their VDP's. D... Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Oct 11, 2013
Do you know that you can advertise to local consumers on Facebook based on what car they own? You can't do that level of targeting in Adwords! Facebook offers dealers an unique path to connect their marketing message with local consumers based on the vehicle that they own. They can present their message to local consumers who spend hours a month on Facebook. Do you think poeple spend more time on Facebook or reading the local newspaper? Is Facebook advertising powerful? When you construct a campaign with the correct message, create a device independant landing page, and track conversions ( calls and leads) you might be surprised that Facebook advertising can be 1/5 the cost of Google Adwords. So, let's start the discussion. Is your dealership using Facebook advertising and Polk vehicle ownership data? If you are not, tell me why. If you are, tell me about your experience and the ROI you have documented. For the dealers tha... Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Oct 9, 2013
Google Webmaster Tools is a free software program that has great information about your website, yet few people actually look at Webmaster Tools every week. I wanted to see if the trend that I have been witnessing in Webmaster Tools applies to members of DrivingSales. Take a minute to log into Webmaster Tools and select the "Index Status" report from the menu, which is shown below. For this dealer, their indexed website pages are down 200%. Read Post
by 7 comments · 1 likeson Oct 9, 2013
The creativity behind great social media engagement differentiates companies that are successful with social media to grow their business compared to companies that claim social media is a wasted investment. I recently visited a number of dealership Facebook pages, at random, to prepare for a webinar and what I found was discouraging. I found many examples of posts that just did not make sense. So I decided to share a few common examples that I found that I would discourage automotive professionals from replicating. Read Post
by 13 comments · 1 likeson Oct 8, 2013
Most dealers have paid for phone training in the past but few have had the discipline to stick to the training process. Do we invest more energy each day making sure that every car is clean and shiny on delivery than we invest in phone training? If you haven't taken the time to inspect your digital advertising and social media investments in regards to phone call traffic, you should do that today. As more consumers use their mobile phones to shop online, they are submitting less lead forms and making more phone calls, on a percentage basis. Read Post
by 7 comments · 2 likeson Oct 1, 2013
By Brian Pasch
As digital marketing and social media investments become a larger percentage of dealer operating budgets, some operators are considering hiring an internal Digital Marketing Manager (DMM). Many of the mid-sized automotive groups and most of the larger auto groups already have this position in place.
However, finding the right person to fit this newly minted role can be a challenge:
What does the job description for a Digital Marketing Manager look like?
What should the Digital Marketing Manager be doing each day? week? month?
How does a Dealer Principal hire for a position that requires skills that they most likely don't understand?
What personality traits make the ideal DMM?
How will the General Manager inspect the work of the Digital Marketing Manager and mentor them to enrich their career?
What does the pay plan for a DMM look like?
Defining The Role and Work Plan
You may be a Digital Marke Read Post
by 2 comments · 0 likeson Sep 26, 2013
By Brian Pasch
If you have been in computing since the begining of the PC area, like me, then you must watch this interview with Bill Gates. It is worth your time to get some insights into the amazing growth of Microsoft and Bill's leadership.
I hope you enjoy this video. Share your reaction(s) after watching here on DrivingSales.com.
Brian Pasch, CEO
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Sep 26, 2013
How many times have you posted something to Facebook, only to see that you missed a few spelling errors? Well it looks like Facebook has been watching my typing lately! Facebook has finally answered my prayers...and maybe yours as well. You can now edit the text on a Facebook post by clicking on the drop-down menu, as shown in the example on the right. Is there any downside regarding this new feature. For the most part the answer is no but of course this could lend to some forms of "bait-and-switch" marketing. For now, I'm just happy that a post that had good engagement, can be edited for grammatical or spelling errors. Brian Brian Pasch, CEO PCG Consulting 732.672.2356 Google ... Read Post
by 6 comments · 0 likeson Sep 25, 2013
As Google reduces the visibility in Google Analytics to see which keywords are driving the most organic traffic, there are other ways to continue your SEO research. One of those tools is free called Google Webmaster Tools (WMT). Google Webmaster Tools is an invaluable resource for checking the health of a website, and is not limited to just this one example of keyword research. I recorded a short video to review one of the ways WMT can be used to see which keywords are driving clicks to your websites and to spot areas for improvement. ... Read Post
by 1 comments · 0 likeson Sep 24, 2013
By Brian Pasch Today, a number of my automotive marketing peers found a blog post by Ralf Skirr that created some "alarm" amongst SEO strategists. In his article "Another Blow For SEOs", Ralf stated that Google's policy to hide the specific keywords for organic referral traffic is reaching 75%, on a select group of websites. According to Google "when SSL search is employed (e.g., if the user is signed in to a Google account, or using the Firefox search bar), Keyword will have the value (not provided)." The reference website that Ralf uses in his blog post states that by Dec 2013, 100% of keywords will be blocked for certain websites. This "change" would be a significant blow for SEO consultants, if this were true. This is a claim of the soon peak of 100% blocking does not hold water for automotive dealership websites, today. Could it be around the corner? Sure. Is Automotive SEO Dead? Of course this claim would ... Read Post
by 4 comments · 0 likeson Sep 22, 2013
A few years ago, you could have attended one of my workshops and heard me recommend free press release websites as a way to get additional listing in Google search result pages (SERPS) for localized keywords and the dealership name. With recent changes in the Google algorythm, press release websites and article directory sites which were being abused for link generation, no longer have the "power" they once had. But this post is not about past link building and SEO strategies, but to ask if you think the multi-million dollar press release business model is on its way to extinction? Have social media website like Twitter and Facebook become to most effective ways to get the word out for breaking news? Should dealers and vendor companies continue to investment in nationally syndicated press releases? Looking Back At Press Releases In the past, if a dealership was received a special OEM recognition or was a major sponsor in a local cha... Read Post
by 8 comments · 3 likeson Sep 16, 2013
By Brian Pasch
David Barkholz, a popular reporter from Automotive News, is once again breaking a very critical story that is impacting dealers. A number of dealers, who have been critical of TrueCar on automotive blogs, have received letters from the FTC.
According to Barkholz story:
"In a letter to dealers, the FTC said it is investigating whether some companies in the "retail automobile industry" committed anticompetitive acts "by agreeing to refuse to deal with TrueCar."
I caught wind of the FTC action because one of my clients received a letter from the FTC. He was a vocal critic of TrueCar on automotive community blogs.
I will allow David to continue to cover the story but is there another story related to this action. Will website such as DrivingSales see less managers and executives of automotive dealerships share their opinions about vendors on blogs, forums, and comment areas?
The Golden Age Of Read Post
by 9 comments · 1 likeson Sep 11, 2013
By Brian Pasch
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your wakeup call. This is the first time I have seen a dealer hit the 50% mark: mobile vs. desktop traffic. If this data chart (shown above) does not create a priority to establish a MOBILE FIRST marketing strategy for your dealership, nothing will.
Dealers need to inspect ALL their marketing investments on mobile devices and ask two questions:
Does the MOBILE version of my ads, content, videos, website, etc. ENHANCE my brand?
Does the mobile version make it EASY for consumer to engage with my brand?
The rise in mobile traffic and the need for device independent content delivery is an opportunity for some and a barrier to growth for others. Where do you fit in that equation?
What is your current mix of desktop vs. (tablet and mobile)? Are you pleased with the mobile version of your virtual showroom?
Brian Pasch, CEO
by 8 comments · 1 likeson Sep 10, 2013
Some Cobalt website users are seeing abnormal traffic spikes in Google Analytics which will throw off monthly analysis and reports. PCG started seeing these odds spikes in May 2013 and we continue to see them as of September 2013. DrivingSales.com members, like Chris K. Leslie, have also commented on this problem, and it was great to see Ellen Jones from Cobalt respond with advice on how to fix Google Analytics. Read Post
by 0 comments · 1 likeson Sep 9, 2013
By Brian Pasch
Whether you work in a dealership or work at a company that supports automotive retailers, you have a responsibility to make your attendance at the 2013 DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES) a worthy investment of your time.
Simply stated, if you go to DSES to "get" something you may be dissappointed. If you attend DSES to share, serve, and engage you will be greatly rewarded. There is a fine line here that I want to explain.
First to sponsors and vendors; stop hanging around at your booth/table. DSES is all about relationships and it shocks me to see how many vendor employees do not leverage meals, breaks, and cocktail receptions to make new friends. Waiting for dealers to come to your booth or table is a slow death. Stop taking calls when you have the opportunity to talk with dealers face to face.
Secondly to dealership managers & employees; stop avoiding discussions with vendors. You never k Read Post
by 22 comments · 0 likeson Sep 8, 2013
This week I was blessed to co-present a three hour workshop with JD Rucker on Automotive SEO strategies for auto dealers. The 40+ dealership employees in attendance at the workshop made for a lively discussion on a number of topics related to Automotive SEO, social signals, online reviews, and Google Cars. So what was one of my "call to action" messages for dealers at the workshop? I asked them to stop the insanity regarding their website page title tags, also known as the
by 12 comments · 1 likeson Sep 2, 2013
Dealers are very comfortable with companies offering leads for sale to suppliment the leads that their own website generates. Most dealers have tried selling cars from 3rd party leads and some have made these companies a part of their marketing plan. Third party leads are a big business. Companies such as Dealix, AutoUSA, KBB, Edmunds, TrueCar, etc. have educated dealers on the value proposition that they offer to help dealers sell more cars. The challenge today is lead attribution to the sale.;Since consumers are visiting 18+ websites during what Google called the "Zero Moment of Truth", consumers may be submitting leads on multiple websites during their shopping process that dealers are expected to pay for. Read Post
by 6 comments · 0 likeson Aug 31, 2013
Dylan Swift, Director of National Marketing at Yelp!, will be on the main stage at the DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES) on Sunday October 13th.
Dealers understand the power of online reviews in the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) but most dealers I speak with do not understand Yelp!
If you had the opportunity to ask Dylan Swift one question from the floor, what would it be?
Share you inquiries and if you can't attend DSES to ask Dylan yourself, maybe the DSES team can ask Dylan some questions from the online user community.
One of the questions that I would ask would pertain to their new mobile application. In the past, an active Yelp! reviewer could not post a review from their app. It required the Yelper to finish the review from the full desktop version of the website.
This never made any sense to me but now it is possible to post a review from the mobile app.
So, I want to hear from Dylan if he is comfortable that Read Post
by 0 comments · 0 likeson Aug 30, 2013
It is common for dealers to ask me at workshops: "What else could I be doing to sell more cars?" One of the most exciting areas of opportunity is Facebook advertising when it leverages Polk vehicle ownership data and Google's new Wildfire platform. Wildfire is an agency level software platform that creates device independent (responsive) pages that can be used in social media engagement, contests, and promotions. Facebook advertising is not new however Wildfire and Polk data take social media advertising to the next level. Read Post