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Dealers spend thousands of dollars a year on designing a good website. Then they spend thousands of dollars a year to add video, chat, vAuto, SEO and SEM to their websites. They invest in branding on radio, TV and newspaper as well.
Then dealers unknowingly make decisions to make sure consumers DO NOT GET to their website for popular search phrases on the search engines.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
One day, dealers were told it was a "good" idea to send their inventory to 3, 5, 8 or 10 "free" inventory listing websites that promised to create significant leads and relevance to their business.
Inventory feed providers, website providers all bought the sales pitch. Funny, not many dealers have gone back to look just how many leads are coming in from these "free" sites? Even less have decided to take any action once they saw that these free sites were NOT producing meaningful results.
Dealers concluded, what can it hurt me to send my inventory....it's free. Guess what. It's NOT free. It has a real Cost.
So, I wrote a post this week that I though would elicit more responses, but it didn't. I think I just gave too much information, so I'll say it one more time, using graphics. Dealers are allowing their inventory to be used against them.
They are allowing free websites to push their own websites off of Google Page One.
I did a simple search on Yahoo, which was: " Indianapolis Silverado for sale" and I documented Page 1 and Page 2 of the search results. You should test a few local phrases and see who comes up on Page One.
Take a look at the screen shots at the bottom of this page and take note that:
Do I have to keep going?
Many dealers are PAYING Autotrader.com to advertise their cars and even AT is being pushed down in the ranking by free and pseudo-free websites that are NOT dealer centric models. The irony is that dealers are sending their inventory to free sites that are pushing even AutoTrader.com down in the rankings.
Anyone looking for a reason WHY Autotrader.com leads may be down in your market? It just may be your own actions!
How many leads a month are you getting from these FREE sites?
Driving Sales Members..please listen.
STOP SENDING YOUR INVENTORY to "free" sites that are using your inventory to create landing pages by car model that:
Call your inventory management service like HomeNet, Dealer Specialties, etc. and tell them to ONLY send your inventory advertising services that DELIVER results like Autotrader.com, Cars.com or any site THAT YOU HAVE PROVEN is not hurting you and is delivering real sales each month.
Get it in writing and then search for VIN numbers that you have in stock the following month. Need proof? See the images below.
Does ANYONE think that at least ONE Chevrolet Dealer should be showing up on Yahoo Page One or Page Two???
What is your response?
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing