A lot changed in 2017 and dealerships are having to make increasingly quick adjustments to their strategies to stay on top. With the continued rise of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media, businesses are finding new ways to leverage their capabilities to help them reach their goals. While there were too many updates across all of the channels to count, here are the three most significant changes that marked 2017 (and can have a major impact on your dealership).
Social as a Selling Tool
It’s no secret that Facebook is a giant – but it’s power goes beyond likes and shares. In the US, one in every five internet page views occur on Facebook. The social media giant is leveraging their powerful position by adding continued ways to monetize their business – and empower other businesses as well. Facebook advertising continues to grow.
They’ve also expanded their ability to sell by launching Facebook Marketplace. Though the marketplace itself was released in 2016, Facebook recently announced its extension into the automotive space. Now customers have the ability to browse inventories from Edmunds, Cars.com, Auction123, Social Dealer and CDK Global. Customers can see KBB prices for cars and even start messages with a dealership right from Facebook messenger. While others may make such claims, CDK Global is the only provider that integrates Facebook marketplace, inventory and chat functionality for dealerships. We’ve found that 42 percent of chats from Facebook Marketplace convert to leads, making the ability to leverage Marketplace a key differentiator for your dealership.1
Google My Business is Sharing
When Google Plus was first rolled out, they connected every Google business listing to a Google Plus page, which allowed a dealership to share relevant and local information right in their knowledge graph. But Google Plus never took off, so Google removed that sharing capability for businesses back in 2015. The function was gone but never forgotten, and this July, Google made posts available again to any business with a verified Google My Business listing. Now done through the listing dashboard, this allows a business to share timely information visible to any potential customers. In a CDK Study on Google posts this year, we saw the average dealer saw an increase of 222 views to the post by just posting once a week!
Questions Not Keywords
The biggest change to search in 2017 relates to how people are searching. With over half of all search happening on mobile, the intent behind a search is changing. Of all mobile search, 20 percent is voice search, and it’s thought that by 2020 over half of mobile search will be voice search. Given that nearly 50 percent of people are now using voice search when researching products, it’s not a stretch to consider customers are using Siri and Alexa as research tools in the car shopping process. Your content focus should shift from focusing on a single keyword to the types of questions people may have about models. If you build questions into your SEO strategy, it will establish your website as the local authority when that search happens.
These three changes had a major impact on the SEO and social world – and if you incorporate them into your 2018 strategy – they could have a major impact for your business.