AutoTrader isn't working anymore?

Jamil Ashkar
I have registered with AutoTrader 3 months ago and I haven't sold a car from them on the other hand the other 2 big guys are sending a very good amount of leads and I have a very good closing ratio on them .I have noticed they are delivering to the big guys who are spending real BIG money.4 of my dealer friends have canceled them already. Any thoughts?
gregg hayim
Plenty of thoughts...but can you elaborate? Are you referring to pre-owned leadgen or have you been trying one of AutoTraders New Car products? There is little/no doubt in my mind that the AutoTraders of the world have continued to trend downward in terms of tangible lead generation and subsequent sales. However, I also think this is natural and doesnt necessarily mean that their value is gone- which it isnt. Its just changed IMOP. The retail world wants less steps, clicks and barriers- hence why organic traffic is the best traffic. AT is a 3rd party, albeit a big one, but a 3rd party nonetheless. In terms of the generation of leads/sales- largely this is a function of your inventory. I have peeled back on my AutoTrader budget over the years but I dont think I would consider leaving because the platform is so widely used, recognized and so on that the benefit outweighs the cost even without the tangible ROI that I, like everyone of us, love. However- not to be a complete hypocrite and for the sake of full-disclosure...I havent had to justify this just yet, the return is still there :)
Lauren Moses
Jamil, We just dropped AT. We had them for a few months and saw absolutely no increase in traffic on foot (which they said would be the main difference) or leads. I have 1 email lead the entire time and maybe 10 phone calls. Nothing more. I definitely felt that they were more worried with their bigger dealers than they were with us. Gregg has it right, your organic traffic is always best. Ultimately you want your customers on your site and your site only so there is less chance that they will see another dealers vehicle and get sidetracked and not contact you. If you have a good website and work out a good strategy for your SEO you will rank right up there in your search results along with the AT, cars.com, etc sites when someone searches for things like "used cars near me", etc. Hope that helps.
Jamil Ashkar
@Gregg thank you .I am a used car dealer and as @Lauren said I have only got like 5-6 leads since I signed up ..Thank Lauren and yes your website is the key I just changed my website and I started getting some organic leads who are way stronger then the third party once..
Mark Hoffman
@Jamil - Beyond looking at leads, you should take a look at the quality of the traffic that they are directing to your website. Are they driving traffic at all? Are they driving visitors to your VDPs? Or does their traffic just bounce off the first page. How many people that fill out lead forms on your website originated their search from AT? What about multi-channel attribution?Can some conversions be traced back to an initial visit from AT? What about phone calls? You'll never hear me preach the praises of AT for sure. Like Chris, I'm not a big fan of some of their business practices. But I am a data-driven person, so before you throw AT out the door, take a look at those things. You might find that they are driving more value than you see by looking just at lead forms. If you need any help in how to dig up this info from Google Analytics, just let me know. I can help.
Lauren Moses
Mark makes a great point. You want to consider all sides. I dug down into our google analytics and looked at it from several different angles. We based our decision off of that.

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