Notifications & Messages

Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
JD Rucker

JD Rucker Founder

Exclusive Blog Posts

Top 6 Things Car Dealers Do To Make Car Buying Difficult

Top 6 Things Car Dealers Do To Make Car Buying Difficult

[youtube] Your Turn To Drive discusses Top 6 Things Car Dealers Do To Make Car Buying Difficult.  Jim D…

Choose the correct CRM for your dealership OR pay dearly

Choose the correct CRM for your dealership OR pay dearly

With all the CRMs on the market today, finding the right one for your dealership is becoming more challenging than ever. There have been massive changes in…

5 Benefits of Using Google AdWords Click-to-Message Ad Extensions

5 Benefits of Using Google AdWords Click-to-Message Ad Extensions

Looking for a new way to win over people more likely to send a text message than to call? Set up this free message extension for your text ads on the Googl…

Must-See NADA 100 Expo Displays for Fixed Ops

Must-See NADA 100 Expo Displays for Fixed Ops

New Orleans is ramping up for the 100th anniversary of NADA, and the convention promises to be outstanding. You’ll be entertained at the NADA100 Carn…

Why Social Media Marketers Won’t Replace Your Sales Team

Why Social Media Marketers Won’t Replace Your Sales Team

Social media is changing the marketing profession in remarkable ways. According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the social media analyti…

Straight to Inventory versus Landing Pages for PPC


There have been several studies in the automotive industry that have conclusively answered this question with hard data and compelling reasons why it is the way it is. Unfortunately, these "conclusive" studies often point in opposite directions and always seem to be conducted by companies that lean in one direction or the other.

Which is better for search PPC, banner ads, and other forms of advertising? Should you point your ads to take prospects directly into vehicle details pages or search results pages or should you send visitors to landing pages with messaging first? The reason that the studies seem to take the same data and yield different conclusions is based on two things: intent of the company doing the study and ways through which the data is collected and analyzed.

Our perspective on the issue adds a third factor that has helped us to come to our own conclusion for clients: visitor intent. The beauty of modern digital advertising is that it allows us to make determinations about website visitors before they even click based upon their source, keywords, and past activity. The key to all of this is following Google's lead based upon their ultimate data set for automotive.

Last year, Google started making the shift from "visits and unique visitors" to "sessions and users". This wasn't just a cosmetic change nor was it the only thing they've been changing. They understand that intent is much more easily defined once you parse out the data correctly. They realize that at different stages in the research and buying cycle, car shoppers will be searching for different things and expecting different results to appeal to their real-time needs.

We went into some detail about this concept in a blog post but for now, let's look at the basic concepts to see if we can answer the straightforward question of inventory versus landing pages.

The New Paradigm

While I would hate to make it sound as if Google is revising the zero moment of truth concept, there is a great deal of shifting happening in their mentality towards what really works for driving the sale in the automotive industry. Whether it's a new reality or an old reality that's just now being recognized doesn't matter. What's important is that they see the shift.

To break it down, let's look at direct examples. If someone does a search for "best family sedans" they are likely in consideration mode. They're at the top of the funnel. In fact, they might not even be certain whether or not they're currently in the market. They're exploring. This would be a bad time to send them into inventory. Instead, they should be given a very specific and useful message to help them but that also has the opportunity to push them further down in the funnel. Think of these people like service customers waiting for their cars by walking the lot. Most of them are just passing time, but everyone has a story about the vehicle in service that turned into a trade in before it ever left the shop. It happens and these visitors need the proper messaging. Sending them to inventory would be like leaving a service customer to walk the lot on their own.

Let's look at another search. If someone types in "new Hyundai Sonata in High Point" then they have a different intent. They could be in the middle of the funnel. They might be at the bottom of the funnel. In this situation, one message might be designed to lead them to a landing page with information about current specials and sales while giving them an easy button to take them to inventory. Another message could be about the cars directly with a straight path to the Sonata VDPs. In this situation, both options are viable and testing of both will yield the proper path for each individual dealership.

Final keyword: "2015 Ford Focus for sale in Indianapolis". If you have a nice selection, send them straight to the SRP. They know what they want, they know where they want it, and they're ready to look at cars in stock.

All three examples present different users with specific messages. More importantly, they present the same users with different messaging and destinations as they work their way down the funnel. It's a win-win methodology that serves the customers' needs and the dealership's needs simultaneously.

The different perspectives can point to one side or the other. It's within the data to make the determination based upon intent. Which is a better destination, inventory or landing pages? Our answer is, "Yes."

Alexander Lau
I think both of these options do work, but they had better be usable. I see far too many landing pages and SRPs that function poorly (lack of clear calls-to-action and cleanliness) and shambolic looks. Ranging from broken pages to lack of mobile adaption (both adaptive and responsive). Make sure to do research and analysis on which ads convert better, in the first place. To your point, there is conflicting data out there. It's not as if AdWords and the like restrict you from creating as many ads as you'd like. Let actual live data suffice for which works best. There are quite a few lovely mechanisms that drive inventory data (parse) the information to create the ad. Very handy!

 Unlock all of the community & features  Join Now