Use Google Posts to Advertise Dealer Lease Offers & Specials

I may sound like a severely broken record here, but not a month goes by without Google changing the way the game’s played. This month’s offering? The inclusion of a new “Offer” category within Google Posts.

You may be asking yourself, “Why should I care about Google Posts?”

Just hear me out, would ya?

Once a virtually dead feature for car dealers, Google Posts has finally come full circle, evolving into a powerful tool that adds supplemental value to branded paid search campaigns. With the most recent updates in the Google My Business platform, dealerships far and wide can now utilize the revitalized Google Posts to highlight daily, weekly, or monthly vehicle lease offers and finance deals. What an exciting time to be alive!

Google Offers Dealership

The Lowdown on Google Offers for Dealers

Before the implementation of an official “Offers” category, Google limited users to publish “What’s New” and “Events” posts. As a dealer, you likely saw limited benefits from either of these types of posts. After all, your potential leads want easy access to concrete data when researching vehicles—prices, savings, percentages, interest rates—not just information about a monthly sales event. The new Offers category opens many additional doors for those leads to walk through.

Here’s how it works:

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Breaking News! The Future Of America’s Auto Industry Is Changing With Ford

The opening quarter of 2018 has been an eventful one for the auto industry. First, continued concerns about Tesla factories and worker hardships flooded the web, along with newer issues related to its (literally) driverless cars. In March, the horrific accident involving Uber’s self-driving vehicle showed us that perhaps autonomy isn’t where we all thought it was. Then there were a few scary weekends in which U.S. auto stocks fell after talks of tariffs and a global recession.

Such stories dwarfed normally important industry news, pushing otherwise front-page headlines onto the third page, such as GM’s switch to quarterly reporting and a wave of subscription and rental services offered to dealers.

Now that those viral-friendly pieces have seemingly come and gone, it’s time to focus on what we feel is the biggest automotive story of the year: Ford’s aggressive plans for the future, including the elimination of nearly every sedan in its lineup.

Breaking Ford News

“What?! Did I Miss Something?”

If you haven’t yet heard about Ford’s five-yearish plan, then yes, you’ve missed something. Announced within the official Ford 1Q Financial Statement, the automaker’s strategic framework is as follows:

  • By 2020, Ford will cut ties with all sedans and cars not named “Mustang” or “Focus.”
  • The new Focus Active crossover will be the only holdover.
  • Approximately 90% of the Ford portfolio will be made from pickups, SUVs, and commercial vehicles.
  • By 2022, Ford will produce 16 electric-hybrid models, including the F-150, Escape, and upcoming Bronco.
  • Ford will focus extensively on developing a so-called “viable autonomous technology business” to offer ride-hailing and the delivery of goods.
  • The company will also scale its Transportation Mobility Cloud product and Ford Credit program.
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State of the Self-Driving Car: Mid-2017 Report

In a year that’s been interesting, to say the least, there’s been a lot of chatter about self-driving cars. Will autonomy seep into the factory and roadways to take our jobs and swing us too far into the future for our own good? Or do the benefits of having cheaper auto insurance premiums and safer and uncongested streets outweigh the cons?

Whether you’re an optimist or a cynic on the subject, it matters not; autonomous cars are approaching faster than anyone could have imagined five years ago. With Tesla, Google, and Apple making headway, what do the other big-name automakers have cookin’? Here’s your mid-year “State of the Union” on where we’re at in the self-driving vehicle arena.

Self Driving Car

GM to Lead the American Self-Driving Market

June was the month of months for GM after announcing that they’re ready to ship out another 130 self-driving Chevrolet Bolts—a total of 180—for on-road testing. These first- and second-generation autonomous Bolts are equipped with HD cameras, cross-traffic monitoring systems, and traffic light-sensing sensors.

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Digital Marketing Stats Every Auto Dealer Should Know

1 Billion – Websites on the internet.

100 Billion – Google searches per month.

1 – Dealership site you care about. And we don’t blame you! But beating out all your competitors to the top of those billions of searches and websites is no cakewalk. As you decide how to best position your dealership for continued success, consider these digital marketing stats and how they affect you (if you aren’t sure, it’s time to speak with us).

Digital Touchpoints

80% of Shopping Touchpoints are Digital

About 24 touchpoints stand between the user’s initial car-shopping phase and a visit to your dealership lot, and 19 of them are digital. The major touchpoints include the following:

  • Google or search engine query
  • OEM website
  • Financing calculator
  • Google reviews of local dealership
  • Dealership website
  • Ads
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5 Examples of How a Dealership Should Respond to Online Reviews

We’ve already shown how important customer testimonials are for your dealership’s site—TL;DR: car shoppers are over 90% more likely to click your site if you have positive ratings—but online reviews are a two-way street. To make the most of your newfound stars, you need to invest energy into responding to complaints and compliments alike. In fact, 26% of online consumers feel that it’s essential for a local business to reply to their customers’ issues, and you don’t want to disappoint them, do you?

Replying to Online Reviews

Then why is it that over two-thirds of dealership reviews remain unanswered? Cars.com analyzed the reply rate of each state’s major dealerships, concluding that, yes, a higher rate of response correlates with higher dealer star ratings. For instance, Delaware dealers respond on average to 6 out of 10 reviews, which results in an extraordinary aggregate rating of 4.7 (out of 5). At the opposing pole are South Dakota dealerships, which reply to just 10% of reviews, resulting in a 3.9 rating. That’s inexcusable, South Dakotans!

As a digital marketing company primarily working with auto dealers, we understand how tedious this seemingly innocuous process may feel. But replying to online reviews allows you to capitalize on other dealerships’ missed opportunities—and shows potential buyers that you’re not just a lot filled with metal, rubber, and robots in tan suits. Here are the top 5 examples of how a customer-focused dealership should handle both positive and negative reviews.

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Google Search Partners: Good or Bad for Your PPC Campaigns?

Our Opportunity Max family has spent years in front of the computer screen, analyzing and optimizing hundreds and thousands of AdWords campaigns and ad groups, all to help our clients succeed in the digital marketplace. Over those years, we’ve closely followed the debate over Google’s Search Partners.

  • Are they good or bad?
  • What are the benefits?
  • Should they be optimized separately in their own campaigns or groups?

Now the verdict is in, and we’d like to shed some light on this discussion with the only data we trust—hard data.

PPC Search Partners - Good or Bad

What Are “Search Partners”?

Search Partners are primarily composed of companies that opt into Google’s program; in exchange for ad space, the companies receive a small percentage of click revenue—it’s almost like Affiliate Marketing, but on a larger scale.

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How to Improve Your Dealership Homepage & Drive More Leads

Your dealership’s website makes a difference, even though a growing number of consumers utilize Google’s information (schema) over your site’s. But there are ways to help put your homepage in the driver’s seat and on track to generate more traffic and leads.

Increase Homepage Traffic

First things first: If your homepage isn’t up to snuff, your visitors will quickly disengage. A good homepage should absolutely display the following details prominently:

  • An intuitive navigation bar that focuses on the juiciest major keywords. This must also be mobile-friendly.
  • A phone number that matches with what is listed in Google and other search engines and directories.
  • An address (also must match) with clickable directions.
  • Your dealership’s hours should be visible, as this is one of the most viewed details in Google.
  • A search bar.
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5 Strategies to Increase Sales in 2017

“Every sale has five basic obstacles: no need, no money, no hurry, no desire, no trust.” – Zig Ziglar

Sales is a misunderstood discipline that is commonly associated with a negative stigma. What many business owners fail to remember is that the responsibility of generating sales doesn’t only fall on the person with the title “Salesperson.” In order for your business to be lucrative, sales have to seep into all departments of your business. Sales are not only contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson; they should be contingent on the attitude of your business as a whole. Here are 5 sales strategies your business can use to improve and increase sales in 2017.

5 Strategies to Increase Sales in 2017

Focus on What You Are Great at, and Master it

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Google Releases On-the-Lot Foot Traffic Data for Auto Dealers

If you’re a dealer, I hope this isn’t news to you, but car shopping now starts WAY before the actual visit to the dealer. While patrons used to visit dealerships five or more times before making a decision, the rise of the web and especially mobile have cut those visits down to two. With fewer chances to interact in person, you’ve got to make sure you’re reaching your potential customers online. Luckily, Google has recently published data that should help you to make the most of your online efforts. Check out our summary below and read the full Google piece for even more data deliciousness.

Foot Traffic Month

Dealership Foot Traffic by Month

First up in Google’s findings – Foot Traffic by Month. From this data, it’s apparent that dealerships tend to see the biggest rise in traffic during the summer months and leading up to the holidays. What does that mean to you? Well, it’s pretty likely that you have a monthly or yearly budget for Digital Marketing. Using this data, you could take a portion of your budget from slower months and reallocate it to months with higher foot traffic.

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Top Car Dealer Digital Marketing Must-Haves for 2017

We’re still in the first month of the New Year, which means it’s a better time than ever to re-evaluate your Digital Marketing strategy. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of digital marketing must-haves that every car dealer should be employing. Take a look to see how you check out; if you need any help, let us know, and we’ll get you on the road to more sales faster than a Bugatti.

auto-dealer-digital-marketing

Don’t Use Stock Photos

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many dealerships out there are still using stock photos on their SRP and VDP pages. Stock photos aren’t hard to spot. They look bland and could be the deciding factor for potential customers who are comparing your lot to your competitors’. It’s not a bad idea to have a photographer on call. After all, professional photos of the interior and exterior of all your cars could give you a leg up on your competition.

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