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Craigslist For Car Dealer SEO

The PCG Digital Marketing offers car dealers with the opportunity to promote their car inventory on a number of social networking websites including: 

  • Craigslist
  • BackPage
  • MerchantCircle
  • Google Base

The advantage of using these tools is simple; you sell more cars.  You sell more cars because your inventory is displayed in more places where consumers research car prices or local car sales.  A second advantage is that for some of these website, you can create inbound links to your website from a high quality website.  If done properly, if you post your used car inventory with a dedicated page link per car, you can simply the shopping experience as well as create power direct inner links to your website.

For example this link: www.usednissancars.net/MA/2006/Nissan/Altima/Used-2006-Nissan-Altima-589.html directly points to a used Nissan Altima for sale in Massachusetts.  By having this direct link “live” in Craigslist, consumers can them go directly to the photos and the specific details on the car with one click.  With our optimized car inventory module, the benefits of individual SEO optimized landing pages are further leveraged on Craigslist.

As sites like www.Craigslist.org get more popular, consumers will start directly searching for cars that may be posted on Craigslist.  Yes, they can go and search Craigslist on their site but I believe consumers will also start searching Google with a search phrase like “Boston craigslist 2005 BMW x5″.

The process of loading your inventory on Craigslist can be often as you like since we can accept your car inventory feed and post cars in the geo-areas on Craigslist that are local to you. Our fees for posting are changed by the hour so you get efficient posting on social networks without a set fee.  This will reduce you costs on months when new car inventory is lighter than normal.

If you are interested in discussing how Social Networking sites can benefit your Internet visibility, give us a call.  Ask to speak with our founder, Brian Pasch.  732-450-8200

Should Car Dealers Use Google Adwords?

I strongly believe in the long term ROI of SEO and the great “annuity” it offers car dealers to deliver low cost consumer direct leads year after year. I’m an advocate for organic search marketing but I’m often asked where Google Adwords (SEM) fits into my digital marketing strategy..automotive seo adwords

If I were asked to choose between SEO or SEM, I would choose SEO because of the long term benefits it offers and its higher ROI.  I’m also well aware that many General Managers are confused about what SEO really means so they often take the easy route and go with SEM

Despite my efforts to educate the car dealers on how to change the face of automotive digital marketing with some very simple SEO techniques, there are few early adopters. 

Frustrating? Yes.  Hopeless. No. There are many car dealers who have become believers in what PCG can offer with our SEO microsites and Google compliant automotive inventory modules

It’s All About Balance

That said, effective automotive lead generation strategies are not just about SEO.

I’m not about to drink the SEO “Kool-Aid” and tell dealers that PPC is a waste of time. Google Adwords is an important “tool” when used properly and car dealers should not avoid Adwords because of a perception that it is costly or has a lower ROI than SEO. Like many things in life, it is how the tool is used that makes it good or bad.

Consumer behavior dictates much of why PPC needs to be a part of car dealer marketing budgets. For this example, let’s see what a consumer may type into Google when looking for a Honda Civic in New Jersey.

When you look at data from Google searches, consumers are typing in search phrases WITHOUT a geo-locator. (state, county or town). They are typing in very short phrases like:

  • “Honda”
  • “Honda Civic”
  • “Honda Civic Prices”
  •  “Honda Civic Reviews”

Since these are national phrases, the third party lead collection sites like www.edmunds.com, Yahoo Autos and www.motortrend.com come up on Google page one. These third party lead collectors are optimized for every year make and model, unlike car dealer sites. They also have tremendous traffic which further supports their rankings.

Every day these third party lead collectors capture local buyer leads and sell them to dealers. The only practical short term way to get in front of consumers for broad phrases, without any geo-targets, is PPC. So, you can decide to buy leads or you can attempt to capture the local leads yourself.

It would take a significant investment in time and money to show on organically on Google page one for the search phrase “Honda Civic”. There are no Honda dealers shown in the first two pages (20 listings) of Google for that phrase. You will see all the major lead collector sites on those first two pages.

There are exceptions. I was able to get national Google Page 1 ranking for “Infiniti G37 Convertible” and “Infiniti G37” searches, but it would be very hard to get on Google page one for “Infiniti G35” or “Infiniti dealer”.

Google Adwords campaigns have a geo-based advertising radius so that if you decide to buy broad words, you can limit the radius to a practical driving area for potential buyers. If I only want to target Monmouth County residents,
because my dealership is in that county, I can advertise to local car shoppers typing in the phrase “Honda Civic” or “Honda Civic Prices”.

This is not to say that PPC works for all dealers and marketing strategies. Dealers have to evaluate the costs and ROI for all lead sources; SEO and SEM. They need to compare the conversion rates for “broad search” leads versus long-tail searches like “Monmouth County Honda dealer”. If both methods are profitable and sell cars, both should be continued.

SEO should have a better ROI but you cannot capture all of potential buyers via SEO. You have to have more than one tool in the chest. There is a limit at what SEO can do in any one month. Doubling a SEO budget in any given month does not significantly change the lead flow in the same month.

Since dealers are often rewarded on monthly or quarterly goals, SEM may be needed to hit short term sales targets. Also, if a car dealer is trying to boost extended warranty sales PPC is very effective since consumers normally just type
“Infiniti warranty” or “Infiniti extended warranty” into Google.

We can create a microsite to attract organic car warranty leads. We did that successfully with www.infinitiwarranty.net and it is ranked #2 in the USA for that phrase. My client also gets highly qualified leads from buying a few selected warranty keywords in Google Adwords. So, in this case, the balance of SEO and SEM is generating a steady flow of warranty leads.

In summary, car dealers need both SEO and SEM to effectively compete on the  Internet to catch the eye of local car shoppers. The PCG Digital Marketing has effective strategies to help car dealers implement competitive SEO campaigns as well as structure effective Google Adwords campaigns.

Call us to discuss your needs: 732-450-8200 or email sales@paschconsulting.com

2009 Detroit Auto Show Suffers Again

More souring news on the automotive industry as the 2009 Detroit Auto Show fades from its former glory.

This week, Nissan and Infiniti are the latest to announce that they are not going to participate in the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next January. This news increases the count to seven car companies that will skip the 2009 Detroit Auto Show.

Nissan and Infiniti, which normally have large displays at the show, will not have a public display of vehicles. Earlier this year, Mitsubishi, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Suzuki and Land Rover all said they would not attend the 2009 Detroit show.  This seems like additional anecdotal evidence of how fear and panic have spread into the overall economy.

Where I live in New Jersey, local restaurants that were once thriving are now 25% full on weekends. I visited the Borgota Casino two weeks ago on a Friday night and at 6:00 PM, there were two people on line to check. On a Friday the line is normally 15-20 people deep.

Local car dealerships are very concerned and many are drastically cutting back on spending.  This new announcement from Infiniti and Nissan sends another wave of panic to the markets. This decision begs the question; what comes next for the auto industry?

Pulling out of any major industry venue may be knee jerk reaction compared to just cutting down the budget with a smaller footprint. I don’t understand the politics of the show but it seems like the baby is being thrown out with the bath water.

If you would like more information on the show, use the website link below:

http://www.naias.com

January 17-25, 2009

Cabo Center, Detroit Michigan

 

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