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There are a lot of automotive marketing ROI advice articles out there, but when it comes to actually getting serious boom (much more than bang) for your buck, general lists, vague guidance, and thinly-veiled sales pitches are less than helpful. That’s why we’ve put together the five best tactics in our arsenal and given you questions to ask, steps to take, or requirements to check for each one.
It’s time to pour some rocket fuel into your automotive marketing campaigns, and we can help.
If there’s one thing that will immediately and permanently boost your automotive marketing ROI, it’s an awesome mobile experience. More and more digital advertising is appearing on mobile. Last year, mobile ad spending grew to take up 64% of all digital marketing, and our own research shows that 59% of traffic to dealership sites comes from mobile.
Clearly, mobile is one of the best ways to reach your audience, and the most successful dealerships have mobile sites that reflect this shift in access. This is something that will have to be done by your website provider, but here’s what you need to make sure to have on your mobile site:
Making sure your website is an absolute breeze to use is mobile-101. You can read more about usability here (LINK), and we’d highly recommend user testing to be sure of mobile site strengths and weaknesses.
Design is both the best way to connect emotionally with users and the most immediately noticeable element. Emotional design means you’ll nail the first impression and build a long-lasting, trusting relationship with the website users.
Lighting-fast Load Times
Speed test your website. Users already expect websites to load in less than a second, and every fraction of a second longer than that means growing impatience and propensity to bounce.
Optimize your PPC, and your marketing ROI should shoot up! It’s easy to say, but it isn’t so easy to actually do. Most of the time, that’s because all PPC handling is done by an agency partner. That’s all well and good, but when it’s time to crack down and get the maximum bang for your buck, it’s good to know the right questions to ask.
Questions To Ask:
Break down exactly how my budget is being spent?
When it comes to advertising, it’s always better to target customers who are closer to purchase. Making sure that your budget is maximized to spend on “low-funnel” keywords like “ford dealership near me,” rather than “ford focus.”
What is my quality score, and how has it improved month over month?
Quality score is Google’s part-relevance, part-user experience score that determines your cost per click. The better your quality score, the lower your CPC, like a good credit score meaning better loan conditions. Asking about quality score will help hold your agency partner accountable and show you take an active interest in the success of the PPC campaign.
What are you doing to test ad copy?
Finding out what procedures your agency is doing to make sure your ds are the best they can be is an important step. Which ads are working the best? Do they work better with some keywords than with others? What insights on your audience have the tests uncovered? The answers to these questions will give you valuable information that lets you create better ads and more thoroughly understand your customer base.
If you’re not doing your own SEO, it can be difficult to know exactly what’s happening in the strategy your agency is using. Automotive marketing ROI depends on many factors, and most dealerships can’t afford to let one branch of their marketing operate without accountability and transparency. Here we’ve put down some questions to ask to make sure you’re staying informed and getting the most for your money.
What To Ask For?
Integrate my PPC success with my SEO
A neat hack for getting the most from your SEO is to look at which keywords are performing the best for your PPC campaigns. Those hi-converting keywords should be prioritized by your SEO company. After all, 70% of all traffic comes from organic, not paid search.
What is being done to continually improve my SEO?
What are your SEO partners doing to make sure your SEO is generating more leads, ranking higher, and generating more return on your investment? It’s essential to know, and the best way to find out is to ask. Still unclear on details? Ask about those. Dealers have a sixth sense for BS. Don’t be afraid to use it.
What can I do on my end?
It never hurts to ask what you might be able to do on your website end to help your SEO get better. There might be a few really solid recommended changes that your SEO partner can give.
It’s no coincidence that many of these encourage increased accountability and observation. Sure, it’s more work, but it pays off. Just checking your ROI can boost your ROI. In fact, Dealers who monitor and document the ROI of their automotive marketing efforts are four times more likely to see increases in ROI from year to year. That’s because keeping track of successes and failures means being able to cut out the poor-performance marketing efforts.
Steps To Take:
Set Up Documentation Habits
We’ve been encouraging you throughout this article to keep your advertising and marketing partners accountable. Documenting the ROI of your automotive marketing will make sure that you have the records of campaign performance to use in conversations.
How are you doing compared to this time last year? Has performance been trending up or down? How does this compare against seasonal sales trends for your dealership’s manufacturer? It’s a lot of information to collect and study, but knowing these trends will help you know where to make changes to push your ROI to the maximum.
Analyze and Change
Keeping track of automotive marketing ROI means you can periodically re-evaluate your marketing efforts. Has there been a shift from the success of print ads to social media? You can adjust, and drop your print budget in favor of social media ads. This strategy will help make informed ROI boosts without having to constantly raise the budget.
When average marketing seems to stagnating, it might be because you’ve grown to the point where all the people who after seeing your ads, might go to your site are doing just that. Now, it’s time to focus on optimizing your website to convert better. To make it into a fishing analogy, you’ve cast your net as wide as it will go, and you’re not catching any more fish than you used to. That’s because there are holes in your net. Fix those, and the catch will get a lot bigger.
What To Do:
You want to turn a higher percentage of your website visitors into leads? You’re going to have to test for it. Thankfully, it’s a pretty simple process. You test a “challenger” page, one that has been optimized for a higher conversion rate and an emphasis on user experience against the original. Test them against one another for a certain amount of time, and calculate your ROI with the simple formula:
ROI = (Revenue from Challenger – Revenue from Original – Cost of Challenger) / Cost of Challenger
If your challenger does better than the original – and if your website designer knows about usability, it should – then you can continue changing your site and upgrading your user experience. With the improvement to your website, your conversion rates should be supercharged and your automotive marketing ROI should see a substantial bump.
Optional: Upgrade to a New Website
Full disclosure here: We make websites, and we’re not too shy to say that they are, in our opinion, the best there is to offer. Conversion optimization is something we are constantly working at – updating and upgrading based on the newest in customer experience research. If you are worried that your website isn’t generating its fair share of automotive marketing ROI or growth, it might just be time for a new website altogether.
When it comes to automotive marketing ROI, everyone wants there to be a magic button that will boost ROI. Most dealers know that doesn’t exist, and that supercharged ROI comes from hard work and good analysis. The steps we’ve outlined above aren’t necessarily easy. Sometimes they require being tough and getting answers, or doing extra work, but it does pay off. Putting in the time to buckle down and focus on your automotive marketing ROI is, in its own way, a good investment.
Got questions? Want some advice? We’re happy to help. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.