automotive search engine optimization

Marketing to Millennial Car Buyers

The good old days of car buying, when the customers would wander from dealer to dealer looking at cars on the lot, is over for many buyers. A good example is the Millennial buyer, typically considered a person born from the late 1980s to the 2000s. These customers have grown up with the Internet, and use it daily as part of their lives.

automotive search engine optimization

Millennials rarely set foot in a retail store, they probably don’t read a newspaper in printed form, and they may not listen to commercial radio stations. They research online, they critique online, and most important they buy online. This is perhaps the most fundamental change in the auto industry in the last 20+ years. If you intend to sell to Millennials, you are expected to have an internet presence. As important is how you react to them on social media. If they ask you questions on your Facebook or Twitter page, they expect a prompt response. If you don’t have a social media presence, you probably won’t have Millennials as customers. Here is what you need to do if you want to engage Millennials in your business:


How Web Design Impacts Your Web Presence

Automotive Websites | Car Dealer SEO

automotive responsive website

I believe many in the automotive industry realize how important web design is in their ability to reach business goals as well as reach their customers, but do they know why? Web design includes many processes, such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization), traffic, branding, and conversion rates. In fact, your company’s web design is a major part of its marketing strategy, whether you know it or not. Web design is so much more than aesthetics or placement of content; it’s a method of bringing awareness to your dealership and to your inventory on the web, as well as converting shoppers into buyers.

There have been many studies conducted on how web design elements and content have an effect on the user’s attitude or trust towards a company, its products, and its website. One such study called “Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites” researched how different design and information content factors influence trust and mistrust of online health sites. Fifteen women faced with a risky health decision were observed while searching the Internet for information and advice over four consecutive weeks. In some sessions their searches were unstructured, while other sessions they were directed to review specific sites, chosen for their trustworthy design elements. Based on verbalizations and group discussions, they recognized that design appeal, credibility of information, and personalization of content projected a sense of trust towards the use of particular websites.

automotive digital marketing

To realize how important the design of your website is, think about how much it would effect your business if your site was poorly designed. Think about this for a minute, your website is the face of your company’s online presence and also a sales and marketing approach for increasing traffic to the site and to your dealership. If a website is designed poorly, i.e. if the site is too busy or complex, if it has too many pop-ups, if it lacks color or a sense of good design, or if it loads extremely slow the user will simply leave your site.

A website can be great for SEO or extremely damaging, depending on how the site was designed. Search engines reward sites that implement responsive web design and it also lowers bounce rates because users have a tendency to stay on your site when they can actually view all of the content. From the structure of your code to what terms are used, web design effects SEO in a major way.

automotive digital marketing

Your web design should be much more than an after thought and it is important for businesses and professionals to understand that the way a website is designed means so much more than how it looks. Web design plays a major role on the web and it is exceptionally important in the automotive industry. When you are trying to increase and retain customers, your SEO, conversion rates, and your bottom line depend on good web design principles.


The New Importance of Mobile Responsive Design

Automotive Responsive Website

Recently Google released a tag on their mobile search results pages that identifies mobile sites that are NOT mobile friendly. Last week Google has taken the next step and begun assigning mobile friendly tags to search results that pass Google’s mobile friendly testing criteria. We are going to walk you through exactly what this new change means for your dealership and how to fully prepare to take full advantage of these new features! The data has been showing for years that mobile would soon surpass desktop searches. Our data shows that that time is already here! Mobile searches account for nearly 60% of the traffic we see our on automotive websites. Search Engines must now pivot to make mobile readiness and usability a much larger part of their entire search platform to compensate for this new reality. automotive responsive website For more background we welcome you to read Google’s blog post about helping users find mobile friendly web pages. Once you read this article and see that Google is adding mobile identifiers to their ranking algorithm as well as tagging results on search results pages with identifying tags, you will want to make sure you look at your car dealership website in great detail to ensure that you are meeting the new mobile standards. automotive responsive website

Is Your Website Mobile Ready To The New Standards?

The first thing you want to do is test your website in Google’s new handy mobile friendly testing tool. This tool will help you see how Google views your website’s mobile readiness and even give you some tips on issues the site may have for mobile viewers. Here are some of the most commonly found problems with mobile design:
  • Not responsive or Adaptive. If you are still using a separate mobile website, you may find that Google will identify your mobile version as acceptable, but not your desktop version. This is the problem with having a separate website and also is why Google penalizes sites that used this outdated method of redirecting users to a completely different version of your website. STOP using a separate mobile site immediately and convert to an automotive mobile responsive design or at minimum an adaptive design.
  • Using technology that is not friendly on mobile devices such as Flash.
  • Putting links/buttons so close together on your mobile design that it would be difficult for users to easily click links.
  • Sizing the content in such a way so that users don’t have to scroll horizontally or vertically to view all the content.
  • Making sure the text size is large enough to read on a mobile device without using zoom.
Once we have verified that these basics are covered, we like to take a look at the Google webmaster mobile usability report on your website. This will help us catch any other potential problems that may arise such as scripts that are not working on mobile or taking too long to load.

What Are The Benefits Of An Outstanding Mobile Design?

automotive digital marketingSo many people still don’t understand the benefits of having a state of the art mobile design that is meeting the latest guidelines from Google and other search engines. Lets take a look at why it’s so important to ensure your ready to handle mobile buyers on your dealer website. 1. A mobile friendly tag will give you a higher click through percentage from organic searches. Free traffic anyone? Just get yourself a new mobile friendly tag and you will get it! 2. Mobile friendly tag gives your website a boost in organic search. Mobile usability is a ranking algorithm so you had better be taking full advantage of it! 3. Lower bounce rate, more page views per visit, and higher time on site. If more than half of your traffic is mobile, then you need to make sure you display your vehicles and content in a way that they can easily navigate on their mobile device. This will improve your site analytics which is another ranking factor that Google looks at in their algorithm. 4. Better conversions. With a proper mobile design, you will be able to turn more of your visitors into leads through better mobile conversions like click to call and quick forms. 5. You’re just cooler than your competitors. Who doesn’t want to be cool?

How Confident Are You That Your Dealership Is Ready For The Mobile Revolution?

Drive Digital Group has been using responsive mobile design for over a year and  half now. One of the benefits of having such a talented staff, is that we are always staying ahead of the curve on digital issues such as these. Combine your automotive mobile responsive website with fully marked up semantic tags using the initiative and you will be one of the few dealers from around the world that are ahead of the curve with us. We welcome the opportunity to offer your dealership a free full digital analysis of your website and your digital strategy. Lets one of our experts give you a playbook for digital success free of charge. We just need 15 to 20 minutes of your time to walk you through all of the holes in your current digital strategy. You will walk away with a clear path to how to bring your dealership into the latest digital strategies for 2015 and beyond!


Why Local Citations are so important in capturing potential customers

car dealer digital advertising

It’s important to fully optimize your website to have the best results and the highest visibility in organic rankings. The same goes for local business listing on external sites such as Google My Business and Yelp to gain visibility in major search engines. A local citation or business listing is an online profile that contains information about your business such as NAP (name, address, phone number, etc). Without these Local Citations, your competitors will have better exposure when searching for products or services you may provide. Meanwhile, you are nowhere to be found.

The significance of Local Citations today:

  • 92% of consumers have used the internet to search for a local business in the last year, according to BrightLocal.
  • Distribution of yellow pages has declined over the years, ending their door-to-door delivery in some regions.
  • 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews (vs. 29% in 2014), according to BrightLocal.

We can see that searching for local businesses is increasing especially in this day and age; where we find everything we need in the palm of our hands, just a click away. You may now be questioning, what should I do next? There are excellent citation tools available to you online. Check out these tools below for a simple and quick way to determine the health and visibility of your business listings.

Moz Local (powered by Google) is a free tool in which you can use to check your current business score. Moz checks to see if your business listing is correct, consistent and visible across the web in order to ensure that search engines and new customers can find you.

automotive digital marketing

BrightLocal is a paid platform that allows you to clean up your existing citations as well as create new business listing. One of the luxuries of BrightLocal is that it recognizes citations that have yet to be claimed and gives you the option to claim it with a direct link. It also helps spot incorrect business NAP which is harmful to your local search rankings.

automotive digital marketing

The good news about building your Local Citations is that it’s simple and free! Increasing your online presence by creating business listings will most definitely help your organic performance. Our dedicated team can help clean up your existing citations as well as find quality listings and make sure each one has the same consistency so it’s accurate across the board. Boost your local authority on major search engines by locking up your Local Citations!


Responsive VS Adaptive Web Design in the Automotive Industry

Automotive Responsive Website

The automotive industry has seen many technological advances in the past few years. Technologies such as in-car WIFI, rear-mounted radar, night vision detection, and automatic high beam control were all established because someone in the industry understood that these technologies would be beneficial, if not necessary when building a new line of vehicles. Vehicles are built and marketed much differently today than they were a few years ago because the industry has created new and inventive ways to do so. Responsive web design was introduced for many of the same reasons.

responsive automotive websites

At Drive Digital Group, we build responsive automotive websites that convert and increase leads for automotive dealers. Many dealers have seen their leads increase by 150% and have greatly benefited from Drive Digital Group’s approach to acquiring leads and converting them to buyers. We know how important every lead is to a dealership and it’s astonishing to think of how many potential new sales dealerships are losing because they are not using a responsive platform.

A responsive websites content flows with the width of the browser window, whereas an adaptive design breaks and jumps from one fixed resolution size to the next:

automotive responsive website

Responsive web design has become the industry standard for developing websites that look good and function well on many different screen sizes. No one can predict what a user’s screen resolution will be because new devices and new screen resolutions are continuously released. The web development industry has established best practices to ensure the best possible website user experience on all screen sizes, and they can be categorized as either responsive or adaptive layouts. Here at Drive Digital Group, we develop responsive websites that convert more traffic than other template sites from our competitors because a template site or a site that uses both a desktop and mobile version of their site have to maintain two different websites and two different sets of inventory.

automotive responsive website

The advantages of implementing a responsive design are huge:

  • Consistency throughout the different platforms, creating easier navigation and a better user experience
  • Dramatic reduction in development time and costs by only having to create and maintain one URL as opposed to several
  • Improved SEO by streamlining all pageviews through one URL
  • More effective social sharing

Adaptive layouts are built to look good on a minimum number of set screen resolutions and are usually comprised of desktop, tablet, and smartphone. What if a user’s device resolution falls in between one of these devices? The best part about responsive design is that your website looks good on any device and the user is able to view the same content and have the same experience on a small screen as they would on a larger screen. Adaptive web design is a design approach of the past and no longer works effectively in today’s multi device and multi-platform environment. Responsive design is the best approach to converting leads and providing the best user experience for your customers.


Instant Search Automotive Inventory

Automotive Websites | Instant Inventory Search

Drive Digital Group is proud to finally showcase a new standard for automotive websites, and we call it Instant Search!

Why Instant Search

automotive instant search

Vehicle inventory pages are by far the most trafficked pages of a car dealer’s website. We know this to be true as we monitor analytics on a wide variety of Independent and Brand dealer’s automotive websites. Since we know that the primary reason people are visiting the dealer’s website is to get to their inventory and sift through it to find what they are looking for, we know that the faster we can get them to what they are looking for, the better their experience will be and the more likely they are to stay on your site looking at the vehicles they are interested in.

Previously, the best way digital web providers have found to allow users to find the vehicles they are interested in is by implementing many drop down pick list search options. The user would have to enter a year range, make, model, trim, price range, body style, and possibly many other options before searching through the results and trying to find the vehicles they are interested in.

While automotive web providers have found many creative and interesting ways to quickly lead users to these inventory search forms, the ultimate problem has remained that it is cumbersome and time consuming for users to find what they are looking for.

As all of the usability studies on website users will show, people’s attention spans drop to infantile rates when they are on automotive websites. Imagine asking them to sort through 4-6 options followed by sifting through inventory results to find what they are looking for. They might do it, but only because no matter which automotive website they go to, they will have to work their way through a very similar interface. But no longer!

Enter Instant Inventory Search

automotive digital advertising

Drive Digital Group is the first automotive digital marketing agency to implement instant search. Instant search is a simple search bar that is powerful and intuitive. We conveniently place the instant search bar in the header of the website globally, so that no matter where the user is on the web page, they are only one or two keywords away from quickly finding the vehicles they are looking for.

By simply entering any keyword in the search bar, our instant search tool will begin showing results underneath the bar instantly! Our instant search shows them exactly how many matching results we could find and we break it up by new and used vehicles for the user.

Relevance is key!

The instant inventory search results will display the most relevant inventory results that we can find in your inventory based on the keywords the users is searching. If, for example, the user searched for a 2012 Blue Civic, we would obviously show any of those vehicles you have in stock. if you don’t have any of that particular vehicle in stock, we will show 2012 civics, blue civics, civics, and other 2012 depending on what you have in inventory.

Instant Automotive Inventory Searching

This is the future of automotive inventory searching on car dealer websites! As an automotive website provider we are very proud to be able to offer this smart instant search tool to our customers. When combined with Semantic Markup, Drive Digital Group Automotive websites are a powerhouse for car dealers looking to dominate their local markets!