5 tips for writing compelling copy for online automotive ads

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on January 21, 2019

In the past several years, there’s been a surge in digital advertising spend in the automotive industry. Last year, for the first time, digital advertising made up more than half of total ad spending—and eMarketer forecasts that consistent, double-digit growth in digital ad spending for the auto industry will continue through 2019.

Yet all too often, dealerships treat the copy in their advertising as an afterthought. They toss in a few keywords, check the grammar, and hit publish. But copy is important—words matter!—and it should be treated that way.

We’ve put together some of the top tips for writing ad copy to help your dealership get the greatest ROI from online ads.

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Topics: advertising best practices, digital marketing, Marketing tips

CarGurus’ 2018 in review: company milestones, dealer events, top content, and more

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on January 17, 2019

2018 was a banner year for us here at CarGurus: we officially became the #1 auto shopping site in the US, our Gurus held and attended dealer events in 30+ cities, and we launched lots of new content to help you sell more cars—and it didn’t go unnoticed!

We took a moment to reflect on everything we did in 2018, and here are some of the highlights.

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Topics: CarGurus news, events, product updates, year in review

How trim and options data factor in CarGurus rankings

Posted by Andrew Grochal on January 16, 2019

Andrew Grochal here, Head of Dealer Products for CarGurus. I wanted to provide some additional information to answer some questions that have come up from dealers on how we use trim and option data in our ranking and rating algorithms.

First, I want to be very clear that we understand how critical it is for vehicles to have accurate trim and option info. From our point of view, it’s a win for both consumers and dealers for us to get this right, and we’re constantly improving our ability to get this right while giving you the tools to identify and quickly fix any issues.

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Topics: CarGurus news

2018 in review: the evolution of CarGurus SEM Plus

Posted by Jeremy Sacco on January 7, 2019

After launching our SEM Plus product early in 2018, our engineering and product teams worked throughout the year to improve the product and drive better results for our CarGurus SEM customers. Here are some highlights of what we’ve added.

Bing search

We added a second ad partner to the mix for search budget in Q4. Now you can run search campaigns on Bing and Google. While the volume isn’t huge, Bing tends to perform quite well in automotive since its demographics skew toward older, higher-income searchers.

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Topics: dealer dashboard, product updates, SEM Plus

Updates to the Removed Listing Activity tab make attribution easier

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on January 7, 2019

At CarGurus, we’re working hard to give our dealers better tools to solve the challenge of attribution. We recently launched an update to our Dealer Dashboard that should make it easier for dealers to see which CarGurus leads bought a vehicle.

Lead details added to Removed Listing Activity section

The Removed Listing Activity section isn’t so much new as it is improved. It lets dealers see their recently sold/removed listings, along with a breakdown of all the CarGurus leads and connections for those vehicles. What’s new is that we’ve added the details of those leads so it’s easier for dealers to tie a specific lead to the sale of a particular vehicle.

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Topics: attribution, dealer dashboard, product updates

The top 2018 US used car searches on CarGurus, by state

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on January 2, 2019

Ever wonder which cars sit at the top of shoppers’ wish lists? Millions of car buyers visit CarGurus every month in search of their next vehicle, so we decided to dig into our data to find out. We looked at which makes and models were the most searched on CarGurus in each US state, and, after analyzing all of the car searches on our site in 2018, we found that when it comes to sought-after vehicles, Ford and Chevrolet lead the way.

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Topics: car searches, car shopping, CarGurus data

CarGurus test drive reviews give dealers another way to reach car shoppers

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on December 18, 2018

CarGurus helps millions of shoppers find a good deal on the best car every day. How? You probably already know that consumers come to our site to compare models, read dealership reviews, and find a good price on the car they’re looking for. You might not know that they also come to CarGurus to get independent reviews of the cars they’re interested in. Our collection of video test drive reviews help shoppers discover which car is best for them by giving insight into the performance, comfort, technology, safety, and overall quality of some of the most popular makes and models.

From top-rated SUVs to new sedans and trucks, CarGurus test drive reviews are a great resource for shoppers narrowing their search—and resources that all dealers can share with their potential customers. Below are five of our most recent test drive reviews. Share them on your social channels or post them on your blog to give shoppers the final push they need to visit your lot.

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Topics: car reviews, consumer resources, Marketing tips, test drive reviews

Why your dealership should start marketing its service department—and 4 strategies for doing it

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on December 12, 2018

More than half of the average dealership’s revenue comes from its service department. Yet only about 30% of sales customers return to the dealership for service within the first year of ownership—and that number drops with each passing year. Why? Studies show that convenience and price are the main factors. Car owners believe that returning to the dealership for service is less convenient than visiting a local mechanic, and they assume non-dealership service options are better deals.

But as car owners continue to hang onto their vehicles longer than ever—and the opportunity to increase revenue grows—it’s become crucial for dealerships to expand their digital marketing efforts to include their service department. Dealerships that set themselves apart by marketing their services stay top of mind among existing customers and earn more new business.

Fixed ops marketing presents a valuable opportunity for dealerships, but to truly tap into the opportunity, you have to be strategic. Here we explore four things you can do to effectively market your dealership’s services and reach more potential customers.

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Topics: fixed ops, Marketing tips, service department

Car shoppers not ready for EVs, CarGurus survey finds

Posted by Megan Hennessey on December 3, 2018

With established automakers like Mercedes-Benz and newcomers like Byton announcing electric vehicles (EVs) at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, CarGurus conducted a survey to learn more about consumers’ thoughts and experiences with EVs.

Interestingly, we found that while 64% of shoppers are excited about the prospect of saving money on fuel with an EV, 65% are concerned about how expensive they are. This interest suggests a “wait and see approach,” with 15% of respondents noting they would probably or definitely own an EV in the next 5 years, and 34% noting the same over the next 10.

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Topics: car shoppers, CarGurus data, electric vehicles, EVs, trends

Use CarGurus resources to connect with customers after their car purchase and stay top of mind

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on November 20, 2018

People have become information-obsessed, even over the small stuff. And car buyers are no exception. They’re spending more time than ever—over 13 hours in many cases—researching their purchase options before ever making a decision.

But what happens to those car buyers after they’ve done their research and made their purchase at your dealership? Their need for information doesn’t end. As car owners, they need to know how to maintain their vehicles, where to go for service, what insurance to get, and more.

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Topics: consumer resources, driving sales, Marketing tips