Paid search 101: 5 key components of paid search campaigns

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on May 2, 2019

The auto industry has seen substantial growth of digital ad spend in the last few years, and the growth isn’t predicted to slow down. The auto industry as a whole grew online ad spend by 77% since 2016 and is projected to reach almost $22B by 2022. And of the industry’s digital spend, 43% is in paid search—a total of $5.8B.*

The combination of spend per dealer and the large number of dealerships means that only the retail industry spends more on search ads than automotive. The reason for this spend is simple: digital ads drive more sales and cost less. According to DealerSocket, the average profit margin for sold vehicles that were advertised on digital channels exceeds that of sales driven by conventional media by over $800.

It’s clear that paid search is becoming more important than ever, so let’s take a quick look at five key components of a successful paid search campaign.

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Topics: paid search, search engine marketing, SEM, SEM Plus

CarGurus teams up with Capital One Auto Finance to deliver even more ready-to-buy shoppers to dealers

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on April 30, 2019

At CarGurus, we understand that financing is critical for dealerships so we’re thrilled to announce our partnership with Capital One Auto Finance, which brings even more ready-to-buy and financially-prepared shoppers to eligible dealers.

Through our partnership with Capital One Auto Finance, consumers will be able to get pre-qualified for financing on cars from dealerships that already offer Capital One financing. This experience creates a more transparent and efficient process for buying a car while allowing dealers to maintain financing flexibility in their dealership. Dealers will benefit by getting better-prepared customers who have more data about financing options and are ultimately closer to their decision on buying a vehicle.

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Topics: CarGurus news

Consumer excitement about self-driving cars is growing, according to CarGurus survey

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on April 26, 2019

For the second year in a row, CarGurus surveyed consumers to get a pulse on their feelings toward self-driving cars. While most aren’t ready for them to be the status quo, the survey found that consumer sentiment is changing fast, with enthusiasm rapidly replacing skepticism. Overall, the survey found:

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Topics: CarGurus data, industry news, trends

Choosing a digital marketing partner to set your dealership up for success

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on April 16, 2019

Digital marketing is a crucial way for your dealership to reach today’s online shoppers. But where do you start? There are essentially three main ways you can handle your dealership’s digital marketing efforts:

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Topics: digital marketing, marketing, Marketing tips, partner

Paid search: a car dealer’s path to driving more sales

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on April 4, 2019

When shoppers decide they’re in the market for a product or service—or they’re generally curious about something—they head to a search engine like Google for information. In fact, billions of Google searches happen every day. Think about how many of those are car searches—or, chances for your dealership to attract potential customers to your site.

While you can rely on search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to help you increase the ranking of your site without spending money, changing algorithms and ranking criteria make it hard to maintain your position in search results. So how else can you promote your dealership and drive new visitors to your site? Through the use of search engine marketing, or paid search as it’s commonly called.

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Topics: Marketing tips, paid search, search marketing, SEM

Pickup truck owners feeling the pinch of rising prices, CarGurus survey finds

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on March 29, 2019

Last month, CarGurus checked in with current and former pickup truck owners for the second year in a row to see if their attitudes toward the category, its brands, and their vehicles have changed. Overall, the survey uncovered that brand loyalty among pickup truck owners is beginning to decrease compared to one year ago. This becomes especially true when truck owners are asked about their brand loyalty in conjunction with increased prices. The survey results were as follows:

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Topics: CarGurus data, pickup trucks, trends, truck owners

Announcing the 5th annual CarGurus Top Rated Dealer Awards

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on March 13, 2019

Congratulations to the dealers that were recognized in the 5th annual CarGurus Top Rated Dealer Awards today!

Based on reviews from car shoppers across the country, these annual awards celebrate a select group of car dealers for their exceptional service and commitment to customer satisfaction. The winning dealers have the highest average review ratings from shoppers on the CarGurus platform.

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Topics: CarGurus news

A dealer’s guide to car photography

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on February 28, 2019

There is no underestimating the value of high-quality car photography. Customers can tell a lot about your dealership from your advertising images, which are often the first impression a customer gets of a car.

New models benefit from polished manufacturer stock shots, while used vehicles do not enjoy the same luxury and require a bit more effort. Get it right though, and you immediately showcase the car’s best qualities in plenty of detail, immeasurably boosting your chance of a sale.

However, photography is easy to get wrong–and a lot of businesses do exactly that. A lack of know-how or the scramble to get images online frequently leads to poor-quality shots that leave the viewer unclear about what they’re looking at and questioning the dealership’s professionalism. If you want to sell more cars, then you can’t cut corners with photography. If you have the budget for a professional snapper then go for it–but handling your pictures in-house is perfectly doable whether you’re a veteran photographer or a newbie with a smartphone.

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Recognize returning customers to grow trust and sales

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on February 19, 2019

How you manage each potential customers’ experience with your dealership is critical to closing the sale

Customers in the market for a car don’t just follow a straight line from wanting to buying. They shift between on and offline resources an estimated four times, but it’s the dealership that almost always closes with an average of 2.4 visits per sale. It’s clear: how you respond to repeat visitors clearly matters.

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Topics: data, sales

How to handle negative reviews

Posted by Meg Bernazzani on February 6, 2019

A bad online review can be a golden opportunity for a dealer to shine

One day you decide to see what people are saying about your dealership online and you’re appalled at what you find: someone left a scathing one-star review! You immediately feel enraged and want to lash out at the reviewer because they’re giving people a false impression of your business.

But before you do anything hasty, take a moment to consider the best course of action. Bad reviews are a fact of life in today’s digital world where anyone can leave one on platforms such as Facebook, Google, Yelp, and Yahoo – not to mention auto shopping sites like CarGurus. There’s a smart way to handle the situation, and when done right you can improve your company’s reputation.

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Topics: reputation management, reviews