Understanding Automotive Internet Marketing

These days, customers in the market for a new car have numerous options. If you want to get feet in the door of your car dealership, you need to use all the latest automotive digital marketing strategies to best the competition. Here are some of the key tactics for success in the complex and ever-changing world of car sales:

Search Engine Optimization

LTC Honda Premier Partnership Award

According to G/O Digital, 30 percent of car shoppers visit search engines as the first step on the car-buying journey. That means SEO or search engine optimization is a crucial step in the automotive online marketing process.

Customers can’t purchase a car from you if they don’t know your dealership exists. To make sure your SEO strategy is effective, start by assessing and updating the content on your page to increase its odds of rising to the top of the search engine results. Along with evaluating the actual website copy, you should make sure your pages are targeting the right keywords to drive traffic. Additionally, a solid SEO strategy includes subheads, link building, title tags, and more.

Lead to Conversion™’s team was knowledgeable and highly responsive to any questions or concerns. Regular meetings and a depth of local demographic understanding informed their optimization choices, resulting in significant growth. Organic traffic, bounce rates, site engagement, and load times have all improved.


Digital Marketing & Advertising Manager, Bob Gillingham Ford

Content Marketing

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Content marketing one of the most popular strategies among automotive digital marketing companies because it’s effective. Increase the odds of customers choosing you over your competition by providing them with informative blogs, vehicle reviews, buyer testimonials, and more. Not only does this strategy help position you as an industry expert, but it also boosts your SEO.


Email marketing can be an effective strategy for car dealers, but not all emails are designed to convert. In fact, G/O Digital’s research shows that 35 percent of car buyers want to receive emails customized to their interests, while 28 percent said they would open an email if it mentioned a car style or model they were seeking. On the other hand, 23 percent of survey respondents said they would be less likely to visit a car dealer after receiving a vague or impersonal email. Clearly, email marketing can work in your favor or against it, so take care when crafting messages for your target market.

Social Media

car dealer facebookFacebook isn’t just for catching up with old college pals or perusing the latest headlines. On the contrary, social media is a popular shopping destination among car consumers. In fact, CMO Council’s research reveals that 25 percent of car buyers discuss their intention of purchasing on Facebook prior to pulling the trigger. Almost 40 percent say they will consult social media pages before buying. Not only do social sites connect car shoppers with one another, but they also offer dealers the opportunity to boost brand loyalty.

If you want to take your social media marketing to the next level, refrain from making all your posts “salesy” in nature. Rather than using all your content to highlight sales and events at your dealership, aim to educate and entertain prospective customers. For example, you could inform shoppers about the latest automotive technologies, share reviews and testimonials from happy customers, and post fun facts about the history of the automotive world. Additionally, you can engage customers in conversation and respond to their questions. And of course, the visual medium of Facebook is perfect for posting pictures of your inventory.


mobile googleIt’s true that car buyers are doing more research online these days. However, that doesn’t mean they’re sitting down at their desktops or laptops. In fact, a Facebook study shows that 27 percent of auto shoppers are researching purchases on mobile devices. And 58 percent of shoppers say that they will probably only use their smartphone for car research moving forward. With that in mind, auto dealers who don’t take time to develop their mobile websites will likely miss out on a large number of sales.

And, it’s not enough to have a site that’s mobile-friendly If you want to attract smartphone searchers, think about creating a mobile app that includes images, video content, and more. And of course, you should make certain that your layout is easy to navigate, your design simple, and your buttons large enough that you can press them with a thumb or forefinger. If you have to pinch the page to zoom in, your content is almost certainly too small. Finally, avoid going overboard with JavaScript, as it loads differently depending on the device.


google car dealerAs an auto dealer, digital marketing is a key aspect of your business. However, you can’t fully harness the power of this medium if you don’t look for ways to connect with a local audience.

While the internet makes it possible to shop for goods around the world, many consumers still prefer to do their buying a little closer to home. According to ad network, 43 percent of Google searches on PCs and mobile devices have local intent. In other words, nearly half of searchers are looking for products or services in their own backyards.

Furthermore, auto dealers who don’t take advantage of local traffic might be missing out on numerous potential sales opportunities. Research shows that 78 percent of local mobile searches result in online sales. If you want to drive more traffic to your website – and increase sales at your dealership – make an effort to improve your local ranking by claiming and verifying all business locations, responding to customer reviews, and posting high-res images of your products.

Additionally, auto dealers should be sure to take full advantage of their Google Business Profile (GMB) listings. Without a GMB, your site won’t appear on Google Maps or in that box to the right of the organic search results. Known as the Knowledge Panel, this space provides specialized information about your dealership based on a user’s search query.

You should also make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone) information is consistent wherever it appears online. The last thing you want is for customers to show up at your dealership at a time when you’re closed for business. Additionally, Google penalizes sites that aren’t consistent in their spelling and other info, so mistakes could have a negative effect on your SEO.

Get A Team of Automotive Digital Marketing Experts

auto automobile automotive 305070Once upon a time, families chose their new cars by going down to the local auto dealer and taking a walk around the lot. Those days are long past. Today, automotive digital marketing is a far more complicated prospect, and car sellers need to pursue a wide range of strategies from SEO to PPC and everything in between.

Still, mastering the art of auto digital marketing is easier said than done. According to Brian Pasch, founder of PCG Companies, only a small number of customers convert from lead forms, web chats, and phone calls. However, auto buyers are spending an increasing amount of time researching their purchases online before heading to the dealer. That means digital marketing for car dealers is a crucial step in the buying cycle.

Digital media has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for car dealers to effectively and efficiently market to their target audience. Competition is stiff in the automotive industry, but you can set yourself apart with the right tools and strategic car dealership marketing campaigns.

There are many ways you can customize digital marketing best practices to sell cars, and here are five tips to get you started.

Automotive Dealer Digital Marketing Best Practices

When it comes to cars, people love browsing, and your website and other online pages provide them with a perfect opportunity to explore their options and dream about their ideal cars. But when you add effective calls to action to your site, you can convert more of those browsers into potential customers. Make sure you have a call to action on your home page, landing pages, social media sites, and other auto dealer marketing materials.

And the call to action doesn’t have to be just to buy a car—here are some other car dealership marketing ideas for your call to action:

  • Downloading a car comparison chart
  • Reading a car buying guide
  • Getting special promotions or offers
  • Contacting the dealership about trade-in options

You can gather sales leads by offering these items to visitors when they sign up.

Social media is an extremely underused tool for many car dealerships, and there are plenty of ways you can work Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and other sites to find new customers and engage previous ones. Social sites are a great place to share information about the automotive industry, keep customers updated on what’s in your lot, engage readers with interesting and shareable content and fun videos, and for customer service. And just as importantly, social signals in the form of likes and retweets are used in Google’s algorithm when ranking websites, so the more you share and the wider your audience, the better your website will rank.

In this day and age, there are so many analytics tools available that you can customize your automotive dealership marketing based on the individual needs and likes of each customer. For example, say you send out a monthly e-newsletter, and three customers immediately click the link to your truck catalog page. In the future, you can customize your car dealer digital marketing campaigns for those customers by focusing on all things truck.

That’s just one example of how car dealer online marketing tactics can be personalized for visitors.

Did you know that nearly half of all consumers use smartphones when shopping for cars? This means if your website isn’t responsive and mobile-friendly, then your potential customers will find a dealership’s that is. You can also consider creating an app just for your dealership so customers can easily browse your current selection and compare pricing.

For most people, buying a car is a big deal. But if you establish yourself as an authority on the subject, then customers will come to you for help and will trust what you have to say over your competitors. So how do you build authority for a car dealership? Keep your website fresh and updated. Create engaging content that will be of interest to your customers. Provide resources and useful information through all your contact points (at the dealership, on your website, on social media), publish well-written white papers and ebooks about the auto industry, and have great customer service representatives as the face of your company.

Digital marketing can be a hugely beneficial tool for automotive dealers—in fact, it’s the only way to stay competitive in the digital age. There are lots of ways you can use digital marketing best practices and tailor them to your customers, and these five tips will help get you started, help you find new customers right away, and help you retain loyal customers for years to come.

Contact the Automotive Digital Marketing Pros

Looking for a way to drive qualified, quality traffic to your website? If you want to improve your conversion rate in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, skilled automotive digital marketing agencies can help you do it. By offering a comprehensive, integrated approach to online marketing, Lead to Conversion™ helps businesses craft strategies based on their specific needs and goals. To learn more about what we can do for you, give us a call at 855-473-6582 or fill out a quick form for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.