Sep 2018

Just One Look

What can you learn from just one look?

Quite a lot

For example, a quick glance at this search query report for one of my new clients with their name and models changed will tell you volumes.

1. Dodge is the first keyword for this dealer and has the most searches, but only got 10 clicks? The dealer ranks in the middle of page 1 on Google, so what’s the problem? Why aren’t they getting more conversions? Is it because Paid Search ads are taking all of the traffic or is it because people aren’t looking for a dealership? Either way, shouldn’t you know the answer?

2. Dodge Charger is number two. This is a direct model search for your inventory and common sense should tell you this traffic is valuable. But this dealership got zero clicks! Why? Because with a Google Organic ranking buried in the middle of page eight nobody can see them. This dealer has an OEM mandated website provider, but this is the best they can do? Do you think this dealer could get more traffic with better SEO rankings and/or GoogleAds?

3. Harris Dodge is this Dealership’s name. You can see they showed up 950 times, ranked number 1 for their own name, and got 458 clicks for a 48% Click Through Rate (CTR). On the surface, this looks pretty good, but what happened to the other half of the people that typed in their name? Where did they go? Did competitor’s steal them with GoogleAds above the Organic results? Did they click through on the dealership’s Google My Business page? This is the highest quality search traffic you’re ever going to get, shouldn’t you get all of it? After all, it’s your name, and your┬ábrand, can you afford to lose them?

4. 2018 Dodge Challenger is a Year/Model search for your inventory, and you really want to get as much of this traffic as possible. But this dealer got zero because they are buried on the bottom of page 5 on Google. Over eight hundred people searching for your inventory and your website draws a goose egg. Something is seriously wrong with this site’s SEO and if this dealer wants any of this search traffic they’re going to have to pay for it. I sure hope they aren’t using the same company that provided the website in the first place!

5. Dodge Near Me is number five on the list. Near Me searches are very high quality and definitely searches where you want to show and get traffic. But with only three clicks, the dealer’s middle of page three Google ranking is killing them.

6. Dodge Houston is a Brand/GEO search and as a dealer these are people you really want to visit your site. There were over six hundred people that used this term, but this dealer only got 7 visits even with a bottom of page one ranking! Still think GoogleAds don’t work? Near Me searches are predominately Mobile/Voice searches where consumers don’t like to scroll. If you’re not at the top of the screen, they’ll never see you. This is a perfect opportunity to use GoogleAds to capture these valuable visitors.

7. 2018 Dodge Journey is another Year/Model search and again, this dealer’s website throws a goose egg because of a page six listing.

8. 2018 Dodge Durango is yet another Year/Model search, and once again the dealer is getting no clicks to their website because they don’t appear until the middle of page seven. Four of the most searched for terms are for the inventory this dealer sells but they are getting zero traffic because they don’t rank well on Google. How can an OEM even suggest to their dealers that they have to use this provider if they can’t rank for their own inventory? If I was a cynical analyst, I might begin to suspect that the OEM and the website provider don’t want to rank well organically because they both want to over charge the dealer for GoogleAds campaigns so they can make money off of their dealers.

9. Dodge Service is a Brand/Service search. With half of a dealership’s profits coming from fixed ops, these searches are like gold. But once again this dealer’s website only got one click because they are buried on the top of page five on Google. Seriously? This website provider can’t rank for their own Brand Service? Hmmmm, oh, that’s right, the OEM makes money off of all of those Coop Service campaigns they charge the dealers to use.

10. Dodge Dealership Houston is a Brand/Dealership/GEO search and this dealer should be getting a lot of clicks because of relevancy and a page one ranking on Google. But with only a 1.39% CTR, they only got five visitors out of over three hundred searches. These people went somewhere, just not to this dealership…

As you can see, you can learn an awful lot with just one look.

Unfortunately, even though this report is easy to get and free most dealers will never see it because they don’t know it exists and because their OEMs and website providers don’t want their dealers to know how bad they’re being robbed.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

I’ll be happy to run this report for dealers for free.

I’ll do this because I believe once you see how your dealership and your website are performing, you’ll begin to understand why analytics are critical. With them, you can drive sales with smart marketing decisions and holding your vendors accountable.

Without them you’re just going to keep getting more of the same old results and have to sit through more vendor meetings where they tell you you have to spend more money with them.

Hit me at 949.910.0421 or email me at chip@torqueanalytics.com.


  • Reply

    Chris C-D

    25 09 2018

    A familiar picture. Clicks (visits) are increasingly less important to dealers – customers prefer to call and engage in live chat.
    The OEM presence in SERP’s usually wins on all brand/model searches – dealers can however win with hyper-local campaigns and ‘Dealer Brand’ activity (hence the 48% CTR for Harris Dodge). Thanks for the share.

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