Google: Keep smiling

Time 7:05 am, February 8, 2012

JANUARY is over at last and for once there is something for car dealers to be cheerful about.

The number of people going online and searching for automotive information is currently 50 per cent higher than in December.

There are three key factors driving this surge in online demand for vehicle purchase and aftersales service information, according to the international internet and software corporation Google.

  1. The March plate change. Buyers take two to three months to reach a purchase decision, so searchers for new cars in the first two months of the year will be looking to purchase in the spring.
  2. Pent-up demand after Christmas. People put much of their lives ‘on-hold’ during Christmas, and vehicle purchases, sales and servicing are no exception. In fact, the surge in searches actually starts on Boxing Day.
  3. Manufacturer offers. Today’s consumer is more value-conscious than ever. Strong tactical offerings from all manufacturers are driving consumers online to research in more detail.

This is a great time for dealers to generate leads online from the increased number of in-market buyers at this time of year. So how can you get ahead of the game? Google has the following advice.

  1. Don’t shut your shop early. Dealers running pay-per-click campaigns should ensure sufficient daily budgets to capture all possible leads.
  2. Be as visible as possible on the search results page. Aim to appear in search positions 1-3, in front of in-market buyers.
  3. Think outside the box. Look for new customers by having your search ads appear against new keywords. You can set up tactical pay-per-click campaigns (promoting offers, open weekends and the like) in seconds. For inspiration, check out these free Google tools: Google Insights For Search, where you can see how searches for particular things have grown over time, and the Google Keyword Tool, which will generate new keywords for you based on your marketing goals.
James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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