Before we talk about how you can drive digital success in 2021, 2022, and beyond – let’s take a step back to look at why digital is important. Pulling up one of my favorite websites, internetlivestats.com – there are over five BILLION internet users in the world. On Google, there are six BILLION+ searches performed every day. That’s only Google,
and Google isn’t the dominant search engine in many countries – Russian users, for example, prefer Yandex.
Even more interesting – out of the billion searches made on Google every day, 15% have never been seen before and are completely new. That means the consumer journey is now more unique and unpredictable than ever before, with more searches happening during discovery, research, and consideration. 75% of U.S. consumers have tried different stores, websites, or brands during the pandemic. And three in four surveyed CMOs said post-pandemic changes in consumer behavior will impact marketing strategies.
At the same time, search engines continue to dominate everything we do. In the automated space, consumers used search engines 79% of the time to decide on what car they will buy; followed by online video (57%), dealer websites (57%), OEM websites (46%), and vehicle review/comparison sites (41%). On the used-car side, those in-market
used search engines 92% of the time, followed by endemics at less than 50%.
Search engines continue to be an integral part of our lives and thus should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. A recent study by Google showed that $1,000 invested in Google Search Ads produced results for up to nine months from the initial sale. Over that period, that $1,000 was shown to impact the decision of 6.5 car
purchases. In other words, $1,000 invested today can develop your sales pipeline for months to come and will directly influence up to 6.5 car purchasing decisions.
So, how do you ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck in your search engine advertising? The must-haves are:
- Implementing auction time bidding, utilizing Google’s AI algorithm
- Switching to value-based bidding – optimizing on the value each conversion brings
- Enhancing your profile – making sure you’re utilizing all of Google’s extensions
- Implementing audience targeting – target your existing customers whose leasesare ending soon, or perhaps those who haven’t been in for service in a while. Youcan also target individuals based on what they searched on Google (and targetthem outside of Google!)
And, of course, there is a world outside of Google Ads. Microsoft Ads continues to be more relevant, expanding its reach, partnering with Niche search engines like DuckDuckGo, and integrating LinkedIn audiences into their platform.
And last but not least on everyone’s radar should be SEO. While the ranking signals that determine your rankings continue to change – the basics continue to hold firm:
- You need to have a GMB profile (and make sure it’s optimized).
- You need to make sure your site is fast, has good usability, and has no technical
- You need to create unique content on an ongoing basis
- You must have an outbound link-building effort to get relevant, authoritative
websites to link to you.