Central to almost any online marketing strategy is the desire to increase the amount of traffic visiting your website or online showroom. However, too often, when traffic is increased, there is no visible gain in relation to sales completed.
One reason is that the traffic driven to the website is the wrong traffic.
In fact, it is far more important to increase the right traffic to your dealership’s website over and above, simply increasing the amount of traffic landing on any given page.
If you have been frustrated by the return you see from your digital marketing dollars, it could very well be due to the lack of qualified traffic your website gets. We’ll take a look at why the right traffic is critical to your campaign’s success and offer some key actionable insights that can help you improve not only your traffic quality, but also the return you’ll see.
When digital marketing was in its infancy, many businesses had a simple focus: build a website and drive traffic to that website.
And, in theory, this made sense. The more people visiting your website, the higher the odds of someone converting.
However, as time has progressed, digital marketing has become a more sophisticated affair, and simply increasing the number of visitors to a website no longer cuts it.
Instead, the focus should be on increasing the right traffic. In fact, when you drive large amounts of the wrong traffic to your website, you can actually dilute your results and damage your brand image.
So why exactly does the right traffic matter? It all starts with the quality of your leads.
Driving relevant traffic to your website is a bit like driving relevant customers to your showroom. For example, you wouldn’t want to host a sales event and pour money into marketing and the event itself, only to have hundreds of people show up with zero intent to purchase a car. Instead, you would want to drive hundreds of people to your showroom for your sales event who are actively seeking to buy a new vehicle.
Similarly, when you are increasing the number of visitors to your website, you want to focus on qualified leads.
Now, what that qualified lead might look like will depend on which part of your sales funnel you are trying to feed.
For example, all of the following could be considered worthwhile traffic to drive to your website:
- Someone researching what new cars are available
- Someone looking for a place to take a vehicle in for a service
- Someone interested in talking to a dealership about a trade-in
- Someone exploring financing options
- Someone ready to make a vehicle purchase
Any of these leads would be considered qualified traffic, depending on which part of the consumer journey you are targeting. The difference between these leads and unqualified leads is their actual interest in interacting with your dealership.
Another reason why it is critical to invest in driving the right traffic, not just any traffic to your website, is because you have a limited marketing budget.
You do not have money to waste on ad spend that does not deliver results.
When you focus your digital ad spend toward qualified traffic only, you can decrease the amount of money you need to spend on ads while increasing the amount of money you make from those ads.
Whether via social media or Google display ads, you need to ensure that you’re optimizing the dollars spent.
Not only does driving the wrong traffic to your website waste your money, but it can also frustrate potential customers.
For example, if you drive a person searching for a nearby oil change to your online vehicle showroom, you are providing a poor customer experience.
Gaining the eyes of the right traffic is also about driving that traffic to the right place. The goal is to create a highly personalized and targeted experience where customers feel understood and can quickly access the exact information they seek.
Realistically, if you are not driving the right traffic to your website, that traffic is being stolen by someone else. People are constantly using the internet to locate information about vehicles, services, and pricing.
When you waste your time simply increasing the number of visits to your website without a deep analysis of the value of that traffic, your competition is busy siphoning off quality leads.
With an established baseline of the importance of driving the right, qualified traffic to your website, it is time to look at the best strategies for increasing valuable traffic to your website.
Your analysis should begin with a comprehensive offline look at the historical sales performance of your business, along with an in-depth forecasting of your market.
From here, you can hone in on the consumers with the highest propensity of converting. This helps you better understand what a qualified lead looks like in your market, which will help inform your strategy.
Next, it is time to research the online landscape. During this stage, you’ll want to dig deep into the strategies that will help you outperform on the highly competitive front page of Google search results.
Your strategy around both paid and organic search should include careful consideration of what keywords will bring the most value to your business. You can do this through several methods, including using tools specifically designed to unearth common search terms in your market, as well as using a competitive analysis to see what keywords your competitors are targeting.
According to Think with Google, the average car-buying process can take up to three months. During this period, you need to have a strategy that drives qualified traffic to your website throughout the buyer’s journey.
For example, your strategy should include all of the following stages:
- The awareness stage: During this period, focus on capturing traffic that is actively looking for information about a specific vehicle or service.
- The consideration stage: Continuing down the funnel, keep re-engaging with the same leads as they travel through the consideration stage. You should be surfacing ads and reminders about your dealership that are highly targeted based on the data you gathered during the awareness stage.
- The decision stage: With your lead ready to convert, leverage all the information you have on a customer to deliver a highly targeted closing campaign. This should include everything from paid ads to one-on-one conversations with sales team members.
There is a large amount of value in the data you glean the longer you interact with a customer via online and in-person channels.
The key is to feed this information back into your marketing tactics. Over time this can make a big difference in the quality of traffic visiting your website.
For example, after a client purchases a new car through your dealership, you should continue to remarket to this client. This way, you might drive the customer back to your website for maintenance services.
When you invest in improved website traffic, the gains are immense. And it all begins with improvements to your pocketbook.
Too often, dealerships become disenchanted with spending money on digital marketing because it feels as if the requirement for spending increases every month while the return seemingly diminishes.
When you focus instead on quality leads, you can decrease the amount you spend on marketing efforts while setting records in sales. The more you optimize the system, the lower your spend has to be to provide a high return.
The right traffic will quickly translate to an influx of quality leads. Your sales team will be answering the phones, responding to emails, and hopping on your website’s chat feature to work with interested parties in making a vehicle purchase.
One of the best things about focusing on quality traffic over traffic volume is the ability to scale your efforts over time. The more optimized your approach becomes, the more extra marketing dollars you’ll be left with to invest in further campaigns and tactics. This allows you to scale up your efforts with your business’ growth.
Improving website traffic isn’t simply about numbers. In fact, it is far less about the number of people who visit your site and far more about how qualified those leads are. If you feel as if you are wasting digital spend, pouring dollars into campaigns that drive the wrong traffic to your website, we can help.
At J&L Marketing, we have years of successful experience working with dealerships that are looking to improve their digital strategy. We understand how frustrating it can be to increase your online ad spend while seeing little to no increase in sales.
That is why we focus on measurable strategies. When you work with our team, you receive direct insights into where you’re spending your marketing dollars and what return you are getting. We can tie your ad spend to actual closed sales, even if those sales take place offline.
The result is that you have an improved ability to analyze and adjust your digital marketing spend to increase the number of qualified leads who walk through your door.
If you are interested in learning more, we invite you to check out a few of our recent case studies, showcasing our success in turning around digital marketing strategies. Or, just reach out to our team! We can assist you in analyzing your current strategy and help you design the perfect plan.