Dane Saville

Co-Founder, Public Relations & Brand Manager | Reunion Marketing

Dane Saville has enjoyed an eclectic career from the classroom to the classified room for the Department of Navy to the studio. One thing has remained constant among all of the changes: educational distillation. He helped co-found Reunion Marketing as its thought leader on content marketing and has spent the last few years learning from experts in all disciplines of digital marketing to pull out the essential pieces for easy-to-learn content. Dane now hosts an educational automotive podcast series, the KPI Cafe, available on all major podcast platforms. Outside of his professional work, Dane enjoys time with his fiance Michelle, fur baby Gemma, and a small-time career as a professional wrestler.
A Revealing Look At Dealership Homepage Banners

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The emphasis many dealers place on creating homepage banners is a glaring example of the industry’s failure to communicate changing consumer behaviors. It’s no surprise that these have become a staple of websites, not just in automotive retail. They’re a visually compelling way to communicate monthly specials and incentives to car shoppers on a highly visible page where many consumers land.  You may be one of those dealers who compels their agency partner to create — say — a baker’s dozen each month.  The truth is that — even with the high-traffic visibility — homepage banners are not nearly as effective as you may have originally thought. The Numbers Behind the Banners While intuition can serve you well, no decisions regarding your digital marketing should be made without statistically relevant data. One of our (Reunion Marketing) Client Success Specialists intuitively felt that homepage banners were an outdated focus, so we took 24 clients who used the same industry-leading website hosting platform to analyze homepage data over a determined period of time.  Below are the numbers of what we found. Car shoppers clicked on the following:  Navigation: 49.36% Inventory Search Widget: 29.73% Homepage Banners / Videos: 5.99% This means that car shoppers, no matter the source or medium, who landed on our clients’ homepage, approximately 0.05 (or 1 in 20) of them clicked on a homepage banner. While it’s true that one person in twenty does have purchasing power, let’s take a closer look into the numbers. Of the 5.99% of car shoppers who clicked on a homepage banner, here’s what we found: 45.51% of them clicked on the 1st Position Banner 25.27% of them clicked on the 2nd Position Banner 14.37% of them clicked on the 3rd Position Banner 9.42% of them clicked on the 4th Position Banner This means that by the time you’ve created a 4th Position Banner, you’ve allocated time and resources to a homepage item that only receives 0.56% of all homepage clicks.  Our research led to our setting specific recommendations on homepage banners for our Dealer partners.  Homepage Banner Recommendations Based on the data, we concluded that automotive dealerships should create no more than three new homepage banners . Though there is a demonstrated steep decline in car shopper clicks after the First Position Banner, we know, based on our work with hundreds of Dealer partners, that you need to manage more than a single special or event during a given month. This also begs the question for many Dealers: How do I manage this when my OEM requires XX (number of) banners? You can still follow the recommended three new banners for your latest incentives and have a host of stock banners that satisfy the OEM requirement through which you can rotate.  SEO Is Incomplete Without Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) This understanding of homepage banners is part of an ongoing process called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), which should be a part of any internal team or agency partner’s SEO work. Beyond the homepage data analysis, there are dozens of other items that should be regularly checked or strategies that you can implement. Hotjar to monitor consumer behavior on pages. Checking for buttons above the fold. Compare metrics across devices. SRP to VDP Efficiency Audits Ensuring clear and consistent merchandising. Homepage to SRP Efficiency Audits Compare benchmarks for mobile clicks-to-call, form submissions, etc. Understanding what goals are underperforming These are just a handful of items that should be part of your dealership’s Conversion Rate Optimization. You are, after all, spending money to have internal teams or outside partners work to send high-quality traffic to your website. It is incumbent upon them to also help optimize their ability to shop the site and feel further compelled to take action.
Dealer Marketing: Going Loco for Local Campaigns

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There's a good reason that car dealers should be going mad over local campaigns: the results. Now, let's get something straight first. There are so many variables that influence digital marketing -- your local market conditions, budget, tactics, creativity -- that no dealership will see the same numbers.  You can, however, expect to fall within a range set by our dealer partners whose strategy we have adequately executed and monitored: $4 - $6 Cost per Lead $0.50 - $1.50 Cost per Click 10,000 - 30,000 Interactions These dealerships also met a recommended monthly budget of no less than $300 and up to $1,000. If cost-efficiencies that deliver high-quality leads is your jam, let's define local campaigns to give you a better perspective on the  what  and  where . What are local campaigns? They are part of Google's continual innovation on advertising products and are tied to your dealership's Google My Business (GMB) listings. As more search results don't yield a click to a website property, it's more important than ever to have a robust strategy around local search engine optimization. Local ads leverage your GMB to deliver targeted ads in brand new placements. Local campaigns use the Merchant Center for inventory feed integration and Google's machine learning to populate highly relevant, hyper-local advertisements that are more likely to resonate with consumers and generate foot traffic and local actions or phone calls. Google is, in fact, so confident in the results local campaigns can produce that these ads are highlighted in the Dealer Guidebook 2.5 edition. Launching this type of campaign is relatively easy, tasking you to fulfill just a few requisites: Verified GMB Linked to Google Ads Minimum of 1 YouTube Video Link Images (1200x1200 & 1200x628) Where are local campaigns new placements? Local campaigns are delivered across all of Google's properties, including the Display Network and YouTube. These are now the most interesting placements, though.  You linked your GMB listing to your Google Ads account so your dealership's ads can also be placed on ...  Google Maps , where shoppers can identify the quickest route to the dealership thanks to the ad highlighting your location as the top destination. GMB Listing Profile , where shoppers can see the latest offers and promotions (for variable and fixed operations). Google Search Network , where shoppers will see the advertisement at the top of the local search pack. New placements bring new methods of optimization. These local campaigns aren't optimized by using historical search network mechanics, such as analyzing query and keyword data. Instead, advertisers will be tasked with analyzing and iterating on the actual content of the ad. Dealers Will Win on the Local Level If you haven't embraced the power of Google My Business, which is the crux of your local search strategy, you're likely to miss out on other opportunities that arise -- like local campaigns. The notion of "going local" isn't exactly new; it's just now getting the proper attention that it deserves. In a digital ecosystem where your real competition is third-party and aftermarketing websites, building localized content and ads have become the backbone of maintaining and growing your market share. There's no better place to start than your own backyard, for which local campaigns have been specifically built.  Start winning, my friends.
3 Ways to Cut Your Dealership’s Marketing Cost Per Car Sold

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NADA reported in 2017 that the average dealership spends 55.4% of its budget across digital marketing channels. This increase reflects the industry’s understanding of the consumer’s shift to the internet for the purpose of car shopping. Despite allocating dollars to digital platforms, the marketing cost per car sold has remained nearly the same: $762 for luxury vehicles and $630 for mass-market vehicles. Dealerships that have fully embraced their digital strategies can break these industry averages. By focusing on the relevance of website content, Google’s Quality Score of paid search, and the efficacy of CRM for social media, there is a clear path to significantly reduce marketing cost. The following three considerations will help make that path clear. 1. The dealership’s website needs relevant content to satisfy consumer search Search engine results pages (SERPs) and third-party sites will deliver competitors’ inventory to local car shoppers. A dealership’s website is the only place where shoppers will not view or engage with any other dealer. It’s vital to build pages that satisfy local search queries across the customer journey, starting with keywords that imply that a person is highly motivated to buy (e.g., “for sale”). Search Console and Google Ads, formerly Google AdWords, provide information about local searches, including impressions, clicks, average position, and conversions. These tools are essential to prioritize content production by marrying it with search volume and search intent. This yields less friction while website visitors navigate across the site to a dealership’s high-value pages, such as search results pages and VDPs. This improved user experience coupled with other SEO tactics like page speed keep reduces bounce rate and increases opportunities for conversion. Our agency recently analyzed a sample of our dealership network’s Search Console data, totaling 10,000,000 local queries. We found that search queries two to four words in length comprised approximately 76% of all impressions. Upon closer examination, the majority of these short-tail queries included intent qualifiers: “for sale,” “near me,” and “2018.” This information can help dealerships understand how to develop and structure their sites’ metadata and content. By focusing on these searches that offer low-hanging fruit, dealerships inherently optimize their website for paid search and social media campaigns with more-relevant landing pages. Then they can broaden their efforts to acquire more traffic higher in the sales funnel by producing content around long-tail searches where car shoppers are seeking more information about a make or model. As you expand upon these SEO strategies, you’ll want to leverage Search Console to ensure your site shows up for a greater number of search queries, first with intent modifiers, which are measured by impressions and clicks. Google recently updated Search Console to offer insights from up to 16 months of historical data. The cost savings come in two forms: By creating a frictionless, relevant experience across their site, dealerships maximize the investment through generating more leads that can be parlayed into sales. By having pages that match consumer search, the site will better align with paid search ads and, thus, lower bid costs. 2. The dealership needs to understand the value of Quality Score Quality Score multiplied by Bid Price equals Ad Rank. Paid search — PPC, SEM, or whatever you refer to it as — remains one of the automotive industry’s best lead generators. As competition grows and market share becomes tighter, it’s vital that dealerships focus on bolstering their Quality Score (QS). Did you know that a dealership whose ad has a QS of 3 pays twice as much as a dealership whose ad has a QS of 6? One key factor, again, is relevance. The best ad campaigns are broken up into dozens of ad groups that host hundreds or even thousands of ads. This score is also determined by landing page experience and expected click-through rate. These latter two are weighted to equal 78% of what influences QS. When a website is built correctly, as explained earlier in this article, the landing page experience will match better with the ad and searcher’s intent. At this moment, the automotive industry’s average click-through rate is 4%. Crafting original ads that leverage all applicable extensions and offering a great landing page experience can dramatically increase clicks. Here’s a bonus insight: The longer a dealership can maintain a high Ad Rank, the more likely all extensions will show up. These include price, click-to-call, location, promotion, call-outs, message, site link, and structure snippets. This enables the possibility of pushing customers below the fold on mobile when this strategy is properly executed. 3. A dealership’s CRM has real potency for social media ads At this point, the majority of dealers have collected customers’ emails and other contact information. They now have an ideal organically built list that can be leveraged across channels that also has particular potency on Facebook. That’s because the social media giant filters the contacts to ensure their validity. Dealers can create segments, such as buyers who haven’t visited the dealership in months or years for service or purchase and prospects who came to the dealership but didn’t purchase, among others. These lists can be used to reach out to previous buyers as well as to create a lookalike audience — at a fraction of the cost of television, radio, mailers, and other traditional methods. Facebook lookalike audiences come from examining the valid contacts’ interests, demographics, and other features to create a brand new audience that mirrors the original. By coupling these strategies — and implementing them effectively — dealers have the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars per month while providing an increase in website traffic, website conversions, and leads by pursuing more qualified buyers and delivering a more seamless experience.