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'Tis the Season for Declining Organic Search Traffic

Nicole Milkovich, Search Engine Optimization Specialist
by Nicole Milkovich, Search Engine Optimization Specialist

Using a combination of smartphones, tablets and desktop computers, consumers are online more than ever before. You count on the last quarter of the year and holiday seasons to bring good tidings and high organic search traffic. So why are we saying to expect a decline? Data doesn’t lie.

Over the last three years, we have seen a consistent decrease in organic search traffic during the last quarter in the automotive industry. Traffic begins to decline in late August and continues throughout December. Based on the history of the last three years, there is good reason to believe that organic search traffic will fall once again.

Foot traffic within the dealership could also reflect this trend. Customers are eagerly anticipating new models debuting in the New Year and with the stress of holiday planning, buying a new car may not be a top priority. So, what do you do now?

Have no fear - SEO and Digital Ads are here!

Digital advertising integrated with search engine optimization (SEO) is powerful any time of the year and can really help when your organic search traffic is trending down. Holistic digital marketing efforts help to get your business in front of your customers, whether they are ready for a new car or still searching your inventory.

Be Proactive

Start talking about your upcoming events and specials now! Specials are no longer a surprise and your customers want to know about them. Some companies have been giving away information about their Black Friday specials since July – creating excitement months before the actual event. Tell your customers about an event, but don’t share all the details; then remind them about your holiday specials with remarketing ads and encourage them to continue to visit your website for more information. You not only want to keep your customers coming back to your site, but you also want to keep them engaged throughout the process.

Be Patient

Just as traffic is expected to trend down for the next three months, it is expected to jump back up in January. Understanding what is happening on your site and the approaching rollercoaster of traffic will help you make better business decisions in the short-term, as well as the long-term strategy for your dealership.

As you embrace fall and prepare for winter, contact your SEO administrator and digital advertising partner to strategize for the months ahead.

About the Author

Nicole Milkovich, Cobalt Reputation Management Specialist Nicole Milkovich joined CDK Global in 2014 as a Search Engine Optimization Specialist. Nicole has 3 plus years experience writing content, optimizing websites, and executing a variety of marketing campaigns. She earned her BBA degree in Marketing from Walsh College and is expected to graduate with her MM in Marketing in the Spring of 2015. When she isn't honing her SEO skills, she is reading, playing video games or watching horror movies. Reach out to her at

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Tags: SEO, advertising, bing, digital, google, search, seasonal, yahoo


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Comment by Charles Strandburg on October 19, 2014 at 6:09am
It's hard to solely rely on digital analytics at this point. I agree with Mr. Lau that tags are for the birds. There are so many ways consumers get their information, let alone through so many device types that conclusions based on DA analysis alone can be misleading. There are so many platforms and methodologies of DA as well
It's also possible that consumers can go to a store without ever viewing a dealer, OEM or third party website based on a friend or trusted-source's recommendation obtained through social media.
And don't forget about bots.

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