Automotive Digital Marketing

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Unique Visits and Bounce Rate out perform expectations!

In June of 2012 we launch our New SEM/Re-targeting platform and our new Automotive Website platform. Look at these numbers for one of our clients. This is utilizing the same ad budget for each time period. The bounce rate still remains amazing and the unique visits are through the roof! How is this comparing to your site analytics and SEM platforms? Leads now from the dealers website are at a all time high making up their most dominant lead source. We all know that the website will close at a much higher rate than other lead source. Sometimes as high as 5 times higher than purchased leads, yet dealers are still spending crazy money on lead providers instead of driving to their website.


How does this compare to your performance. By the way this dealer spends $8000 on (PPC, Display and Re-targeting). 51 sales on an average from the investment and $156 per vehicle sold!

Views: 1031

Tags: analytics, dealer, display, network, ppc, re-targeting, sem, seo, website.


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Comment by Tom Gorham on August 19, 2012 at 5:48pm

Rick, I give you kudos for what you've done.  I learned years ago that it's impossible to compare dealers from different regions and demographics.  If your dealer makes significant improvement, that's something to brag about.  What works in Los Angeles doesn't always work in Chicago.  You can't compare an Iowa dealer with a Chicago dealer... It's important to just keep things in perspective.

Comment by Rick McLey on August 19, 2012 at 10:04am

Thanks Bruce and yes they are the only one in the area, but have been the only one since before becoming a client of ours 2 years ago. When we first started working with them they had less than 3000 total visitors and now as you can see the traffic is much higher. This dealership is the #1 Toyota dealer in the GST group (5 states) in non metro markets. They finished in e-Wards top 100 this year as it relates to internet sales. They have a great reputation and salesperson turnover that is in the single digits every year with approx 30 salespeople. They were voted by Automotive News as top 100 dealerships to work for. This could have something to do with website retention of visitors (just a guess). So maybe there is something to this reputation thing and website traffic. I do see your point and I will see if my analyst can aggregate some numbers for tier 1 markets. I will email it to you or post on here.

Comment by Bruce Hartz on August 19, 2012 at 9:29am

Since Street Toyota is the only Toyota dealer in Amiarillo and the next Toyota dealer is 62 miles away could you show us results from a client of yours in a big metro area? Also that bounce rate is in error as our websites have become the shoppers new yellow pages.

Sorry I have to be a skeptic but just the other day I attended a webinar hosted by a well know seo sem company and the company rep wanted to show us one of his dealers success in seo.

He typed his clients name and city in Google an showed us how he dominated page one and he did.

Reality is the city had only 4 of those dealerships and 3 were owned the company he represents! 

Comment by William Phillips on August 15, 2012 at 2:53pm

Consumers have been using their feet for over 100 years to get to dealerships and phones for over 50 and this doesn't make them leads, its digital generated traffic that replaces traditional print media.  Leads are a first communication by the consumer to your dealership via a url submission that requires your action to convert it to anything else.  If your site isn't causing these submissions then its missing a market of consumers who want first contact this way.     Third party providers are still a needed. Doesn't matter if we like it or not.   Consumers who use them have signaled they do not want MFG or Dealer channels.  Even though they get sold to the dealers they didn't start that way.  Navigation of the 3rd party sites helps filter their intentions.  Only a bad process will make them not work. Its not an either or conversation about 3rd party verses your own spends.  Its an either or conversation about traditional verses Digital spend. 

Comment by Matt Tucker on August 13, 2012 at 8:53pm

Easy bud, we are all friends. But good friends are willing to point out errors with good correction.

I had merely pointed out that a touting of a beyond reality low bounce rate in that short of time shows the 'skunk in the woodpile'. Tangible results may very well be present and the Street Toyota site is well laid out with a clear SEO/SEM design, so odds are it did help sell more cars. Your post, however, clearly highlights the very low bounce rate which is likely a fluke created by other factors (the site has both live chat and a special 'offer' pop up when it loads).

That said, having all the functions (site, sem/seo, hosting and invntory control) in one location is done by many vendors, most with much less success than your example store appears to have seen. On that front, I say well done sir. And yes, wasting money on lead providers without devoting proper time to generating and converting leads on your own website is not a good practice. That too is sound advice, well done there as well.
Comment by Tom Gorham on August 13, 2012 at 6:20pm

Rick, I have to agree with Bill Jenkins.  (Disclosure, I use Bill for our SEM and retargeting and I am very satisfied).  I was showing someone the analytics to our website not long ago and they said "Wow, you have a great bounce rate."  That's all well and good but you have to look at all the reasons why your bounce rate is what it is.  Different referral sources will have different bounce rates and some high bounce rates are acceptable due to the purpose of that provider.  Nothing is ever black and white, but if it results in more sales, god bless you!

Comment by Rick McLey on August 13, 2012 at 3:36pm

Thanks for your input guys, and if this dealer had not experienced a lead/sales growth rate that had paralleled, I would have to agree with your opinions. Lets put aside that there is a skunk in the wood pile and something is broke (which it is not). The fact that this dealership has seen a record jump in their sales from 100-120 used cars alone to over 250 in 6 months and most of the increase has been credited to marketing efforts by our company. Here is the fact, if lead count remained the same and did not jump significantly, if sales volume did not jump, but remained the same then I would agree something would be broken. The chat, google analytics, and all other components are the same except our new SEM platform and website structure has changed. The fact remains that this site performs very well, and due to our SEM knowledge we are landing them where they need to be and getting them to search the site...when you are the SEO, SEM, Website Design and Hosting, Inventory Management you have complete control of how things work in tandem. We get the car business and we get the internet. My point to this is that there is a lot of dealers spending money on 3rd party lead providers and not driving to the site...this is what the post is about. Drive them where they convert and purchase, your website!

Comment by Matt Tucker on August 13, 2012 at 11:51am


Did your team add any live chat features or auto-play video functions to the website landing pages that were not there prior?  A drop that drastic (to near impossible-for-traffic-load data points) seems to good to be true and is likely a result of errant reporting due to technical issues.

I quote from a friend of mine's blog: "Knowing that bounce rate is impacted by the technical issue of more than one engagement hit getting sent to GA is critical to making sure you’re getting your analysis right.  It is quite common that developers of software come up with a GA integration that doesn’t take bounce rate into account.  The most common culprits I’ve seen are live chat (where the auto-invite sends a Pageview or Event) and auto-plays of videos that are tracked by virtual pageviews or events (where non-interaction was not invoked).  The use of a particular live chat application is what caused bounce rate to plummet in the above example.  Bounce rate is also impacted by cookie integrity issues which cause sessions to get reset.  Additionally, and I’m still surprised by how many times I see this, having the GA tracking code more than once on a page is a sure fire way to bring your bounce rate down to zero.  As my friend Caleb Whitmore puts it, “A 3.8% bounce rate isn’t really good, it’s broken.” - Link to blog posting

Not to rain on the parade, but being real when looking at data is needed. As metrics become easier to acquire, having the ability to properly read them becomes of greater importance.

Comment by Ashley Lopez on August 13, 2012 at 11:05am

Awesome drop down in Bounce Rate! I'm with Greg on the Ave. Visit Duration...

Comment by Greg Johnson on August 13, 2012 at 10:11am

John, that's a great bounce rate improvement, why do you think the Ave Visit Duration went down so much?

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