While it won’t last forever, our markets will remain out-of-whack for a while longer and recovery isn’t going to follow a straight line or predictable path. Our strange and temporary reality started with the covid shut-downs, then the supply chain problems, and then the shifting consumer perceptions about e-vehicles. We now face rising costs for just about everything, including borrowing costs. Vehicle markets, especially new light-vehicle sales, should move closer to normal by Fall 2023 (assuming we don’t find ourselves in WWIII.)
This is what we are expecting to happen: OEM’s will offset the interest rate crunch with increased incentives.
We are already seeing signs of it. Inventory levels will continue to improve. These factors will accelerate a return to normalcy and competition for in-market buyers in 2023.
That said, why simply wait for the month when you are forced to turn the Paid Search dial back to high? A complete return to the necessary evils of the past does not have to happen.
How can you act now to avoid the same level of paid search dependency your store developed in the past? Build a strong and lasting organic presence starting now, before budget and focus are diverted. A click-thru is a click-thru so why not get more of them from organic ads versus paid ads? This CAN NOT BE ACHIEVED overnight or even over the period of one or two months. It takes time. However, once it is achieved, this will get your store’s inventory into the consideration set more often achieving a greater slice of the 900 digital touchpoints that Google has told us about.
THIS IS POSSIBLE AND THERE IS STILL TIME.
The Dealers that exercise discipline now will have an advantage that can’t be surpassed quickly or inexpensively by their competitors who failed to do the same.
So, the objectives are clear: Increase organic traffic and focus on conversions. This requires a carefully constructed content plan, pages structured and coded properly, and a concerted focus on the entire array of Google ranking factors. The money is on page 1 of Google. You know this from your own online searches… when was the last time you saw page 2 of Google let alone page 3?
Auto Dealers should never return to the volume-over-profit playbook that existed before 2020. We know that inventory levels will normalize as the supply chain sorts itself, incentives will increase, competition will heat up, and inflation and expenses will squeeze margin. The winning 2023 playbook will be different. Build sustainable organic traffic levels and build pages that convert. Increase the ability for shoppers to find your store and inventory at all points of the funnel by leveraging SEO.