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Optimizing paid and organic search among digital advertisers and lead generators is becoming increasingly more important and of interest to auto marketers. However, much inefficiency currently exists in the marketplace. Traditionally, digital analytics and marketing companies identify key terms that generate click traffic for specific campaigns. Automotive website companies provide extensive reporting for the optimization process through key words and terms. While these analytics allow clients to track search results to websites or landing pages, they lack a layer of intelligence about how consumers can find the services they are seeking. For example, a customer looking for OEM authorized service at a specific location may not get search results of the closest dealer due to missing search criteria in their website meta-tags or paid search geographic coverage. Another issue marketers may run into is excessive spending. Marketers are not able to locate where potential customers reside from search analytics. An example of this is where consumers shop versus where they live. This can cause funds to be allocated toward locations that are insignificant in terms of consumer engagement.

A unique way to help make this process more efficient includes using IHS Automotive insight to optimize paid and organic search. Utilizing Vehicles in Operation data (VIO) by year, make, model and sub-series provides a detailed input into the website page metadata for a dealer or advertiser to improve organic search. As an example, using IHS VIO data, a dealer or website company can optimize the dealer’s website content for service customers in their “primary market” or beyond using the vehicle detail and geographic location of registration.

A similar approach can be used for targeting paid search criteria for new vehicle shoppers through optimization of search terms from recent registration data. This information uses a zip code of where the driver lives as a shopping marker for input along with the dealer locations they are shopping. As an example, the registration trends and zip codes of buyers help advertisers target potential zip codes for paid and organic search campaigns, both sales and service opportunities, based on dealer location and buyer registration zip codes.

As a leading indicator of purchase trends, predictive modeling and analytics create forecast trends for targeting for both organic and paid search – similar to a “fish finder” for in market shoppers.This “demand” information can be used for identifying buyer intent by brand, zip code, vehicle segment, demographics as well as other consumer variables.

An example of how IHS Automotive insight contributes to helping advertisers leverage this information is shown below:

An evaluation of the search term efficiency is the quality of leads that are generated through key word(s) or packets. By measuring the resulting vehicles sold from leads generated by consumers based on search terms, conversion rates can be shown based on these search targeting practices.Many advertisers and lead generators use these metrics today for search strategy, pricing and sales ROI. In many cases this has replaced previous click metrics since it relates directly to campaign performance.

Using this data provides more specific analytics for targeting search. Where and why consumers search, best ways for targeting what they are shopping for as opposed to measuring click engagement for search words/packets maximizes actual purchase analytics. Ultimately, the ROI shows results in vehicles sold and delivers fact based campaign specific shopping and purchase results, providing tiers 1 – 3 advertising with better targeting and campaign measurement.

Posted by Brad Korner, Vice President, Sales and Client Services, IHS Automotive (08.05.2014)

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