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Move Over Craigslist And Facebook, Google Is The New Elephant In The Room!

The Internet Corner

John Summer established JTZ Enterprise in 1995.  John is well respected in the automotive industry by his peers, car dealers new and used, vendors, and colleagues.  He has spoken to 20 Groups, multiple VIADA and NIADA Conventions, and VIADA Dealer Days.  John Summer served as Co-Chairman of the VIADA Professional Development Committee and on the MVDB Internet Advertising Task Force Committee. John has been a Consultant to Automotive Dealers for over 25 years for not only his extensive knowledge of regulations and compliance, but his expertise in advertising and marketing in the automotive industry.


Several years ago Craigslist made a bold move to go

from free listings for all to charging only car dealers $5 per post.  While it was determined this move actually made the entire advertising media better, it was not well received in the dealer community.

Then, just a couple of years ago Facebook began providing several ways for car dealers to advertise on their platform. Frankly, the shoppers’ experience at Facebook has always left a lot to be desired.  It is clunky, inconsistent with search results, and full of bogus ads.  Beginning late in 2022, Facebook began taking a much more aggressive approach with car dealers.  Basically, if you want to advertise on Facebook, you need to pay for it. Worse, you either must work with a limited number of advertisers or invest a fair amount of time into learning their Marketplace system.  Still, dealers paying for this advertising say it is more than worth it.  It may cost more but for that reason, less dealers are taking advantage of it.

Then came Google. This could be a Game Changer!  Midway though 2022, JTZ Enterprise became an authorized Google Vehicle Listings Partner.  This distinction allows us to send all our Dealerships’ inventory listings to Google in a feed, just like we do hundreds of other Online Advertising Partners every day.  Four  times a day we send Google all vehicle data and images for the purpose of displaying those listings on Google’s website!

To see this, google, “Allens Auto Sales Virginia”.  This is my family’s car dealership; we have sold cars for over 50 years and are located in Fredericksburg.  You should get the regular search results along with what is called a Business Pin Placement area to the right of the search results.  You will see our blue logo along with a picture or two of the dealership. Below that area you will see links for visiting our website, getting directions, saving our website, or calling our dealership.  Below that is more information about our dealership such as hours and address.  At the bottom of the Pin Placement area and just above the reviews you will see three of our listings for sale with images and a title. Just above the pics of the listings for sale you are able to search our inventory and even filter our listings by Make.  Click on one of those listings and you will get the rest of the available information about each listing.  You will find a “Dealer Listing” link that will lead you directly to the Vehicle Details Page (VDP) or window sticker for that listing at our website.

What does this mean? Well, before most Google traffic started at your website’s home page, even when the search was for a specific Year, Make and Model.  From the home page, the user must be savvy enough to know they have to go to the inventory page, search for and locate the vehicle for which they searched. This adds several more clicks to the visit and we all know more clicks do not always lead to more conversions or sales.  It is a more efficient path for the buyer to take because it gets them to what they wanted, the vehicle information, faster. If they are interested in the vehicle, they will then visit the rest of the site to learn more about your business, apply for credit, or schedule a test drive.

What does it mean for car dealers?  More traffic from Google that is more relevant!  This gets your vehicles seen dozens more times and all on the most successful search engine, ever!  Those vehicle displays create hundreds of VDP Impressions (views), VDP Clicks (visits), and dozens of phone calls and messages that generate straight from the Google website, before they ever reach your site!

What does this cost? Outside of finding a company like JTZ Enterprise/Higher Turnover Websites to feed our listings and images to Google, there is no cost. Yet!  If Craigslist and Facebook are any indicator, this may not stay free for long.  Still, that is no reason for you to not get in on this while you can.  It requires you have your Google Business Page in place and that it identifies you as a car dealership.

Not sure how to get your business and your vehicles on Google?  Call JTZ Enterprise today at 540-2860801 and let us get you on the fast track to more sales!

By John Summer, JTZ Enterprise, LLC

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