Digital Marketing Stats Every Auto Dealer Should Know

1.94 Billion websites on the internet.

100 Billion Google searches per month.

1 dealership site you care about. And we don’t blame you! But beating out all your competitors to the top of those billions of searches and websites is no cakewalk. As you decide how to best position your dealership for continued success, consider these digital marketing stats and how they affect you (if you aren’t sure, it’s time to speak with us).

Over 300 Touchpoints

310+ touchpoints stat image

About 310 touchpoints stand between the user’s initial car shopping phase and a visit to your dealership lot, and nearly 80% of them are digital. The major touchpoints include the following:

  • Google or search engine query
  • OEM website
  • Financing calculator
  • Google reviews of a local dealership
  • Dealership website
  • Ads

$18 Billion Ad Spend

Industry experts estimate that the average digital ad spend for automotive will break $18 billion by 2020, representing a 200% increase since 2016. By optimizing and enhancing your paid search strategy now, you can potentially save thousands or millions on poorly positioned ads.

2 Dealership Visits

A decade ago, shoppers would visit an average of five auto dealerships before deciding on the right make and model. Today, the average is two. The reason? You guessed it—the internet, as 62% of purchasers would rather spend time online researching vehicles than speak with a salesperson (29%).

4 Phases of Car Buying

The shopper’s purchasing path is no longer a linear progression from "need a car” to “let’s head to the dealership.” In fact, 75% of shoppers go through four online phases before driving home in a new car:

Awareness – Drivers become aware of the fact that they might need to be driving another vehicle. Whether it’s due to an uptick in car problems, distaste for certain features or poor performance, this is always the starting point. As a dealer, you can target these potential customers by focusing on quality keywords, knowing that the average car on the road is over 11 years old and 58% of drivers expect to run their car into the ground before buying another.

Interest – Part of the audience’s research phase is spent gauging interest—60% of shoppers have no clue of what type of vehicle they want—and this is where you can thrive as a deliverer of the digital goods. Step into their shoes and answer their questions when crafting content or planning auto dealership paid ad campaigns:

    • What kind of vehicle would I like?
    • Should I buy new or used? Lease or purchase?
    • Can I finance?
    • What features are important to me?
    • What is my budget?

Consideration – Phase three of research begins once the shopper has narrowed down the list of potential winners. They’ll begin researching safety ratings, reading critic reviews, comparing different makes and models and, most importantly, deciding where to buy. Your dealership reviews will play a large part in how you’re perceived by a potential customer, even if you’re offering better prices than competitors.

Purchase – When the shopper begins searching for deals on certain models—45%of users who look for online deals typically purchase—they’re probably ready for prime-time. They’ll also start requesting quotes online and reaching out to schedule test drives.

And that’s all done online.

4 phases of buying a car image

Organic Search: 566% Better Value than Paid Ads

Search is still the #1 source for car shoppers to begin research into a new car, beating out social media posts, regional dealer sites and ads. SEO for auto dealers remains a lucrative and very necessary marketing strategy.

$40 Billion Dollar Value in Voice Search

Between 2018 and 2019, sales and deliveries of smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home increased by 200%. By 2020, the value of voice search (and all the technology’s accrued personal search data) is expected to top $40 billion. Dealerships should be implanting content on their sites that answer Hummingbird-type voice queries, such as, “what’s a good price on a new [make] [model]?”

200% Growth of Local Dealer Searches

The rise of mobile can also be seen in the growth of local “near me” searches for car dealerships. A staggering number of shoppers have taken to voice search over the last five years, and that’s led to an upsurge of local SEO, too. An incredible 7 in 10 consumers who perform voice and local searches tend to visit businesses and dealerships within 5 miles of their location. And consumers on mobile devices are 50% more likely to visit a store within 24 hours of the initial search.


3 Seconds of Page Load Time

Sites that take more than three seconds to load results in an average abandonment rate of 40%, with 80% of those users never returning. If that’s a wake-up call to you, it’s time to optimize your dealer website to perform better.

website 3 second load stat image

1 in 10 Blogs Compound Traffic

Much like your savings account’s compounding interest, blog posts can also amass recurrent visitor traffic exponentially. According to data provided by HubSpot, compounding blog posts can account for an average traffic increase of 38% (overall traffic). Regular blogging activity produces new content, provides information and is an exceptional return on investment. In fact, just one compounding blog can bring in the same number of readers as six old posts.

86% Higher Conversions with Videos

Model reviews, test drives, feature outlines and walkthrough videos influence nearly nine out of ten online consumers and car shoppers—far more than TV commercials, radio spots and print ads combined. The growth of high-speed internet access has accounted for a 220% increase in video view times, year-to-year, with 40% of those minutes cast on a mobile device. When possible, publish your own model videos on YouTube–which has over 1.9 billion active users.

22% of Millennials Search Online for Repairs

On average, 2 in 10 Millennial car owners find their mechanics on the internet (most others come from word of mouth). Target younger drivers of older vehicles with your fixed ops responses and PPC campaigns, and build up service and repair content for better local and organic placement.

millennials search online for repairs stat image


73% of Users Hate Pop-Up Ads

No one likes pop-ups—they’re obnoxious, plain and simple—but it may be a surprise to know that an average of three in four users would leave a website due to an obtrusive ad or loud autoplay videos.

If you’re struggling to make the grade, let the digital marketing experts at Maritz Automotive guide you to the top. We offer a wide variety of automotive marketing products and services, including SEO packages, PPC management and virtual coaching solutions, to help your sales team start converting like the pros they are. For more information about our solutions, all of which are backed by data and behavioral science, please feel free to connect with us.

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Topics: Digital Experience