CDK Global

March 10, 2016 12:43 ET

Car Dealers: It's Time to Update Your Advertising Strategy

CDK Offers Tips for Dealers After Changes to Google's Search Results

HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL--(Marketwired - Mar 10, 2016) - Ninety-five percent1 of vehicle shoppers use digital channels to research their next vehicle purchase, which makes digital advertising one of the best ways for dealerships to reach their customers. However, recent changes to Google's search engine results page could impact a dealer's ability to advertise to consumers using the popular search engine.

Last week, Google removed text ads on the right hand side of the results page and increased the number of ads available above organic search from three to four ads. In addition, the maximum number of ads appearing on the search results page has been reduced from as many as 11 down to just seven.

"The changes Google made to their ad platform this past week create the need for dealers to re-evaluate their digital advertising mix," said Max Steckler, vice president of product management at CDK Global. "Auto shoppers are 71 percent2 more likely to be influenced by digital ads than general shoppers, which underscores the need for an advertising strategy to reach customers wherever they are shopping. We anticipate that fewer ad listings will result in fewer advertising opportunities and increased competition amongst dealers on Google's platform."

CDK Global offers the following tips for dealers when building their digital advertising strategy:

  • Take a multichannel approach: Dealers should aim to reach shoppers in a mix of channels proven to deliver engagement and conversion. By diversifying their advertising mix, they can expand their reach and limit their exposure to the effect of changes in any one channel.
  • Don't lock budget in any one advertising channel: Dealers need an advertising strategy that can seamlessly adapt to the channels providing the best ROI. Investing in systems and technology that evaluates traffic quality from each advertising channel in real time can pay large dividends.
  • Focus on mobile: Google's changes do not affect mobile listings, which account for half of all paid search interactions. Dealers should make sure their digital advertising strategy puts an emphasis on mobile.
  • Ensure that your advertising complements that of your local association and OEM: Fewer paid listings could mean more competition among manufacturers, dealer associations and other local dealers for popular search terms, and thus fewer paid listing opportunities for you. It will be more important than ever for dealers to ensure that their own digital advertising strategy complements the advertising being conducted by their local marketing associations and manufacturers.
  • Invest in SEO: Paid ads on Google will now occupy the top four positions in all search results, and organic listings will be pushed below the fold for most desktop searches. Maintaining visibility for competitive searches in organic listings and local results (the map) will require a focused keyword strategy and increased attention to other factors impacting rankings, such as Google+ listings.

To learn more about CDK's digital advertising solutions, please visit

About CDK Global

With more than $2 billion in revenues, CDK Global (NASDAQ: CDK) is a leading global provider of integrated information technology and digital marketing solutions to the automotive retail and adjacent industries. Focused on evolving the automotive retail experience, CDK Global provides solutions to dealers in more than 100 countries around the world, serving more than 27,000 retail locations and most automotive manufacturers. CDK's solutions automate and integrate all parts of the dealership and buying process from targeted digital advertising and marketing campaigns to the sale, financing, insuring, parts supply, repair and maintenance of vehicles. Visit

1. Millward Brown Digital/Good Vehicle Shopper Path to Purchase Study
2. IAB Digital Influence on Auto Shoppers, January 2014

Contact Information