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Automotive Digital Marketing Performance Trends - March

Mar 31st 2020

We’re closely monitoring website traffic and paid search trends for auto dealerships. Check back weekly for updates, data, and insights.

The insights below were published on March 30, 2020. Please check back for weekly updates. To get relevant industry performance metrics and helpful resources during this time, please visit our resource hub or subscribe below.

WEBSITE PERFORMANCE TRENDS

Overall, we’re seeing that traffic did decline due to the coronavirus, but in the last week, we’ve seen increases both in traffic and engagement, with every day being better than the last. Dealer website traffic on Sunday March 29th was the highest it’s been for a Sunday since Sunday, February 23rd (303 sessions/dealer) and pageviews were the highest they have been all year for a Sunday (1,407/dealer). In fact, dealer website traffic over the last work week has inclined from an average of 311 sessions/dealer on Monday, to 339 sessions/dealer on Friday (+9.00%). 

Website Traffic Over Time

Dealer website traffic (+0.60%) and pageviews (+9.30%) are up in the last 7 days compared to the previous period.

Traffic By Channel - Last 7 Days

Dealer website traffic (-10.40%) is down in the last 30 days compared to the previous period.

Traffic By Channel - Last 30 Days

DIGITAL ADVERTISING - PAID SEARCH TRENDS

Impressions and spends over the last week have gone up 5.30% and 5.70% respectively. These are early indication signs that users are searching for low-funnel terms at an increasing rate. We saw a brief decline in mid-month searches as more dealerships announced closures or shelters went into effect; however, we've begun seeing a rebound in search traffic as more dealerships have moved to offer online or delivery services.

Market Presence

The average dealer has observed an impression share (digital market share) increase of 4.10% over the last 30 days and 6.60% over the last 14 days. While many dealers have opted to pause their advertising efforts, the remaining dealers are steadily gaining market share due to the decreased competition.

Market Share

Lead actions are down 6.60% over the last 30 days. This is an indication that users are researching, but are holding off on submitting a lead action until a later date (note: there is a 30 day conversion window that’s still accruing conversions).

Lead Actions

Store visits are down 19.20% versus the previous 30 days (note: there is a 30 day conversion window that’s still accruing conversions). Naturally, this metric will be down as dealers are either closed or only accepting essential service appointments (as allowed per state’s mandates). We will continue to monitor this closely so we can update ad copy accordingly as shoppers return to in-store purchases and appointments.

Store Visits

Additionally, we have observed that cost-per-click has remained relatively constant throughout the entire duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, only varying from -5.50% below average to +1.70% above average. We have observed that click-through-rate (CTR) has remained relatively constant throughout the entire duration of the COVID-19 outbreak, only varying from -6.10% below average to +3.00% above average.

GOOGLE TRENDS

To understand how search behavior may be changing, use the following links to review common search terms in Google Trends:


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