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Manheim to shed light on digital marketing 'dark art'

Search and digital marketing is not the ‘dark art’ many dealers believe it to be, says Manheim Retail Services head of search Luke Carter, who aims to shed light on the area when he leads a workshop at AM’s Digital Dealer Conference.

The conference, on September 4 at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, Warwickshire, places the vast spectrum of digital at work in today’s automotive retail environment under the microscope while a series of workshops focuses on specific areas in much more detail to provide dealers with solid and substantial recommendations easily implemented on their return to the business.

Carter (pictured) said: “I’m often surprised at just how many times I hear senior decision makers still refer to search engine and digital marketing as a dark art. The reality is that it’s not as difficult as people believe it to be.”

Cutting through the jargon of Google’s Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and Venice algorithms over the last eighteen months, Carter will highlight the basic fundamental which dealers need to grasp: search engines (particularly Google) is all about bringing people and information together.

He added: “It really is that simple: the more information you provide and how you weave various pieces of information together, the better your search engine results. For example, if your PPC, organic ads, and blog article about the low insurance costs of the VW Polo for young drivers links to your ‘used Volkswagen Polo’ car search results page, your YouTube video and reviews/ratings - the more visitors will enter your site. The more on-page information you provide such as reviews, ratings, video, live chat, Google business view, chances of a consumer responding to a call to action increases dramatically.

“By bringing relevant information and people together online and dovetailing with a targeted PPC campaign will help dealers succeed in a highly competitive market. Content has to be helpful, though, that’s the key, such as how many of a specific model do you have in stock, what are the finance options and aftercare service available.”

Carter’s session will highlight some of the tricks of the trade such as providing factual, relevant information in PPC ads using sitelink extensions to support main ads.

“Dealers need to listen to Google and deliver the content and level of detail demanded by consumers rather than being hung up on algorithm technicalities. If a visitor to your site cannot immediately find the answers to their questions about the vehicle they are interested in buying such as safety, reliability and servicing costs, they will find that information elsewhere which, in turn, reduces the likelihood of an enquiry.”

Carter will draw on Manheim’s wealth of information and statistics and illustrate how by addressing the most frequently asked questions which appear most in motoring forums, dealers can increase page views and engagement whilst social media itself may not sell a vehicle, it can help bring information to the people who are searching for a car which influences their final retail destination.

> Tickets for the AM Digital Dealer Conference are available to dealers and manufacturers, to book, please contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133 or email or visit

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