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Since the dawn of automotive pay-per-click advertising, there has been a question that nobody seems to be able to answer properly. On one hand, you have those who are dead-set on driving everyone who searches for a vehicle to the corresponding inventory pages on the dealership's website, whether it's a search results page or a vehicle details page. On the other side, you have those who are just as adamant about driving visitors to landing pages on or off the website that try to capture a lead or compel a phone call while still giving access to the inventory through a single click. Which is correct?

Perhaps neither is definitively the best practice. Perhaps it's a question of goals and intent and the correct answer depends on multiple factors. Perhaps a diverse methodology is the right approach. In this article on Automotive Digital Marketing, we see this last perspective explained.

Our perspective on the issue adds a third factor that has helped us to come to our own conclusion for clients: visitor intent. The beauty of modern digital advertising is that it allows us to make determinations about website visitors before they even click based upon their source, keywords, and past activity. The key to all of this is following Google's lead based upon their ultimate data set for automotive.

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Buying a Car is a Visual Experience

As the internet becomes more and more important in the overall sales experience in the car business, the visual aspect of digital marketing enters more squarely in focus. People love to see cars online. They can easily find the specs and read the reviews, but the point that usually makes them get away from their computer and drive down the road to the dealership is the moment they can visualize themselves driving it.

For this reason, images are still arguably the most important component of digital marketing. It's not just about how many pictures you put; most dealers are starting to plug in images inside and out from every possible angle on their listings. It's also about the quality of the image, the emotion it invokes, and the way that it's positioned on the screen (and therefore in their minds).

In an article we found on AutoRemarketing, LotVantage's Jim Jabaay breaks down the importance of pictures in the modern car-selling strategy.

The good part about improving the way you position images on your website and third-party sites is that it’s really easy. Small changes are usually all that are needed to make your images stand out better to potential customers.

The bad part is that many dealers do not consider it a priority. They don’t know what they’re missing out on because it’s not a glaring hole in their marketing at initial glance.

Read more on AutoRemarketing.

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