Is your digital partner befuddling you by using all the confusing digital marketing acronyms?
Well, be confused no longer! In this article, we’re going to demystify the top 20 acronyms you need to know so that you can keep up with the lingo, and get ahead of the game, while we work on your online presence together.
1. SEO – Search Engine Optimization
You’re most likely going to know this and the next acronym, considering they are two of our solutions. Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving aspects of your website and online presence so that the search engine (i.e: Google, Bing, etc.) recognizes it as a quality website and ranks it high in the results page for certain optimized keywords. The goal is, of course, to acquire more website traffic from ranking high in the organic results. Here at Convertus, we call it Organic Search.
2. SEM – Search Engine Marketing
SEM is used interchangeably with the term Paid Search. This is paid advertising on a search engine. The objective, like SEO, is to increase website traffic but through different means. SEM is paying for traffic to your website by paying for ads in key areas of a search engine. Wondering whether you need both Paid Search and Organic Search? We wrote a blog about it and Paul, our Organic Search Team Lead, sat down with us to explain to us why your dealership needs both. You can check that out here.
3. SERP – Search Engine Results Page
Now, what’s a SERP? No, it’s not some weird internet serpent, but that sounds cool and we kind of wish it was. A Search Engine Results Page is the page that returns to you once you type a search query into Google (or your search engine of choice). For example, a car shopper may type a phrase like “Ford F150 Edmonton” into Google . In the SERP, there will be paid search ads (SEM!) at the top, the local map pack and below that, the organic search results and lastly another section of paid ads.
4. PR – PageRank
Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t Public Relations. In the digital marketing realm, PR is PageRank. Very simply, PageRank is Google’s way of deciding which pages are most important and it is (among many other factors) is used to determine where a page will rank in the SERP for a search query. PR part of Google’s software and it’s an algorithm which Search Engine Land describes it as a system of “counting link votes”. They count a link to the page as a vote toward deeming the page as an important one. Google also takes into account the quality of the page(s) linking to that certain page, to determine whether it’s a significant page for a certain keyword/search query.
5. KPI – Key Performance Indicator
This is a quantifiable value or metric used to measure how well a campaign or business objective is doing. For example, for a paid ad that your dealership is running on a new incentive your OEM has released, you could track your lead submissions (form and/or phone call) as one of your KPIs to measure your campaign’s success. It’s important to understand and track your KPIs because how else will you know if your marketing channels have been successful or not?
6. CTR – Click Through Rate
What is CTR you ask? It is often a standard paid advertising KPI, but exactly what does the CTR number mean? This is a percentage of how many times your paid ads are clicked by car shoppers seeing your ad (or one of your competitors clicking it trying to make you waste money – just kidding, no one’s that cruel…hopefully). For interest’s sake, the industry average for CTR in the automotive vertical is 4%, as Wordstream reported in their blog. Why is CTR important to your dealership? Because it directly affects your Quality Score.
7. QS – Quality Score
Now that brings us to Quality Score. QS is the rating that Google gives your paid search ads. There are a number of factors that Google takes into account to determine your Quality Score – CTR being one of them. What does that mean for your dealership? If your Quality Score is high, then that will result in higher ad rankings and lower CPC costs (don’t worry, we’ll define that acronym for you ASAP) – so, cheaper ads and most likely better-performing ads as they’re higher ranking. You can actually generate better results for less budget if you know how to increase your quality score. We can help with that!
8. PPC – Pay Per Click
PPC is the model of online marketing which paid search ad campaigns are built on. There are a few ways to pay the search engine for your paid campaigns, and PPC is one of your options. Simply put, you pay when a potential customer clicks your search ad. So for example, your dealership just received a shipment of new Toyota Corollas you want to sell them as fast as possible. You run a search ad campaign, generate clicks on your ad from interested car shoppers, and you pay a certain amount for each of those clicks (pay-per-click).
9. CPC – Cost Per Click
CPC is the dollar amount that you pay for each click on your ads. For example, you may choose to run a paid search campaign for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and when users click on that ad, you pay a CPC. Fun fact: the average CPC for auto is $2.46. If you’re paying more than this, reach out and we’ll see how we can lower this together.
10. CPA – Cost Per Acquisition
Cost-Per-Acquisition is often also referred to as cost-per-lead in the automotive industry. This dollar figure is calculated by dividing the total number of leads generated by a specific marketing investment by the total monetary investment. For example, if you invest $1,000 in a Facebook campaign that generates 20 leads, your CPA is $50! Wordstream indicates that the average CPA for the automotive industry is $33.52.
11. CPM – Cost Per One Thousand Impressions
CPM stands for Cost-Per-Mille, or Cost Per 1000 Impressions. This is one more way to pay a search engine for your ad campaigns. As the name suggests, you pay every time your ad is seen 1000 times. This is a great choice if your marketing goal for your dealership is to increase brand awareness since this payment model is looking to increase the views of your ad, not so much to encourage clicks and website traffic.
12. USP – Unique Selling Proposition
You’ll know this one already since we’ve written a couple of blogs on this, but here’s the high-level definition: a Unique Selling Proposition is a factor that makes your dealership different from the competition, and that you highlight in your marketing efforts. If you didn’t catch either of our blogs and want more information with tips on how to create your USP to sell more cars check this blog out, and if you’d like to see our Hall of Fame USPs for inspiration, here’s that blog.
13. CTA – Call to Action
Essentially, a Call-To-Action is something that you’re asking car shoppers to do online and is written as an imperative. A CTA can be in the copy of your meta description for your website or in your ad campaigns, or also in a button that you’re encouraging customers to click. For example: “Read this blog to learn the top 20 digital marketing acronyms you must know as a dealer”, or on a VDP there could be a CTA button: “Click to See Price”.
14. BR – Bounce Rate
A BR is the percentage of car shoppers that enter your dealership’s website but leave, or bounce, right away without visiting any other page. This stat, of course, is important to understand because you should know how many car shoppers are visiting each page on your website and bouncing. BR gives you a clue on what you may need to change on a page to ensure that users stay engaged on your website.
15. GA – Google Analytics
GA is Google Analytics. This is a free and immensely useful tool from Google that tracks and presents all the data in a consumable way. It tracks your website data (eg. traffic, conversions), behaviour on your website, your audience’s demographics, interests, and location. As you can imagine, all of this data is highly useful information for your dealership’s current and future marketing strategies.
16. QA – Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance is pretty much exactly like in any other industry – QA checks the quality of a service or product. In our case here at Convertus, our brilliant QA teams check all of our client’s websites thoroughly to ensure every aspect of our websites and platforms are working correctly with no broken links, spelling errors etc. As you know, first impressions matter, and as a dealer, you need to be confident in your provider to show potential customers your absolute best online.
17. UX – User Experience
UX is short for user experience. The objective of UX is to improve the usability of a website, or a product, to increase customer satisfaction. We all know that feeling of visiting a website and leaving frustrated because you couldn’t find what you were looking for. UX aims to reduce that, and hopefully, in the process, reduce bounce rates and increase conversions.
18. CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization
We all know that delicious word: conversion. It’s pretty much the holy grail for marketers because it’s having users convert into a lead – a conversion happens when the shopper completes an action online. Moz, in this blog, defines CRO as “the systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action”. At Convertus, we analyze our dealer’s websites by understanding how their car shoppers are interacting with the website, what actions they do complete, and what’s stopping them from taking action.
19. Return on Investment
Return on Investment, ROI, works just as it does in any other industry. It is a ratio used to measure the profit or loss of a digital marketing campaign by comparing the return (monetary gain) from an investment relative to its cost. This is used in digital marketing to understand how cost-effective a campaign has been and whether you’re getting your money’s worth. As you know, understanding your ROI in any investment you make at your dealership is important because you don’t want to be throwing money at a problem, if your money-throwing isn’t yielding any benefits.
20. ROAS – Return On Ad Spend
Return On Ad Spend, like ROI, is a revenue-based metric, but the ratio tells you how cost-effective your dealership’s paid ad campaigns have been, and whether they’ve produced a profit or not. The formula is ad revenue/ad spend = ROAS.
That concludes our top 20 acronyms that you need to know for automotive digital marketing. If there are any super important ones we missed or that you’d like to know about in the future, hit the big green CTA button below (yay you now know what this is!), and let us know. Or if any of the above has sparked interest in how we can enhance your dealership’s digital strategy, get in touch! We’d be happy to get the conversation started.