Stats & Facts
Online auto shopping, car-shopping search use, user-generated content, continues to explode.
Appearing High in Search Results Critical - Consumers Overwhelmingly Prefer Organic to Paid Results:
Consumer use of Search Engines Explode
- * An estimated 137 BILLION searches were performed at the 5 core search engines in 2008—up 21% over 2007.
(Comscore data 2009)
- * The percentage of Internet users who use search engines everyday has been steadily rising from about one-third of all users in 2002, to a new high of just under one-half (49%) in 2008. With this increase, the number of those using a search engine on a typical day is pulling ever closer to the 60% of Internet users who use email, arguably the internet's all-time killer app.
(Pew Internet Life 2008)
- * 13.5 billion searches are now performed each month in the US.
(comScore Search Report for 1.09)
- * Over 160 million Americans used search engines in 2008, (or roughly 85% of Web users), and that's expected to rise to 180 million by 2011.
(eMarketer Data 2008)
Impact of Search Engines on car Shopping & Dealer Selection
- * 84% of all Internet new-vehicle buyers now use a search engine during their car shopping process—a record high, and up from 81% in 2007. (J.D. Power and Associates' 2008 New Autoshopper.com Study)
- * Online search now trumps all traditional media as the #1 most-used resource that consumers use to locate and research dealers.
(Yahoo!/Cobalt Study, cited 2008)
- * 'Search is used throughout the entire vehicle purchase process.' In the last month prior to purchase, 42% of ALL new vehicle buyers are actively using search engines. (Google/Compete Study, cited 2008)
- * Search is one of the top 3 media used by vehicle buyers (along with OEM and third-party sites), and is far more utilized during the car shopping process than traditional media like TV, newspaper magazine ads/articles, yellow pages, radio, etc. (Google/Compete Study, cited 2008)
- * 79% (4 in 5) of consumers use search engines to locate/research auto dealerships, and 72% rely on search engines to help them choose the dealer they will visit. (Yahoo!/Cobalt Study, cited 2008)
- * 18% of auto shoppers now use mobile search during the car buying process, up from 15% in 2007. (J.D. Power & Associates data, 2008)
- * One month prior to purchase, online new vehicle buyers increase their use of automotive search terms by 300%.
(J.D. Power & Associates 2008 Auto Buyer Clickstream Study)
- * More vehicle buyers report that search created awareness of local dealers—as well as helped locate the dealer--than any other online or traditional media.
(Yahoo!/Cobalt Study 2008)
- * Automotive search engine user's cross-shop dealers more heavily, and are willing to travel farther to find the dealer –and submit more leads—than non-searchers:
|Total dealers visited
|Will drive 20+ miles
|Number of sources used to locate dealers
|Number of price quotes
Explosion of Consumer-Generated Reviews & Dealer Review Sites
- * 73% of car shoppers will read online dealership reviews written by other shoppers. (Yahoo!/Cobalt study 2008)
- * The impact of online dealer reviews/ratings now trumps both dealer location and dealer loyalty with car shoppers. Rating importance of factors in dealer selection: Price 7.75, Professional staff 7.23, 3) Online reviews 5.14, Location 1.85, Loyalty 1.32. (Yahoo! Cobalt Dealer E-Business Study 2008)
- * 73% of consumers now report they would be likely to use a dealership review site—and 58% would be likely to post comments themselves. 21% of car buyers that consulted dealer reviews report they actually changed their dealer selection based on what they read. (Yahoo! Cobalt Dealer E-Business Study 2008)
- * Dealers should encourage buyers to post online reviews, and not be overly-fearful: 86% of car buyers who posted an online review about a dealer report their comments were positive, 10% were neutral and only 4% negative. (Yahoo! Cobalt Dealer E-Business Study 2008)
- * Nearly 70% (69%) of automotive Internet users utilize consumer-generated content while shopping for a new vehicle. In particular, vehicle ratings and reviews are the most popular form of consumer-generated content, with 63% of AIUs utilizing this resource. Additionally, 95% of AIUs who use consumer ratings and reviews say that the information is "helpful." (J.D. Power 2008 New Autoshopper.com Study)
- * 72% of used-vehicle automotive Internet users (AIUs) utilize consumer-generated content either before or after the purchase. (JD Power Used Autoshopper.com Study, cited 2008)
- * Customers who are pleased with their car-buying experience make an average of five positive recommendations. (J.D. Power Data 2008)
- * Dealer ratings and reviews are utilized by 38% of automotive Internet users, and 87% of those find the information "helpful." (J.D. Power 2008 New Autoshopper.com Study)
|What Types of UGC Automotive Internet Users Use: and % Finding Useful
|Online Forums/Chat Rooms
|(J.D. Power & Associates 2008 New Autoshopper.com)
General User-Generated Content Statistics
- * 62% of consumers read consumer product reviews online, and more than 8 in 10 report their purchase decisions have been directly influenced by them—and 7 in 10 who consult online consumer reviews share them with family, friends, etc. (Deloitte Consumer Products Study 2007)
- * By 2013, nearly 155 million U.S. Internet users will consume some form of user-created content, up from nearly 116 million in 2008. The numbers of user-generated content creators will grow by similar proportions, reaching 114.5 million in 2013, up from 82.5 million in 2008. (eMarketer 2008)
|What Types of UGC Automotive Internet Users Use: and % Finding Useful
|eMarketer 12/ 2008
Internet Usage in Vehicle Shopping Continues to Skyrocket
- * A record 75% of all new-vehicle buyers used the Internet in their vehicle shopping process in 2008 – up from 70% in 2006 and 67.5% in 2005. This represents the largest year-over-year increase since 2001. (J.D. Power and Associates 2008 New Autoshopper.com Study).
- * The amount of time new-vehicle shoppers spend online researching automotive information has also increased since 2007: up 12% in 2008 to over 6.5 hours. (J.D. Power and Associates, 2008 New Autoshopper.com Study).
- * 61% of all used-vehicle buyers who used the Internet while shopping found the vehicle they ultimately purchased online in 2008. That's up from 48%--a notable jump of 13 percentage points—from 2007. (J.D. Power Used Vehicle Market Report, 2008)
- * The sheer amount of time that used buyers spend researching online has increased 18% in 2008, from an average of 7.3 hours in '07 to 8.6 hours today. (J.D. Power Used Vehicle Market Report, 2008)
- * 88% of new-vehicle buyers now use the Internet. (JD Power Online Media Study, cited 2008)
- * 'Traditional mass media has been rendered obsolete for first-time vehicle buyers.' 35% of first-time buyers consider the Internet their most important informational tool, vs. 8.2% for TV, 4.4% for magazines, 3.6% for newspapers and 1.1% for radio. (Polk Center for Automotive Studies, cited 2008)
- * 91.4 percent of consumers say they will search online prior to coming into an actual dealership to purchase a vehicle. (Outsell Study, cited 2008)
Goodbye Yellow Pages, Local Search Engine Usage Continues to Boom...
- * 86% of consumers now use the Internet to find local businesses from which to shop—a dramatic increase from 2007 when it was 70%. (WebVisible/Nielsen Study 2008)
- * Search engines have overtaken the Yellow Pages as the first place Americans turn when looking for local businesses. 31%% of local business searchers now spend the majority of their time searching online instead of offline, up from 26% in 2007. (comScore/TMP Study, 2009)
- * 78% of consumers use the Internet more today to find local businesses than they did 2 years ago. While 52% of consumers use traditional directories less than they did 2 years ago. (Nielsen/NetRatings & WebVisible Survey 2008)
- * 63% of consumers now primarily search for local businesses online, up 44% from 2005—and search queries are shifting away from Yellow Pages. (Yodle Inc. cited in Media Post 2008)
- * Print and online ad spending on yellow pages will plummet 6.3% in 2009, more than double the rate of decline expected for broadcast TV. Within the next four years, ad spending will fall 39% in print directories alone -- the steepest projected decline across all local-media categories. (Wachovia analysts and Borrell Research cited Wall Street Journal, 2008)
- * Search influenced almost $500 billion in retail activity in 2007, and that will rise to $1.124 trillion by 2012, representing a 19% cumulative annual growth rate. (eMarketer 2008)
Appearing High in Search Results is Critical- Consumers Prefer Organic to Paid Search Results
- "SEO is vital…because Internet users prefer organic listings to paid listings, and find them more relevant than advertising…so they tend to click on organic results more often than paid search ads." (eMarketer Report 2009)
- The Web is vast: Google added its one trillionth address to the list of Web pages it indexes in 2008. (NY Times 2009)
- With such a vast Web, businesses get lost in sea of results--The Indexed Web now contains nearly 100 billion pages (WorldWideWebSize.com 2008)
- A typical Google search for local automotive dealership information yields an avalanche of results. For example, 'Honda Dealer Cleveland' generates 2.4 million hits and 'Toyota dealership Chicago' roughly 1.9 million on a typical day. (Google search, 3/2009)
- 87% of all search clicks come from organic search—not pay per click ads. (Jupiter Research cited in Revolution Magazine 2008)
- 95% of all paid search impressions on Google do not result in a single click. (ComScore data cited in Search Insider 2008)
- Search users are up to six times more likely to click on the first few organic results than they are to choose any of the paid results. (Oneupweb Study cited in Media Post 2008)
- Nearly 7 out of 10 search engine users ONLY click on search results within the first page of results, and 92% click only on results within the first three pages. (iProspect/Jupiter Research/NDP Study 2008)
- Searchers are more impatient then ever: more search engine users only clicked the first page in 2008 (68%) than did so in 2006 (62%). And fewer searchers were willing to click beyond the third page in 2008 (8%) compared with 2002 (19%). (iProspect/Jupiter Research/NDP Study 2008)
- Nearly half of search engine users who continued their search engine process after not finding what they wanted changed their search terms/search engines after reviewing just the first page of results. More than 9 out of 10 do so if they did not find what they wanted in first 3 pages of results. (iProspect/Jupiter Research/NDP Study 2008)
- 77% of search users choose organic over paid listings—and 67% choose organic search listings when purchasing. (Cited Media Post 2008)
- The percentage of searchers viewing only the top three results has gone up dramatically from 2002 to 2008—from roughly 32% in 2002 to 42% in 2008. 26% of searchers try a new search query after viewing just one page of results in 2008—up from 14% in 2002. (Jupiter Research Study 2008)
Paid Search/Costs Per-Click Continue to Spike
- Automotive search terms at the big search engines have soared in price in recent years—up 300% in 2007 alone. (Kelsey Group, cited 2008)
- Dealers report paying on average $4.52 for new car cost-per-click, $4.80 for used car and $5.23 for service terms. (Kelsey Group 'Auto Dealers & Online Advertising,' 2008)
Organic Search's High ROI with Marketers/Dealers
- By 2013, when total US search marketing will reach $23.4 billion, marketers will be spending more on search engine optimization (SEO) than on contextual advertising.
- SEO spending in the US will reach $1.825 billion in 2009--and will grow 110% from 2009 to 2013. "Spending on SEO will grow more each year from 2008 to 2013 than paid search advertising, contextual paid search advertising, or paid inclusion—all three of the other types of search marketing—and also more than the total online ad market." (eMarketer Report 2009)
|SEO Marketing Spend: 2008-2013 (IN BILLIONS)
- Search engine optimization ranked as the #1 Internet marketing tactic that marketers reported they would emphasize in the near future, trumping other online tactics like blogging, pay-per-click, email marketing, social networking, affiliate marketing etc. (Top Rank Survey 2008)
- In a 2009 survey, improved site optimization ranked as the #1 priority for retailers—for 72.9%. (Internet Retailer 2009)
- Organic search/SEO was ranked as one of the top two marketing tactics for strongest ROI, along with email marketing—outpacing paid search, and significantly out performing direct mail, online advertising and print advertising. (Marketing Sherpa Search Marketing Benchmarking Guide 2008)
- In 2008, SEO/organic search represented about 20% of all search ad spending. But by 2011 the increased focus on SEO will give it a 23% share--while paid search ad spending will actually drop from 62% of total in 2007, to 56.7% in 2011. Organic search marketing/SEO will see bigger gains in marketing spend from 2006 to 2011 than any other search category. (eMarketer 2008)
- 'SEO tends to be less expensive than paid search…and small increases in SEO spending can indicate outsize changes in marketing effectiveness relative to paid search…Even though many people are willing to click on relevant paid search ads, they prefer organic listings.' (eMarketer Sr. Analyst David Hallerman, 'Searching for SEO Report' 2008)
- Marketers who hire an out-of-house organic search/SEO expert report a 110% jump in site traffic, vs. 38% for those who do SEO in-house. And yet, only 26% of marketers have outsourced organic search to an expert firm. (Marketing Sherpa Guide to SEO, cited 2008)
- SEO is still a small percentage of search dollars spent (10.5%) compared to pay-per-click advertising (87.4%). 9 out of ten advertisers now use SEO. (SEMPO's most recent 'State of Search Marketing'report)
- SEO saw 'a huge kick in the pants' in 2008, with 35% of 'average spend' marketers, and 43% of 'big spend' marketers, increasing their organic search budgets by 11% or more. (Marketing Sherpa Search Marketing Benchmarking Guide 2008)
The Auto Industry and SEO and Search Marketing Adoption
- The auto industry spend on search marketing will rise from $1.06 billion in 2007 to $1.27 billion in 2008, and more than to $1.7 billion by 2010. (eMarketer Online Automotive Report, cited 2008)
- Search accounts for over 60% of the total automotive industry Internet marketing spend. (% derived from: eMarketer Online Automotive Report)
- 41% of auto dealerships are now using organic search/SEO, one of the top three online tactics--trailing only online classifieds (61%), and email marketing (52%). (Kelsey Group 'Auto Dealers & Online Advertising,' 2008)
- Dealers report that Organic Search/SEO is more effective at driving dealership website traffic than any other online media or marketing tactic: