Facts and Statistics

The Internet – 2018

  • As of 1st January 2018, the total internet users across the world was 4,156,932,140 (that’s over 4 billion users)
  • 2 billion of the world’s internet users are located in Asia, where their population is just over equal to the total internet users across the world
  • In January 2018, data reveals that 3.2 billion internet users were also social media users
  • As of January 2018, the world’s population was estimated to be around 7,634,758,428. Over half of the world’s population is using the internet
  • On 10th April 2018, there were over 1.8 billion websites recorded on the internet
  • In 2018, China has the most active internet users in the world, at 772 million users. In the year 2000, this figure was around 22.5 million
  • Some of 2018’s top Google searches included iPhone 8, iPhone X, How to buy Bitcoin, and Ed Sheeran

Social Media – 2018

  • As of January 2018, Facebook alone had 2.2 billion monthly active users. Facebook was the first social media website to reach over 1 billion accounts
  • YouTube users in 2018 have surpassed the 1.5 billion mark, making YouTube the most popular website for viewing and uploading videos in the world
  • There are now over 3.1 billion social media users worldwide in 2018, which is an increase of around 13% compared to 2017
  • Comparing January 2018 to January 2017 figures, Saudi Arabia is the country with the largest social media usage increase at an estimated 32%
  • Instagram is most popular in the USA and Spain accounting for around 15% of total social media usage in these countries in 2018
  • In France, Snapchat is the second most popular social media user account in 2018, with around 18% of users countrywide
  • Facebook continues to be the fastest growing social media network, with around 527 million increase in users over the last 2 years, followed closely by WhatsApp and Instagram at 400 million
  • In 2018, 90% of businesses are using social media actively
  • 91% of social media users are using their mobile phones, tablets, and smart devices to access social media channels
  • Nearly 40% of users would prefer to spend more money on companies and businesses who are engaging on social media

Websites and Web Hosting – 2018

  • As of 2018, WordPress powers 28% of the world wide web with over 15.5 billion page views each month
  • Apache hosting servers are used by 46.9% of all available websites, followed closely by Nginx at 37.8%
  • 2018 sees 52.2% of website traffic accessed and generated via mobile phones
  • In the last 5 years, since 2013, website traffic accessed by mobile phones has increased by 36%
  • As of January 2018, Japan’s share of website traffic mainly comes from laptops and desktop computers at a measured 69%, compared to 27% on mobile phones
  • With over a billion voice search queries per month, voice is estimated to be a high trending digital marketing strategy in 2018
  • Google is the most popular search engine and visited website recorded in 2018, with over 3.5 billion searches each day

eCommerce – 2018

  • In the U.K. for 2018, ZenCart has the biggest market share with over 17% of .uk web address extensions using the software provider
  • In the U.S. as of February 2018, over 133 million mobile users used the Amazon app, compared to 72 million users accessing the Walmart app
  • Nearly 80% of online shopping results in abandoned carts, but we have some handy tips to ensure you can recover your marketing strategy
  • 2018 sees a 13% increase in eCommerce sales since 2016, with the majority of sales being recorded in the U.S. and China
  • 80% of U.K buyers use online commerce research before purchasing a product online or offline
  • Under 33% of U.K. consumers want to pay more for faster delivery, but 50% said they would be willing to accept delivery via drone
  • An estimated 600,000 commercial drones will be in use by the end of 2018 in the U.K. alone

Domain Names – 2018

  • As of April 2018, there are just over 132 million registered .com domain names
  • In the month of January 2018 alone, there were 9 million registered .uk domains
  • 68 million copyright infringing URLs were requested to be removed by Google in January 2018, with 4shared.com being the highest targeted website
  • 46.5% of websites use .com as their top level domains
  • Approximately 75% of websites registered are not active but have parked domains
  • From 1993 to 2018, the number of hosts in the domain name system (DNS) has more than doubled, reaching over 1 billion

References:

  1. https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-world…
  3. http://www.internetlivestats.com/
  4. https://techviral.net/top-popular-google-searches-2018/
  5. https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-r…
  6. https://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-s…
  7. https://coschedule.com/blog/social-media-statistics/
  8. https://wordpress.com/about/
  9. https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/web_server/all
  10. https://www.lifewire.com/most-popular-sites-3483140
  11. https://www.statista.com/statistics/685438/e-commerce-software-prov…
  12. https://www.appnova.com/6-important-uk-ecommerce-statistics-help-pl…
  13. https://www.statdns.com/
  14. http://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/

https://ralphpaglia.files.wordpress.com/2018/06/infographic-3.png?w=580

 

All three segments of pickup trucks (3/4 & 1-ton, full-size, and midsize) saw year-over-year increases in shopper interest ranging from 28% to 66% when comparing March 2018 to March 2017.

  • GMC Sierra 1500 led all full-size pickups, with month-over-month growth of 108% in share of full-size truck shopper interest, and 79% growth over the same period last year.
  • Although RAM 1500 saw a month-over-month decline of 23%, its shopper interest is still ahead by 73% compared to the same period last year.

Crossovers and SUVs also showed strength in shopper interest during the month, with two segments in particular stealing the spotlight. The subcompact (non-luxury) SUV/CUV segment was up 15% from March of last year, mostly attributed to new entries in the category (Toyota C-HR, Hyundai Kona, and Nissan Kicks). Furthermore, the compact luxury SUV/CUV segment was up 14% from February, and up 19% compared to March of last year.

  • Most of the growth is attributed to two vehicles (out of 14 in the segment): Acura RDX and a new entry, the Cadillac XT4. The Acura RDX saw growth of 29% from February and 36% from March of last year; In its first month of reveal, XT4 grabbed 7% of shopper interest in the competitive set, and already jumped to rank 6th in the segment.

A handful of car segments continued to see increases in shopper interest, a trend that began around the beginning of 2018. In the midsize sedan segment (up 9% from March of last year), the more significant gains came from the Nissan Altima and Mazda 6, both which are in model-year refreshes (+73% and +23% year-over-year).

Both the midsize and full-size luxury sedan segments also saw some modest growth year-over-year; Vehicles contributing to the lift in the segments are:

  • Kia K900
  • Lincoln Continental
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Audi A6 in the midsize luxury segment
  • Cadillac CT6
  • Audi A8 in the full-size luxury sedan segment

Source: Jumpstart Automotive Media Path To Purchase Insights: Consumer Interest Across Trucks, Utilities and Cars, with Emphasis on Refreshes and Launches

Source: SEO: Building The Right Links, The Right Way Still Works!

Contrary to what you may have been told, links to your dealershiop’s various websites are still one of the most effective ways to drive traffic and get ranked higher on your most critical keyword Search Engine Results Pages (SERP)…

Higher search engine rankings are based on the authority of webpages.
As you probably know, quality links can increase your site’s authority as well as improves its SEO value. Link building helps you to increase the flow of high-quality links pointing to your website. It‘s a proven marketing strategy by many businesses for improving their brand awareness.

Yes, even in 2018 Google considers quality links to your site while ranking. Links indicate that whether your page is useful as a result. Search engines only want to show useful results to its users. So, all your SEO efforts for higher rankings are imperfect without link building strategies.

Do you want increase your domain authority through link building?
Here is an infographic illustrating 90 linking building strategies that you can include in your SEO strategy in 2018.

Ralph Paglia

Ralph Paglia

Source: SEO or PPC; What’s More Important?

SEO or PPC; What’s More Important?

Just recently, a friend of mine approached me about his dealership site and how they had a consultant (SEO guru), do an SEO analysis of his site.

He was concerned that he may be losing money on keyword selection based on the analysis. As I explained to him there is some confusion out there regarding the entire Google platform and that having a balance of both high-level SEO, and an optimized PPC campaign is the ideal. I also explained that you only get charged by clicks, not keyword choices (lol)

Let’s cover SEO first.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” which is a practice that makes sure that your website follows all of the necessary rules of engagement to make it easy to rank as organically high on the search engine results pages (SERPs) as possible. It includes having good content in the form of copy, pictures, and video. All material should be relevant to the subject matter and have keywords and key phrases as an essential part of the site copy.  There are other technical aspects but forget those for now.  Having great SEO is the “free” way to get listed.

Offsite SEO is still a huge part of the overall SEO mix. Having other high-quality sites backlink to your website is the water that lifts the ice cube to the top of the glass so to speak. Having your dealership properly listed via all of the 300+ listing sites and the 4 main data companies (Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup and Neustar (Localeze), means that people will correctly know your company name, address, hours of operation, and telephone number. To have incorrect info strewn about the internet will definitely hurt your chances of getting highly-ranked. It will hurt your overall “Quality Score” which is essentially what Google uses to rank you in the search engine, and that’s where PPC and SEO strike their balance.

What is the “Quality Score”?
Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. Your Quality Score depends on multiple factors, including:

1) Your click-through rate (CTR) (PPC campaign)

2) The relevance of each keyword to its ad group (PPC campaign)

3) Landing page quality and relevance (SEO)

4) The relevance of your ad text (PPC & SEO)

5) Your historical AdWords account performance (PPC)

As you can see, there is a mix of PPC and SEO involved in optimizing a Quality Score which essentially determines where your stores website is going to show up in a typical search operation. Great SEO alone can get you on to the first page of search, but unless you are well-branded, your position may vary from near the top, to not on the page at all. The leads you get from great organic (unpaid) placement are basically free and are high quality. However, to get into the top position and get the most clicks possible, and the best clicks according to numerous studies, you have to pay for placement.

PPC guarantees a first page presence.
The cost of that presence is somewhat based on the quality of the website’s SEO execution. The ads in the pay per click campaign have to be compelling enough to get a good click through rate, but the words and phrasing used in each ad must also match those keywords and phrases (long tail search terms) on the website pages they are linked to. The better the execution and matching of verbiage in ads and on the site, the better your organic ranking, and the cheaper you clicks will be. It’s a seriously incestuous relationship. Google wants to reward you for creating a good user experience (SEO) but needs to make money so they have PPC to nudge those rankings to the top if you pay enough to rank high.
Google really has it figured out. It used to be that Google had two columns on every search results page. The left column had the organic listings (best SEO executions and/or brand names). People used to click at an 8:1 ratio favoring the organic or “free” listings over the listings in the right column which were all paid for. Google then eliminated the two column design and started putting PPC campaign ads on top of each SERP which now has only one column combining paid and free results. This cut down the ratio that favored free search results and increased Google’s click revenue.
The point is, having as much visibility as possible in any search operation is crucial. It’s termed “page dominance”. In my estimation, the companies that do both well, win. The companies that only do PPC, run inefficient, expensive campaigns. The companies that ignore PPC, are likely too budget-conscious to compete and suffer with inconsistent visibility. Those who combine Google Best Practices, and optimize both SEO as well as their PPC campaigns, dominate their competition.
I hope this helps clarify the decade-old question of how SEO and PPC affect one and other, and how using both to your advantage is the best way to the top of the mountain.

Source: ‘Ralph Recommends…’ Newsletter Announcement on ADM Professional Community

“Ralph Recommends…”
eNewsletter Publication Launch Announcement

Ralph Paglia, "The Godfather of Automotive Digital Marketing"Having been the Editor-In-Chief and managed the ADM Professional Community for over ten years now, it seems that every technology development, software and application being sold to car dealers, along with various service provider programs and just about anything somebody conceives of that they would like to sell car dealers has been pitched to me at some point…

Usually in the form of a product demonstration, sometimes starting with a two minute “Elevator Pitch”. The vast majority of time I have considered incumbent upon my obligations to this professional network to listen, watch, take notes, try it out, talk to any dealers currently using the widget in question and generally become aware of what it is, what it costs and what the claimed Return On Investment (ROI) is all about… The how when and why of ROI.

More background and qualifications; For over 30 years I have been blessed with work and assignments that required me to (in addition to selling cars) create product and solution development “Road Maps” used to guide future products and when they would be released for companies such as American Honda Motor Company, Reynolds, ADP (CDK), JD Power, BMW North America, Tier10 Marketing, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Sales, Mercedes-Benz USA and a few more. These projects resulted in me spending countless hours with software developers, project planners and executive committees as we defined what car dealers would need to stay competitive and to improve what customers experience when dealing with them.

As a result of this exposure, combined with my experience in selling cars while managing car dealerships, solution development and professional services to car dealers while working at the Reynolds and Reynolds Company, ADP Dealer Services (CDK Global), Tier10 Marketing, Courtesy Chevrolet and many other dealerships… I have developed a strong sense of which products and services do what, how well they do it, and whether or not they are worthy of consideration by car dealers, auto groups and enterprise organizations.

You may be thinking “Everybody has an opinion”, and you are correct… However, my opinion comes from an auto industry veteran with Bachelor of Science and Masters Degrees in Business Administration, who has implemented software and business procedures in car dealers that I served as a manager, as well as being employed by the largest software development companies in the car business to serve as Practice Leader and manager of consultants deployed to assist car dealers in the implementation of technology, people and process designed to drive improved business results and customer experience. I know what I am talking about when it comes to deploying solutions in car dealerships and I am eager to share my experience, insights and wisdom on the use of existing solutions and those to come in the future.

Several weeks ago I was approached by a couple of automotive professionals who I consider to be “Thought Leaders” within our industry… They asked me to consider creating and publishing a weekly newsletter with insights, opinions, guidance, reviews and recommendations for car dealers focused on products and services, along with sharing best practices and what I see as future developments, strategies and tactics in the car business.

My initial response was to say I am already doing this with the ADM Professional Community website and network. These people, who I consider to be wiser and possibly more intelligent than me, responded with, “Maybe so, but you currently provide your members with something that they must go to your site to find and see…” Which I acknowledged was true. They went on to say, “We want to create a newsletter that is delivered to members of the ADM Professional Community and additional professionals who are not members, but who work in the auto industry, which will become a valuable resource throughout the car business…”

I agreed and so the genesis of the “Ralph Recommends…” eNewsletter has come to be. Within the next couple of weeks you will be sent the first issue of “Ralph Recommends…” and I would like to ask for your help. Please take a look at what is in there and let me know your opinions about what’s good, what’s bad and what you would like to see. You can send me an email to RPaglia at Gmail dot com, a message via this network, Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM, call or text me on my cell at Five Zero Five, Three Zero One, Six Three Six Nine, or contact me in whatever manner suits you… But any feedback will be appreciated and considered as I move forward with the “Ralph Recommends…” project.

“Ralph Recommends…”

I look forward to hearing back from each of you…

Ralph Paglia
Editor-In-Chief
AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com

‘Ralph Recommends…’ eNewsletter Launch Announcement

Sales of sport utility vehicles were particularly strong this year, according to joint research by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

Total light-vehicle sales are expected to finish out 2017 at 17.2 million units, a decrease of 1.9% from 2016, according to joint research by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, with retail light-vehicle expected to finish the year just below 14 million units – down 1.1% from 2016.

Having personally invested 5 months into working in car dealerships during 2017, on the front lines managing digital marketing campaigns and supervising BDC operations… I can attest to the simple reality that trucks and SUV’s were where we were able to generate excitement and consumer response in 2017. At Tier 3, we feel the mood of the car buying population far sooner than reflected in sales numbers. 

The continuing shift of sales percentages into more trucks and SUV’s and less conventional passenger cars is reflected in the responsiveness that automotive consumers have to sales promotions and campaigns on each model type.

Looking forward to 2018, both firms expect total light-vehicle sales forecast to top out under 17 million units, a decline of 1.2% from 2017, while the forecast for retail light-vehicles is 13.8 million units for 2018, a decline of 1.4% from this year.

The big surprise for 2017 turned out to be the strength of sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales, according to Jeff Schuster, LMC’s senior vice president of forecasting.

“SUV demand has been robust and is expected to finish up 5% in 2017 from 2016 and a market share of 43% of total light-vehicle sales,” he said in a statement. “The SUV reign will continue for the foreseeable future [as] SUVs are expected to  account for 50% of new model activity in 2018, which will help push the share of total sales to 45% and continue the segment’s volume growth, even as the total market is projected to contract further in 2018.”

He added that light truck models overall accounted for 68% of new-vehicle retail sales through Dec. 17 – the highest level ever for the month of December, making it the 18th consecutive month above 60%.

 

While participating in a meeting during NADA 2015 in San Francisco, I challenged Brian Pasch’s assertion that car dealers should not invest too much time or energy on Pay-per-Click Search Engine Advertising strategy or tactics… Almost a year and a half later, I believe Brian has come to understand why I still work so diligently at educating dealers about Google Adwords as a strategic digital marketing tool.

Recently Brian published an article on LinkedIn which references Ford Motor Company’s latest initiative to compel their dealers to spend more of their advertising budget on PPC Search Advertising.  This article is compelling because it showcases a major OEM doing whatever they can to drive their Dealer Network’s competitive positioning in Search Results Page rankings via the use of Google Adwords.

Although I agree that dealers need more and better educational resources for their digital marketing proficiency, I do not believe it is a 100% educational issue, nor will the problem be resolved by learning alone. Car Dealers have an almost inexplicable affinity for the off-line advertising media that has served them so well over the years… In the past. This will only be overcome when those of us in the automotive digital marketing world learn to communicate, present and close deals as well as the old school media sales professionals.

Here is the bulk of Brian Pasch’s article:

Education Is a Cause of Low Impression Share

Founder of PCG Companies, Author, Keynote Speaker

Education Is a Cause of Low Impression Share

Recently, Ford sent out a memo to their franchise dealers outlining their new co-op policy regarding funds associated with digital media investments. The new policy will require Ford Dealers to use 50% of the digital media funds for paid search, starting July 1st, until dealership impression share increases.

The reason for this change in policy, according to Ford, it the abysmally low AdWords impression share that Ford dealers have when consumers conduct a search in their local market for Ford related terms or general shopping terms.

The dealers must increase their paid search spend until they hit a target impression share, which would make the brand more competitive in search results.

While I understand the reason for this policy change, and how it will help to support the national advertising campaigns that Ford runs, it does not fix the underlying problem.

Why are Ford dealers not seeing the need to invest in search engine marketing?

According to Ford’s memo,  their dealer network is being outgunned by competitors by nearly a 3:1 ratio in paid search. Other dealer networks are investing in paid search, protecting their brand related terms, resulting in a much higher impression share.

So what is really the root cause of this competitive disadvantage? An issue is the current state of franchise dealership education. It is not a problem unique to the Ford dealer network. While some Ford dealers may not understand that they must advertise online, why is the Ford network they so far behind their peers?

While policies that require spending in specific strategies (SEM) makes sense in the short term, to protect market share, the bigger problem at hand is the failure of dealership education and certification regarding online marketing.

Franchise dealers hate being told how they have to advertise their dealership.

So, I’ll raise my hand to offer assistance to the Ford dealer network regarding strategies to help Ford dealers understand the “why” behind digital advertising and online marketing. PCG has developed a comprehensive catalog of online workshops designed to educate dealers on automotive digital marketing and sales process.

Once Ford dealers understand the “why” behind this policy change, they will adjust their spending patterns naturally. Forcing franchise to spend their advertising dollars in certain areas, without establishing a clear financial benefit first, will create friction between Ford and their dealer network.

Right now, affirmative action is needed. I support that decision, however, what about social media advertising? Video pre-roll advertising? Will the beatings continue without education?

Do you agree? Share your thoughts below.

2016 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference

I invite all dealership leaders to join me at the 6th Annual Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC), May 22-24th in the Napa Valley. This conference is designed for dealership owners and managers who want to gain a competitive edge with their online marketing strategy. 18 tickets remain; act quickly.

Conference details: http://digitalmarketingstrategies.org/

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