LotLinx puts your inventory on as many sites as possible. We specifically seek auto shoppers who have reached the point in their shopping journey where they’re searching for cars on a VIN-specific basis (“VINtenders”). We do this by supplying feeds of your inventory to our partner automotive websites, and by following VINtenders throughout the web using sophisticated audience targeting methods.
We supply our inventory to hundreds of digital automotive properties, to other properties with automotive content, and we dynamically display inventory to self identified car shoppers. We have direct relationships with lots of great properties like LemonFree, ISeeCars, Autolist and Speedlist, to name a few. In addition, we supply inventory to a large number of sites through partnership with aggregators, to ensure we achieve scale.
The automotive digital landscape has changed considerably over the last couple years. A typical car shopper will use over two dozen resources as part of their purchase decision (per Google’s latest Think Auto Study). Thus, today’s car shopping journey is highly fragmented, so this is where LotLinx has focused its business.
You can have confidence in our partners because each has signed a comprehensive agreement with us. It’s not surprising if you haven’t heard of some of them because most are exclusively focused on developing the best auto shopping experience and custom content, with little, if any, focus on selling directly to dealers.
There are two answers to this question. First, our Shopper Targeting platform will only display your vehicles when we have data that shows that a shopper has been actively searching for your make and model, and has been doing that searching in your PMA. We call this “user declared” because the user explicitly selects the make, model and location he or she is looking to buy. We then “Deeplink” that shopper directly to relevant VDPs on your own website.
Second, with LotLinx, you only pay when we send a unique shopper to your VDPs. That’s quite a contrast with most display networks, which charge you when your ad is served.
We seek to place your inventory using precision and efficiency. First, our Shopper Targeting platform will only display your vehicles when we have data that shows that a shopper has been actively searching for your make and model in your PMA. We call this “user declared” because the user explicitly selects these details. We then “Deeplink” that shopper directly to relevant VDP on your own website. The shopper gets the precise information they’re looking for when they’re looking for it.
Second, with LotLinx, you only pay when we send a unique shopper to your VDPs from an Affiliated site. You pay once for that shopper from that site, no matter how many times they visit the VDP within that month (… or how many different VDPs they visit that month.) That’s quite a contrast with most display networks, which charge you when your ad is served or per click no matter how relevant the viewer may be.
Say a VINtender goes to one of LotLinx’s integrated listing sites (LemonFree.com for example). If a make/model/geo search for a vehicle and two of your dealer customers’ cars appear in the search results, how do you decide which vehicle will be shown via Audience Targeting?
In the example you provided, the shopper would be cookied for both VINs. We cookie up to four VINs per search.The banner creative we use for Audience Targeting includes 4 vehicles rotating within the banner. So the shopper would be cookied for both VINs and would see both of those vehicles in the Audience Targeted creative. Cookies are good for 30 days.
As a reminder, our dealer customers only pay when we send unique shoppers to their VDP. So all of the Audience Targeting views provide good exposure for your VINs.
If you retarget a shopper when they visit your website, you should keep doing that. LotLinx does not retarget your visitors. Instead, we identify auto shoppers out in the web and expose them to your listings when we have data stating that they have been searching for your make and model within your PMA. Once we drive this unique shopper to your VDP, you will be able to retarget them through your own efforts if you haven’t already closed the sale.
Mobile is extremely important. In fact, about 70% of our VDP views occur on a mobile device. We believe this is because LotLinx serves that low funnel shopper best, like when they are getting ready to make a decision. So make sure your VDPs are optimized for mobile viewing!
I see listings on your partner sites from other companies getting higher prioritization than LotLinx listings. Are you going to bid higher so you’ll be prioritized better?
LotLinx supplies inventory to hundreds of sites and deploys sophisticated audience targeting methods to find VINtenders who have initiated a make/model/location car search. Each site has its own algorithm to determine how to monetize its listings, with LotLinx focused on delivering overall VDP views to its dealer customers. In some cases, partners prioritize LotLinx listings, and in other cases, they feature other listings. LotLinx, though, is the only solution driving VINtenders to your VDPs instead of to other pages.
While we work to smooth out shopper delivery over the course of the month, spikes in demand are to be expected from time to time as our shopper targeting platform takes advantage of the opportunities or addresses month-to-date underdelivery.
Some examples where a dealer customer might see a spike in shopper activity include:
- Normal day of week and end of month shopping patterns. For example, according to Google Trends, Saturday is the most popular day to shop for a used car online.
- New car launches that get significant coverage online.These will drive Shopper interest across the LotLinx Shopper Targeting Platform.
- Dealer and/or OEM advertising and incentives, which are inherently designed to drive shopper interest.
- LotLinx recognizing an issue with month-to-date underdelivery, and thus focusing delivery on that dealer. Underdelivery issues could be a result of a feed or inventory issue, or simply a campaign that got off to a slower than usual start.
Bounce rates, the percentage of users who visit only a single page during their session, can be impacted by many things, such as site design, user satisfaction, and Google Analytics not accurately capturing engagement on a page. Sometimes a high bounce rate is an indication of a problem. Other times, it’s an indication of success. A person searching the web for a specific piece of information will be satisfied as soon as they find it. In the case of LotLinx-driven VDP views, shoppers are taken directly to the information they seek. Given that a typical shopper performs 84 searches before buying a vehicle, you can expect higher bounce rates for Deeplinked VDP visits in general.
Since there are many reasons why a user would leave a site without further navigation, b?ounce rate alone is not a good indicator of whether a page or traffic source is performing successfully. To learn more on the topic, we encourage you to download our video and white paper.
We are the only partner that DeepLinks shoppers from your listings to your own VDPs, whereas other sites aggregate your customers via their lead forms.
The entire LotLinx business model is based on driving active shoppers looking for a specific make and model within your PMA, which we call VINtenders, to your VDPs. Bots don’t buy cars, so we take the following steps to ensure that we stick to human shoppers:
- We have an internal bot list that we use to eliminate known bot traffic from your billing.
- We use two independent systems to verify traffic as from humans. If either system suspects a bot, the traffic is removed from your billing.
- We subscribe to and use the gold-standard third party bot lists to stay up-to-date on the best international bot protection.
- We review all traffic data retroactively to further discover any remnant bot traffic.
If you ever believe we charged you for bot traffic, give us a call. If we uncover a new bot that did get past all the above steps, we’ll give you six months of free LotLinx!
For more detailed information on understanding bot traffic and what LotLinx does to protect you, download our white paper.
A 2014 Wall Street Journal article quoted an IAB study stating that one-third of web traffic is bot based. Remember, though, some of those bots are good bots like those from search engines. LotLinx technology works to identify and block bots so that you are only billed for human car shoppers.
For more detailed information on understanding bot traffic and what LotLinx does to protect you, download our white paper.
Is the reason why our Google Analytics numbers don’t match your data because you aren’t detecting all the right bots?
There are several reasons why your GA numbers may not match our data. First, there will never be a 1:1 traffic match when you buy media that drives to your site. Per Google’s own FAQs, “Reporting discrepancies are common and expected when multiple systems are used to measure line item delivery.” Please contact your account manager for more information on why GA and third party systems don’t match.
As it pertains to using GA to detect bots, a best practice is to enable Bot Filtering in Google Analytics – and is something we highly recommend.
LotLinx does deploy a bot to index and understand all live inventory on dealer web sites. The LotLinx bot is a benign bot, and is used merely to understand market inventory and inventory turn rates.
We are not in a position to comment on the legality of bot activity on the web. That said, there is a fair use clause in U.S. copyright law that allows a third party to recycle content if they can justify certain criteria. If you are concerned with third party activity on your site, please seek adequate legal counsel on the topic.
Lotlinx Velocity Reports Faqs
Rest assured, we do not share any data from our dealer customers. Upon typing your URL into the demo on LotLinx.com, you’ll notice that data from our dealer customers is restricted.
Once you register, our interactive map will populate with competitive sales velocity information. You will receive an email with a link that enables this feature. Without registering, you only see limited information.
We count the first day on lot as the first day the car appears on your website, and track when that car leaves your site to get to the average days on lot number.
We compare sales data on VINs that get views from LotLinx to similar make/models and report the difference as sales velocity.
Register for the live tool and we’ll actively monitor your site and populate this tool with the appropriate data.
You can now compare your sales velocity with other dealerships in your area. You will be able to see the data that we have collected on your competitors but they cannot see your data because you are a customer of ours. For our current customers, this feature is not yet available but should be in the coming weeks. This will be available as a new tab at the top when you log into your dealer portal.
While all of this data is in the public domain, we understand your desire to omit your data from our tool. Please send an email to [email protected] with the formal request, and we will remove your data from our comparison tool.
The velocity report captures the vehicles that sold during the calendar month referenced (e.g. January 2015).
SEO Faqs For Dealers & Publishers
As you probably know, SEO ranking algorithms by Google and others are constantly being updated with changing rules. We recently partnered with Be Found Online, a world class online strategy group, to analyze how Deeplinking™ affects SEO. They found that it complements, but doesn’t directly affect, your SEO.
LotLinx uses a variety of techniques to drive targeted traffic to your site. Our focus is to deliver low funnel, active shoppers to your VDPs. Search engines have access to your local listings, so they can in fact appear in search results through a variety of sources.
With how the LotLinx technology is currently setup, it does not provide “link juice” to local dealer websites. LotLinx utilizes a redirect for tracking purposes that prevents site “link juice” from being passed on. This same redirect process also protects you from spam detectors and other penalties.
LotLinx Deeplinking™ technology delivers low funnel, active shoppers (VINtenders) directly to your VDPs. It is not part of our business model to boost a website’s SEO efforts.
For more detailed information on understanding how Deeplinking™ complements, but doesn’t directly affect, your SEO, please see our video.
LotLinx Deeplinking does not hurt your SEO efforts. Our technology forces users to go through a redirect (visible to search engine crawlers but not to the user), which we use for tracking purposes. This redirect prohibits “link juice” from being passed, which means your site is not at risk for Google penalties or other search engine penalties.
For more detailed information on understanding Deeplinking™ and SEO, please see our video.
This is up to the publisher website, so it can vary. That said, the redirect that is in place with the LotLinx technology prohibits “link juice” from being passed on to local dealer websites. So any authority, whether positive or negative, will not be passed on to a local dealer website.
If LotLinx worked with its publishers to embed hyperlinks to my dealership site, my site would receive strong SEO benefits. Why won’t you do this?
One of the great benefits of partnering with LotLinx is being able to take advantage of our valued partnerships. That said, protecting our dealer customers, as well as our valued partnerships, is our utmost priority. Because of the sheer number of places your listings will appear on the web, embedding hyperlinks to dealer websites could put your site at serious risk for Google penalties, and we strive to make sure that is never the case.
Our goal is to make sure LotLinx Deeplinking drives targeted, highly relevant traffic to your website. We do not utilize the technology to drive SEO benefit, as it could be misinterpreted by search engines as spammy or harmful.
Unfortunately, we can’t control how our publisher partners optimize for SEO. We do believe, however, that given the strong content and SEO rankings of third party sites, should your listings appear within their SEO results, that drives you more inventory “facings.”
The good news for you as a dealer is that Google gives your dealership strong weighting since you are a local site. At this time, Google gives significant preference to dealer sites when a searcher is looking for local inventory.
I’ve noticed that the bounce rate from LotLinx traffic is higher than my average bounce rate. Will this negatively impact my SEO?
Bounce rate (or any aspect of analytics) is not used in SEO. According to Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam team, “Google Analytics is not used in search quality in any way for our rankings.”
To clarify, what is a factor for Google rankings is the bounce back to Google after someone visits your site from a search result. This type of bounce is measured by the search engine, and it is an important quality signal. LotLinx traffic is from active shoppers who have clicked on a particular piece of your inventory. They are likely to be satisfied by the information received.