Automotive Digital Marketing

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There is no question these days that your dealer site is one of the most valuable resources in your digital marketing toolbox. From your site, you have the ability to reach your largest traffic source and cater your message from page to page to meet the needs of individuals, groups and communities of people.

As I research dealership websites throughout North America, I see the same common mistakes made from site to site that I think can easily be cured in an effort to convert more qualified vehicle shoppers and sell more vehicles. Here are my top 3 suggestions for perfecting your dealership website.

1. Make Sure Information Is Complete!

I was driving into a large city not too long ago when I noticed all of the local dealership billboards lining the highway. Each of them quickly referred drivers to their dealership website to get more information about a vehicle promotion or event they had.

I found it interesting that when I visited each of the sites that I could remember from the billboards, they were all making the same stupid mistake. Most of the vehicle listings said, "Call for details". Holy crap, really? Your billboard told me to visit your website to get more information, now your website is telling me to "call for details"?!?

This began to sound like a challenge that I had to accept. I called the dealership who then told me that I should come visit them to get more details on the car and take it for a test drive. My oh my...Let's recap. I saw the billboard that told me to visit the dealers site for more details, the dealers site told me to call the dealership, the dealership told me to come visit them...I JUST WANTED INFORMATION ON THE VEHICLE!

Suggestion #1: Make sure the information on your site is complete. You're not fooling anyone these days. If your advertising suggests that someone can get information on your site (not just about vehicles or pricing) please make sure that the information is easily accessible on your site.

2. Search Engine Friendly

Sure there are other ways to draw traffic into your website, but being visible organically (in my opinion) is still the best all-round way to drive traffic. It's important to make sure that your website has a proper SEO structure and that it's accessible to search engines.

Google's primary objectives are 1.) to provide relevant search results based on what people are looking for and 2.) as close to their physical location as possible. Though SEO algorithm's are evolving daily (so it seems), making sure you post high quality, relevant content to your site frequently will help you conquer more digital real-estate.

Start writing a blog or posting optimized videos to YouTube are two ways that I have seen dealers dominate with search engines.

Suggestion #2: Make your site more search engine friendly by producing high quality, relevant content more frequently.

3. Use Data - you probably saw this one coming

By now you should know that I love data. If you haven't already done so, check out my other posts about how you can really dial in your site and reach more qualified shoppers through data. But seriously, make decisions regarding your website only after you've acquired reliable intelligence. This is what will set you apart from the competition. 

With data, you can learn how people are finding your site, what they're looking at, how long they stay, what they clicked on and much more. My plea is suggestion number 3...

Suggestion #3: Use data to learn about your customers search behavior and use it to make decisions regarding your website.

Leave your comments or questions: What would you like to learn more about to convert more qualified vehicle shoppers through your dealership website?

Views: 65

Tags: automotive, car, data, dealer, seo, site


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Comment by Michael Cirillo on February 1, 2013 at 3:54pm

Awesome. Thanks for your input Tom.

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on January 31, 2013 at 9:24pm

well put. I think the following are also a MUST for a savvy store:

  • Streaming social media content from FB, Twitter
  • A GREAT mobile version
  • A Live Website Chat option (even if it isn't ours)

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