Realistically, once the initial setup of all the stuff I have done was laid down... I maybe spend 30 minutes to an hour a day shooting an e-mail to our Designers and adding an article on our Blog, or adding a new keyword. It all depends on what type of access your Designers give you.
I know some Design Companies that will only allow you to add a Coupon, or Change a Specials Page, and that is the extent of what you can do. Most, if they are smart, know that the Dealer Website is progressing so much that we need more ability to add or change.
A small thing that I would suggest is this. Once a week I look up the top eStores in the nation. I shop their site and see if they have added anything new, see if it has changed. If you find something that you may think is useful, go to your Design Company and see if they can implement something like it. I do this every week without fail. I check the biggest markets and the biggest stores ( eStores that is )
I'll add some more tomorrow when my brain is not at the end of the day! LOL
This part is the least time consuming and the cheapest way to get a whole lot of effectiveness out of your day...
I plastered us all over the Web. Go to MSN, YAHOO, all the Search Engines you can think of and sign up on their local business pages for free. I put our name everywhere I could for free. We have a Facebook, an MSN Space, a Myspace, Blog, YOUTUBE, any Social networking site that you can.. is a good place to put up a page about you.
It really doesn't take too much time, but you will be happy at what it does for you!
I've done quite a bit of this, and yes it does work. Frankly, I try to do this in a steady way all of the time so the SE's can see steady link building instead of the machine generated links that can get ya in trouble now a'days.
Keeping on top of what is going on in the Internet Department is the best solution to start off with. If you are gowing to throw in anybody that does not have the passion for the internet sales department the dealership and that department is going to hurt in the long run.
David - That is very crucial on how you approached your tactics! Way to go!! Keeping up on what is going on and taking the full advantage of all the tools available to you surely helps out.
As you know I sell websites, but as I tell my IM's, GM's etc, you need to fully take advangate of all the tools we have to provide to you! Keep up on the specials, etc. Even taking advantage of placing a blog for your dealership and so on.
Our in house SEO staff is larger than are actual sales staff. The SEO staff consistently and daily do the necessary tricks ( I can't spill our secrets ) LOL! And when you call them you get live people & are just an email away.
Many IM's I speak with I can tell who is savvy and ones that are not, I drill them a little bit ( Not bad ) about the importance. But it does come down to the support they have in the dealership. There are many GM's out there that don't support these important Departments.
All of you that have posted to this comment I can tell you are savvy and have the support that it requires to have a successful Internet Department.
When I started at the dealership I had the Owner / GM's / SM's etc sit in a room with me before I started there to point out the importance of how to structure the department / budgeting / Website ( TK of course ) lol, Support from them etc. They gave in which was good.
The first couple of months were a little tough getting everything put in place and learning the back end tool and all.
Then started working on the SEO directly with the SEO team at TK.
The visitors went from 1200 unique visitors up to 5000 unique visitors. We were generating 600+ leads per month just from our site!! I had to get 3 more IM's in the department to keep up on the leads. There was no need to get any 3rd party leads at all. I was receiving quality leads!
We closed over 50% of what the showroom floor did and at times 60%. I have had consumers from IN, OH, WI, and southern Michigan purchasing from our Internet Department.
Having the support/ staff/ SEO experts/ Amazing looking site we successfully rised to our occasion!
That tells you right there the reason I jumped aboard with TK for I know what they can do for many out there.
Custom is much better because over 80% of your customers are shopping online and they will see all the SAME looking sites until they hit yours, you need to stand out and show why you are different. You also should have lots of video on your site. We know this because we've built quite a few and can see the difference. check our work at www.cardealerstv.com and hit me back or call me.
I have found that the consumer will go to a dealer site first and find very little information, thus the big business of third party sites still booms. The dealer site should give the shopper solid vehicle and Dealership information with out over crowding or cluttering the site. Clean and easy are in! Avoid bright shiny objects like the plague.
Video is another awesome tool for virtual test drives and content other than just your t.v. ads. Vehicle comparisons and reviews are also strong and will help with seo. The bottom line is to provide as complete a shopping experience as possible.
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