Phone training is more important now than ever due to the increase in mobile site traffic generating more phone calls to dealerships.
Your website must be adaptive and responsive. We are past the point of having a separate site for mobile devices with data showing 79 percent of website visitors come from them.
Customers are looking for brand comparisons online so having them on your site will save them from going to the manufacturer site or a third party like Edmunds.
Vehicle images and VDPs must have relevant content and be loaded with information. Price is still the biggest factor, especially for used cars, but you must have the best looking product if you want more than your fair share of traffic.
Service and parts is the reason why 60 percent of the traffic comes to your site. Are you spending any time and effort in promoting it?
Staff pages need to be updated to include sharp employee images, information, and separated by department. Including a story about why your team is better than the rest humanizes your site.
Remember shoppers are looking for your location. Directions should be clearly visible on your homepage. Don’t leave it up to a pasted image of a Google map, create custom maps and directions.
Merchandise your core products. Not only on your homepage but in your vehicle specials pages as well. The core product for most every brand and dealer makes up around 75 percent of your monthly new car sales.
Be different. The one thing that drives me up a wall is when day to day competition has similar looking websites. Do not let a cookie cutter site provider treat your site like everyone else’s.
Check it daily. Your site is equally as important as your showroom and you inspect it every day. Why not give your site the same amount of attention?
John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising.
Strong began his career as an account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry.
The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners.
Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40.” In 2018, Strong was named CEO of the Year by the BBJ.
The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program.
Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.