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: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising.
With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.