In other words, if you could only have your website do 10 things,
what would they be?
1. Efficient back-end tools: This way you can add/remove content and update your contact information and online specials with ease.
2. Search engine optimization: Your site/dealership will benefit from the thousands of visits that are populated through search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Live Search(formerly MSN).
3. Trade-in appraisals: Invest in a trade-appraisal company that will provide you with leads complete with the customer’s contact and trade-in information. Give your online shoppers complete vehicle information.
4. Vehicle comparisons: For your benefit, focus on manufacturers’ strengths and benefits while down playing the strengths of your competitors’ products. Advanta-STAR is one company offering that service. Customers go to the Internet for research. If you don’t provide them with the information they want, they’ll look someplace else. And far too often that someplace else is your competitors’ web sites.
5. Inventory Showcase: Each unit on your lot has a window sticker listing the vehicle’s equipment, price and any special discounts. Be sure to use a system that can move that same information to your virtual lot. This way all online shoppers are given as much information as possible.
6. Credit applications: Make sure you have 2 credit applications available on your site. One of the two should be a much shorter version (4 lines or so) for noncredit challenged customers. The other should be a more thorough application for any credit challenged customers.
7. Parts & Accessories: Create a listing with photos, pricing and descriptions. Be sure to include a shopping cart available for online purchases.
8. Phone numbers: You need to have a minimum of 2 different phone numbers listed at all times. One should be for sales and the other for service. This is especially important if you are using a system to track the numbers.
9. A/V download capabilities: With today’s technology the uploading of commercials and web videos has become a common practice. Make sure your site is just as advanced, if not more than your competitor’s.
10. Testimonials: People like to do business where business is being done. A website with an empty testimonials page is like a parking lot with no cars. What people can’t see – they will not believe. Don’t just tell them you’re a great place to do business, let your customers tell them.
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.