As 2018 quickly approaches, automotive dealerships are looking at how to take advantage of a car market that may be on an upswing. Car dealerships, in addition to almost all vertical markets across the board, are trying to capitalize on the seemingly limitless growing internet marketplace.
Because this is a topic that so many dealerships are taking a hard look at right now, we at BURN SEO thought we would post about the top 5 things that every car dealership website needs in order to succeed in 2019.
1. Indexed Inventory
We wrote an extensive post about the details of car dealership indexed inventory previously. We highly suggest any dealer interested in stepping up their online presence take a good look at making sure their inventory is indexable on their websites. Automotive inventory marketing is increasing the leads and sold cars for every dealership we have implemented it on. Having your inventory show up in Google searches is great, but also marketing that inventory to the Facebook marketplace, eBay, Craigslist, and other outlets is how we help you turn your hosted inventory into a powerhouse lead generating a tool for your dealership.
Making sure you are fully taking advantage of all of the car dealer inventory hosting services that are out there is the first step in taking a much larger market share for your dealership. Enhancing the way your inventory looks and making it easy for your visitors to inquire or even share inventory with their friends and network is an additional consideration regarding inventory that should be looked at.
2. Social Media Integration
We’ve all heard about it, now it’s time to live it. Social media marketing is an exploding medium for businesses to market on. It is less expensive and along with a comprehensive SEO strategy, yields a much higher ROI than virtually any other marketing platform. Millions of people are now using social platforms like Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis now.
By getting followers on these platforms you will be able to market to them and have them help you market to all of their networks so that you can continue to grow your marketing base. These people are on social sites virtually every day and you will have the chance to show them your sales, promotions, and news anytime you wish. The viral nature of social networks means that you as a company have to do less work to get your products in front of more people.
This isn’t to say that you will not have to do any work at all. The nature of social marketing requires that you appear to be active on your website, blog, and social outlets. This means that someone must be in charge of managing these various networks so that you can continue to grow your brand on the web. The hub of everything you do must remain your website. A good strategy is to place all new content on your blog first and then break it up and disseminate it amongst your social outlets from there, always linking back to your website. Your website is where all of your inventory, specials, promotions, and most importantly your contact info and lead capture forms await them.
3. Enhanced lead capture forms
The basic, boring lead capture forms just don’t cut it for today’s web-savvy audience. We have seen a 30% increase in conversion rates by making your lead capture forms interactive. By adding a video or audio that will help encourage and educate the visitor about how and why they should complete the form they are on, you are letting your website help you sell them. Not only can you enhance your forms to increase conversions, but we can now help you better qualify your sales leads with smarter web forms on your site!
It’s now possible to enter any criteria you like in order to qualify people right from your website. The client goes on your site, fills out the form, and then is able to be pre-qualified without ever taking any manpower away from your sales floor. The pre-qualified leads are delivered to your internet department in real time where your salespeople can follow up immediately and lock up the sale. Some dealers have even taken it a step further and actually implemented full sales transactions through their website.
Enhancing your lead capture forms is going to bring you more leads that are better qualified. It will save you time and money, which is what your car dealer websites should be doing.
If you want to take it a step further you can integrate live chat that is manned by Business Development people who can actually request to engage with your visitors in real time while they are on your site browsing inventory.
4. A modern look
We see so many Automotive Websites that still look like they were designed in the 80′s. The sites just don’t hold up to the standards that web visitors expect from today’s car dealer websites. It is absolutely vital that your dealer website present your dealership in the best possible light within the first five seconds when a visitor lands on your page. People lose attention span very quickly on the web, and if your website doesn’t look like it is interesting, appealing, clean, and interactive, then they are going to bounce off and find another dealer that gives them what they are looking for.
To gain credibility with your visitors quickly you must project a professional cutting edge image to them. You want to show them that you are the best at what you do and that you take them seriously as a potential client. Your website must engage them and make it easy for them to find what they want. Place lead capture forms in very visible locations so that no matter where they are on your site, they can easily complete a finance application or request contact.
Providing easily accessible inventory search options for the visitors is vital in making sure they can see that your car dealership has what they are looking for. Once they find the inventory, showing them a very modern and clean looking details page where they can get specifics about the car they are interested in, will help sell cars. We often implement inventory sliders, which are blocks of your site that show visible pictures of the various car models so that people can easily find the car that’s right for them on your site.
It must be noted that the largest growing market on the web is the mobile one. More people are browsing social networks and websites from their mobile device every day. Having a mobile version of your site that is optimized for web devices will help you get more sales than your competition, who are lacking in this growing market. Your mobile dealer website will allow the visitor to view the inventory, complete a sales request, or even apply for financing from their mobile device.
A new face may be in order if your dealership is serious about taking over your local market on the web!
5. In-depth SEO
Organic internet leads are a gift that keeps on giving to your car dealership. By ranking at the top of search engines for all of your main keywords, the dealership will get more traffic, more leads, and more sold cars. Showing up on page one of Google gives any dealership instant credibility with a visitor that is looking for a car online. In order to get to the top, it all starts with solid SEO implemented on your dealer website.
So many car dealer web providers only optimize the home page of a dealer website. This means that all of the content and inventory on your inner pages are never going to show up in the search results because they are taking the easy way out and your dealership is the one that is going to suffer. Doing proper SEO on a dealer website means optimizing all of the meta tags on every page of your site. It means taking advantage of alt tags on every image and title tags on links. It may not be fast or easy, but it’s an undertaking that will benefit your dealer website for years to come. An experienced SEO company understands all the complex variables that must be managed on your website in order for the website to be truly optimized for the search engines.
Once your site is ready to go it’s time to get out there and build links to your website. This is the real power of SEO. Each link coming into your website counts as a vote to Google as to the importance of your site. Making sure those links come from relevant sources that will benefit your dealer website is what a Good Automotive SEO company will manage for you. There are many pitfalls and techniques that must be used carefully or your entire site can be banned from Google. This is why employing an ethical and experienced SEO firm that understands the unique nature of the car industry is a good idea.
If a dealership is making an investment in their website, then handling that investment with the proper care and nurturing its performance should be the top priority. Once your car dealer website is ranking on the first page of all of the major search engines you are able to get an incoming supply of highly qualified exclusive leads that no one else is talking to. Closing car deals from your self-generated internet leads are going to be far easier than from leads purchased through vendors like Auto Trader. You will be able to save thousands of dollars per month once your ranking on the search engines in your market.
Don’t let your competition get the jump on you. Now is the time to make the investment in taking your business to the web in a big way. It’s only a matter of time until your competition decides to make the leap if they haven’t already. The sooner you begin securing your market on the web, the harder it will be for anyone to try and take it from you.