Importance of Automotive Website Management

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4 min read

It’s no surprise that in 2019 people are doing more online research before making purchases. People in the market for a house, spend hours on end researching options on sites like Zillow and Trulia, investigating the neighborhoods, schools, night life, etc. Planning a trip this summer? Just go online and take a look at some of the hottest vacation spots with the tap of your finger. Online reviews alone will guide you to the best spots with the best food, customer service, and activities. When making a big purchase decision, online research is a no brainer. And, although dealerships aren’t really making transactions online (yet!), 86% of shoppers do online research before visiting a dealership. Your website is the first impression to a shopper. Don’t you want to make it a good one? Website management is crucial to your business, and here are a few ways to ensure a strong online presence.

 

You’re spending a lot to drive customers to your website

So, you’re spending thousands of dollars on digital media – whether it be Search Engine Marketing, Display Campaigns, Facebook Ads, Geo-Fencing, (the list goes on and on!) – and all these ads are bringing these customers right back to your website. If your site isn’t being managed and updated on a daily basis, chances are these people aren’t going to see what they came in to see. You want your geo-fencing ads linking to a landing page that replicates the offer they just saw in the ad with more information about how to redeem the offer. If you are running a display ad with a specific vehicle at a certain lease price, you want the customer to click to more information about that deal and how they can lock it in — I mean that’s what got them to click it in the first place. If an offer, sales or service, is updated in an ad or at the dealership, that offer needs to be updated on your website within a timely matter, so your customers are always seeing your best, most relevant, offers. You want your customers to gain trust in your dealership and showing them consistent offers across all platforms will help build that level of confidence.

Your website is your virtual showroom

We all know the car buying experience is one of the most dreaded activities for people in the US. Dealerships get a bad rap from back-in-the-day selling tactics and lack of transparency. We used to walk out of dealership, with or without making a purchase, kind of scratching our heads wondering what just happened. In fact, less than 1% of shoppers find the car buying experience ideal, which is why they are turning to online resources to do their research so less time can be spent in a dealership. While the average shopper used to visit five dealerships, that number has recently decreased significantly to between 1-2 dealerships. Wouldn’t you want your dealership to be the one the customer visits?

An updated, attractive web presence is essential in getting customers to visit your store over your competitors’. Think of your site as a virtual showroom. You want your showroom to be the most appealing one out there with images that show your customer exactly what they’re getting. This all comes back to transparency. A photo of the actual vehicle allows the customer to get an idea of exactly what they’re getting before making a trip to the dealership. Dealer sites that have actual vehicle photos over the factory stock images see higher customer engagement and longer time on site. Our resident art director and photographer, Kristen Noble, outlines the importance of updated inventory photography in a recent article on Digital Dealer. Current and updated images might be the only thing standing between you and your next lifelong customer.

Consistent messaging

As an automotive advertising agency, we are huge proponents of keeping a dealership’s message consistent throughout all mediums they’re utilizing. All the digital media campaigns you’re running should stick with the same message and theme across the board. Even when you’re running new, used, and service campaigns, keeping a consistent look throughout is key. This idea holds true all the way to your website. You want your customer to consistently see your ads, which in turn brings them to your site. When they get to your site, they will be reminded again of your message. You want them to relate your website content back to your ad creative because when they see it after leaving your site it will be familiar to them. An updated site that matches your ad creative is going to solidify your potential customers trust in you because the pricing along with the messaging doesn’t change from one medium to the next. Again, that brings us back transparency and trust – here, consistency is key.

 

Digital marketing has rocked the automotive marketing world over the last ten years. While your dealership is evolving with the changes, it’s important to keep in mind that your website is the hub of it all – constantly feeding your numerous campaigns. Keep these tips in mind when starting a new campaign, as any tree is as strong as it’s roots. Stay consistent, stay transparent.

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