How Car Dealership Websites are Auto Lead Machines
Does your dealership’s site continuously convert?
We can help with that.
Many dealers take a hands-off approach to their website, only updating it when they need to add sales or service specials.
But do you know that your site is your most cost-efficient tool for bringing valuable low-funnel traffic to your car dealership?
Your website is the hub of ALL of your marketing activity, including digital and traditional. Whether a shopper comes to your site through a search, a social media ad, or a television commercial, you want to show your dealership in the best light. Online and in-person, car buyers want an experience that is well-organized and relevant to their interests.
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and turn your car dealership’s website into a well-oiled lead-generating machine?
Let’s get started!
Search Engine Optimization: The Lynchpin of Digital Marketing
You may think of “keywords” when you hear the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Keywords are an essential part of a robust SEO strategy but aren’t the entire strategy.
Effective SEO uses a combination of keywords, link-building, website organization, and content to make your business more visible in search engine results.
Custom Content: Lead Buyers to Your Showroom
If that all sounds daunting, don’t worry. The team at Dealer Authority has the expertise to get your car dealership’s digital marketing running like a well-tuned engine.
From car buying to parts and service, we’ll help you reach the top of the search results and keep you top of mind with your customers.
For example, if you have a Toyota dealership in Minneapolis, MN, your library of landing pages may include:
- Toyota Corolla for Sale in Minneapolis
- Used Toyota Highlander Minnesota
- Toyota Dealer in Minneapolis
Craft your landing pages to sell the car AND your dealership to potential customers, so be sure to include a strong why buy message and a clear call to action.
In addition to high-quality landing pages, you can boost your search ranking by creating additional content, including a blog on your dealership’s website and having your staff contribute articles on other sites. Blog and article content put your business’ name in front of more eyes and establishes your dealership as an authority, giving you a boost in search ranking.
Although blog posts and articles allow you to write in your own voice compared to a landing page, you still want to put your best foot forward.
Work with a professional writer (or an automotive digital marketing professional 😉) or bring in an editor to help you fine-tune your prose.
User Experience: Is Your Website Helping or Hurting Conversion?
You’ve got the best selection of new and pre-owned automobiles in town. And now you’ve built a solid library of landing pages and established a blog that’s bringing car shoppers to your website. But is your website helping them through their buying journey or leading them to a frustrating dead-end?
Your website should be mobile-friendly, well-organized to make it easy for users to:
- Find the vehicle they want to buy
- Know how to contact your dealership
- Find your business hours and directions to your dealership
- Browse your site on a smartphone or tablet
Check out the DA Approach to Landing Pages
Custom content is key.
While you want shoppers to see your hottest deals, users don’t want to play Whack-a-Mole with pop-up windows—especially if they’re browsing on a smartphone—so you should use them sparingly.
Mining for Gold: Converting Browsers into Customers
Now that you’ve optimized your website and have a robust library of landing pages that show why your dealership is the best place in town to buy their next car, let’s talk about mining this low-sales funnel gold.
Many automobile dealers have shifted their advertising budget from traditional broadcast media (radio and television) and print advertising toward digital marketing. And when you compare the flexibility and lower cost of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and social media ads, it’s easy to see why.
Your PPC and social media advertisements and custom landing pages create a lead-generating ecosystem. Your website’s custom content is repurposed to create ads that lead customers back to the landing pages. It’s a cost-effective way to reach your customers when they are shopping for your product.
While there are differences between PPC and social media advertising, the essentials are mostly similar. With both methods, you control your budget and target your ads in a way that isn’t possible with traditional advertising. We’ll look at each advertising method’s finer points and how you can get the most from your marketing dollar.
Pay-Per-Click: Car Buyers are Looking for You
Do you want to drive in-person traffic to your showroom? Are you looking for more visitors to your website? Is your sales team clamoring for more phone calls? Whatever your goal, PPC advertising lets you set up campaigns that align with your objectives.
We’ll focus on Google Ads since Google remains the go-to search engine on the web, but the concepts are similar to other search engines such as Bing.
Before you set up your first campaign, it’s crucial that you complete your Google My Business profile. A full profile that includes your business address, hours of operation and phone number are not only more inviting to potential customers but can also boost your chances of nabbing a spot in the Local Pack section on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
When you set up your ad and point it to your landing page, you’ll add your keywords, geographic target, and ad content. Your campaign budget is comprised of how much you’re willing to bid per click and the cap on the total amount you want to spend. Your Ad Rank is based on the context of a user’s search, the quality of your ad, and the amount of your bid. A higher ranking can save you money on your campaign by lowering your advertisement’s cost, so make sure your ad content is engaging and on point.
Social Media: The Virtual Auto Mall
If you’ve been watching media reports, you might have the impression that social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are where people go to fight over everything from politics to whether pineapple belongs on pizza.
You may be surprised to find out that nearly 78% of car shoppers found social media helpful when deciding on a vehicle purchase, according to a Facebook IQ report.
That purchase decision not only includes the make and model of the car but also where to buy it.
Dollar for dollar, advertising on social media offers more flexibility, control, and potential reach than other ad forms. You can use multiple forms of content, including text, images, and video, to entice users to stop scrolling and look at your ad. And most social media platforms offer A/B testing, so you can home in on the type of content that will help you meet your goals, whether it’s brand awareness, visits to your showroom, or calls for service appointments.
Besides scroll-stopping content, your ads need to have a clear call-to-action (CTA) that leads users to a landing page on your website or a click-to-call feature so shoppers can reach your dealership right away.
Old School Lead Generation with a Modern Twist
Offering a prospect, a number to call or a lead card to fill out may seem old-fashioned in the digital age. But today’s technology adds a modern twist to these old-school lead-generating tools.
Lead forms and click-to-call buttons are good options for capturing mid-funnel leads who are ready to make a purchase. Both solutions are inexpensive to implement and don’t require a whole lot of technical knowledge to set up.
Getting prospective customers to give up personal information isn’t easy in a time when online privacy is top-of-mind. However, offering a free resource or a coupon will often entice shoppers to share their name and contact information.
Many Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms integrate lead forms, so your sales team can easily download prospect data and start contacting customers. You’ll want to make sure your staff monitors the database frequently, though, so your leads don’t go stale.
Click-to-call is arguably the most cost-effective way to get your phones ringing at your dealership. With more car shoppers researching potential purchases on their mobile devices, having the option to contact your sales team immediately by tapping a link can drive sales through the roof. It is also simple to set up and offers tracking from Google and Facebook Ads…to a point. Your sales team may still need to manually track where the call originated from as the customer moves through the sales funnel.
And, though it’s not old school, more businesses are using chatbot technology to engage with customers 24/7, so they can get answers to their questions, even during non-business hours. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), the chatbot has a database of answers to frequently asked questions. Because users are less shy about giving their name and email address to a chatbot, you can use this technology in place of lead forms. And a chatbot can close out a session by offering the user a click-to-call option that delivers the customer right to your sales team.
A Lean, Mean, Lead-Generating Machine
Are you ready to whip your car dealership website into shape and turn it into a lean, mean, lead machine? There are loads of resources available to help you get started, but don’t be afraid to call in the pros to help with critical pieces such as keyword research and link building and create killer content for your landing pages and advertisements.
With a website that’s optimized and mobile-friendly, your sales team can focus on developing relationships that lead to happy customers and crushed sales targets.
The Future of Car Buying is Here
If you’ve stuck with the old tried-and-true methods of advertising for your car dealership, it’s time to expand your efforts to include digital marketing.
The team at Dealer Authority has years of experience working with car dealerships across the United States. We can help you craft a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, custom-made for your dealership.
Still have questions? Drop us a line anytime!