By Tim McLain
It‚Äôs nev¬≠er been eas¬≠i¬≠er to ‚Äúget into the game‚ÄĚ of auto deal¬≠er mar¬≠ket¬≠ing online. But if everyone‚Äôs doing it, why aren‚Äôt you see¬≠ing a sig¬≠nif¬≠i¬≠cant increase in phone calls and sales activ¬≠i¬≠ty?
That‚Äôs because not all deal¬≠er¬≠ships are doing it cor¬≠rect¬≠ly. Here are some com¬≠mon online mar¬≠ket¬≠ing mis¬≠takes that may be dilut¬≠ing your results:
Prob¬≠lem: You think your web¬≠site is cool and excit¬≠ing, but you‚Äôre not con¬≠vert¬≠ing online vis¬≠its into test dri¬≠ves, ser¬≠vice appoint¬≠ment, or sales.
Diag¬≠no¬≠sis: You‚Äôre ignor¬≠ing web¬≠site fun¬≠da¬≠men¬≠tals. Web¬≠sites are not TV com¬≠mer¬≠cials or print ads. They don‚Äôt need to grab someone‚Äôs atten¬≠tion but should reflect your brand and pro¬≠vide easy nav¬≠i¬≠ga¬≠bil¬≠i¬≠ty to exact¬≠ly what the shop¬≠per has come to find.
Pre¬≠scrip¬≠tion: Cus¬≠tomize your site expe¬≠ri¬≠ence to local buy¬≠ers. If they click on a text or ban¬≠ner ad high¬≠light¬≠ing one of your mod¬≠els, take them to a spe¬≠cif¬≠ic page for that mod¬≠el. Cre¬≠ate land¬≠ing pages that con¬≠vert search¬≠es into test dri¬≠ves, phone calls and sales. Don‚Äôt just send your vis¬≠i¬≠tors to your home page and hope that they find what they‚Äôre look¬≠ing for.
If vis¬≠i¬≠tors do start at your home page through an organ¬≠ic search or key¬≠ing in your Web address direct¬≠ly, pro¬≠vide sim¬≠ple prompts that will guide them toward spe¬≠cif¬≠ic mod¬≠els and ser¬≠vices.
Prob¬≠lem: You‚Äôve allo¬≠cat¬≠ed a large por¬≠tion of your bud¬≠get to an on-going search engine opti¬≠miza¬≠tion (SEO) cam¬≠paign. So, you‚Äôre ready to sit back and just watch the traf¬≠fic stream in, right? After an ini¬≠tial bump, your traf¬≠fic seems to be lev¬≠el¬≠ing off or even declin¬≠ing.
Diag¬≠no¬≠sis: You‚Äôve fall¬≠en for the mis¬≠per¬≠cep¬≠tion that SEO is the end-all, be-all of online mar¬≠ket¬≠ing.
Pre¬≠scrip¬≠tion: Set aside mon¬≠ey in your bud¬≠get for text (search) ads, tar¬≠get¬≠ed dis¬≠play ads, mobile mar¬≠ket¬≠ing, email cam¬≠paigns and oth¬≠er strate¬≠gies. SEO is just one part of the crit¬≠i¬≠cal online mar¬≠ket¬≠ing mix. A Google study (2012) found that turn¬≠ing off search ads result¬≠ed in an 89% drop in qual¬≠i¬≠fied web¬≠site clicks. Resist the urge to be a one trick pony with SEO alone.
Prob¬≠lem: You‚Äôve launched or relaunched your web¬≠site. You gen¬≠er¬≠ate sig¬≠nif¬≠i¬≠cant ini¬≠tial traf¬≠fic but not a lot of return traf¬≠fic.
Diag¬≠no¬≠sis: Your set-it-and-for¬≠get approach has led to mem¬≠o¬≠ry loss. Your search terms and Web con¬≠tent are not refined and up to date.
Pre¬≠scrip¬≠tion: By all means, revis¬≠it your search terms and your web¬≠site. Use real-time ana¬≠lyt¬≠ics to con¬≠stant¬≠ly refine your search terms. The beau¬≠ty of the Web ana¬≠lyt¬≠ics is that it pro¬≠vides imme¬≠di¬≠ate and quan¬≠tifi¬≠able feed¬≠back.
Does your web¬≠site look the same as the day you launched it? Update your web¬≠site to reflect new pro¬≠mo¬≠tions, incen¬≠tives, rebates, tes¬≠ti¬≠mo¬≠ni¬≠als, acco¬≠lades, etc. While you don‚Äôt need to update con¬≠tent every week, you don‚Äôt want your site to appear stale and aban¬≠doned.
Cre¬≠ate reminders on your cal¬≠en¬≠dar to reg¬≠u¬≠lar¬≠ly add new con¬≠tent. You can also tie in your web¬≠site to your social media chan¬≠nels or a blog posts. Since search engines notice when new con¬≠tent is post¬≠ed on a web¬≠site, you‚Äôre also help¬≠ing to boost SEO in a small way.
Tim McLain, Senior Mar¬≠ket¬≠ing Man¬≠ag¬≠er at Net¬≠sertive, offers advice to deal¬≠ers when mar¬≠ket¬≠ing to cus¬≠tomers online, point¬≠ing out five sim¬≠ple mis¬≠takes, three of which are pre¬≠sent¬≠ed here. Read the to get all five.