By Tim McLain
Itâ€™s nevÂer been easÂiÂer to â€śget into the gameâ€ť of auto dealÂer marÂketÂing online. But if everyoneâ€™s doing it, why arenâ€™t you seeÂing a sigÂnifÂiÂcant increase in phone calls and sales activÂiÂty?
Thatâ€™s because not all dealÂerÂships are doing it corÂrectÂly. Here are some comÂmon online marÂketÂing misÂtakes that may be dilutÂing your results:
ProbÂlem: You think your webÂsite is cool and excitÂing, but youâ€™re not conÂvertÂing online visÂits into test driÂves, serÂvice appointÂment, or sales.
DiagÂnoÂsis: Youâ€™re ignorÂing webÂsite funÂdaÂmenÂtals. WebÂsites are not TV comÂmerÂcials or print ads. They donâ€™t need to grab someoneâ€™s attenÂtion but should reflect your brand and proÂvide easy navÂiÂgaÂbilÂiÂty to exactÂly what the shopÂper has come to find.
PreÂscripÂtion: CusÂtomize your site expeÂriÂence to local buyÂers. If they click on a text or banÂner ad highÂlightÂing one of your modÂels, take them to a speÂcifÂic page for that modÂel. CreÂate landÂing pages that conÂvert searchÂes into test driÂves, phone calls and sales. Donâ€™t just send your visÂiÂtors to your home page and hope that they find what theyâ€™re lookÂing for.
If visÂiÂtors do start at your home page through an organÂic search or keyÂing in your Web address directÂly, proÂvide simÂple prompts that will guide them toward speÂcifÂic modÂels and serÂvices.
ProbÂlem: Youâ€™ve alloÂcatÂed a large porÂtion of your budÂget to an on-going search engine optiÂmizaÂtion (SEO) camÂpaign. So, youâ€™re ready to sit back and just watch the trafÂfic stream in, right? After an iniÂtial bump, your trafÂfic seems to be levÂelÂing off or even declinÂing.
DiagÂnoÂsis: Youâ€™ve fallÂen for the misÂperÂcepÂtion that SEO is the end-all, be-all of online marÂketÂing.
PreÂscripÂtion: Set aside monÂey in your budÂget for text (search) ads, tarÂgetÂed disÂplay ads, mobile marÂketÂing, email camÂpaigns and othÂer strateÂgies. SEO is just one part of the critÂiÂcal online marÂketÂing mix. A Google study (2012) found that turnÂing off search ads resultÂed in an 89% drop in qualÂiÂfied webÂsite clicks. Resist the urge to be a one trick pony with SEO alone.
ProbÂlem: Youâ€™ve launched or relaunched your webÂsite. You genÂerÂate sigÂnifÂiÂcant iniÂtial trafÂfic but not a lot of return trafÂfic.
DiagÂnoÂsis: Your set-it-and-forÂget approach has led to memÂoÂry loss. Your search terms and Web conÂtent are not refined and up to date.
PreÂscripÂtion: By all means, revisÂit your search terms and your webÂsite. Use real-time anaÂlytÂics to conÂstantÂly refine your search terms. The beauÂty of the Web anaÂlytÂics is that it proÂvides immeÂdiÂate and quanÂtifiÂable feedÂback.
Does your webÂsite look the same as the day you launched it? Update your webÂsite to reflect new proÂmoÂtions, incenÂtives, rebates, tesÂtiÂmoÂniÂals, accoÂlades, etc. While you donâ€™t need to update conÂtent every week, you donâ€™t want your site to appear stale and abanÂdoned.
CreÂate reminders on your calÂenÂdar to regÂuÂlarÂly add new conÂtent. You can also tie in your webÂsite to your social media chanÂnels or a blog posts. Since search engines notice when new conÂtent is postÂed on a webÂsite, youâ€™re also helpÂing to boost SEO in a small way.
Tim McLain, Senior MarÂketÂing ManÂagÂer at NetÂsertive, offers advice to dealÂers when marÂketÂing to cusÂtomers online, pointÂing out five simÂple misÂtakes, three of which are preÂsentÂed here. Read the full artiÂcle to get all five.