In a presentation for the Driving Sales series, SearchLab’s Greg Gifford explained how a car dealership can optimize its web presence.
The first tip offered by Mr. Gifford is to look at what the competition is doing both on the website and on their Google business profile page. “This can provide ideas for dynamic content or, on the other hand, find like our team that many dealers simply don’t respond to questions asked of them on their Google profile, or they haven’t posted anything there in over a year.”
According to him, putting a picture of a satisfied customer receiving the keys to his new car on the dealer’s profile is not enough. “This showcase is a marketing tool. We have to show offers, interesting vehicles, that’s what people are looking for. Whether it’s on the dealership’s website or on its Google profile, the key is to stand out and offer visitors the useful information they are looking for. It’s like a visit to a dealership, first impressions are everything.”
Searching for a car
Knowing that a consumer will consult an average of 27 websites before taking a concrete step towards the acquisition of a new or used vehicle, the expert recommends that dealerships make sure they are present on automotive aggregator sites and, above all, that they stand out from the others by building the site as an answer to consumers’ questions. “The local element is key,” he stresses. If you are involved in your community, ask your partners to link to your site, for example. The tone of your site should be the same as if you were having a conversation with a potential customer in your business.
Web reputation management
Regardless of the channel used, comments and questions from virtual visitors are a misused asset, according to Gifford. “Many questions are business opportunities. If a consumer goes to the trouble of asking a question about one of your products, it means they are interested. Our study of nearly 3,000 dealerships in 24 U.S. cities shows that the majority of questions remain unanswered. And that’s not to mention the comments that number in the hundreds!”
For him it is necessary to thank the positive comment and respond personally to a criticism issued on digital platforms. Only when a solution is found should the dealer respond publicly to the negative comment. According to the expert, people are more likely to trust a dealer who knows how to resolve disputes than one who only has glowing reviews.
According to Greg Gifford, an employee should be trained or found specifically to optimize the dealership’s visibility on the Internet, which has become an essential marketing tool.