Building & Maintaining Your Dealership Website

July 10, 2024

A customer searching for a car online

You structure and organize your dealership to make a strong first impression on new customers as they walk in the door. Why wouldn't the same principle apply to your digital presence, too?

Your dealership website is often the first point of interaction between your business and potential customers. It needs to meet the same high standards you hold the rest of your dealership to. In other words, you can't just scrape together a basic site and call it a day. Dealer website management is an ongoing process that pays off if you put in the necessary time and effort. 

Here's how to build a car dealership website that will attract customers, generate leads, and, ultimately, boost your business. 

Why Do You Need a Dealership Website?

According to Google research, 95% of vehicle shoppers research vehicles online before making a purchase¹. While some of that research occurs on third-party consumer research sites, many shoppers end up on dealership websites during their online searches.

Dealer websites are the number-one source of information that impacts vehicle sales²—tied with input from friends and family. They beat out manufacturer websites, third-party sites, and even salespeople at the dealership². 

If you don't have a professional, user-friendly website, you'll miss out on that web traffic and the potential sales that go with it. Some shoppers may trust your dealership less or simply never even hear about your inventory.

Launching and maintaining a dealership website helps you connect with customers, generate interest in your vehicles, and drive sales up. You can reach a much wider audience with a website than with traditional local marketing. 

What Should You Include in an Automotive Dealership Websites?

1. High-Quality Vehicle Images

Blurry, hard-to-see vehicle images don't help vehicle shoppers. Project professionalism and credibility with high-quality images of all vehicles in your inventory. 

Include plenty of pictures of each vehicle's exterior and interior, including clear images of any flaws. Take pictures from multiple angles so customers understand the vehicle's condition before they ever see it in person. 

2. Effective Vehicle Descriptions

While the images in each listing attract lots of attention, your vehicle descriptions are equally important. Be completely honest in describing the key details about each vehicle. Discuss the vehicle's condition, special features, and history. Between the listing pictures and descriptions, online shoppers should have a good handle on your vehicles after seeing them online. 

3. An Appealing Home Page

Your homepage is the first foot your dealership puts forward online. It sets the tone for the rest of your website and helps visitors decide whether to explore the site further. 

Keep the design and text of your homepage simple. Stick to your established brand colors and styles so your website enhances brand recognition. If you need help with your design or set-up, use a car dealer website builder to get the ball rolling. 

4. Up-to-Date Vehicle Inventory

Customers don't want to wonder whether the vehicles listed on your website are still available. Outdated digital inventory makes your dealership seem less trustworthy and professional.

Avoid these problems by always keeping the inventory list on your website up to date. If you sell a vehicle listed online, remove that listing as soon as possible. When you buy new inventory, add new vehicle listings quickly. 

Forcing customers to "check availability" can reduce your conversion rate by nearly 20%³. Instead, be straightforward and ensure all the vehicles listed on your website are truly still for sale. 

5. Contact Options

If customers have questions about your inventory or want to start the buying process, make it as easy for them as possible. Offer several ways to contact your dealership, such as online chat, email, and phone number, so each customer can choose the option they prefer. 

Any web forms or chat features site visitors engage with should integrate directly with your customer relationship management software. The more information you have about prospects in one place, the more likely you are to close those sales. Your sales representatives can use the information collected on your website to tailor their interactions with customers in person. 

How to Update & Maintain Your Website

A dealership website isn't something you can set and forget. You need to update it consistently to keep it running smoothly and generating leads for your business. Apply these tips on dealership website maintenance:

  • Adjust your website design: Every so often, tweak your design to reflect new styles and trends so your website remains current. 
  • Add smoother navigation: Smooth navigation becomes even more important as you add pages to your dealership website. Make sure website visitors can easily find what they're looking for on your site.  
  • Implement search engine optimization tactics: SEO strategies, like adding keywords and internal links to your web content, can boost your website's ranking in search engine results. A higher search ranking means more visibility for your website and more customers.
  • Update outdated content: If any information on your website is no longer accurate, remove it and provide an updated version. 
  • Optimize for mobile devices: More than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices⁴. Make sure your website loads and appears properly on these devices, or you'll miss out on tons of potential traffic to your site. 

Grow Your Dealership Sales With an Effective Website

A dealership website is an invaluable marketing tool for sparking interest in your inventory and driving sales. Focus on creating a compelling home page, regularly updating your site, and creating vehicle listing pages that convert.

ACV Max's merchandising solutions will help you create unparalleled vehicle listing pages. Schedule a demo of our intuitive merchandising tools today. 



  1. Brumberg, R. (8 March 2024). Online car buying statistics 2024. Consumer Affairs. Retrieved June 27, 2024, from 
  2. Bolger, D., Forchette, E., and De Santis, C. (5 January 2019). How digital technologies can elevate the car-buying experience. Deloitte. Retrieved June 27, 2024, from 
  3. Gauthier, M. (17 June 2023). Car Dealer Websites Are Truly Terrible, New Study Shows How To Fix Them. Car Scoops. Retrieved June 27, 2024, 
  4. Ceci, L. (25 January 2024). Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 4th quarter 2023. Statista. Retrieved June 27, 2024, from