Top 5 Factors That Affect Your Dealer’s Online Visibility

May 20, 2016

Most dealerships have a site that is heavily influenced by the manufacturer. They may change the “About us” page, but the rest of the site often remains generic. Today’s digital-savvy consumers demand more ways to connect to dealerships online than through just a plain website. Find out what dealerships can do to increase online visibility, which will help you attract the right customers, display the proper vehicle information, and build trust.

Ways to Increase Your Dealership’s Online Visibility

Factor #1: Build a Robust Website with a Variety of Relevant, Unique Content

Your website is a fantastic way for your business to show up in search results pages. To increase online visibility, you really need to go above and beyond the manufacturer’s content so you outrank all the other dealerships in your market that use the same OEM-issued language.

Google, Bing, and other search portals use algorithms to determine page ranking and devote more links and real estate to pages that have a deeper page structure. When your website has unique pages that use keywords and offer content that answers users’ questions that they type into search engines, you’ll find yourself ranking much higher than you were before.

To beat the competition in search rankings, you need a robust website that offers a variety of content your customers will be searching. Some examples of opportunities for robust content are:

  • Model research pages on new models and even popular used models.
  • Comparison pages highlighting your models over similar vehicles in its segment.
  • Blog posts offering interesting content to your brand and customer base.
  • Landing pages for oil changes, tires, staff, about us, lease information, and more.

Factor #2: Effectively Utilize Social Media Channels

Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, LinkedIn, Oh My! It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options to promote your business on social media channels. While some social media platforms are more effective than others to garner interest in your dealership, the key to using them is consistency. When customers know you are sharing items with them that they might find interesting, you’re building trust with your brand.

And whether or not you are online, your customers are certainly having conversations about you. Make sure you are proactive and maintain a friendly, authoritative presence. Social media is a great way to interact with potential, current, and past customers to alert them to lease and service specials, new models, incentives, dealership events, and more.

Factor #3: Offer Comprehensive VDPs

VDPs are a necessary tool to display your inventory to potential consumers actively searching for vehicles. Today’s millennial consumer will spend nearly 18 hours shopping online for a vehicle before they even step foot in a showroom. When you offer VDPs that give answers to all anticipated questions consumers have about vehicles, you can combat showrooming with content-rich ads and directly connect consumers with your VDPs. After all, if they view the highlights, you’ll view the taillights.

Factor #4: Know Your Audience and What They Want

While some dealerships might find success based on hunches that certain cars will sell, it’s best to have a strategy to thoroughly know your market. Who are the people buying your cars? What cars sell best historically in your area? Are you pricing vehicles correctly? When you know what your customers are looking for, you’ll be able to provide the types of cars that move quickly with a solid inventory management system.

It’s also not safe to assume that everyone who finds you online is a millennial constantly on a smartphone. Know the numbers behind why you should market to more than millennials to capture the attention of any age group searching online. Being aware of how mobile commerce trends affect consumers’ shopping habits can also help you plan online visibility strategies.

Factor #5: Build Trust by Leveraging the Right Tools

When you’ve got your site going, social media channels buzzing, and VDPs in place geared toward your consumers, you still need to ensure your dealership keeps that online visibility factor going by building trust. Turn your sales team into product experts so they can demonstrate their inventory expertise to customers with a transparent vehicle pricing tool.

A Few Changes Go a Long Way for Increasing Online Visibility

Increasing your online visibility does not have to be a difficult process or involve web developer skills. Making a few critical changes to modernize your sales process, offering an effective digital showroom, and fixing any problems in your inventory management system can bring in new customers online in no time.