Grow Dealerships Without Classified Motor Sites | Dealer Buzz

It’s not easy to grow dealerships without classified motor sites these days. Car dealers are always under pressure of competing with classified websites like Auto Trader, Ebay and motors, which kills the confidence of dealers  and forces them to carry on  using classified websites’ service even when their cost is growing every year. Its called a monopoly. Classified sites play a key role in the business model of many dealerships these days, but the more you depend on classified sites, the less control you have over your budget and business growth.

Based on my experience I am going to highlight a few unique opportunities that can help dealers save money and build successful dealerships without the help of classified sites.

Believe in your website

It might be cheesy, but it’s true. If you don’t believe in your website, how can you expect your customers to do the same? Trust me, websites are built to sell products and services and they prove pretty effective at it. Pay your website the right attention to keep it current, effective and engaging and your customers will return to it time and time again. We suggest spending 30 minutes to 1 hour on your website every day to keep it current, functioning and engaging.

Take advantage of any and all opportunities

Don’t think you can’t take advantage of search engines despite the prevalence of big motoring websites. There are plenty of opportunities out there if you look. Here are a few opportunities that you may already know about, but are worth being reminded about.

  • Location search terms optimisation – As a local business, your website has a greater chance of coming up at page 1 ranking under your specific location-based keywords than the bigger motoring websites. For example, if you are a car dealer in surrey then you can optimise your website for page 1 ranking under the keyword “Used Car Dealers in Surrey”, requiring much less effort than the biggest motoring websites, which operate nationally. Location based keywords are a huge area of opportunity.
  • Local search is for local businesses – Take advantage of Google’s local search listings. This bears even more fruit when Google blends local search results into its main search results. With SEO, your website can appear in top positions in Google’s search results. This gives car dealers the best opportunity to build their online presence and connect with local customers.
  • Customers are looking for cars, not big brands – Don’t be afraid to emphasise the local while trying to think big. Customers go online not to seek out big classified car websites specifically, but because they are looking for a car. They aren’t going to mind where they get it from, so long as they find the right car for them, have an enjoyable customer service experience and trust the company with whom they are doing business. Local car dealerships can offer all that just as much as the larger classified websites, if not more in many cases. After all, once the customer has got past the whizzy graphics and clever web design of a larger classified site, all they really want to do is find the right car. Just the same as when they come to you.
  • Distance matters – Take advantage of the fact that you are close to your customers and build up a good working relationship. Share local news, festivals and other information that might be of interest to your local community. I understand as a local business you do not have enough resources or time to build masses of quality news content. But a few news items, one or two paragraphs in length, with links to allow users to find out more will help you a lot in building relationship and engaging users with your website.

Don’t give your customers an excuse

Make sure your website stock is well updated. Once a car has been sold, remove it from the website otherwise you will lose your customers’ trust.

Give users several ways to communicate with you. As a small, local business you don’t want to lose customers just because they couldn’t communicate in their preferred way. Here are few of the most commonly used communication tools that customers can use.

  • Email: this is the most commonly used communication tool these days. Make sure your address is written correctly, and your account monitored regularly.
  • Tel: if possible, give your customers an 0800 or other low-cost number so they can contact you at little or no cost to themselves. Make sure you mention the times when you are available to be contacted, and when you are not.
  • Twitter: lots of people like using twitter to ask question or leave feedback. Facilitate this by setting up a twitter account and make sure you actively manage it.
  • Skype: if possible, allow customers to chat with you by this method so they can find out about the car and your services with no delays.
  • Speakpipe: this free tool allows customers to leave you a voice message, which is then delivered to your email inbox.
  • Address: last but not least, make sure you have your correct address on your website, along with a map and travel directions.

In brief:

  • Believe in your website if you want to sell your cars through it
  • Optimise for location based keywords : your website can achieve great rankings under location based keywords. Location based keywords mean local customers or more qualified leads.
  • Don’t be afraid of the big boys: customers are looking for cars, not big motoring websites, when they browse in search engines. Why shouldn’t they come to you?
  • You are the first choice for local customers before they start browsing big motoring websites. Enjoy your geographical advantage and local knowledge to build relationships, engage customers and strengthen trust.
  • Never give your customers an excuse to leave your website. Give ‘em what they want.