Why You Need More Than a Website

By: Whitney Norrad   |   25 Jan 2017
more than a website - marketing

Is my Website Enough?

This might not be the answer you’re looking for, but the answer is no. FlexDealer is a digital marketing company, so of course we’re serious advocates for a strong web presence for your business.

You have a dealership — do you just sit and wait for people to show up to buy a car? I sure hope not!

You might buy TV spots, placements in the local paper, run referral campaigns, hold private sales, or execute any number of other marketing initiatives that bring people into your dealership.

Your website also requires a marketing plan to bring users to it, because otherwise, the only people who will be visiting your website are people that already know about your business. We wouldn’t want that!

The Purpose of Dealership Websites

Think about why your dealership has a website in the first place. Maybe that reason is to sell more cars (but how?), or perhaps you have a website because you know that it’s important to business but aren’t sure why.

Your website is an extension of your physical dealership, pulling your offline brand into the easy-to-access world of the internet (here’s another great how-to article on mixing the two). Visitors come to your website to gain information, which will likely, at some point, lead to a vehicle purchase. It is important to provide users with easy access to the information that they want and need.

Make sure that you provide value, gain trust, and are a true dealership presence online — not just a sales pitch. Be the place that car shoppers want to shop.

 

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How to Drive Traffic to Your Dealership Site, and Why

There are seemingly millions of ways to market your website and here are some of our favourites:

Strong SEO (Search Engine Optimization): A website with strong SEO is a website with digital muscles. A website with great SEO is a website that Google and other search engines like. This means that the search engines know what your site is about, can match search data to information on your site, and will serve it up to eager searchers. If your website can rank for relevant search term organically, you’ll be at the top of the list, and the top of shoppers’ minds, without additional expenses. Organic traffic is often classified as “the best” traffic because you’re attracting users who are searching for what you’re offering. Bonus: with the right SEO in place, they’re seeing your website over the competition’s.
 

Paid Advertising: We love Google AdWords and Facebook advertising. Both have different benefits based on what type of consumers you want to attract, and both are deeply entrenched in the lives of potential customers. With Google AdWords and Facebook advertising, you can reach your users somewhere that they’re already visiting, and become their new friend. With paid advertising, you reach new customers who might not know about you, or might be searching for a vehicle but don’t know where to look. You’re also able to be specific in the consumer segments you’re reaching, which means you that won’t just be bringing in traffic, but the right traffic!


An Example of Facebook Advertising - The Humble Bundle
The Humble Bundle knows what’s up - reaching gamers directly in their Facebook feeds and giving back to charities while doing it!
 

Content Marketing: Your website’s content plays into SEO, while providing value and resources to website visitors. If your website has all the answers to their questions (reviews, blogs, and comparison pages), great deals (real promotions), well-merchandised inventory pages, and is easily accessible, visitors will trust and use your website to research and purchase their next vehicle.

Strong Relationships: This is the car business, and we all know the value of strong relationships.There’s nothing like word-of-mouth advertising, so why not translate this evergreen theory to your web presence? Being able to build links from reputable websites adds credibility and trust to your dealership’s brand, both in the eyes of consumers and of Google. To gain trustworthy backlinks, build relationships with automotive bloggers, sales professionals, and your community. Community events, sponsorships, and donations also show your philanthropic side, while boosting your digital presence. #winning!

An example of the benefits of strong relationships through backlinking: Dear Santa Durham and Tip Top Auto
One of FlexDealer’s Partners, Tip Top Auto, sees some love and linkage on Dear Santa Durham’s sponsorship page.

What Else Can I Do?

We could brainstorm and make recommendations for days on how to dominate the web all day - we’re “making dealership digital rock” addicts. Luckily for us, the web is constantly growing and throwing out new ways to enhance your brand. Let us know in the comments what your favourite ways to drive traffic are, and why you feel that they’re important!

 

Whitney Norrad Account Marketing Manager at FlexDealer

Whitney Norrad

The collaborative marketing partner and trusted liaison for dealer clients of FlexDealer. Whitney hails from a background in automotive accessory marketing, and has a love for all things digital. Marketing Account Manager duties aside, she enjoys snuggling with cats, making wine and convincing her spouse to buy more TMNT art for their home in St. Catharines, Ontario.

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