12 Dealership Website Must Haves for a Strong Web Presence
You can count on the new year to bring plenty of changes. But one thing will not change: the critical importance of your dealership’s website. Is your web presence up to the task of attracting traffic from high-quality prospects? And converting them to leads? How ‘bout keeping existing customers informed to help generate repeat business?
Online search is a fact of life for every business. No matter how great your dealership’s reputation and how great the equipment lines you carry, those things are no longer enough. Neither is simply having a web presence. You have to work it, just like you work to continuously improve every other aspect of your business.
It’s time for a tune-up
Things may be slow around your dealership right now, but you know it’s just the calm before the late-winter “storm” of preparation for the primary construction season. Would-be customers are already contemplating what they will need in the way of new equipment for their fleet. Or rentals to fill gaps and expand capabilities.
That makes right now the time to review your dealership website. Check to be sure you’ve incorporated these 12 must-haves. Doing so can significantly boost your lead generation and sales in 2017.
But first, a reminder: you don’t have to do all this website work yourself. that’s what your outside marketing team is for. Even if you have in-house marketing staff, they’re busy. Fresh eyes and expertise can see and suggest improvements you wouldn’t uncover on your own.
So as you read through this list, jot down notes about what needs to change with your website. But also jot down questions to ask your marketing folks. Then call our pros here at ADI. With our hands-on experience in construction dealership management and successful dealership promotion, we can help you power up your web presence.
- Review your target personas. Is your website design and content tailored to appeal to each of your key segments? If not, you may attract visitors, but they won’t be great leads.
- Mobile-friendly, responsive design. This is not a luxury, it is critical for any construction dealership. Smartphones and tablets are work-day staples for your prospects and customers. They expect to find and retrieve information from your website quickly and easily. If they can’t, they’ll go to your competitor.
- Search engine optimization. Virtually nobody looks past the first page of search results, so this is an ongoing effort. The way search engines function and the way searchers function are both in flux. Yesterday’s SEO may not do the trick any more. Use your analytics to track most popular keywords, and adjust your content accordingly.
- Blogging. Next to your website itself, this is your strongest online sales tool. Your blog attracts visitors and keeps customers informed – about the industry and your dealership. It demonstrates you’re a reliable working partner, not just a sales and service outlet.
- Top quality photos. Your OEMs supply beauty shots of their products you can use on your dealership website. But you take pictures, too. Or you should. Not static shots of machines, but of your crew at work, interacting with customers, demo’ing the latest piece of equipment, etc. High quality photos speak directly to your professionalism. That said, encourage your customers to send/post shots of themselves using equipment purchased or rented from you. If their photos are “phone quality,” that’s OK. Use the photos for non-website channels such as social media sharing, etc.
- Video. As irresistible as photos are when it comes to attracting website attention, moving pictures are even better. Short how-to or other explanatory videos are gold for communicating information, credibility and personality to your audience.
- Include press releases in your marketing mix. Online platforms such as PRweb.com and PRlog.com are great places to announce dealership news, from a new big sale to awards to your latest product line of service department addition. Press releases help you reach a broader, relevant audience.
- Try for media attention. Local, regional and national publications (both print and online) are always looking for meaty, interesting stories. Why not one about your dealership? Or a customer? Like press releases, these stories bring great attention to your dealership, and they underscore your credibility as a resource.
- Social connections. You may be using LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter to engage with prospects, customers and colleagues, but are you taking advantage of industry-specific platforms and blogs, too?
- Participate in online forums. This also helps publicize your expertise while helping you reach more folks. And, like social media, it’s an excellent way to learn what’s on your prospects’ minds.
- Consider online advertising. Yes, it’s another budget item, but if it’s handled properly it can bring you a strong return on that investment.
- Finally, don’t leave your people out of the limelight. Your dealership IS your people. And even though online research is big these days, people still ultimately do business with other people.