How to Gain an Undeniable Advantage: Drive More Sales, Leads & Calls from Your Existing Website Traffic! (PART 21)


How to Gain an Undeniable Advantage: Drive More Sales, Leads & Calls from Your Existing Website Traffic! (PART 21)

TRANSCRIPT: Before I show you some do’s and don’ts. I want to stress again, know the laws. Know the laws that govern car dealer marketing in your city, your state, your province, or your country.

I am not an attorney. Know the laws before implementing any of the advice I provided today. Again, Steve Stauning said is not a defense, it’s not even a defense in my own house. So know the laws. Please. All right, we’ll do some quick dos and don’ts then the Q&A, and the reason we’re going to show you some don’ts, some bad examples, is I’ve found over time I can learn as much from a bad example as I  can from a good one.

I’m not picking on any dealer or any vendor here. I really am not. I just want to point out where conversions can be hurt if we don’t pay attention to the little things. Some of us overthink our home page, now this is actually a good home page for Berge, but I want to talk about… I’m not a fan of the spilt menus on the Ford direct sites.

Now Burge Ford is done a good job of getting the right split here when we look at new and used work trucks and service. They have the service there, but that second little menu, remember 95% of your homepage clicks are going to be into a menu so you want them to be able to find them menus properly.

Now that said, what I’m really not a fan of on this site is their use of the full page slider because this uses all of the good real estate, but Berge Ford has done a good job here because one of the things that they’re doing right is that they have a fixed single slide on the home page. And it gets the visitors to the inventory more quickly.

We know that sliders aren’t going to be effective for getting clicks but because they’re not sliding it and around and not moving it around. They’re not using a carousel of five different images. They’re just using one. It’s actually a good use of that. They’ve done a good job.

Alright, let me talk about the PPC predicament. Okay. This is a Sonic store, and this is a definite don’t. What’s happening here. Now, the top left is their website. Organically it’s rendering just fine. But when I arrive here from any paper click on any browser the phone number drops down below and the menu disappears.

Now, this is probably a simple programing error, but they have no navigation menu on their paper click and this was just last week that I found this site. Do have a phone number, I love their traditional site in organic because they have a phone number on the top left. So do have a phone number on the top okay and left is better than right because in America anybody who speaks English we read top to bottom left to right all right. So that’s the PPC predicament.

How about the payment predicament, you know here’s a definite don’t, and I’ve seen this a lot. The payments that you’re going to show those should be as good as what you were willing to display proudly offline. Either in your offline adverting or on the vehicle itself. Make sure that if you’re putting a payment online that you would say to yourself, “Yep, I would get three-foot tall numbers, and I’d stick it right on the vehicle out there.”

This is a $60,000 Dodge Ram. I’m telling $800 that’s probably a good payment. It’s  definitely a good payment. The problem is that $800 you would never… This was on my front line and I had people driving by I would never put as low as $799 a month would I? Because it wouldn’t stop anybody from coming in. What’s worse on this one is, is that the estimated lease it’s not working because the estimated lease payment is higher than the finance amount.

And so don’t put payments online that you wouldn’t be proud to put out to the real world. Offline do make sure that you have the option to suppress finance or lease payments when they fall outside the range your comfort range like their happening here. It’s okay to have payments on your site but you need to be able on specific vehicles to suppress those payments when they’re not fitting with your comfort range.

All right information is good thing and I want you to understand that, we need transactional transparency in this business, we’ve got to be able to do that. The problem is that there’s a large dealer group out they have a great soft approach to online deals but they give a single trade value without collecting any customer information when I start my process from a VDP.

If I try to build my deal from this dealer’s website from the VDP and I start with trade, they will give me one number on my trade. A single value without getting me to give up any information. I don’t have to give them my name, my email, my phone number, nothing. They have no contact information for me and they just gave me a single value. That this is a major don’t even if it’s a good number, because once I have that final, final number and that feels final. The dealer says estimated trade and values a single number, I’m either going to shop elsewhere or I’m going to quit looking.

Because if I felt my vehicle was worth more than that, I’m done. You’ve lost me. Ask yourself, are we willing to put a firm number sight unseen on a vehicle? Are we willing to do just a single value sight unseen? Someone who’s not in the dealership. Are we willing to do all of that with no contact information?

If I was to call this dealer and say I’ve got a 2012 whatever give me a price and I didn’t tell them anything about me, maybe I’m even calling from a blocked number, would your dealership give up that information? You wouldn’t and so we need to balance the information. People will gladly give up their name and email address to get a trade value. They’re are willing to do it.

And elsewhere on this dealer’s site they make them give that up, but for some reason when I’m working the deal, I don’t have to give up any information. Now, we found more than a dozen… I told you information is good but look at this. We found more than a dozen examples of dealers just framing in the non-affiliated, we’ll call it, instant cash offer page from Autotrader.

What happened is, is these dealers they went to Autotrader and they clicked sell my car and this is what appeared. Now this is a dealer’s website, this is a Ford dealer’s website. You can tell because of the Ford direct split menus. When I clicked in the finance, trade- in offer this is the page I was taken to.

This page is on if you complete this form… When the consumer completes this from on your site it takes them to the competitions website. It takes… I’m sorry it takes once I complete the form that lead goes to the completion, because this is not your website anymore. You’re framing in Autotrader that doesn’t make any sense.

But you know what? It gets much worse. I told you this is I made one click on that trade in offer page still in this dealer’s site. I clicked cars for sale. When I clicked cars for sale, I got to look for cars within 25 miles of that zip code, which would be competitors’ cars as well. But more than that look closely at this site. This is a Ford dealer’s website showing an ad for the award winning 2016 Nissan Rogue. Mr. Dealer, Mrs. Dealer, Mr. General Manager, Miss General Manager, would you show a Nissan ad on your dealer website? You probably are if you’re doing this.

Listen get a trade in partner. This is not a solution, okay. This is a dealer site that no longer does business with a trade appraisal company so they put up a page that says, “Sorry for the inconvenience for this tool is no longer available. For assistance in obtaining a value for your vehicle, please contact our dealership.”

That’s not a solution. Neither is a specials page that reads no specials today, check back later. Get a partner who’s going to give you the tools that you need to generate actual leads and sales from your website.

Now this is something I just called, ‘what the heck?’  What the heck is going on? So that logo that’s on the left, best price. I clicked on that from used specials page of a dealers site. From there, I got taken to this form. It’s a big form with lots and lots of blank fields on it, and if you look closely there are no directions on the form but every field is required.

And by the way remember I got here from a used special, on top of the form it says new Honda price request form, and it says choose your vehicle. So I typed in US army tank and it accepted that. What the heck? But oops, you missed this one, you missed this one, I missed a bunch of fields that I don’t know what goes in there.

Folks look at your website. You’re driving away your chance for leads. Hey Steve you said reputations is important. So reviews build trust don’t they? They do. But let me give you a few definite don’ts. This is your site, don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Be proactive and smart about any review links and any postings or framed reviews on your sites.

Now look at the top left this Mitsubishi dealer. Looks like they used to do business with and so they framed in their reviews on but what does show them. It shows them “Sorry, we don’t have a listing for this business.”

Look at the top right. This poor dealer…and you know what and I didn’t want to show dealers… but there’s no way to get to it without showing who it is. This dealer actually has a drop down. You can get to their Yelp reviews right on their website, and what does it say about them on Yelp? Well, they’re less than one and half stars on Yelp. Okay. That’s not good. That’s not a good thing. Reputation matters.

If you have bad reputation online on any site, don’t make it easy for your website visitors to find it. And don’t worry. It’s not just small dealers like this guy back in Daphne, Alabama. Big groups haven’t figured it out either, the stuff across the bottom. You can zoom in. The stuff across the bottom, that’s an example from a large dealer group.

I dropped in on their about us, about the dealership. I clicked rate us. It took me up to a page that had the Yelp symbol, the yelp logo with a click to write a yelp review. It took me right to the yelp page for that dealer which for that dealer they have 12 Yelp reviews and one and half stars. You don’t want to do this. Quit shooting yourselves in the foot.

Reviews matter. Now if you’re having trouble with Yelp, I do really like this. This is from a creative Subaru dealer in California that basically strikes back at Yelp. If you’re like a typical dealer, you’ve struggled to get valid five star reviews posted to Yelp. Well, look what this dealer did.

They’re posting the Yelp reviews you’ll never see, they went in and grabbed these reviews and they wrote, ‘We don’t pay Yelp to un-filter our reviews. Here are the Yelp reviews that you never get to see. This page is dedicated to unsung heroes of the Yelp community. Folks, that resonates with Yelpers. That absolutely does. It’s a terrific trust builder. It’s smart as heck. I recommend that you copy what that dealer is doing.