In a quick review of dealership’s websites, I find that many are almost entirely sales focused and tend to neglect the one department that brings the most significant percentage of profit… service. Go ahead. Take a look at a few dealership websites. Service tends to be the red-headed stepchild; often neglected and forgotten. Yet it accounts for 50% or more of a dealership’s revenue.

 

In fact, just 10%, or even less of most dealer websites are dedicated to service, according to an article in Automotive News. Sounds like a bit of an imbalance, doesn’t it?

 

One dealer decided to change that. Feldman Automotive Group increased service-related content on almost all of its websites and, since late 2018, has seen visitor traffic increase by 60%. Perhaps more importantly, customer pay revenue increased by 32% in the first 3 months of 2019!

 

Service-related content is frequently searched for by consumers, yet many dealerships neglect to provide any information at all about this section of their business. In many cases, service coupons and specials are either outdated or non-existent. Keep in mind that any consumers who look at your dealership’s website for service information – and then find none – will simply continue to search and, in many cases, will find that information provided by an independent repair facility such as Jiffy Lube. And they are aggressive, transparent, and current in their pricing and services – which consumers seem to like.

 

In this highly competitive market, it makes sense to produce more service-related content for your website. Be sure to keep your service coupons current, be transparent, and provide information and pricing for your most popular service packages and what they include. Consider having a service director shoot a quick video about why customers should service at your dealership – what the benefits are of getting their vehicle serviced at a franchise dealer versus an independent, for example.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a customer come in for routine maintenance and not just warranty service? If you fail to provide the reasons why a customer should choose you over an independent, the consumer may well choose price and convenience, even if your dealership is competitive.

 

Most dealerships share the reasons why a consumer should buy a car from them. That’s a no-brainer. But too few share why consumers should service their car there as well. In my opinion, the ultimate outcome of neglecting service content and information on your website is just one thing – lost revenue.

 

Hey, it has been proven to work. If Feldman can increase customer pay by 32%; surely it’s worth putting at least a little time and effort into creating that service content. Think about creating blogs (both written and video) with topics such as how to pair your iPhone to the in-vehicle entertainment system, as well as specific services you offer and why they are essential. It is also great to highlight your service personnel, their achievements and training, along with the same message of quality, customer service, professionalism, and convenience that you probably already market in your sales messages.

 

Now, while adding service content to your website is great, taking it one step further is even better. Personally, I recommend specialized service websites as they are a great way to bring more customers into your automotive service and maintenance facility. These sites should be optimized with unique content about all things vehicle maintenance, repair, and service. Let your potential and existing customers know that they can count on you to not only sell them a great vehicle but to keep it in excellent condition. If you drive traffic to your service website, it will also drive more traffic to your main website, meaning you’ll have more people viewing your inventory, so it’s a win-win!

If you up your digital footprint as far as vehicle service is concerned, you should see an increase in service revenue and customer pay ROs. These customers can quickly become loyal brand advocates who you can win over as lifetime customers and also capture future sales from referrals.

 

Make your service department easy to find by providing the type of content consumers are looking for. Become the resource they turn to for information and your efforts could soon result in precisely what your business wants… more profit and more customers.

 

Next Generation Tools Enable Dealers To Contact Customers In Under 6 Seconds, Converting Leads Into Sales
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calf., January 7, 2018 – fusionZONE Automotive, LLC, the automotive industry’s highest-performing dealer website solution, today announced the launch of two lead generation tools, FastRing and FastPrice. These tools enable dealers to instantly generate competitive pricing on a prospective customer’s screen and contact them in under 6 seconds, converting more leads into sales.

 

“Consumers spend more and more time shopping online for a vehicle and expect to get the information they want in real time,” said Brett Sutherlin, FusionZONE Founder. “The days of car dealers withholding prices from potential customers are in the past. When the consumer requests pricing online, they want that information FAST! Unfortunately, many potential customers will leave a dealership website because they had to wait too long, or never received the information at all and went elsewhere,” Sutherlin continued.

 

FastPrice gives customers a “no haggle” price in just two clicks. The customer chooses a vehicle, clicks the “get today’s best price button,” and fills out a simple contact form. Behind the scenes, FastPrice crunches the numbers according to the dealer’s pricing structure, displays the best price instantly on the screen, and sends the dealer the lead.

 

FastPrice can be customized and programmed to give additional options to the information the consumer requested. For example, many dealerships use FastPrice to display new car alternatives or even a Certified or Pre-Owned option in addition to the information and price requested.

 

Dealers using FastPrice see a lift in leads of 100 to 400 percent, which in turn results in more sales. Capital Toyota in Chattanooga, TN, went from averaging 60 leads per month to approximately 432 leads per month, and new and used vehicle sales soared from about 180 a month to over 250.

 

FastPrice and FastRing are highly effective stand-alone products but also work exceptionally well together to make a positive first impression, increase website conversion rates and stop shoppers in their tracks.

 

“We live in a world of fast; fast cars, fast food, faster checkout. Consumers don’t want to wait; they want everything now. In this new car buying era, internet shoppers are no different. You have to grab your customers before they leave your website or a third-party website that features your vehicles, and certainly before they get distracted by another crazy cat video,” said Sutherlin.

 

According to a recent MIT study, the average consumer leaves a website within 30-45 seconds after requesting more information. With FastPrice they get that information immediately. Then, with FastRing they can still be on the dealer’s website when the salesperson receives the lead and calls the customer — all within 6 seconds. FastRing instantly connects the dealership to the customer while they are still browsing the website, dramatically reducing the likelihood of them visiting a competitor site.

 

“With FastRing you are in contact with a lead before the customer has time to click away or even check their email. FastRing connects you with a lead instantly, faster than your competition could ever dream off. First impressions are ones that last and fast impressions are ones that sell,” Sutherlin added.

 

FastRing integrates with 3rd party applications creating instant connections from any lead source. It includes an extensive administration portal with 24/7 access to call data including call recordings and real-time statistics.

 

FastRing and FastPrice will are launching at the 2019 NADA show, January 25-27, 2019, at booth 7935W. For more information, view this video https://tinyurl.com/y7637fc9.

 

To schedule a booth visit, /or a demo, visit: https://www.fzautomotive.com/nada/

 

About fusionZONE Automotive, LLC

 

fusionZONE Automotive offers automotive dealers the nation’s fastest, most cutting-edge customized and responsive websites. With the sole objective of driving website conversions and leads, fusionZONE Automotive websites help dealers sell more cars.

 

fusionZONE also offers complete, progressive digital marketing solutions, streamlining the digital process for dealerships of all sizes.

 

fusionZONE Automotive websites are designed to not only garner as much traffic as possible for dealer clients, but also to actively convert that traffic into leads and sales.

 

fusionZONE is based in Pacific Palisades, CA Lakeland, FL and Seattle, WA.

 

Media Contact:

(424) 330-2356

marketing@fzautomotive.com

Online Reviews-Reputation Management - Dealership Digital Marketing
Online reviews, and especially Google reviews, should be a huge priority for any business operating today. It takes some time and constant effort to properly execute a review management strategy, but it’s worth it: reviews provide the very foundation of your online reputation, and how you manage them can mean the difference between life and death for your dealership.
Trust-building and Brand Differentiation.
We live in an age where widespread internet access means that dealers don’t get to make the first impression when a customer walks onto their lot. With a vast majority of consumers conducting a vast majority of their research online before ever setting foot inside a dealership, dealers must be able to establish and build trust at the very outset of a prospective customer’s online journey. To this end, online reviews are critical to the initial establishment of trust for online shoppers. Research has shown that:
Online Reviews-Reputation-Management-Dealership-Digital-Marketing
These numbers speak volumes about the necessity of online reviews for today’s shopper, and why including them in your reputation management strategy is no longer merely an option. Review management, as one component of a greater rep man strategy, will continue to be critical for the foreseeable future.
Reviews are also necessary for brand differentiation. Consider that the automotive industry is an almost perfectly competitive market: a consumer can find the same or essentially the same products and features at any dealership within a given segment. As a result, we must find other ways to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. One way many dealers are doing this is by creating a unique and pleasant car-shopping experience. But even if you’ve formulated a slam-dunk customer experience, how will online shoppers know about it? You guessed it: by reading reviews on the internet. Given that 90% of consumers read online reviews before deciding to visit a local business, your reviews are what will make you stand out so that buyers want to visit your store rather than the one down the street.
Making Reviews Work for You.
Like social media, online reviews are not a one-and-done thing; making them work to your advantage requires incorporating them into your larger reputation management strategy, and growing and monitoring them on a regular basis. Three of the most important factors for effectively managing your online reviews are recency, quantity, and quality.
When an internet user enters a search query into Google, Google’s aim is to serve up content or businesses that are most relevant to the search terms. It follows, then, that recency increases relevance, and dealerships with the most recent content and reviews will fare better on search results pages.
Along with being a key search ranking factor, the recency of your online reviews has a direct impact on whether consumers decide to visit your website and, ultimately, your dealership. BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey revealed several key findings that go to the importance of recency:
Online Reviews-Car Dealership-Digital Marketing
To sum this up, you must be constantly seeking new reviews – every day, from every customer. Getting ten great reviews in two days in order to cover up one bad review is not a viable business practice; today’s customers are more savvy than ever, and they will quickly catch on, resulting in a degradation of your dealership’s credibility and perceived trustworthiness.
Constantly seeking new reviews isn’t important only for recency, either; it goes to quantity, too. Consumers look to see how many reviews have contributed to your dealership’s overall star-rating. Think about it from a consumer’s perspective: Are you more likely to trust a business with five stars and only 2 reviews, or one with 4.5 stars and 50 reviews? Common sense points to the latter.
The star-ratings and content of reviews is, as you can imagine, hugely important, both for SEO ranking as well as for building consumer trust. On its support site, Google has said that “Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.” Rating and content quality are important to prospective customers, too. According to Podium’s State of Online Reviews survey, 3.3 is the minimum star-rating a business must have for consumers to even consider engaging with it. And since 68% of consumers would pay more for the same product or service if assured they would have a better experience, it’s important that the substantive content of the reviews include an evaluation of the various aspects of each customer’s experience that led them to write a review.
There’s an important caveat here, though. Having a few negative reviews isn’t always a bad thing; the key is how you respond to and manage them. In fact, a large number of online car shoppers say that they’d trust a dealership that professionally and caringly responded to a negative review more than they’d trust a dealership that had no negative reviews whatsoever. If you manage them properly, one or two negative reviews can actually enable trust rather than hindering it.
The bottom line is that online reviews have a huge impact on your bottom line. If properly solicited, managed, and monitored, they can propel car shoppers to both your website and your brick-and-mortar dealership, and ultimately result in a significant lift in sales.

Local mobile SEO only continues to grow in importance for today’s automotive dealerships. Use our Local Mobile SEO Checklist to improve your online presence for users searching locally on their mobile devices.
Local Mobile SEO - Infographic-fusionZONE-Automotive-Digital-Marketing-Blog

We talk to many dealers who are frustrated by having an OEM-mandated website program. But there IS a way that dealers can deal. Check out the video below to learn more.

Want your website to convert at a (much) higher rate? Click here for a free demo.

When you consider that almost half of mobile search traffic has local intent and over 85% of mobile engagement with brands is local, it becomes clear: local mobile search is here to stay, and it’s only growing in importance. Use this checklist to ensure your dealership’s online presence is properly optimized for local mobile SEO rankings.
Shorter Keywords
This goes against everything you learned in SEO 101. But while long-tail keywords are a well-known best practice for desktop SEO, the same is not true for mobile. Not surprisingly, people do a lot less typing on their mobile devices than they do on their desktop devices. So, it makes sense that they also enter shorter keywords and phrases when conducting searches on mobile.

Location, Location, Location

Keep it close to home, literally. To rank for local search, be sure to include your keyword and location in all of the following elements:

  • Title tag
  • Page title (h1 tag)
  • Within the page’s content itself
  • Image alt text

fusionZONE-Dealership-Marketing-Blog-Local Mobile SEOPaid Search & Promoted Pins
I just told you to prioritize shorter keywords when optimizing for local mobile SEO. But it’s harder to rank using shorter keywords and phrases, so boost your SERP rankings by utilizing paid search. You can also take advantage of Promoted Pins. This feature on Google Maps allows your dealership to stand out by displaying your custom logo directly on the map.
Mobile Ad Extensions
Ad extensions expand your ads to include additional information. According to Google, these extensions “typically increase your ad’s click-through rate by several percentage points” by providing greater visibility and conspicuousness on SERPs. Some ad extensions that can be particularly effective in terms of local mobile SEO include:

  • Location extensions
  • Sitelink extensions
  • Click-to-call buttons
  • Call extensions

 
The bottom line is that people doing local searches are looking for local results. Taking the time to optimize for local mobile SEO can put your dealership at the top of the heap and lead to a dramatic increase in both foot traffic and overall conversion rates.
fusionZONE-Dealership-Marketing-Blog-Local Mobile SEO

In order to stand out within the automotive website creation space, you must have effective dealership marketing strategies in place from the get-go. And as the needs of clients and the demands of the industry change, so must the company.
In a world that was once focused on getting the client into the storefront itself for face-to-face interaction, dealership marketing has shifted to creating an online presence that enables the customer not only to find your dealership but to actually close the deal. It’s true that maintaining established relationships is vital within the digital marketing realm, but dealers must evolve with the times in order to survive.
Many website providers have become more technology-driven, pushing things like “buy online” tools, attributions, and online retailing — working hard to convince you that a shopper will not take the time to fill out a lead form. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Driving customers to your site. Amidst all the seemingly innovative online tools that are inundating the market, it’s necessary to look at the hard, factual data. The conclusion that can be drawn is what we’ve been telling our dealer peers for years: A focus on speed + conversion will drive customers to your website. It’s important to go back to the basics of dealership marketing, because at the end of the day, a fancy website that is difficult to find, packed with links, and running high-tech programs isn’t going to sell cars.
What sells cars? The answer is quickly being able to connect with a potential buyer and turning that lead intoto a conversion. The more leads a dealership website can deliver, the more cars the dealer can sell, period.
If you’re looking for year-over-year growth (and who isn’t?) with an impressive 5% conversion rate that shows no signs of decreasing, the answer is simple: speed + conversion. A correctly optimized website leads to a thriving, profitable dealership.
While times are changing, with many dealership marketing vendors innovating for themselves rather than for the dealer, the fact remains that if you cannot find a way to connect with your customer quickly and in a way that is easy for them, you won’t close the deal. Conversion and site speed are here to stay.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving, and keeping up with all the new developments and updates can be challenging, to say the least. While some SEO strategies may have worked very well a few years ago, the recent Panda, Possum, and Hummingbird algorithm updates have sharpened Google’s focus to discern between spammy content and quality content. Nowadays, Google’s algorithms can easily detect if your website is implementing SEO best practices, and will adjust your rankings accordingly.
In the automotive industry, the competition is fierce. If you’re not staying up-to-speed on the latest SEO best practices, you’re going to lose potential sales to your competitors. Listed below are the six most common dealership SEO mistakes that have negative effects on website traffic, along with suggested solutions to help increase visibility and leads.
Keyword-stuffing and over-optimization for locations. Keyword research and strategic placement of target keywords is a vital aspect of any SEO campaign. But one of the most common mistakes in SEO is attempting to include every possible keyword into the website content. This overuse of keywords is called “keyword-stuffing” — a practice by which someone attempts to “stuff” all possible keywords into the website content. Because search engines see keyword-stuffing as a spammy tactic, it can be harmful your website’s performance and keyword rankings.
As dealers, of course, we want to get leads from each and every city surrounding our dealership. So, many dealers include 10, 15, or even 20 nearby cities in their homepage content in order to “optimize” for all of those cities. This practice may have worked 10 years ago, but today, Google’s algorithms can detect unnatural keyword-stuffing practices. At the very least, keyword-stuffing could generate a dilution of each keyword’s relevance to Google, meaning that each keyword will have less power in influencing Google’s algorithm. But most keyword-stuffing can not only lead to significantly lower rankings for each of those cities, it could also result in lower rankings for ALL of the website’s target keywords. Try to include only a few cities in the content so Google does not flag the website as spammy. Furthermore, Google not only uses city names in order to provide better local rankings, but the search engine’s algorithm also takes into account local SEO factors.
Bottom Line: Don’t overuse your target keywords, especially city names.
 
Neglecting local SEO. Local SEO is becoming increasingly important. Google continues to show more 3-packs, or the top three Google Maps results, on its search engine result pages (SERPs). While Google definitely still draws on the city name keywords in the content, Google is beginning to rely more heavily on local factors and physical location.
The local SEO ecosystem is extremely vast and complex, and it all relies on having your business listed on all of the major local directories and search engines. As you can see from the diagram below, each local directory and search engine sends search signals to Google. These signals mean that Google’s algorithm takes into account the local directories and search engines when it ranks a particular business and determines its physical location.

Your dealership should not only be listed on all of these search engines and directories, but it also needs to display consistent information with completed listing profiles. This consistent information further informs Google’s local search algorithm, helping your business listing and website to rank better for local search queries.

Bottom Line: Claim your Google Business page, get your business listed on all relevant directories and search engines, and ensure your listing has consistent information.
 
Bad backlinks. Unfortunately, the SEO community is fraught with “black-hat SEOs”, which are people that employ spammy, unethical, and typically outdated tactics in order to try to increase rankings. The most infamous strategy consists of building a ton of spammy backlinks to a particular website. Quality backlinks are extremely important for ranking better on Google. But when someone builds a high quantity of low-quality links, this typically causes the website’s rankings to drop, and it could also result in a penalty or being completely banned from Google. The recovery process is extremely painstaking and can result in a massive loss of revenue. Don’t hire black-hat SEOs, and remember: relevant, quality backlinks are more important than the quantity of backlinks.
Bottom Line: Don’t hire an unknown, uncredited SEO company. If you already have, find a reputable SEO company to clean up those bad backlinks.
 
Neglecting backlinks. Backlinks are inbound links from outside websites that link to your website. When Toyota.com links to your dealership’s site, for example, that’s considered a backlink. The term “link-building” (attempting to generate more inbound links to your website) has received a bad reputation due to all of the black-hat SEO link-building tactics utilized over the years. Some SEOs have claimed that linkbuilding is dead, but this is certainly not the case. Backlinks are still one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. In fact, 99% of websites that rank on the first page for high-volume keywords have at least one external backlink to that website or webpage.
Most dealerships lose out on potential backlink opportunities by inputting incorrect information. The OEM website typically has at least one backlink to the dealership website, which is a highly authoritative and highly relevant backlink for a dealer. However, many dealers have changed domains or provided the incorrect URL, so that the link from the OEM website does not work. This is a huge missed opportunity! Changing this one backlink results in a significant ranking boost and should not be overlooked.
In addition, many dealership websites miss out on link-building opportunities. Dealers may sponsor local events, participate in the local chamber of commerce, and have local partnerships. These are all potentially important backlinks that dealers can acquire. Taking advantage of these opportunities can assist in getting one’s website to rank higher for local searches.
Bottom Line: Check your backlink profile and your partner websites for link opportunities. Hire a reputable SEO company to build strong backlinks.
 
Poor page speed. Mobile traffic accounts for 60% of all website traffic, and 63% of people use their smartphones to make vehicle purchases (Auto CB 2015/2016). In our increasingly mobile world, mobile optimization has become extremely important in the car-buying experience. First and foremost, a good mobile user experience starts with page speed. If a website takes too long to load, the potential customer will bounce off the website and go to the next competitor. With tools like Google Pagespeed Insights and Pingdom, you can analyze how fast your website loads, and determine what is slowing it down. These tools will even suggest solutions to improve your page loading time and, therefore, your overall user experience. More often than not, the decrease in page speed is due to third-party applications added to the websites. It is best to reach out to those third-party companies and ask them to provide a different code for your website. Inform them that you ran a site speed test and the code needs to be optimized.
Bottom Line: Page speed is important, and with the rise of mobile, it’s here to stay. Check your website’s page speed and fix the glaring issues.
Duplicate content. While we typically hear about the negative impact of intentional duplicate content, the majority of duplicate content is completely unintentional. Duplicate content usually results from an improper technical structure of the website and lack of using certain tags. With car dealer websites, there are thousands of pages of cars and information on each site, which can easily result in massive duplicate content issues. Tools like Screaming Frog and Moz can help determine if your website has duplicate content issues.
There are a few ways to fix duplicate content problems; however, each method depends on the website in question. Here are a few common solutions:

  • A no-index tag: Use this method to prevent Google from indexing many pages of the website. Make sure that the no-index tag is only on the pages that you do not want indexed, or it could be detrimental to your website.
  • Rel=canonical tags: Use these tags to tell Google which version of the page to index. If a website has multiple versions of the same page, placing a canonical tag with the preferred URL on each of those pages will help Google and Bing determine the preferred page. This method is a great way to eliminate duplicate content.
  • 301 redirects: When there are “duplicate” pages, it’s possible to set up a 301 redirect from the duplicate page to the correct page. This change will not only eliminate duplicate content issues, but it will also help your ranking potential for the correct page, as those multiple duplicate content pages will no longer be competing with one another.

Bottom Line: Check your website for duplicate content, and use one of the above 3 methods to fix any duplicate content issues.
These 6 common SEO pitfalls can result in significantly lower rankings or even harmful penalties. It’s extremely important to address these issues immediately. Fixing these SEO problems will help your auto dealer website’s SEO immensely, and these are key steps in moving your website’s ranking closer to the top of Google.com!

~ written by Parker Evensen, Director of SEO & SEM