Are You Attracting the Right Internet Shoppers to Your Dealership?

The true measure of success for your Internet sales and marketing strategy is how well you're doing attracting the right shoppers to your showroom. Who are the right shoppers? You know them… they are well educated about your brand, they know the models and options, they understand what a fair price is, and they're ready buy. Having your sales professionals spend time with these shoppers can mean the difference between making your sales targets…or not.
So how do you get these Internet shoppers to your dealership without attracting the tire kickers? JD Power tells us that about 86% of all car shoppers spend a considerable time on the Internet learning about your products, comparing models, prices, etc. before they buy. And, if your website isn't being found by these ready-to-buy shoppers, then you're going to be stuck with more than your share of "tire kickers" (people who really aren't ready to buy.)

Virtually all dealerships have websites, but very few are actually accomplishing the task of attracting Internet shoppers to their showrooms. As odd as it may sound, most websites are ignored by the Internet search engines. The search engines act as the bridge between you and your online shoppers. Yes, you may have very nice pictures of cars and the best Internet specials in town, but if no one finds your site, then your website isn't doing its job.

So, how do you avoid this wasted effort and get access to those self-educated, ready-to-buy Internet shoppers? Well, you can do it the easy way and join the horde of dealers that buy leads from Third Party Lead (TPL) providers. And why not? They have figured out how to use the Internet to capture leads from car shoppers. And, they always seem to have more than enough leads to buy. In fact, the leads you buy are also being sold to your competitors down the street. Not a bad sales strategy for the TPL providers if you think about it… I don't know of too many products out there that can be sold to multiple customers. And, how do you know if the leads you're buying are from those Internet shoppers ready to buy or just time wasting, tire-kickers?

First, you must recognize that the TPL providers aren't just great marketers, they are also Internet experts. They use sophisticated Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to out maneuver dealership websites on the Internet. The TPL providers use SEO to position their websites high on the first page of Internet search results. And, it's not just one or two of these guys… dozens of TPL providers use these techniques and the dealers end up getting pushed down in the search results, virtually out of sight from the right shoppers.

The big problem with leads that are purchased from TPL providers is that you really don't know if they're good (a ready to buy customer) or bad (a waste of time and money.) What kind of filtering process did the TPL use if any? Did the TPL actually convert this lead themselves or was it purchased from another TPL? What market did they pull the lead from? How many other dealers are pursuing the same lead? Sound familiar? We could go on and on…

So, it's all about volume for TPLs, the more leads they accumulate, the more leads they can sell. So, you can bet that a high percentage of their leads are time wasting, tire kickers, with a sprinkle of real buyers somewhere in the mix.

The reality is it's a lot easier than you might think to level the Internet playing field with the TPL providers. First, you need to be working with a qualified web developer that knows how to optimize your dealership's website with the proper SEO techniques. They should be able to explain the steps required to improve your page ranking and help you understand how algorithms are used to index your website for "Search Relevancy". The should also have a proven track record of doing so.

All search engines like Google and Yahoo, utilize algorithms to sort through millions of websites to identify the most relevant match to a user's search query. A good SEO professional can optimize your dealership's website to help the search engines find you - - it's really that simple. The hard part comes in developing an effective SEO strategy that continually keeps your website listed at the top of the search engine results pages. This is where the proper selection of keywords, the creative use of domain names, the building of external links and the inclusion of unique content will set your website apart from your competition and the TPL providers. There are literally hundreds of techniques that can be implemented including validating and minimizing code, renaming pages, writing quality web copy, making good use of heading tags, etc… something the average web developer knows very little about.

Okay, so maybe it's not all that easy, but there are some very good web developers out there who can apply the right SEO techniques to keep your dealership's website at the top of the search results. It's important to note that it's not a one-and-done deal. It's an ongoing effort to keep your website optimized and ranked for the search engines. We call it "hands on the keyboard" because it's a continuous effort. And no surprise, hiring a web-developer company that really knows what it's doing isn't cheap, but the value they bring to your Internet strategy is significant.

It's our opinion at that every dealership needs a well performing website that's optimized to go head-to-head with the TPL providers. This almost guarantees you a spot at the top of the search results and positions you well against all of your competitors. But, we also believe that you need more than just your dealership site to compete, you need as many "parking spots" on that search page as possible. The more spots you occupy, the greater your visibility, and further you push the TPLs and your competitors down the search results page.

We also believe that dealers need an effective way to generate and capture their own leads -- exclusive leads that are from their own local markets -- leads that come from Internet shoppers that are educated about your products, know what they want, and are ready to buy! has created a low cost offering that solves both of these problems. Our Lead Generation Tool (LGT) gives your dealership an affordable additional websites that are super-optimized. They provide the added "parking spots" that push TPLs and your competitors down the search results page. Our LGTs are designed to generate and capture leads of ready-to-buy customers from your local market. These are your exclusive leads that are never sold or made available to other dealers.

So, if you're not attracting the right Internet shoppers to your dealership and are fed up with buying leads from TPL providers, call today. We have the right solutions that will increase your Internet visibility and help you capture your own exclusive leads from Internet shoppers in your local area that are ready to buy!