AutomotiveProfit.com - Automotive Marketing
Fundamentals for Online Success
Auto Dealerships Internet Marketing Worksheet


Automotive Self-Help Questionnaire and Checklist
Exceeding Customer Expectations One-Step at a Time
Evaluate Current Automotive Dealership Web Marketing Strategy

The overall notion behind this web page is to provide "food for thought" by assembling at minimum 100 key questions a developing Automotive Internet Department ought to be able to answer, its not to going to resolve all your dealerships online marketing shortcomings, its not going to propel your Auto dealership to internet marketing success, its not going to guarantee that your dealership will be the "Best-of-the-Best". It will nevertheless demonstrate the fact that when developing an automotive dealership online, internet marketing campaign you'll face an everlastingly ongoing challenge requiring endless thought and a continuous review.

Below is the initiation of the "food for though", dealership website development checklist. Currently this checklist is in intense development and far from complete. But instead of waiting for the all mighty day of completion which could take months, it's been decided to release the preliminary design allowing you to watch it evolve and even participate in its development.

Since this is an evolving web page, questionnaire dates indicate when a specific "food for though" item has been added. Also, eventually a prioritizing scoring system will be initiated when this questionnaire is completed, as for now your dealership must determine the level of importance for each item in which a resolution is required.


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This dealership website development checklist is still in its infancy stage and currently being updated on a daily basis.

If you have a "Food for Though" question a dealership should ask themselves when managing and developing a Web site, e-mail your suggestions to;

Service@AutomotiveProfit.com
5 Key Components of Dealership e-Marketing Success
 
 *   Dealership Website Objective and Presentation
 *   Search Engine Optimization and Cost Per Click Marketing
 *   Dealership Lead, E-mail Management Procedures and Sales Process
 *   Online Automotive Marketing and Branding of an Auto Dealership
 *   Fundamental e-Commerce Statistical Analysis and ROI Calculations
RecruitIntactAuto.com
Excel Spreadsheets designed
specifically for Automotive Dealers
  80+ Retail Auto Dealership Web Marketing Strategy Questions and Counting...
Has the overabundance of information pertaining to marketing a dealership website caused you to short-circuit or can you still answer these questions?
Ref.# Create a Great Dealership Website - Food for Thought Checklist Response Yes/ No Creation Date Score
Priority
Employee Assigned
      
Dealership Website Objective and Presentation     
X
Have you properly Allocated Web Ad Space on your home page to reflect the overall business objective you are hoping to achieve with your Web site for each department?
e.g. Your dealership is activity trying to grow its used car business, but the home page disproportionally displays only new vehicles.
 
 
  
 New Vehicles Sales
Yes / No
   
 Used Vehicles Sales
Yes / No
   
 Service Department
Yes / No
   
 Parts Department
Yes / No
   
 Body Shop
Yes / No
   
 Dealership Marketing Specials
Yes / No
   
 Other: ________________________
Yes / No
   
X
Call to Actions without being over bearing, does your site incorporate the proper call to actions within the following departments? Call or Email...
 
 
  
 New Vehicles Sales
Yes / No
   
 Used Vehicles Sales
Yes / No
   
 Service Department
Yes / No
   
 Parts Department
Yes / No
   
 Body Shop
Yes / No
   
 Dealership Marketing Specials
Yes / No
   
 Other: ________________________
Yes / No
   
X
Have you Reviewed your Competitors Web site within the last month and said; "If my competitor is attempting to capture leads that way, I can do it one better"?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Knowing that price can make or break an online lead. Prior to Listing a Price for a vehicle or service special online, does your dealership do any comparative shopping online?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Experience tells us that used vehicle sales managers tend to consider  vehicle cost when marketing a vehicle, while used vehicle online shoppers tend to focus and research vehicle values by using Web sites such as Kelley Blue Book. Are your used vehicle priced accordingly?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Do you currently and actively have Website Specials posted on your site for each of the following dealership profit centers?
 
 
  
 New Vehicles Sales
Yes / No
   
 Used Vehicles Sales
Yes / No
   
 Service Department
Yes / No
   
 Parts Department
Yes / No
   
 Body Shop
Yes / No
   
 Other: ________________________
Yes / No
   
X
Upon reviewing your dealership Website and knowing that Site Development is never ending can you write down five items which you can improve?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Web Technology changes daily and site stagnation does not encourage a revisit by prospective customers, are you actively making changes or improvements to prevent site stagnation?
Yes / No
 
  
X
As for your site, knowing that the consumer is interested in a Wide Variety of Information, would you consider your site capable of answering any question that you personally could conjure up?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Prospective customers may want to read your local print newspaper advertisements or view your latest TV commercial, do you integrate these Other Forms of Marketing Mediums into your website?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Knowing that website users like to locate searched information quickly and easily with One Click, have you recently reviewed your website and removed any unnecessary links or distractive content, maintaining easy navigation?
Yes / No
 
  
      
   
Search Engine Optimization and Cost Per Click Marketing        
X
When a prospect searches for your exact dealership name on Google™, does your Website appear within the content of the first page?
Yes / No
 
  
X
When a prospect search your dealership name on Google, does CPC advertising campaign appear on the first page?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Write down 5 ways in which a prospect could misspell your dealership name then utilize the Google search bar, does your dealership Website appear at all, either on a content page or CPC campaign?
 
 
  
 
1).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
 
2).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
 
3).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
 
4).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
 
5).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
X
If and When your dealership web address appears during an online Google search, is it your home page address or a deep link of significant relevancy.
Home Page
Other
 
  
X
When a prospect searches for your exact dealership name on Yahoo™, does your Website appear within the content of the first page?
Yes / No
 
  
X
When a prospect search your dealership name on Yahoo, does CPC advertising campaign appear on the first page?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Write down 5 ways in which a prospect could misspell your dealership name then utilize the Yahoo search bar, does your dealership Website appear at all, either on a content page or CPC campaign?
 
 
  
 
1).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
 
2).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
 
3).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
 
4).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
 
5).______________________________________________
Yes / No
   
X
If and When your dealership web address appears during an online Yahoo search, is it your home page address or a deep link of significant relevancy.
Home Page
Other
 
  
X
Have you tried the above Research Strategies on the MSN search engine network?
Yes / No
 
  
X
There are 3 key web page components that Searches engines review and read when "spidering" a web page. They are Page Title, Meta Tags, and Page Content. Have you reviewed these items on your core web pages?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Will your dealership website address appear either as a pay per click ad or on the organic content search page when searching with a high volume keyword phase such as your city and brand make?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Many local advertising mediums you purchase from; Newspaper, Radio, and Television have their own Web sites with a large number of local visitors have you researched the cost to advertise on their Web site or attempted to negotiate a reduced online rate?
Yes / No
 
  
X
There are hundreds of different techniques used to research popular keyword search terms, yet many overlook the obvious when starting-up an in-house CPC program. Have you asked your sales staff, dealership employees, or even your customers what they would type into a search bar to locate your dealership or product line?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Has your dealership or SEM firm submitted your dealership name, address, and Web site to Google's Local Business Center so that it appears on Google Maps at the top of search result pages?
Yes / No
 
  
X
You have managed to establish an auto dealer in-house SEM and CPC marketing campaign and currently update online Web site specials, do your banners or text advertising campaigns deep-link directly to the specials page within your Web site with the appropriate call-to-actions or simply drive online traffic to your home page?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Has your dealership done a simple analysis as to how many units must be sold to break-even if your auto dealership were to implement an in-house Cost-per-Click marketing campaign and what your gross profit potential could be?
Yes / No
 
  
      
   
      
Dealership Lead, E-mail Management Procedures and Sales Process        
X
Does your dealership believe the Handling Process of an internet lead is what really improves closing ratios by having a defined procedure which holds individuals accountable for completing that process?
Yes / No
 
  
X
When an internet lead arrives, is it Thoroughly Read so that the prospective customer can obtain the information requested or be sent reasonable alternatives?
e.g. Individual e-mails and demonstrates an interest in a specific vehicle, vehicle not a viable option, you reply with alternate like vehicles.
Yes / No
 
  
X
Is your dealership Totally Confident that all email leads are responded to in a professional manner addressing specific inquiries, good and bad?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Are internets leads, e-mail inquires handled by a dedicated individual or team which focuses on Internet Lead Management, electronic dealership correspondences, and online customer satisfaction (CSI)?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Does your dealership have Written Procedure for managing internet correspondences and e-mail leads regarding the following questions?
Yes / No
 
  
X
When an e-mail correspondence is received is the name, address, and request recorded in a centralized file for future data mining and follow-up?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Knowing that when an individual submits an internet lead they are still in the shopping research mode. Is your dealership prepared to offer several alternative suggestions if the specific requested vehicle is currently not in your inventory?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Many Web sites spend an enormous amount of energy and effort trying to get a prospective customer to submit an e-mail lead, yet put very little effort into structuring or scripting a process in which to sell or schedule the main objective of a dealership Web site, Scheduling an Appointment. Does your dealership have a defined process for scheduling appointments?
Yes / No
 
  
X
If your dealership currently passes out incoming e-leads on a rotation basis to the sales staff, is there a structured procedure in place to hold individuals accountable and responsible for each internet lead?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Has your dealership taken the time to build a library of e-mail templates to respond to prospective customer leads in an orderly and professional manner?
Yes / No
 
  
X
When a prospective online lead becomes exhaled and appears to be dead, is the Sales Manager the one that makes the final determination with a finalizing e-mail keeping future correspondence and negotiations open?
Yes / No
 
  
      
      
Online Automotive Marketing and Branding of an Auto Dealership     
X
Does your virtual dealership showroom coincided with your dealerships overall branding - marketing campaigns? e.g. Dealership markets itself as an upscale, elite ownership franchise, yet has flashy cheap pop-up coupons.
Yes / No
 
  
X
Is your Automotive Web site appearance and dealership presentation to prospective online customers distinctively different from your local competitors and how they market themselves?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Knowing that most consumers do consider all dealerships the same, does your Web site focus on the added benefits of dealing with and purchasing from your dealership?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Is your Web site reflective of your current marketing efforts? e.g. Promoting heavily through other marketing mediums a specific vehicle and price, yet that specific vehicle type and alternatives require extensive site navigation when a prospect follow-ups on the ad by researching it online.
Yes / No
 
  
X
Does your dealership conduct a daily or periodical review of locally competing dealership Web sites to determine what their most current online specials are and have a procedure in place to do one-step better?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Does your Web site include a straightforward, emotional, compelling description of a vehicle when offered as a special or is it just price, color and some generic vehicle specification?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Does your Web site design appeal to both the male and female gender by offering not only information about power and torque but also safety features, storage capacity, gas savings and maintenance information?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Have you considered and researched the possibility of incorporating manufacturer guidelines and specifications into your online marketing strategy so that it qualifies for OEM co-op advertising reimbursement, thus reducing your dealership overall cost?
Yes / No
 
  
X
It extremely important that your dealership prominently incorporated its Web site address into all dealership communications and advertising mediums, upon completing a quick review is it displayed or mentioned on the following items?
 
 
  
 Business Cards
Yes / No
   
 Billboards and Signage
Yes / No
   
 Company Letterhead and Stationary
Yes / No
   
 Service and Parts Sales Invoices
Yes / No
   
 Buyers Orders and Price Quote Worksheets
Yes / No
   
 Newspaper and Print Advertisements
Yes / No
   
 Vehicle Brochures, Postcards and Flyers
Yes / No
   
 During Receptionist "On-Hold" Sessions
Yes / No
   
 In-house Video Displays
Yes / No
   
 Radio and TV commercials
Yes / No
   
 Other: ________________________
Yes / No
   
 Other: ________________________
Yes / No
   
X
Has your dealership taken the time to complete a sample study as to what type of individuals are submitting leads through your dealership Web site, determining if it's only appealing to a specific automotive market segment? e.g. Male or Female, New or Used Prospect, Needs and Desires
Yes / No
 
  
X
Most Automotive Dealership successfully spend an enormous amount of time and money maintaining a high CSI score, yet very few every include customer testimonials on their Web site. Is your dealership Web site missing out on this evidence of trust and marketing tool?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Knowing the importance of turning a dealerships inventory and displaying the available Used Inventory for Sale online, Can you say your online Used Inventory is accurate and the timeframe required to display quality photos of your Used Vehicles with a compelling product description is acceptable?
Yes / No
 
  
      
   
Fundamental e-Commerce Statistical Analysis and ROI Calculations        
 Can your dealership answer these questions?
 
   
X
How many site visitors view your website on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?
Yes / No
 
  
X
How many unique site visitors view your website on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?
Yes / No
 
  
X
What is the total number of internet leads you receive on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?
Yes / No
 
  
X
How many of the total number of leads are initiated with a phone contact?
Yes / No
 
  
X
How many of the total number of leads are initiated with an e-mail?
Yes / No
 
  
X
How many of all leads initiated with an e-mail converted to a phone call?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Your Internet Lead to Appointment Scheduled %
Yes / No
 
  
X
Appointment to Show Ratio?
Yes / No
 
  
X
Appointment to Sales Percentage?
Yes / No
 
  
X
What is the average timeframe for an internet lead to convert to a unit sale?
Yes / No
 
  
X
What is your cost per internet lead?
Yes / No
 
  
X
What is your cost per unit sale?
Yes / No
 
  
X
What is the average Web Stay time?
Yes / No
 
  
X
What is your average lead response time?
Yes / No
 
  
X
If utilizing third-party lead source providers such as Car.com™, Edmunds® or AutoTrader.com® do you know the average cost per sold unit for each lead provider?
Yes / No
 
  
      
  Successfully Marketing an Auto Dealership online is hardwork and requires time...

As mentioned before this "food for thought" dealership web marketing checklist will not guarantee internet success, that depends on your dealerships desire to succeed online as a retail automotive outlet. It will though in an organized fashion help an auto dealer choose worthwhile online automotive marketing goals by providing a written outline in which to start working towards achieving dealership internet marketing success one-step at a time.

View Web Development Questionnaire as a PDF file and print for in-house Dealership Website Development
.
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