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Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?
Online Dealership Marketing Support & Best Practices Discuss Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it? in the Websites, SEO, SEM, and Internet Marketing forums; All I see is SEO trolls burning this topic to the ground. We could go on for hours about SEO tactics, but lets face the facts here, if you work ...
      
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  1. #51
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    Derek
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    All I see is SEO trolls burning this topic to the ground. We could go on for hours about SEO tactics, but lets face the facts here, if you work harder than your competitor you will always be ahead of the curve. We're not dealing with national websites, we are dealing with local websites that are providing car buyers with ammo to purchase a new or used vehicle.

    Just to set the record straight, I've been saying SEO is dying in the car industry for years now. I have websites that rank well in the SEO realm, but that's because we are selling products for a very niche markets.

    Back on topic. I have no problem with CMS that offer an easy to use solution for car dealers as long as they are providing dealers with flexibility. My biggest issue with a lot of dealers is that they want to make changes to their sites that have no real impact on sales and leads. My biggest concern with CMS dealer providers is that they do not allow you to do real world testing for your websites. For example, running A/B testing with Google website optimizer. Would it be great to have 5 different website designs, and within each of those 5 designs you have 5 variations for your inventory layouts as well to find out which designs, content and variation combinations are providing your dealership with the best results? I do!

    I believe that many dealers are missing the big picture when it comes to their website. This all falls under the "always be testing" category. To just develop a site that you have full control over is just a small piece of the puzzle here guys. Don't just do it small, do it big! Lay it all out on the line and make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Find out what is working for your dealership in the online digital advertising arena, especially when it comes to our website.

    If you'd like to get more info about how you could run website optimizer feel free to ask me questions.

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    Derek,

    I could be wrong, but I'm guessing most website providers won't be able to provide this sort of capability, since from what I've seen these are all shared systems with shared assets (javascript, css, etc) and pages (vehicle details, search, lead forms, credit apps). You may be able to do this on the homepage, but I think at this point it'll be limited to that. I'm also afraid doing A/B or multivariate testing is exactly what web vendors want to avoid, because of the time and resources it eats up. At some point, dealers will need to jump away from dealer web vendors and just work with their ad agency on very service oriented work like this.

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    Chris,

    You are correct when you state that some vendors have shared assets, but you can easily override these files with a bit of coding. It's a matter of do they want to provide this as an option for the client base. This would require a lot of time on their ends with setup and things like that. In a perfect world, you should have complete control over your website, I mean you are paying for it right?

    If you want 100% control, then you need to sacrifice having a vendor running your website. What's nice about the vendors is that they offer tools that help you manage your website easily and hassle-free. This too can be done with your own website, but planning is a crucial factor. You always want to think about where the web is going in the future as well. Limitations would be up to how well you plan your site.

    It's a give or take situation, and you would need a key player on your internal team who is willing to be 100% involved with the process of doing A/B Multivariate testing. In the long, I do believe this is large key for optimizing your online digital marketing efforts.

  4. #54
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    Sorry Derek, we've had this debate here before.

    I could go on for hours on the risks of Dealer DIY, but let me ask you, how many Chris Cachor's are out there? One in a million if you ask me! How does a dealer recruit and train the next Chris Cachor? It ain't gonna happen without a sh*t load of GOOD luck.

    So, a dealer will likely hire Tommy the Geek Coder, what guidance could they offer him? NONE.

    Want a real life example?
    Look at kcar in this thread and others. VERY smart, very eager to conquer, knows wordpress. Built his own sites, yet he's stuck in the mud with technical details he's never seen before.

    IMO, You underestimate the rare and brilliant minds required to execute a killer digital marketing plan.
    Car shoppers are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is understanding shopper's needs.


    LinkedIn: Joe Pistell

    Twitter:Joe Pistell

  5. #55
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    geez derek... now I'm rollin.


    How does Bill's Ford in Podunk OR, with 350 units on the ground, with 4 sleepy turns a year take your idea and sell more cars with it? NOT.

    How does a small group with stretched resources and un-imaginative management run with your idea? NOT.

    Hell, these guys can't get their arms around how threatening vAuto is. They can't write Veh. Comments, and they still can't think of a way to bring photos in-house. These guys never once thought to conduct a Trim and Options audit to make sure the 3rd party is executing their job to perfection.

    In my lil' market, this description easily matches about 80% of the dealers (my neighbor Ryan A. willl agree with that ;-)

    ITS THE DEALERS JOB TO CREATE A PLAN AND SET GOALS.
    ITS THE VENDORS RESPONSIBILITY TO EXECUTE.

    ITS THE DEALERS JOB TO REPLACE UNDER PERFORMING VENDORS.

    Game. Set. Match.
    Car shoppers are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is understanding shopper's needs.


    LinkedIn: Joe Pistell

    Twitter:Joe Pistell

  6. #56
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    Joe,

    Difference is (no phun intended) than people like Chris and Kcar--in general--are not in the car biz meaning they are not in the front line.

    Most dealers don't really care who does the website--a company, an in-house guy, or the smurfs, all they care is that things look and work alright and that they get l-e-a-d-s (then sell cars).

    Doing the website in-house is usually a push by someone that works in the back end of things at the dealer that either thinks can do better then the vendor or that has too much time in their hands. Unless you are something very special (and if you were you would not be working as an IT support for a dealer) you can't outdo most vendors just because they have more people thinking and working on every issue than you can.

    I said this before though; most of the times dealer's issues with a website vendor are little nuances. Major companies like DDC, Dealer e process, etc have website systems proven to work for hundreds of dealers.

    A dealer told me once: "all you do is build basic html code, how hard could your business be?" so I said "all you do is buy a car at the auction and park it in the front line until someone comes to buy it, how hard could that be?"
    Yago de Artaza Paramo
    CEO, PGI Digital

    yago@pgiauto.com

    www.pgiauto.com Data, window label, and video system
    www.dealerlab.com High performing custom websites
    www.contentmotive.com Unique content, micro content, and blogs
    www.autoclassifiedsolutions.com Technical and flexible CraigsList system
    www.autob.com Print and Hispanic radio (Radiulo) advertising
    www.integratedppc.com PPC, retargeting, and dynamic PPC

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    Yag,

    You addressed your reply to me, yet you agreed with every thing I said. To further confuse me, your reply to me gave me the impression that you're telling me something new, yet you're agreeing with me.

    Did I miss something? Is this that language barrier?

    Puzzled in Syracuse.
    Car shoppers are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is understanding shopper's needs.


    LinkedIn: Joe Pistell

    Twitter:Joe Pistell

  8. #58
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePistell View Post
    Yag,

    You addressed your reply to me, yet you agreed with every thing I said. To further confuse me, your reply to me gave me the impression that you're telling me something new, yet you're agreeing with me.

    Did I miss something? Is this that language barrier?

    Puzzled in Syracuse.
    Yes, I was agreeing with you.
    Yago de Artaza Paramo
    CEO, PGI Digital

    yago@pgiauto.com

    www.pgiauto.com Data, window label, and video system
    www.dealerlab.com High performing custom websites
    www.contentmotive.com Unique content, micro content, and blogs
    www.autoclassifiedsolutions.com Technical and flexible CraigsList system
    www.autob.com Print and Hispanic radio (Radiulo) advertising
    www.integratedppc.com PPC, retargeting, and dynamic PPC

  9. #59
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    Company: 2-Bit Solutions
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    Derek
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    You are right Joe, you have to have the right people on board to execute the game plan. Like I stated previously, there is nothing wrong with 3rd party vendors. I have done work with Dealer.com in the past and I love their system to death. Very user friendly and easy to use, which is great for a dealership. I am all about testing and I do realize that this isn't for every dealership, especially for dealers in a small market.

    You on the other hand pushing around 600 used vehicles a month could benefit from such testing. If do remember correctly when I worked with Moore & Scarry Advertising I was CC'd on an email stating you were interested in doing A/B Multivariated testing. Did you ever get the chance to test this out for the Used Car King website?

    I also heard from the grape vine that your son is now employed at MSA, I hope that he is enjoying his time there. He will learn a lot being around Duncan and the gang.

    Note: To do split testing you do need a vendor who is experienced in the procedures. I believe the point I was getting at was to have someone in-house that was educated enough about the process that they clearly understand how it works.

  10. #60
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    Default Re: Really debating running my own managed dealer website. Who's running their own dealer website or considering it?

    Derek,

    I've done my homework on split testing, I follow the feeds of the best in class like Conversion Rate Optimization | Conversion Rate Experts and Tim Ash's SiteTuners | Website Conversion Rate Optimization ? Landing Page Testing » SiteTuners and others. Optimizing any site requires many steps.

    Off the top of my pointy head..
    .
    1. An indepth plunge into the shoppers world and then the same deep look into the seller's operations to discover needs and wants of both sides. Shopper surveys are needed. YOU CAN'T SKIP THIS STEP.
    2. Build Creative to "bring to light" the discoveries found from the needs and wants of both sides
    3. Examine the current website to find strengths and weaknesses (with heat maps and focus group users, etc...)
    4. Formulate split test game plan
    5. Execute split testing
    6. Formulate multivariate game plan
    7. Execute multivariate testing
    Next, if you don't have enough traffic, your results could easily be flawed.


    Split testing done right is lots of grunt work and is very expensive. Next, the larger the sample, the stronger the rules become.

    Bottom Line: Split testing on a dealer level has a high potential of producing bad data. IMO, Optimization to be done at the Vendor level.


    See Uncle Joe's Rule #121: "Just Because It's a Good Idea, Doesn't Mean It'll Work".
    Car shoppers are a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is understanding shopper's needs.


    LinkedIn: Joe Pistell

    Twitter:Joe Pistell


 
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