I love the desire that dealers have to win. It’s a trait that all car dealers share, and is one of the many reasons I love being in this industry. The entrepreneurial drive and desire to succeed permeates our business.
This desire causes dealers to look for any advantage possible, and causes some dealers to seek out shortcuts. Shortcuts when it comes to marketing their prices. Shortcuts when it comes to SEO. Shortcuts when it comes to reviews. These shortcuts don’t create long-term advantages and in many cases cause real, lasting, disadvantages.
Pricing – Some dealers advertise misleading pricing in an attempt to fool customers into visiting their stores. These dealers are trading their long-term reputations for a short-term boost in traffic. And they have to fight the classified sites, companies like mine, and state Attorneys General that are all aware of these tactic and are constantly watching for them. Shortcuts don’t work.
SEO – It’s long been possible to gain better positioning on the search engines thru aggressive SEO. Google, Bing, and the others, have been working overtime, tweaking their algorithms and penalizing sites that try to game the system. The penalty is often much worse than had the site diligently – and legitimately – worked to worked to improve their ranking. Shortcuts don’t work.
Reviews – Currently some dealers have experienced dramatic drops in their online reviews. Some (not all) of these dealers followed advice designed to generate large numbers of reviews quickly. More cautious advice was out there (Mike Blumenthal on Onsite “Review Stations” and Google), but so were the shortcuts. Again, much like with aggressive SEO, the penalties were worse than the short-term boost the ‘advantages’ brought. Shortcuts don’t work.
The desire to win is great and absolutely necessary for a dealer to be successful. Shortcuts however, rarely bring long-term, lasting success. Being smarter, working harder, and having a solid, modern, long-term strategy are the keys to success, shortcuts are not.