CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
When I worked for a website provider, the hardest page to get good content on was the "About Us" page. It's been over three years since I worked in that space and things have improved in the interim, but one thing is certain: finding a properly built and maintained dealership story is still extremely rare.
With all of the data that's available to dealers and vendors, it's a wonder that this has never truly been addressed. You can look at your analytics today and see just how many visitors hit these pages. Are you satisfied with the message you're delivering to them?
Before we get into the proper way to build and maintain one of these pages, let's take a look at why it's so important.
It's natural for dealers and vendors to see these pages as relatively unimportant. We've been hammered over the years with the concept that the only important pages we need to track involve inventory and specials, so putting little effort into maximizing the quality of About Us pages is quite common.
Before we dismiss them, we have to remember the two times that people will visit this page. Based on analytics data, people visit the About Us page when they first get to the website or when they've already finished. It's either the first or the last page they check. Why? Because that's when people make decisions about their sentiment towards a dealership.
Some people like to know more about the dealership before they even look at inventory. These are the people who've probably had a bad experience in the past when buying a car. They could also be one of the emerging buyer types: millennials. They want to have a good feeling before even considering a dealership.
Others will check out a dealership after they've already landed on a vehicle. These are often the types of people who like to make lists of four or five dealerships they plan on visiting in their shopping adventure. Why are they checking up on the dealership at this point? They're likely choosing the order. Many people use maps and proximity to make their plans, but others like to prioritize dealerships they think they'll like the most.
Regardless of why they're visiting the About Us page, it's important to make sure you're making the right impression.
This is a question whose answer eludes nearly everyone. By everyone, I mean dealers, marketers, vendors, and even your customers. What do they really want the page to be about?
The standard (and incorrect) answer can be found on nearly every About Us page in existence. Everyone likes to make the About Us page talk about the dealership's history. Some go so far as to make it talk about some of the people at the dealership. The advanced dealers will put in welcome videos and lots of pictures of the dealership to make it seem happy and inviting.
These are fine, but they're not the best answer.
The About Us page should be about your customers. Seriously.
This topic requires a blog post of its own to fully explain, but when an About Us page talks about how the customer benefits from shopping at the dealership, it's ideal. They couldn't care less that you've broken sales records or been in business for a century. They're not impressed by your Blahblah Certification or your President's Honor Club Award. They want to know what you'll do for them.
Translate any accolade into a benefit to the customer. Be humble and appreciative. If you've broken sales records, the credit should go to THEM, your customers, for being more discerning and selective than others in the local area. If you've been in business for a hundred years, talk about how humbled you are live and work side-by-side with them in your wonderful community for all that time.
Again, there's way too much to talk about to try to fit it all in here, but you get the general idea. Next, let's discuss page maintenance.
Your About Us page should be a living page. It should get updated at least monthly. This can be done with links to recent blog posts. You can set up a feed (if you must, though manual is better) to items of particular interest to your customers such as upcoming events or new product launches.
Create an image stream with dates of those images. It would be great if you could have a collage of the month (or week) that shows your happy customers front and center on your page.
The important thing to remember is that if you're going to go down this road, do so with a commitment to always keep it updated. If you're going to have a _____ of the month image on your about us page that's six months old, it's better if you never put it up there at all. Commit to 20 minutes a month or more. Put it on your calendar. Make it happen.
As is often the case, this post has given me more assignments to add future posts on specific subjects within it. One such new assignment is to describe why most of your pages should be, to some extent, an About Us page. At Dealer Authority, we've invoked a strategy to do just that.
If you have a page about Camaros, don't just tell them about horsepower and MPGs. Tell them why your dealership and your dealership's customers are the best Camaro people in the area. Make it personal. Remember, most of your website visitors have already done their research. By the time they're looking at product pages on your website, they already know just about everything they need to know about the car. What you should be really telling them at this point is why they should buy YOUR Camaros.
Remember the people who plan on visiting four or five dealerships? Do they? In most cases, no. At the first or second place they visit, they end up meeting a real salesperson. This is why it's so important to make your dealership stand out as the first place to call or visit.
If you're a Roush dealership, for example, don't try to tell people how awesome the Roush Mustang is. Tell them why your dealership is the best Roush dealership available to them. This Roush dealer page is a good example of how it works.
Putting the time and effort necessary to make an incredible About Us page is likely at the bottom of your priority list. Chances are your website vendor put up a good page and called it a day. It's time to make your dealership stand out. These important pages are a great place to start.