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It's no secret that the Internet Department is on the decline, but that doesn't mean what it used to! Instead of forgetting the Internet, it's time to recognize that every person at your dealership should be involved in ye olde Internet Department. And not just involved, but also savvy.
Each department should be responsible for their part of the website. Every computer in each department should default to that department's homepage on their Internet browsers. For example, your pre-owned manager should see pre-owned inventory every time he opens the browser to do anything. That way, he's constantly eyeing the pages, noticing when inventory is not updated and taking responsibility to keep his inventory fresh and relevant. Not only does this prevent your dealership from getting leads on sold cars, but also will help your search engine ranking. Constantly updated content means higher relevance.
Obviously, everyone at your dealership should want the best information possible on your website, but when the site belongs to a single department, it often gets lost in the shuffle. As we all know these managers are actually our Sales guys and they are interested in selling. If the site is completely out of their control, they're not going to be interested in what's going on with your online presence. When you give them the responsibility of keeping their part of the site updated, it helps them to realize that the dealership site is a tool for selling. And what sales person wouldn't love that?
Make sure you don't hand out responsibility without proper training and the website content should obviously not be a free-for-all to anyone at the dealership. The best intentions for inclusion don't mean much if an untrained employee gets into the back end of your site without knowing what they're doing. Passing out responsibility to well-trained individuals, throughout the dealership, will ensure that your site remains valid and well optimized.
In today's economy, we need all the help we can get. Lucky for dealerships, your website is one of the most powerful and cost-effective marketing tools you could ask for. The key is to keep it relevant, updated and at the center of the dealership. What experiences have you had with getting the entire dealership involved with the "virtual" dealership?