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Tips to Maximize Your Online Inventory

Many people often ask “How do I get more people to look at my inventory and how do I then get those people to convert?” Well, the answer, while simple, does involve a dealer’s embrace of the technology available today. If you’re looking for ways to minimize aged inventory and maximize gross, then exploring ways of getting the most out of your online inventory is the obvious answer.

When doing so, you have to remember the results of a recent study conducted by CarGurus that states, “New car shoppers prefer visual material such as photos and video over textual material by a margin of two to one.” The study also found that new car shoppers spend the majority of their time (62%, or nearly two-thirds of pages viewed) looking at photos and videos versus more traditional forms of online auto research such as specifications, reviews and pricing.

Your inventory must be easy to find by the search engine spiders or crawlers so you must incorporate search engine friendly URL structure to your on line inventory. Make sure to use city and regional URLs in your descriptions so they are easily found by the searches. Another important factor to think about is to use unique and varied descriptions. Get creative! Do not ever have duplicate listings of the same car! This does not look good in the eyes of the major search engine companies. You also want to make sure to use content which engages the potential customer into delving deeper into your listing. You want to do everything you can in the few lines of text beneath the listing to engage the customer and pique their curiosity to the point of clicking on the link itself. The more creative you get, the higher your traffic and conversions will be.

Well written descriptions are of utmost importance when presenting your inventory as well. Be as descriptive as possible and make sure to point out the highlights and attributes that make YOUR vehicle the one the customer absolutely has to have.

Specials are the second most visited spot on a dealership website with the inventory itself being first. If you are not updating your specials you are missing the boat in a major way. People WILL leave your site if they click on your specials tab and find a blank page that says “no specials at this time, please check back”. If you think for a second they will check back I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Consumers feel they are being overcharged if a car store does not have a “deal” to offer. The reputation of the car dealer has had its kinks in the past, here is your chance to change that.

Having an E-Price or Internet Price is also a very valuable item in your inventory listings. A special “on-line price” will go a long way with consumers who automatically get your best price first and don’t have to get themselves in the haggle mindset. People are in a hurry and want to compare your inventory to someone else’s, so give them what they are looking for right away without making it difficult to find. This goes for the inventory and specials as well. Make them highly visible and prevalent throughout the site.

This article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning calls to action. Give as many chances for a customer to be able to contact you by phone, email, etc. as possible so you don’t lose the prospect. Focus on calls to action on every page, every vehicle listing, and every special…everywhere. It is a must! Don’t make them search for a reason to contact you. Instead, make it easy for them to stay on your site.

Customized promotions are always a smart idea and the upcoming holidays are the perfect time to capitalize. Skew your online specials to the holidays and make sure you set start and end dates on each one you build. Don’t let your specials rot on the vine, keep them fresh!

Another great tip is to use landing pages for each of your new vehicle models. You can have these built relatively inexpensively and most good websites come with them as a low cost add-on. This technology optimizes each listing and gives you even more chances to capture a lead through SEO and creative placement of your dealerships inventory.

Make sure your inventory is indexed, meaning each car has its own unique URL. This, as mentioned at the beginning of this text, will bring much more traffic to your inventory and allow you to own the first pages of Google, Yahoo and Bing. When indexing is done correctly, you will no longer have “car not found” (or even worse – an error code) displayed when you sell a car. It will remain listed with comparable vehicles and will take your prospect directly to your inventory page through that listing. Not all Inventory indexing is the same but when done properly it is a highly effective and imperative path to success.

Furthermore, there are many other tactics you can employ to make the very most of every single inventory listing. Other products to consider may include: Pay Per Click campaigns (for timely promotions, “this just in” types of new car listings, movement of the physical dealer location, limited time offers and sales events), Mobile websites (to show inventory to customers on the go), and targeted microsites (to highlight specialty vehicles, special financing, etc.) to name a few.

Improving your online inventory listings and maximizing their potential on the search engines will enable you to sell your cars quicker and turn a healthier profit. It really is that simple.

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This article was written by Andrew Fidelman and originally appeared at Tips to Maximize Your Online Inventory.

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