Car Dealer Insider Feb 15, 2009
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Car Dealer Insider Feb 15, 2009

Automotive Retailing on the Web enters its next phase

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Automotive Retailing on the Web enters its next phase

Terms like "skinned microsite," "Wordpress," and "organic referral sources" may be old news for the more technically savvy among us, but we'll wager that for most car dealers, and for _Car Dealer Insider, the terms are new and something of a mystery. Yet they represent the present and the future of online auto retailing. So what are these concepts and why and how do they work?

Here's a fundamental question: Does your dealership own its own website(s)? Or does an outsourced website hosting company actually own the site and rent it to the dealership? If your dealership is renting its website and decides to change hosts, there is a good chance the established website address will disappear along with the host company.

The goal of any dealership's online marketing effort should be to get customers and prospective customers into the habit of visiting the dealer's site not just when they are in the market for a new vehicle or for service, but to visit regularly for any information of interest. We're not knocking third-party lead referral service. They provide a valuable service. But leads cost money and, especially, these days, there is real and measurable benefit for car dealer's who can attract customers and prospects directly to the dealership website, bypassing the lead aggregators.

Microsites

That's where microsites come in.

Wikipedia describes a microsite, also known as a minisite or weblet, as an Internet web design term referring to an individual web page or cluster of pages which are meant to function as an auxiliary supplement to a primary website. The microsite's main landing page most likely has its own domain name or sub-domain.

We're talking here about search engine optimization (SEO), the ability to get your dealership's website to appear at the top or near the top of the listings when a prospect does an Internet search for vehicle models that your store sells.

For example, Car Dealer Insider operates in the Philadelphia area. We... _(326 of 1302 words)

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