Last minute fun

I get a text last night at 7 pm.

Can you change this to 30percent on our site 13 to choose from guad cab and crew cab??

Let the fun begin.

It is going to take alot to squeeze this one in. Will try my best.
1.DealerInspire website edit ( my least fav)
2. Create homepage slider for store ( a fav)


move mountains
make the way smooth
Biggest problem. I HAVE to go to Milledgeville.
Second mountain – An internet manager at a store is out for 10 days.
It’s the last/first of the month.

Moved a little mountain. Was able to change schedule ! Still busy to the extreme, but needed that 2 hours I would be spending in the car to get to Milledgeville.
Still ended up being a rush job, but without the extra time it would have been a no go.


Nothing pretty resulted. Bare basic best I could do as fast as I could do it.
GM had already put me in a bind on time. Couldn’t find a cool pic of a Ram pulling a boat.

A Little More VDP Action

Your Vehicle Details Page Worst Enemy

One of the most important pages on a dealerships website is the vehicle details
page. It is to me, where the action happens. And I am all about action !
Think about each piece of inventory…. it has it’s very own place on the web.
Unlike on your lot, where it is parked in a slot next to and among other vehicles.
The VDP is that vehicles place to shine, to stand a part, to shout from the roof
top… “take me home ” ! In addition, you have A LOT of VDP’s ! Those individual
vehicle pages make up the lions share of your digital foot print.
I am inclined to think that this page, this place on your website should be your most
optimized, looked over and thought out page on your website.
The star of your website has an enemy. An enemy that wants to bring it down.
To tarnish it, discredit and keep it from performing.
That enemy is You. ( now you knew that was coming )
Here is how it is you. And if the shoe fits, get out of it right away.
1. You think a description is a list of options. Or a partial list at best. A description
of the vehicle is thought of as a chore and one that is passed around or forgotten.
When it should be the story of that vehicle. A tale of how that vehicle will fit into
someones driveway and budget. My favorites are gained from the previous owner.
That’s right, when a vehicle is traded in, we ask the owner to tell us a little about
their car and that info is passed along to the VDP. Making for a killer story !
2. Every inch of the page is filled with calls to action. Busy text boxes and odd buttons
encouraging a visitor to click here, check this box and do it now. All fighting for attention
and all diluting the main action wanted on your website. You allow third parties to take
over your page and assert themselves and their pop ups or a pop under. That drive
visitors away and send them shopping somewhere else. You do this instead of offer
a few logical next steps that includes a click to call. Keeping it simple and only a few.
3. Pricing on your VDP is missing and that is OK with you. Big deal, they will call right?
Duhhh. Nope. Not. They will think that it is out of their price range and move on or
lets say they do call, the number they were expecting never matches what you would
tell them. And missing an expectation is a bad way to make an impression. No price
means you are hiding something. This is backed up and made to be the True-True when
they do inquire on the price and you do not give it to them. For what ever reason, to this
visitor you are hiding something terrible. So show the price… always.
4. Proud you are that you have 4 pictures of the vehicle online or even more defective, you
have stock photos. And it’s OK with you. Photos and lots of them are very compelling to
a visitor. Beyond the four corner of the vehicle, include pics of trim level badges, functioning options and on used cars, the battery. Show the condition of the vehicle, warts and all.
Visitors spend the majority of their time looking at pictures. Going back and forth and
considering your vehicle. Give them plenty to look at to think carefully about. Without
pictures or stock photos most visitors will not even visit a vehicle detail page. And both you and them will miss our on all the action !
Time to get your face off the wanted poster. Make the most visited page on your website
a place that visitors have a truly great experience.
Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.

Oh, enjoy this !  I need more cowbell !

A Little More VDP Action from Tom the Internet Guy


The loneliest place on your website

You have to be excited, right ?  600 visitors a day, 11 mins time on site, VDP’s are through the roof and your lead count is bangin’.
What we put our visitors through on automotive websites is sad, very sad.  Any other commerce website is easy to navigate, loads fast, makes sense and is a good experience.
Oh, stop right there.  You are asking a question in your head……
You mean a dealership’s website is a “commerce” website?  A place of business ?  You mean it’s serious ?
Yes, I do. Now to continue as that sinks in.  Interrupt as you need to.  Or keep a puke bucket handy as it sinks in.
Visitors judge what it is like to do business with you, your dealership, your salespeople by how your website functions.Dealership-Website
When you have been successful, the automotive shoppers journey has led them to your website. And when a visitor has searched your inventory, scanned your vehicles, shown them to their spouse, gotten excited or fallen in love with a car….
They click the “more info” or “get a price” button, filled it out and hit submit.
What happens do you think?
There has been this build up in the visitors mind.  They have consumed much information,
pictures, videos, specs and prices. They have jumped from website to website and now they are making a choice. To them they are making a commitment.
We reward them with the most dull, bland, I would say the exact opposite of what their
experience has been so far.
Your “Thank you” page.
A page filled with white space with the words, in small black type.
Thank you for submitting your information.  An associate will contact you soon.

Below is a simple solution.

BMW messege

After a website visitor submits a form or lead we usually take them to a thank you page. This video is on that thank you page. Setting some expectations and offering next steps.



Your mobile website is a pig

In today’s changing automotive retailing landscape, your mobile presence is of prime importance. I am talking about your own website and how it appears on a mobile device.

A separate and equally important mobile consideration is how your butler-toyota-googledealership appears in the Google Knol Graph on a mobile device. But that is a whole different subject. And we can only eat this pig one bite at a time.
If you have not or have not lately, please; no not please;
Put your customer eyes on and move around.  Then come back and read.
DO THIS NOW.  Thank you.

Welcome back, I should have warned you beforehand, do not attempt on a full stomach.  Some of you puked, I just know it.

First things first. Landing on your homepage in a mobile environment is a different visitor experience and the visitor may have a different intent than when on a desktop version.  If your website is just a crushed down version of your desktop website it will be very hard to read and to navigate. Those disclaimers will be so tiny, no one could read them. Which means mobile visitors will abandon you very quickly.  VERY.
butler-toyota-mobileI have found that doing some heat mapping and looking at analytics helps me to understand what visitors most interested in and then I work to bring that to the surface of the mobile page right under their thumb.  Giving the quick access to your phone number with click to call or getting into your inventory quickly, to look at your vehicles.
Which brings us to navigation.  Showing all your desktop navigation is not something I would advise.  On mobile, typically the intent has less to do with
your about us page and more to do with your inventory or your location. So my
big three are click to call, inventory access and location or maps.  Maps definitely need to open up the phones navigation app.  Whichever the visitor’s preference.
Which means your Google Business Page must be up to date.  (another subject, sigh…)
Reduce any and all clutter.  Anything that will stand in the way of the visitor getting to what they came to your website for.  No use trying to divert their attention or interrupt them.  Just get the hell out of the way.  Although, I would like to see how a Sudoku puzzle would perform.  For people waiting in your Service dept.
Check your integrations.  This can be tricky because all the things on your desktop site just may not be what you want on your mobile.  Whether that is how a Carfax logo or Purecars logo displays on a VLP.  Do they take up too much space or make the listings look awkward trying to assert their presence.  Make them go away and keep your inventory clean and consumable.  Should you have chat on a mobile website? Or should it be more like text on your website.  Chat/text on mobile is something you are going to have to experiment with depending on your provider.  It is important to have, but must perform in order to get some of your valuable real-estate.
Finally, check your calls to action.  On mobile kick them up a notch.  Give clear instructions on what you want the visitor to do.  Even setting up expectations, like
“Click here to call a knowledgeable represented”.
All in on mobile is a must.  It starts with you spending time on it, understanding the visitor flow and making it a great experience for your visitors.  The phones will ring and people will show up.  Count on it.
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read.  I appreciate it. – Tom