All Posts By

Ali Amirrezvani

Tips for Auto Dealerships Using Facebook Paid Ads

Facebook has been working hard to come up with a reliable, profitable revenue stream for a while now, and part of that effort is their Paid Ad program. For dealerships that use them well, paid ads on Facebook can be a great addition to your dealership’s online marketing program. Here are some tips:

Target Well: Users provide so much personal information to Facebook that it is a great way to drill down to find the right people to show your ads to. Facebook allows you to target by Interest, Family Status, Activities, Workplaces, etc. This allows your dealership to target users more specifically.

Grab Attention: Since most people aren’t coming to Facebook to view ads, it’s important that they are designed to be noticed. Try a colored border, a bold, eye-catching design, and always include a call to action – you could even put this call to action in the image, but try to keep it under four words to avoid taking over the entire image.

Vary Ads: Users that see your ads often may start to tune them out, so freshen them up. Try changing the colors/thickness of the border, changing the image completely, or if you’re using text on the image, change the message used.

If your dealership isn’t advertising on Facebook, talk to your online marketing provider if you need help getting started. It can be very effective when done correctly, so take these tips into consideration, and start testing Facebook Paid Ads.

DealerOn Operations Smooth Despite Sandy

This weekend, along with much of the Eastern Seaboard, DealerOn prepared for an onslaught as weather and media reports warned of potentially devastating force from Hurricane Sandy.

Making the safety of our employees our number one priority, we still wanted to live up to our commitment to deliver industry-leading customer service, and did not want to let the hurricane close us down if we could do so safely. In the DC area, where DealerOn HQ is located, power has traditionally been volatile to impactful storms such as this one. Bracing for a week of outages, account management and production staff took their phones home with them on Friday afternoon. On Sunday afternoon, one of our operations team members happened to be driving home from a wedding in Michigan, and we had him stop and buy an 8,000-watt, 250-pound power generator as we feared all the local stores would be sold out.

Sunday night starting at 2AM, operations staff loaded several desktops, laptops, phones, network switches, and wires galore into a car, along with the power generator, three five-gallon canisters of gasoline, and 4G internet modems from both Verizon and AT&T. Having a mini-corporate office on wheels enough for the entire account management staff to work from, we felt confident that we could run customer service from anywhere, even from the side of the highway.

As it turns out, several key account management staff happen to live within one mile of Ali Amirrezvani, DealerOn’s CEO. Early Monday morning, we decided to set up shop at Ali’s house with local staff, and had the rest of our team work remotely; not wanting them to drive through any part of the storm. We set up our generator, hooked up four computer and phone stations on the dining room table, and also two stations in the kitchen. Also having staff in Michigan safely away from the storm and not in danger of power outage, we felt confident in running smoothly.

By 930AM, the whole staff was ready to rumble. The power generator was ready to take over, including to power our internet – but just in case, we had our 4G modems ready to plug in and take over as well. An overall calm day for Support, we had a relaxed call volume (between the hurricane, and end of the month for our dealers). Even Maksym, Ali’s younger son, joined in on our party.

 

Running smoothly and with power until 7PM, we closed up shop and ate dinner together. Bracing for the worst of the impact on Monday night, we woke up to the entire team and our office with power, and only light rain conditions. We all felt lucky having been able to avoid the brunt of the storm. Our hearts go out to those who lost their lives in the storm, as well as to the millions of people still without power throughout the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

The whole team is back in the office today, and we are gathering for a big lunch – on the company tab. After a successful 48 hours for DealerOn, we’d like to congratulate the entire team for their dedication and their ability to operate effectively and successfully under a very stressful situation. Cheers!

 

DealerOn Does Digital Dealer 2013

The 13th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition is fast approaching – just 3 weeks left!

Not only is DealerOn a Title Sponsor, we will also have a booth (#1211), and many of us will be speaking as well!  Going to be a busy, busy few days for the DealerOn group.

Here are the sessions we are going to be presenting:

“Double Your Fixed Operations Business in the Mobile World”

Learn how the top dealer groups use digital and mobile marketing strategies to beat the national service brands.

Jeff Clark

“Advanced SEO for Dealers – What Still Works on Google”

Google is constantly changing and massaging its algorithm to improve its local results. Learn what still drives organic rankings and how to leverage that knowledge for your dealership in 2013.

Ali Amirrezvani

“Master the Art and Science of Website Conversion”

Amir Amirrezvani and Jason Ezell

Amir is also going to be a member of the panel for The Next Generation Innovation Panel, moderated by Eric Brown and Jason Ezell.

If you’re going to be in Las Vegas for the conference, make sure to stop by our booth, #1211, and join us for any one (or all 4) of our presentations.  Let me know if you have any questions, and I hope to see you all there!

Is Your Dealership Ready for the Continued Growth of Mobile Email Opens?

I’ve written a lot about the importance of having a mobile friendly auto dealership website given the increase in smart phone usage, but when your dealership sends emails, are you also taking mobile into consideration?

A recent study by Knotice, an on-demand marketing software and agency, shows that 36% of emails were opened on a mobile device (tablet & smartphones) during the first quarter of 2012. This is up from 27% in the fourth quarter of 2011.  If this pace continues, half of all consumers could be reading emails on their mobile devices by this time next year.

Just as you need to make sure that your website content is optimized for mobile phones, make sure your emails are compatible for mobile devices too. Provide a plain text option, or at the very least, add text/tags to images and videos so that users will know what they are even if they don’t see them.

Testing is huge here – so send your emails to yourself and others to look at on your mobile devices.  Make sure that you are able to track your email key performance metrics (opens, bounces, reads, clicks, visits, leads, etc) at the device level, so that you can see whether the changes and improvements that you make to your email campaigns are meeting your goals.

Since over a third of emails are already being read on mobile devices, shouldn’t you at least make sure they look the way you want them to?

Info for Car Dealers on Penguin Updates Straight From Google’s Matt Cutts

It seems as though Google continues to be more transparent than in the past, which is great for webmasters. At the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Francisco last week, I had the chance to take part in a Q&A with the famous Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team.  One of the attendees asked Matt about the Penguin update and what it meant going forward.  I’m paraphrasing Matt here, but he said that webmasters should expect Penguin updates to continue and to be “jarring” for a while.  Matt also specified that links would continue to be a primary factor in determining the ranking of a website.  I think that’s why Google is devoting so much time and resources to Penguin, which is in some respects an audit for the validity of links across the web.

The conversation continued on the Search Engine Roundtable blog post, where Matt clarified his comments about the continued release of the update. “We’re still in the early stages of Penguin where the engineers are incorporating new signals and iterating to improve the algorithm. Because of that, expect the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact.”  In other words, the Penguin update will continue to evolve and probably have a larger impact on websites as the updates are released.

In a further showing of transparency, Matt Cutts answered a question via Twitter that asked what webmasters could fix in order to avoid being caught off guard by future Penguin updates. Cutt’s response? “…certainly links are a primary area to monitor. Been true all this year; expect to continue.”

Knowing the focus of Penguin will continue to be on the links to and from your auto dealer website, make sure you talk to your dealer website provider.  Do they have a plan to deal with future updates?  How are they tracking which sites link to your website, and which sites you are linking to? It’s important to take the transparency Google shows and use it to put your site in the best situation possible to weather the future Penguin updates.