Single post hero image

The biggest mistake on auto dealer websites – and how to avoid it

Want to know about the biggest mistake dealers make with their websites? This week’s Wednesday Workshop video shares the answer…

Far too many dealers choose their website based on how it looks – instead of how it performs. Your website has one job, and that’s to convert visitors into leads. Watch the video for more information about why it’s absolutely important to choose a website that really works, instead of one that you think is pretty.


Hello. It’s Shaun (the Hair), and I’m back with another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

Let’s talk about automotive dealership websites. Did you know that the color of lipstick on your pig is meaningless? What?!?!? Okay, let me set this up a little better. If you’re in the market, have been in the market, or will ever be in the market for a new website, you should watch every second of this video.

I’ve been on the internet or digital side of the car business since 1998 and I’ve seen every website platform since the beginning of automotive website platforms. Some have lasted and some have not, some have tried to reinvent themselves, but one thing has remained the same:

Dealers never ask this question when considering a new website: “If I’m going to pay for a new website, shouldn’t it improve my business results or at least not make them worse?”

Instead, dealers sign up for new websites based on other websites they believe are successful. Why do dealers believe these other websites are successful?

Usually because they think they look cool. That’s pretty much it.

Let’s get real. Car dealers aren’t website designers and no one should expect them to be. But consider this: if a car dealer doesn’t know how to direct a website provider regarding a high performance website and the provider is primarily focused on building what “looks good” or “cool”, the criteria for “success” becomes purely aesthetic.

Not good. Here’s the emoji for that…

So here’s another question for dealers to be asking about their websites: “Why does it exist?:” Seriously, why does your website exist?

Does your website exist to look pretty? To look cool? To look awesome?

Has anyone in the history of the whole world ever told the finance manager, “uh, heh… the only reason I bought this car from you is because your website is so cool?”

No! The lipstick color on your pig is meaningless!

But what about this… does your website exist to:
Present info about your dealership, the cars you sell, the services you offer?
Generate leads for your sales people?
Drive likes and follows on Facebook and Twitter?
Promote your brand and image?
Provide service scheduling?

The answer is easy, and the answer is yes. These are the website activities that you must track and continuously improve because they deliver business results.

So ask yourself why your website exists and then you can identify all of your possible goals, prioritize them and pinpoint the most important ones to optimize for. Your website goals must also be ranked. A Facebook like does not carry the same value as a phone call or a VDP form submission.

Maybe it’s time for you to have a website that will do its job.

What’s your website’s job? To convert traffic! Traffic you spend a significant amount of money to generate.

If you’ve got questions or comments about this video, drop them down below or find me at the next automotive conference and we’ll sit down and chat. I’ll even buy the beer. Until next time, I’m the Hair – signing off, but don’t forget to come back next week for another Wednesday workshop from DealerOn.

Author Shaun Raines

VP of Marketing Email Shaun Shaun is a true internet car guy and the Vice President of Marketing at DealerOn. His automotive internet career began in 1998 with the Reynolds and Reynolds team that launched Microsoft’s, CarsDirect Connect, Yahoo Autos, Automark Websites and Reynolds Web Solutions. Shaun’s Marketing prowess coupled with expertise in Social Media allows him to effectively market DealerOn’s capabilities, extend its reach and build the right reputation. His unique blend of humor and automotive experience has made Raines a sought after speaker at industry events including NADA, NCM, Digital Dealer, DrivingSales Executive Summit and 20 Groups Shaun lives in Frisco, Texas with his wife, children and dogs.

More posts by Shaun Raines

Leave a Reply

Call support
(877) 543-4200
Call Sales
(877) 543-6321