1. Tell an online story about the vehicle. Most websites provide only basic information. Worse, many of the abbreviations that are used go over customers’ heads. Adds Gailbreath: “You can’t just list ABS brakes without explaining the benefits.”

    Simmons suggests writing a brief narrative about the vehicle highlighting features, such as the care given to it by the previous owner. He says to be honest to a fault and provide some of a vehicle’s down sides such as scratches on the hood. “It creates trust,” he says.

    “Find something bad to say about the vehicle,” Gailbreath says. “It’s a great way to build credibility.”

  2. Simmons: “Tell a vehicle’s story.”

  3. Add as many photos as possible. Interior, exterior, close ups, shots of the engine help tell the story and let the customer make an informed decision. The more photos of the vehicle, the more likely it is to sell. There are several services that help automate the process, making the taking and posting of pictures faster than just a couple of years ago.

  4. Provide warranty information. It puts the customer’s mind at ease. It also helps the dealership’s reputation. Offer a vehicle history report for free. That generates 33% more hits, according to AutoTrader.com.

  5. Every listing should offer customers a “good credit/bad credit” click option. Special finance will be one of the best-clicked parts of the site. But make sure your dealership can handle special-finance customers.

  6. If large employers or universities are near your dealership, put a box on the website specifically directing their employees, students and faculty to “Click Here.” You’ll be surprised how much traffic that alone generates.

cbanks@primediabusiness.com