WordPress is well known for being the most universal website-building and content management system ever created, with thousands of different themes and plug-ins to help businesses gain more leads.
Automotive dealerships, however, are not utilizing this platform nearly as much as you’d think. It’s not because they don’t like WordPress—it’s because they don’t have the data to use it. Before we dive into why this is, let’s examine why WordPress is so beneficial to dealers.
When a consumer is on the front end of your website browsing vehicles and learning about your company, you want templates to be very clean and optimized. A good or bad user experience has a huge effect on SEO rankings and bounce rate, so factors like cleanliness of design, whether or not the site is responsive, and relative content will determine the success of your website. For this reason, WordPress is an ideal system because it helps users accomplish these goals.
On the back end of WordPress, where you actually create and edit the website, the interface allows the user to create a functional website without having to know how to code. It provides the functionality of dragging and dropping elements in different places on your site, and makes adding links, photos, and other media easy compared to similar platforms.
Themes and plug-ins
One of the major reasons WordPress is so popular is because users have the option to choose from thousands of prefabricated themes across every industry imaginable. There are at least 100 themes for auto dealers alone. Theme developers make it easy by building the basic framework of the site so the user just has to customize it and add content.
A great accent to any WordPress site is the plug-in, which is an add-on to a site to increase its functionality, similar to how you would add an app to your smartphone to meet a specific need.
WordPress has a plug-in for just about any function you would need for a site. For example, the SEO Grader plug-in will scan your site to review your content and give recommendations to improve your search results for specific keywords like, for example, “used cars Los Angeles.”
Dealers have vehicles coming and going from their lots all the time, which means they are constantly uploading and removing vehicles from their website. The problem with hosting a site on WordPress is that there aren’t many data providers that handle inventory management on dealers’ behalf.
Instead, if dealers want to host their sites on WordPress, they have to take the time to add descriptions and manually upload 20 or more photos to each vehicle page—time they could have spent closing a deal.
To reap all of the benefits WordPress has to offer while avoiding tedious manual input, dealers need to find one of the few auto data providers that integrate with WordPress.
Many dealers who buy themes for auto dealerships are unaware they also have the option to use a platform that will automate inventory management. Instead, they manually enter details, host separate sites just for their inventory, and sometimes even abandon WordPress altogether when they realize how much work goes into managing inventory without a data provider.
By utilizing a data provider, instead of having to individually upload each photo and description, dealers can batch uploads photos and hosts inventory on a Web platform that exports the inventory to a WordPress-hosted site, similar to how a site platform would export inventory to Cars.com or AutoTrader.
Once the vehicles are exported to the WordPress site, dealers can add, edit, or remove vehicles in the platform and the changes will be reflected on their website.
If you’re a dealer currently using a WordPress dealership site without a data provider, or if you’re thinking about hosting a website on WordPress, I highly recommend contacting a data provider that integrates with WordPress. There aren’t many platforms that do this, but the few that do will save you plenty of time and money, allowing your dealership to take full advantage of the power of the world’s most universal website platform.
Mark Stansbury is the marketing manager for AutoManager, a provider of dealer websites, marketing solutions, and dealer management software. For more information, visit www.automanager.com.
Latest posts by Mark Stansbury
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