Welcome to Digital Homesteading.
This collection of resources from 9 Clouds helps you build your business and community.
In this series, we’ve been telling you about how 9 Clouds Automotive marketing integrates its services with popular automotive marketing vendors such as DealerRater, AutoAlert, Reynolds & Reynolds, Dealer E-Process, FordDirect, DealerSocket, VinSolutions and ADP.
Today, we’re diving even deeper to show you the ins and outs of one of the world’s leading automotive website providers: Dealer.com.
Dealing with Dealer.com
In short, the thing to know about Dealer.com is that it is gigantic in the automotive world. In fact, it would be difficult to work in any part of this industry and not have heard of them.
Launched in 1998, Dealer.com employs more than 800 souls headquartered in Burlington, Vt., and Manhattan Beach, Calif. The company serves 90 percent of the nation’s top 125 auto dealer groups, thanks to integrations with top vendors and valuable OEM relationships (which now includes FordDirect) to deliver authorized OEM incentive information to their websites.
According to its website, Dealer.com specializes in digital advertising, websites and managed services, which involve digital campaign creation, ad delivery, SEO, and analytics.
How 9 Clouds integrates with Dealer.com
Dealer.com is the single most popular website provider amongst our auto dealership clients here at 9 Clouds. Our employees often participate in check-in meetings with our clients and their “Digital Advisors” from Dealer.com.
9 Clouds and Dealer.com Websites
When we take on a new dealership client at 9 Clouds, we work with the client’s website providers to integrate all of the necessary “plug-ins.” Google Analytics, Google Webmasters, lead tracking and other marketing automation tools require installation of code in the “back end” of the client’s Dealer.com website.
In addition to technical code integrations, 9 Clouds can also create landing pages, blogs, and other content integrated directly into the dealership’s Dealer.com site. In some cases, the cost of content we create on the dealer’s site is covered by OEM co-op programs.
Dealer.com’s Digital Advisors strive to meet regularly with the dealership, and the company’s Dealer Support team provides wonderful 24/7 technical help. When 9 Clouds creates a support case on behalf of the dealership, Dealer.com typically responds very quickly.
9 Clouds and Dealer.com Advertising
In addition to their digital ad campaigns with 9 Clouds, many of our clients also run digital ads via Dealer.com’s Managed Services. Whether its paid search (PPC), retargeting, or social ads, 9 Clouds works closely with the dealer’s Digital Advisor to ensure that the campaigns run smoothly and efficiently.
9 Clouds also measures the return of investment on all Dealer.com campaigns to suggest effective changes. For example, when we saw the average cost-per-click (CPC) skyrocketing on a particular set of keywords due to increased competition, we used Google Analytics to analyzed the traffic coming from those keywords and discovered that the bounce rate was more than 60 percent, which is high. So, we suggested reallocating those funds to social advertising, which yields higher quality traffic with a lower CPC.
9 Clouds and Dealer.com SEO
Dealer.com is great at managing SEO, and 9 Clouds builds upon that service by finding the most effective locally-sourced keywords for dealerships to apply on their Dealer.com website pages.
While Dealer.com’s template for keyword SEO is great, it can be improved with local knowledge. For example, we recently worked with Dealer.com Dealer Support to update the HTML page titles on a local Ford dealer’s Dealer.com website. One of the pages had a title of “Ford dealer in Vermillion, Luverne and Worthington” which are neighboring communities. While this tactic likely works well in metropolitan areas, South Dakota’s cities are effectively population “islands.” Those search terms for neighboring communities actually occurred less than 15 percent as often as “Ford dealer in Sioux Falls.” We asked Dealer.com to update this page title to capture more search traffic, and they obliged graciously.
9 Clouds and Dealer.com/FordDirect Sites
At NADA in January 2015, FordDirect announced a partnership with Dealer.com to deploy “DealerConnection Elite Plus” websites. These new sites leverage FordDirect’s OEM support and combine it with the responsive, technical power of Dealer.com. The result is a site that allows dealerships to track leads very closely from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel.
9 Clouds is pleased to work with both Dealer.com and FordDirect. We’re working with DealerConnection Elite Plus for one of our Ford dealership clients, and from what we’ve seen, the new solution is working very well for that store.
A DealerConnection Elite Plus site is essentially a Dealer.com site which is tailored and branded to meet Ford Co-op guidelines. While the experience is very similar to working with a dealership’s standard Dealer.com site, the DealerConnection Elite Plus sites are managed by a separate team at FordDirect.
Dealer.com + 9 Clouds = Proud Results
Like most other automotive digital marketing service with which we work, Dealer.com is worth as much as you put into it. While some dealerships choose to “set it and forget it,” 9 Clouds helps clients engage with their existing digital vendors – including Dealer.com – to ensure positive results.
Have you worked with Dealer.com? How has your relationship with Dealer.com been working for your dealership? We want to hear from you in the comments!