Don’t BLOW your First Impression, 5 Tips to Stand Out!

It’s a proven FACT, the first impression will make you OR break you. So don’t blow it!

Don't blow your first frame image

In the world of online video, the first impression…IS your first frame image.

If you’re an avid DealerRefresh reader, then I don’t need to tell you how a personalized video is one, if not the best, way to introduce yourself and your dealership to a potential customer while distinguishing yourself from your competitors.

It’s THE opportunity that must be taken advantage of.  Nearly everyone is watching videos on their mobile devices and using videos to make purchasing decisions. But if you don’t pay attention to your first frame image and thumbnail display, you are missing a huge opportunity!

Don’t blow that opportunity by sending them a video with an unappealing first frame image.

The right first frame image is crucial!

The right first frame image is crucial!

If you’re new to sending personalized videos to your prospects, you may not have paid much attention to the first frame. The first frame is the “movie still” that displays in online video player before your prospect clicks the PLAY button to watch the video – or doesn’t.

Not sure how to improve that first frame? Here are 5 tips to to help prevent you from BLOWING your first impression. See them in action…

What Does your Dealerhsip Do With Call Tracking?

Nothing fuels my desire to write like the need to set the record straight. I was recently forwarded Alan Ram’s interview on CBT news. In that interview, Alan shared his thoughts on dealers’ spending money with third party services that reviewed calls and coached calls. Well I am here to tell you my BS meter is going radioactive!

Bull Shit!

In the interview Alan stated: “managers should be listening to their dealerships calls.” Alan, when’s the last time you did this? Do you realize how many calls the typical dealership receives in any given day? It’s a lot, and what manager has the bandwidth to peruse calls all day long! This is a job that can be outsourced for a lot less than what it cost to employ a manager. Why would I want a guy making six figures listening to calls that can be reviewed by a person making minimum wage?

Organizing Your Custom Website Content To Track ROI

It is extremely important you understand that if you can’t track the ROI of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content writing investments, your manager(s) will likely pull the money from the budget for these services.

automotive seo

It is equally important to face the reality that you will likely change or upgrade website technology in the next few years so you must protect your original content investments. The only way to easily track the ROI of your earned media strategies is to organize where the content is published on your website.

I am suggesting that you create a small number of directories on your website that will contain your customized web pages that have been created for marketing campaigns and SEO strategies. If all the content is properly organized, when you change or upgrade website technology, it will be very easy to move the custom pages to the next platform.

You can advise the website provider to transfer over all pages in your sub-directory folders. You will able to inspect the cutover because you can simply count the number of pages in the old sub-directory and compare it to the number of pages in the new sub-directory.

Here are some suggestions for the content directory structure:

Which One Best Describes Your Dealership’s Hiring Process?

Let’s face it: most dealers struggle with hiring qualified employees. And since the car business is a people business, our inability to achieve success with hiring new team members will have a negative long-term effect on the health and value of our dealership.

Illustration- Selecting(hiring) Right Employee, Worker, Candidate. The Graphical Illustration Shows


Why is Hiring Success So Difficult to Achieve?

I define “hiring success” as having the ability to predictably and consistently hire the right people for your store (or stores). Take some small comfort in the fact that, as an industry, we’re all pretty bad at meeting this standard. In fact, our company’s research on hiring effectiveness at retail automotive dealers shows that dealerships hire the right person for the job approximately 50% of the time.

“the average dealership experiences turnover that approaches 70% a year”

In other words, 50% of the time, the person who’s hired for your open job was not someone who should have been given the opportunity in the first place. It’s no wonder why the average dealership experiences turnover that approaches 70% a year.  With results like that, why even bother having interviews?

An Argument for Personalization in 2015

Okay, we get it. 2015 is the year of Customer Experience. But what is the first tangible step that a dealership can take toward not just better customer experience, but the sort of award winning, mind blowing, shareworthy, life changing customer experience that will convert your prospects into loyalists?

Aaron's Personalized Marriott Video

The answer is so simple it is simply overlooked:

How to Track Email Campaigns with Google Analytics

Many people don’t realize that there is a lot more to Google Analytics than just tracking your website activity… it’s also a great way to provide you with insights into your email campaigns.

email analytics tracking

Advanced Segments are GA’s way of dividing up all your visitors into associated groups. You can acquire details telling when visitors were there; what operating system they use on their computer, and so on… You can find the referring URL (what site they came from) or how many times they have visited. However you can do so much better with your data-mining.

GA includes one Advanced Segment (of many) that sorts by referrers or Traffic Sources. This is much more important because these can include Social Media Sites, Direct Traffic, Search Engines (Paid leads, Non-paid Leads, SEO, etc.), as well as email newsletters and email campaigns.

In this instance, the last two are the important ones to us. If you tag an email for a campaign (or within a newsletter), and clients click on links to your site within them, Google Analytics provides you with lots of data. What you need to do is build the URLs that will allow you to code your links with data GA can interpret. It might be complex, but there are automated tools…

5 Tips to Revamp Your Content TODAY

So, you’ve got your website. You’ve got your content. You’ve even got a fancy schmancy design to lure in your customers. You think you’re good to go, right?



How long has it been since you edited your site? Have you looked at your rankings in the last month? What about your content? Is it fresh and up to date? Probably not, right? Well, no fear. I have these quick five tips to help you give your site the revamping it needs for a fresh start in 2015.

Let’s get technical

First things first, you’re going to want to make sure your site is still all there with all the right links in all the right places. As you’ve updated things, you’ve probably moved some things around, added a blurb here, a link to some new content here, or maybe switched a picture for a happier, more informative page. It looks great…but when was the last time you really looked? Do that, now. Click through like you were one of your own, loyal customers and make sure everything is working and everything is in its place.

Want some help? Screaming Frog is a great tool to help you find the mess-ups on your page. It’ll alert you to any errors you’ve got, including redirects and URL errors. Still not sure? Use your Webmaster Tools. Server issues, sitemap errors, and those annoying Error 404 messages will all be cleared right up with your handy-dandy Webmaster kit.

Don’t beat a dead horse, but don’t sell a good one