Posts Tagged ‘Dealer Website’

ClickMotive Licenses Dataium Data Technology to Optimize Website Performance and Consumer Experience

February 2, 2012

ClickMotive announced today that it has licensed Dataium’s advanced visitor recognition technology to enhance its visibility of consumer engagement on the websites it hosts for thousands of automotive dealerships. The agreement will provide ClickMotive with unprecedented analytics on what design, features and functionality drive optimum auto shopper online engagement and user conversion.

“Dataium provides us the ability to truly understand how our websites engage consumers in the auto buying process, and thus allows us to design websites and deliver content which dramatically impacts the performance of the websites we host”, stated, Stuart Lloyd, CEO, ClickMotive. He added, “In addition, Dataium data solutions will power a whole suite of services and new functionality which will drive lead volume, auto shopper buying behavior, and ROI.”

Further, under the agreement ClickMotive customers will have access to Dataium’s advanced business intelligence reporting to provide their local dealership with the latest in next generation inventory market alignment, SEO, lead behavior and management, marketing campaign attribution, and advertising effectiveness analytics.

“We are always honored when a leading software company like ClickMotive selects our data services to power their technology solutions”, commented Jason Ezell, President, Dataium. He continued, “as the data utility company for the auto industry we are committed to helping empower companies like ClickMotive to fully realize the power and potential their products and services can deliver, by utilizing actual shopper behavior from across the Internet.

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The Importance of Phone Prospects

January 25, 2012

As technology evolves automotive website providers are able to take more of the car buying experience online, but purchasing a vehicle still requires more than just a click of a mouse. Consumers still need to come into the dealership to complete their purchase and take delivery of their vehicle, so the goal has always been to get the consumer to the showroom floor.

Early on it was about generating foot traffic by using billboards, or getting someone to call in after seeing a 30 second spot on TV. Now car dealerships seem to be hyper focused on website visitors, email conversion rates, and Facebook fans, so they might sometimes forget the importance of a phone prospect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What we know from the National Automobile Dealership Association (NADA) is that 75% of all auto purchases initiate from a phone call, and other studies show that phone prospects are likely to purchase a vehicle within 2-5 days after that initial call, so why aren’t automotive website providers focused on getting car dealers more phone leads? The truth is that responsible car dealer website providers are focused on getting dealers more phone leads. At ClickMotive we see 10 phone call leads for every 2 email leads on traditional websites, and 10 phone call leads for every 1 email lead on mobile websites.

Our philosophy has always been to get our dealerships lower-funnel, higher converting visitors and leads, and consumers that are submitting email leads are likely to be higher in the purchase funnel than someone that is calling into the dealership. This information isn’t meant to discount the importance of an email lead. I believe that an email lead like a phone prospect is just a means to the end, which is to get the consumer to the dealership. Since most opportunities start with a phone call, car dealerships need to focus on making the most of their phone leads. Timely manager involvement with phone prospects, and continuous phone training could potentially help a dealership save half of their lost opportunities.

FUSION MOBILE™ V3

November 17, 2010

ClickMotive is very proud to introduce ClickMotive Fusion Mobile – Version 3!

Fusion Mobile V3 takes our industry-leading Fusion Mobile platform and pushes us even further into the lead.  This is a ground-up re-write taking advantages of industry & technology changes from the past 6 months.  The world of “mobile” is changing very fast compared to the rest of the world and ClickMotive continues to lead.  Here are some highlights of the major improvements:

Pictures everywhere!

Touch-enabled phones like iPhone & Android can produce eye-popping display – and it’s the right medium for pictures – lots of pictures.  We’ve taken this to the extreme.

  • Almost all listings (Vehicles, Models, Specials, Incentives, etc.) have pictures on them – making it easier to see where you’re going – no more reading required –just click the picture of what you want

Photo galleries dramatically upgraded for ease of use and fun – now they work a lot like Facebook galleries – just flick through to see more

More Designs!

ClickMotive pioneered fresh, clean websites that look & feel like native Apple iPhone applications.  This created an edge in the market that all our competitors have since copied.  It’s time to innovate again!  Using the new Fusion Desktop Palette engine, we have released 6 new Palettes (color schemes) for mobile websites giving us a total of 7 designs and 14 configurations:


More Customization

Dealers can now customize their mobile websites more than ever before – to break away from the pack with a distinct look all their own.  In addition to the eight exciting new color palettes, they also have the choice of two very distinctive looking home screens, shown below:

You can also re-order or change any of the items on the home page in just seconds.  In this version we also added the ability for custom markup pages to extend the functionality even further!

Faster Launch Times

We decreased the size of files for initial load resulting in a startup time that is 3 to 7 Times Faster than our previous version (our previous version was already the fastest in the industry)

Speed, Speed, Speed!

In Fusion Mobile v2, we pioneered a new technology for improving application performance. We call it “predictive loading”.  The idea is to figure out what the user will click before they click it – and pre-load it.  The result is navigation performance that is faster than the human eye.  In Mobile v3, we amplified this even further:

  • We invented and implemented a queuing prioritizing engine that analyzes user behavior and prepares details behind the scenes  – the result is a seemingly zero-load time on most pages
  • We programmed in “predictive loading” that increases the psychological sensation of speed.  This is in use on almost all forward navigation.
  • Faster shortcut navigation everywhere – for example, in the previous version, if there was only one used Toyota in stock and it was a Camry, the user would click “Used Inventory”, then “Toyota”, then “Camry”, then see a listing (with one Vehicle) and click the listing to get to the Vehicle.  This is 5 clicks.  The last click would take 1-3 seconds.  In Fusion Mobile v3, the user clicks “Used Inventory”, then “Toyota (Camry)” – 2 clicks and usually zero seconds of wait.

Huge Inventory Searches

With all the big performance optimizations – we’ve suped up Fusion Mobile to be able to handle some of the biggest inventory lists in the world!  Dealer Groups, Manufacturer Regions, or nation-wide  sites are now ready-to-go on the most responsive platform ever!

More Screen Shapes & Sizes

More & more hand-held devices are being released every day – and not all of them have the same shape & size of screen. With Fusion Mobile v3, any size, any angle looks great.

More Ways to Get Leads

  • Every single Model, Trim, Vehicle, Special, Incentive, Department, & Video has the option to Call, Email or Text.
  • Every call to action is represented with both text and an icon – no reading required, just touch the picture you want.

SEO

  • Deep Linking – (a Fusion Mobile breakthrough!) – the new iPhone technologies used by most companies are very cool and slick – but not very SEO friendly.  ClickMotive has pioneered a technology that combines the best of both of these words – rich interactive pages that can take very deep links from search engines, bookmarks, sharing programs, and future concepts like phone scanned inventory tags and more.
  • Friendly URLs (a Fusion Mobile breakthrough!) – URLs are rich with keywords and organization that search engines love.
  • Optimized Mobile SEO (a Fusion Mobile breakthrough) – all pages are correctly tagged for cataloging by mobile search engines
  • Fusion Meta Engine – this feature from Fusion Desktop allows SEO experts and consultants to tweak title tag & meta tag formulas for each page.
  • Markup – add your own custom content to your Fusion Mobile website.

Stay-In-Page Improvements

Fusion Mobile v3 relied on external applications like Google Maps & the Video Player for some functionality.  The problem was this forced the consumer to leave the website.  Most consumers will not be smart enough to know how to get back.  All of this is solved in Mobile v3 with “Stay-In-Page” features like:

  • Videos now play “in page” – with full controls that work just like the video player on YouTube – but without ever leaving the site. [i]
  • Photo Gallery “Flick-Through” Browsing – never leave the page while you casually flick through one picture after another – featured on Vehicle & Research pages.

Improvements for low-end phones

Older phones (and some newer phones!) do not have the same capabilities of rich touch-enabled devices like iPhone and Android.  We still want these users to get the most they can out of the mobile experience.  Several new features have been added to support this group of users.

  • Incentives – these were left out of the last version
  • Video Gallery – uses all the capabilities of lower-end phones
  • Map – stronger integration with Google Mobile Maps
  • Markup – the content is shared with the “Mobile Touch” interface.

More High-End Platforms

  • More new devices mean more shapes and sizes of screens – Fusion Mobile is now 100% flexible and can change shape and size as needed.
  • Landscape mode – when the screen gets “wider” than it is “tall” the entire screen, including picture galleries and more – all adjust automatically.

More Devices Detected

We audit the world of mobile once per month and add new device detection code – supporting more and more mobile devices.    For the month of July we added detection support for HTC Smart_F3188, LG GR700, LG LN240, LG VN250, LG VN250L, LG VN250P, Motorola Evoke, Nokia C3, Nokia E73, Nokia N8, SAMSUNG GT-M3710, SAMSUNG I8910, SAMSUNG SCHR100, SAMSUNG SCH-U750P, SAMSUNG SGH-i917, SAMSUNG SPH-M570, SonyEricsson M1i, SonyEricsson U5a, SonyEricsson U5at, SonyEricsson U5i, Toshiba TG02, Samsung SCH-i910, and HTC ADR6300

In Summary

Well, Fusion Mobile was already one of the hottest products on the market.  Dealers, Regions, Groups, & OEMs everywhere are waking up to the fact that many of their customers use phones to surf the web these days.  To be ready, you MUST have a fast, full-featured, rich, engaging web presence in mobile If you do, you meet car buyers where they want to talk – and the results speak for themselves.  Even in our current version we see conversion rates way above 40% on a normal basis.

Fusion Mobile V3 is the next step – it’s a free upgrade to all current Fusion Mobile customers.  Contact our sales team at 888-518-5513 for more information.


[i] Works on devices which natively support HTML5 video tag.  Other devices are provided a link to play the video externally

ClickMotive Wins Peak Performance Automotive Website Award (AWA) For Search Marketing

November 12, 2010

PCG Digital Marketing announced that ClickMotive was chosen to receive a Pinnacle 2010 Automotive Website Award (AWA) for search marketing. The awards were presented to the leading automotive website companies at the AWA breakfast ceremony in Las Vegas.

The Pinnacle award is the highest recognition the AWA provides in the AWA Search Marketing category. The companies receiving this award have designed and delivered search compliant websites that stood above their peers. Pinnacle Platform winners deliver outstanding digital marketing platforms for dealers that will provide clients with a strong competitive advantage online and will enable dealers to create an unfair competitive advantage in their local markets. The ClickMotive platform reached the pinnacle for scoring in the AWA benchmarks and live testing, and is why we were selected for this prestigious award.

The 2010 AWA Whitepaper stated that “ClickMotive takes a different approach on the design of their inventory pages. Their sub-directory structure is not traditional but effective.” What this statement says is that we went additional lengths to ensure that we are using a directory structure that organizes our content well and makes it easy for visitors and search engines to know exactly where they are and what they are looking at on our sites.

The 3rd annual Automotive Website Awards (AWA) was created by PCG Digital Marketing, recognized leaders in automotive digital marketing strategies. For 2010, PCG Digital Marketing recognized the industry’s best website platforms across three different categories: design, technology and search marketing.

The Automotive Website Awards seek to provide car dealers with an unbiased evaluation of automotive website platforms and integrated search marketing tools. The 2010 AWA study included a review of over 50 automotive website providers.

This year’s published study includes 160 pages of valuable information regarding automotive website platform choices, search marketing performance, design and technology. The report is the industry’s reference guide for the best in automotive website technology and design.

To download a full PDF version of the Automotive Website Awards study, please go to www.automotivewebsiteawards.com/2010-AWA-whitepaper.pdf .

Not-So-Friendly URLs

October 29, 2010

You may think your website has Friendly URLs – let’s stack it up to what Google says and expects.

There is a lot of confusion in the automotive industry around the definition of a friendly URL.  Many dealers (and website providers) seem to think that if you stuff a bunch of keywords into a URL, that this somehow makes it “friendly”.

When you stack this up besides what Google actually recommends, you can see a big difference!  Very recently (2010) Google published a 32 page book called the Search Engine Optimization Start Guide to help clarify some of the dreadful misinformation that exists in the SEO community.  Although this book, as its name implies, is only a “starter guide”- it is embarrassing how many websites don’t even follow the simple rules found in it.

If you are a car dealer – take a look at your own website and see how well it stacks up to some of these recommendations from the ultimate authority – Google themselves!

The information on friendly URLs begins on page 8 of the book.  Here are a few of the highlights if you don’t have time to read it for yourself:

  • Visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs that contain few recognizable words
  • If your URL contains relevant words, this provides user and search engines with more information about the page
  • Avoid using lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs
  • Avoid choosing generic page names like “Page1.html”
  • Avoid using excessive keywords like “baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards.htm”
  • Create a simple directory structure – Using a directory structure that organizes your content well and makes it easy for visitors to know where they’re at on your site. Try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL
  • Avoid having deep nesting of subdirectories like “…/dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4/dir5/dir6/page.html”
  • Avoid using directory names that have no relation to the content in them

For those of you who aren’t as technical – there’s one detail worth mentioning here.  When this book talks about “directories” or “folders”- it means words separated by a “/”character in a web address or URL.  The “/” character has a very special meaning to computers.  It is very different from a “plus” (+), a “dash”(-), and “underscore”(_), a “question mark”(?), an “ampersand”(&), a “pound sign”(#) or other characters you might see in a URL.  Only the slash (/) implies the organization that Google and others are looking for in this book.

Even at that, the “/” character also should mean that if you chop off the URL just before or after the slash, you should get meaningful content.  If this doesn’t work correctly, the slash character is as meaningless as the others mentioned above.

The example that Google uses to drive this home is from a fictional baseball card site – although the analogy to a car dealer website is pretty easy to see.  Here’s what the baseball directory structure looks like:

Some Bad Examples

Now, let’s take a look at some good & bad examples found in on car dealer websites (surveyed now in November 2010).  The dealer domain names and vendors have been removed to protect the innocent and the guilty.  I hate to point it out – but these ARE from some of the very most popular dealer website providers on the market.

Bad Example #1

(AutoFusion: http://www.tiptonhonda.com)

/details/New+2010+Honda+Fit+Manual+JHMGE8G28AS017378+El%20Cajon

There is so much wrong with this, it’s hard to begin!  Not only is the word “details” meaningless and never searched, if you try to visit the details folder on this particular site – it returns an error!  Car buyers may not do this – but a Google spider will.  All the “+” signs do nothing to create structure.  The VIN right in the middle (separating the trim) is just sloppy.  The “%20” is a rookie mistake from leaving a space in a URL.  There is also no location anywhere in the URL – this could be a car in Boston or Bangladesh!

Bad Example #2

(Reynolds: http://planoacura.mcdavid.com)

/new-inventory/2010_Acura_MDX_Plano_2HNYD2H51AH534120.aspx

You might think that the “new-inventory” folder is good structure – unless you tried to visit it on this dealer’s website – it returned an error.  This vendor & dealer have used underscore (_) characters to improve readability – but they do not add any structure.  Again, we have a big ugly VIN and the meaningless “.aspx” just looks geeky and intimidating.  The location is conspicuously absent again.

Bad Example #3

(Dealer.com http://www.vandergriffacura.com)

/new/Acura/2011-Acura-MDX-ee12c9570a0a0064003bf5e8c313195f.htm

On the surface, there seems to be some good in this one – but once again – a search engine spider will see right through it.   The VIN is intimidating – could be mistaken for a SessionId or other meaningless text Google warns against.  The word  “Acura” is in the URL twice – Google warns against this.  Finally, and worst of all, if you try to visit the folders, you get some terrifying results.  For example, the path /new/Acura returned a broken page and just /new returned the home page.  Once again – we have no idea where this car is.

Bad Example #4

(eCarList http://www.toyotaofplano.com)

/web/vehicle/582248/2010-Toyota-4Runner-RWD%204dr%20V6%20Limited-Plano-TX?condition_id=10425

You should be getting the hang of this by now.  It’s easy to spot the many problems with this format.  For example, the word “web” has no value.  The word “vehicle” has very little value (no one types it!).  Your guess is as good as mine why there is a folder (fake at that) called 582248.  After that we get keywords stuffed together with dashes – and worse – lots of %20 characters.  Once again, this is what happens when a website doesn’t care enough to remove spaces from the URLs – it is a problem that has been around since the beginning of the internet and some people still don’t get it.  You have to admit – it looks pretty scary.   Now – imagine you are a car buyer.  How do you feel about a car that has been marked with “condition_Id=10425”- is that some kind of inidicator as to what its condition is (perhaps damaged?)  We just don’t  know – but it does nothing to make the URL more friendly.

Now things go downhill fast on this site.

Visiting just part of the URL causes all kinds of problems:

/web/vehicle/582248 – returns the same page as the full URL – this is called duplicate content and Google does not like it

/web/vehicle – returns a listing of all used inventory – not bad except that the vehicle we were looking at earlier was new!

/web – returns a blank template page

Some Good Examples

Here, I will name names – these folks deserve some recognition for their efforts.  It probably goes without saying – but building out a folder structure, like Google recommends, is much more labor intensive and expensive.  That’s probably why so many sites just stuff keywords into file names and hope people think this makes them “friendly”.  You will notice that all of these except one is a national aggregator – these guys often spend the big bucks to do technology right.  You may find yourself competing for them in search engine rankings too.  Don’t worry,  there’s an honest, but self-serving plug for ClickMotive Fusion websites in this section too.

Good Example #1 – Vast.com

http://www.vast.com/cars/used-for-sale-Chevrolet.Tahoe/trim-LT/location-Houston–TX

Good use of folders.  Location included.  No mystery characters.  Has good “buying words” like “for-sale”.  About the only valid critiques ere would be that the Tahoe is a truck – and it’s located under the  “cars” folder.  This is not bad – and may be intentional since many people refer to cars, trucks, SUVs,  vans,  etc. collectively as just  “cars”.

This structure also goes away when you actually visit a specific unit – but again – this is a very good example.

Good Example #2 – Cars.com (and a bad example too)

http://www.cars.com/honda/civic/2010/

Wow – this is clean!  Easy to see just what you’re going to get if you go to any of these folders – and they all actually work!  This is the research section of this site.  When you actually search inventory – the URLs are not nearly as nice.  Here’s one:

http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=newcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listingId=50671953&listingRecNum=0&criteria=sf1Dir%3DDESC%26alMdId%3D20823%26mkId%3D20017%26stkTyp%3DN%26mdId%3D20823%26rd%3D30%26crSrtFlds%3DstkTypId-feedSegId-mkId-mdId%26zc%3D75093%26rn%3D0%26PMmt%3D1-1-0%26stkTypId%3D28880%26sf2Dir%3DASC%26sf1Nm%3Dprice%26sf2Nm%3Dlocation%26alMkId%3D20017%26rpp%3D50%26feedSegId%3D28705&aff=national

Good Example #3 – ClickMotive Fusion

Here I’ve used a San Antonio based Ford dealership running on ClickMotive Fusion.  I feel obliged to point out that ClickMotive Fusion Mobile runs on the same platform – so it will have a folder structure and friendly URLs that are similar to the desktop sites – this is extremely rare with mobile websites.  Let’s take apart the URL:

http://saford.com/San-Antonio/For-Sale/New/Ford/F-150/2010–Black-Truck/3302213/

Notice, there are still keywords present – that’s needed for the search engine to understand what a single page is about – but notice that the URL itself is organized into a meaningful folder structure.  The one cryptic number is way out to the right – and as short as it can be (not a VIN!).

If you remove portions of the URL, it helps the spider understand not just what the page is about, but how it is related to other pages in the site.  For example, the URL above can be chopped off one folder at a time to produce results like this:

http://saford.com/San-Antonio/For-Sale/New/Ford/F-150/ this returns all new Ford F-150s

http://saford.com/San-Antonio/For-Sale/New/Ford – this returns all new Fords

http://saford.com/San-Antonio/For-Sale/New/Ford/Truck/ – this returns all new Ford trucks

http://saford.com/San-Antonio/For-Sale/New – this returns all new inventory

In future versions, we plan to have /San-Antonio/For-Sale return the sales department page and just /San-Antonio will return the map page.   These features are still under development, but in the meantime, these pages do a Google-recommended  “301-redirect”- that means, we tell the spider I computer language how to navigate correctly from this folder without producing any duplicate content, blank template pages, or error messages.

Summary

Now you should be able to understand what Google means when it says “friendly URLs”- it may be very different from what you have on your website or what your vendor says a friendly URL is.  The reasons to make sure your website has friendly URLs are very clear!

  • Google says it’s the best way to do it
  • Consumers are not confused or intimidated by scary URLs
  • It’s easier to make third-part links to relevant material inside your site for link building campaigns

And, there are plenty of reasons to avoid using a site that does not follow these rules:

  • When Google detects abuse of a feature, it has been known to change its algorithm to decrease rankings or remove websites that have this abuse detected.  Google pointed out that lots-of-words-separated-by-dashes-to-create-content is not the right way to go.  If they ever decide to downgrade sites with an algorithm, my money is that they will hit the ones that have the most characters like -, +, _, ?, &, etc.  The only character that’s safe is the “/”- which means organizing folder
  • Google does not publish their ranking algorithms, but it is well known (and stated outright by Google) that organization of the site can play a role in it.  To be organized, this means the folders in the URL must mean something.  That means they must return meaningful content when you visit them.  Whether car buyers do this or not is not of concern.  The spiders will do it – and the spiders need to like what they see to keep them from thinking this is an unprofessional, badly organized site.

If you would like to see even more examples of how ClickMotive Fusion uses real friendly URLs and not just keyword stuffed filenames – contact our sales department for a free demo by calling 888-518-5513.

Search Engine Friendly URLs

April 8, 2010

For today’s Automotive Websites, database driven or dynamic sites have become an industry standard. Unfortunately for Automotive dealers, these types of sites use really strange looking web addresses containing things called “query strings” to pass information between pages. For Search Engines, these types of URLs have no relevant information about the content on the page, and do no good from an SEO perspective.

By looking at the URL below you will see that this is a vehicle page with a URL based on dynamic parameters, but this displays little information of any real meaning to Search Engine spiders.

Example of an Unfriendly URL:

http://www.dallasdodge.net/details.php?&VIN=1J4NT2GA0AD506360

ClickMotive combats this by using “Friendly URLs” with rich keywords and content Search Engine spiders can read. The example below would be much more relevant to Search Engines for a New 2010 Toyota Camry for Sale in Richardson than the previous example.

Example of a Friendly URL:

http://toyotaofrichardson.com/Richardson/For-Sale/New/Toyota/Camry/2010-4dr-Sdn-I4-Auto-Tan-Car/3068205/

SEO-friendly URLs contain words and proper filenames, and they don’t contain special characters or spaces (when necessary dashes are used to separate words). Using SEO-friendly URLs can dramatically improve your organic search rankings simply because they emphasize keywords that actually mean something and are easier to index than numbers and strings.

When a Search Engine spider comes across a symbol such as a question mark (?), then the engine perceives the symbol as a dynamic parameter. Because of this, they may not be able to assign any relevance to the URL itself since it may not contain any valuable, indexable information.

By clearly specifying the domain name, location, and vehicle information, the consumer knows which site they are on, what vehicle they are looking at, and where it is located. So in other words, the URL actually makes sense and means something. In comparison to an unfriendly URL which contains virtually no useful elements to a consumer or to a Search Engine spider, the friendly URL encompasses all the requirements necessary to help achieve good rankings on Search Engine result pages.

The first task was creating a directory structure that not only made sense but also worked. If you are on a vehicle page like the example above, and want to navigate back to all the new Toyota’s for sale, then just simply delete the vehicle portion of the URL, and the site will take you back to all the New Toyota’s in the dealer’s inventory.

We then developed a file naming system to optimize for not only SEO, but for usability. We studied Google Trends to find out what words car buyers used and simply used those terms when naming the directories that make up the URL. At first glance you might think that it makes sense to call the directory with inventory “Inventory”, but car buyers don’t search for “New Toyota Camry Inventory in Richardson”, instead they type “New Toyota Camry for Sale in Richardson”.

We also are adhering to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for recommendations on proper URL structure. The URL structure of a FUSION™ Website is simple, concise, and the content is organized so that URLs are constructed logically in a manner that is readable by humans.   Be careful with other website providers who might just stuff a lot of keywords into a file name with no organization structure.  This sort of activity may not work for long as search engines get more sophisticated.  At ClickMotive, we don’t take short cuts for trendy SEO fads – we put in the hard work to produce results for the long run.

Because we feel that a dealer’s inventory is the most important, most viewed, most searched, and most crawled content on a car dealer’s website, we updated that page class first with this friendlier URL structure. Stay tuned in and we will keep you updated on our progress as we build out the rest of the Friendlier URLs throughout all of FUSION™.

ClickMotive FUSION™ Mobile – Now Supporting 131 New Devices!

April 1, 2010

The world of mobile phones and the concept of the “splinternet” is rapidly changing the way car buyers shop for cars!  In the good-ole-days of 2008, you could just get yourself a nice website and count on the people to come for a visit.  Those days are gone!

ClickMotive FUSION™ Mobile helps you stay ahead of the curve.  Our R&D team never stops developing new innovations to keep you ahead of your competitors.

One of the trickiest aspects of mobile development is keeping up with the number of mobile devices that are available.  You can’t watch your favorite TV show without seeing one cool new gadget after another coming out!  Car buyers are buying those gadgets and if your dealership web presence doesn’t fit on their screen and work great – they will just go somewhere else.

ClickMotive FUSION™ Mobile R&D constantly adds support for new devices as they become available.  In fact, we have added detection support for 131 new mobile devices since January 1 this year!  It’s an exciting but turbulent wave in technology – and you need a strong partner to master it.  Contact our sales department for more information on getting a cool FUSION™ Mobile Website for your dealership.

Devices added since January 1

Below is the list of the 131 new devices added to FUSION™ Mobile detection support.  If one of the devices below accesses your Fusion website, they will be automatically redirected to the appropriate view of your mobile website.

AUDIOVOX 8964VM, HTC HERO200, Acer S200, DoCoMo F01B, DoCoMo F02B, DoCoMo F03B, DoCoMo L02B, DoCoMo L04A, DoCoMo L06A, DoCoMo N01B, DoCoMo N02B, DoCoMo N03B, DoCoMo SH01B, DoCoMo SH02B, DoCoMo SH04B, DoCoMo SH08A, Grundig GR660, Grundig GR980, Hitachi P300, HTC 8900b, HTC A6277, HTC ADR6200, HTC HD2_T8585, HTC Legend, HTC Nexus One, HTC ST6356, HTC ST7377, Huawei U8230, i-mate JAMA, KDDI CA3F, KDDI CA3G, KDDI KC3R, KDDI KC3S, KDDI KC3T, KDDI SH3D, KDDI SH3E, KDDI SN3L, KDDI SN3M, KDDI TS25, KDDI TS3Q, KDDI TS3R, Kyocera WX333K, LG GB270, LG GD510, LG GT360, LG GW525, LG GW620, LG GW620R, LG MG300D, LG VS750, Meizu M8, Motorola A3100, Motorola A45, Motorola calgary, Motorola Droid, Motorola MB200, Nokia 2710c, Nokia 5230, Nokia 5330, Nokia 5800, Nokia 6225, Nokia 6225i, Nokia 6700c, Nokia 6700s, Nokia 7230, Nokia 7705, Nokia C5, Nokia X3, Nokia X6, O2 COCOON, Palm Pixi, Palm Treo800w, PANTECH C790, PANTECH P7000, RIM BlackBerry8910, RIM BlackBerry9650, RIM BlackBerry9700, SAMSUNG GT-B3310, SAMSUNG GT-B5310, SAMSUNG GT-B7330, SAMSUNG GT-S5620, SAMSUNG GT-S7550, SAMSUNG r520, SAMSUNG SCHR351, SAMSUNG SGH-A727, SAMSUNG SGH-A897, SAMSUNG SGH-F480i, SAMSUNG SGH-I637, SAMSUNG SPH-M900, SAMSUNG Z105, SoftBank 740SC, SoftBank 830SC, SoftBank 830SHp, SoftBank 831N, SoftBank 832SHs, SoftBank 840P, SoftBank 931N, SoftBank 936SH, SoftBank 940N, SoftBank 940P, SoftBank 940SC, SoftBank 940SH, SoftBank 941SH, SonyEricsson F100i, SonyEricsson G900, SonyEricsson J10i2, SonyEricsson M600i, SonyEricsson T707, SonyEricsson TM717, SonyEricsson U1i, SonyEricsson U5iv, SonyEricsson X10i, SonyEricsson X2, SonyEricsson X5, Telstra A261, TMobile MDA Compact, TMobile MDA III, TMobile MDA Touch, TMobile MDA Vario, TMobile MDAcompactIV, TMobile U8220, Toshiba TG01, UTSTARCOM GPFM1238, UTSTARCOM TXT8030, UTSTARCOM TXT8040, VeryKool i250, Vodafone SFR_v1615, Vodafone SFR_v3650, Vodafone VPA_Touch, Zonda ZMEM1095, Zonda ZMGP3400 ,

SEO Magic!

March 4, 2010

Lots of people ask how it is that ClickMotive FUSION™ Websites can so easily run circles around other websites when it comes to SEO.

The truth is – there is not a secret sauce.  Anyone who tells you there is a secret sauce is probably just a flimflam artist ready to take your money.

For many years now, ClickMotive has been honing its SEO processes to create not just SEO techniques or practices – but a full “SEO Architecture”.  SEO is baked into the ClickMotive FUSION™ site – it’s such an integral part of the architecture – it can’t be turned off (unlike some of our competitors who disable their “SEO features” until you pay them more money).  Here are a few things that we do that help make our SEO something special.  We don’t mind publishing and sharing these ideas because many other providers would have to re-write their product from the ground up to use them.

Consumer Heuristic Content

Yes, that’s a mouthful.  Here’s what it means.  There is a fundamental disconnect between the words car buyers use to shop online and the words that appear on dealer websites.


As you can see in the diagram above, the only way you can turn up on a search engine result page is if the words on your website overlap with the words car buyers actually type.  Here are a few examples:

What Dealers Want To Say on their Websites What Car Buyers Want To Find on Search Engines
Quality Pre-owned Inventory Cheap Cars
Trucks Pick-Ups & Pickups
Chevrolet Chevy
Candy-Apple, Midnight Forest, and Alpine Red, Green, and White
Pre-owned Vehicles Used Cars
“Welcome to our virtual showroom” Location
Dealership Dealer, Dealers

There are hundreds of other examples – I imagine you can think of quite a few on your own . At ClickMotive, we seed dealer websites with consumer-friendly language and links.  Our title tags, content, links, and Meta descriptions and other key elements are filled with the language we learned by investing more than a million dollars in consumer behavior research.  If you look around, you’ll find words like “cheap cars” (it’s on a rotating link that goes to our “Bargain Lot” auto-special), pick-ups (in meta-content on truck research pages), dealer & dealers (as well as dealership) (on key pages like “Contact Us” and “Map & Location”).  We add the “consumer-friendly” color of every vehicle on your lot to the title tag on the vehicle page, along with a generic product description (something like “black truck”).

When car buyers search for these terms, your ClickMotive FUSION™ Dealer Website stands a better chance of ranking because the words are actually on the page!

Multi-Dimensional Link Themes and Semantic Content

Again – it’s some big 50 cent words that were expensive to develop – but quite effective at helping search engine spiders find the important parts of your website.

Many websites are shallow, 1-dimensional products where everything links to everything.  Some providers even sell this as a feature!  Spiders often need a little extra help to understand how a website is organized – this is done through a technical process called “link themes” – and it takes some hard work to make it happen!  Fortunately, it’s built into ClickMotive FUSION™ and it works automatically for all dealers who use it.  Unlike some other providers, it can’t be “turned off” if you don’t pay for it.  It’s built in.

Some providers out there actually seem to think that by putting some footer links and hidden content on the home page that they can somehow improve SEO!  That’s nothing short of ludicrous (not to mention, a pretty mean rip-off).  What they’ve tricked dealers into believing is that SEO has anything to do with your “home page”.  Google’s spiders only seem to take about the first 100 or so links on any page seriously.  Duplicate links to the same page do NOTHING to improve SEO.

The right way to do it (and yes, this is built-in to ClickMotive FUSION™ Dealer Websites) is to make sure the first links on  your page are to the most critical areas of the site – and that the links from those pages branch to other related pages.  Just like a human – a spider doesn’t want to see everything you sell.  It wants to be given some major categories that lead to greater and greater detail.  ClickMotive uses a feature called “Semantic Content Markup” to organize the page content into logical categories and point spiders to increasing level of detail.

While many websites just look like a long warehouse full of chaotically strewn products– a FUSION™ Dealer Website looks like a well-organized shopping center.

Intelligent Snippet Generation

The black letter text you see on a search engine result page is sometimes called a “snippet”.  Poorly designed websites will often have what the industry jokingly calls a “Franken-snippet” – because it’s made of jumbled parts and pieces of the website – bunched together to get as many keywords as possible.  This is how the amateurs, phonies, and wanna-be’s do it.

The right way to do it is to ensure the spider gets a coded message that tells it (in plain English) what to include in the snippet to keep it looking neat, clean, and relevant.    We even go to extra lengths to ensure that important things that car-buyers want shows up in these results – phone numbers, and address are right at the top of their list. Think about it – you use Google as a “white pages” from time to time, don’t you?

Studies show that these types of results are often clicked – even more-so than results that occur ABOVE them on the page!  Being #1 isn’t everything.  Getting clicked or called is what counts.

Practical Advice to “Do Mobile Right”

March 4, 2010

There’s a lot of confusion in our industry about the right way to create a mobile online presence.  Where there is confusion, there are also companies around who will take your money before the truth comes out.  Hopefully, this article will help you make smart decisions and avoid getting ripped off.

Apple’s very successful iPhone product and equally successful advertising campaign promoting the slogan “there’s an app for that” has led to some opportunistic companies popping up and charging lots of poorly informed dealers lots of money for very little value.

Read below to get some useful advice to consider if you’re ready to put your dealership on the phones of your shoppers.

The Mobile Marketplace

Mobile web browsers have been around a long time now – but only in the past few years have there been enough to really make a difference.  Apple’s iPhone leads the pack with over 65% of the install-base.  Google has released a mobile phone called “Android” that has many of the same features of the iPhone – and its popularity is growing fast.  Blackberry has long been the staple of the business world – it was the first to get reliable email down – but its browsing capabilities still lag behind the others – especially on models more than a year old.  Microsoft Windows Mobile has been around a long time with a lot of great programs – but not a large install-base.   Sadly – none of these devices have the same screen size, capabilities, or web standards.   Next to enter is the forthcoming Apple iPad – yet another size of screen and yet another set of capabilities.

Welcome to the “SplinterNet” – that’s what people are starting to call it.  No longer can you just build a great website and hope to reach everyone.  You have to have a flexible web platform that can reach all of these folks – because they all need to buy cars from time to time.

The Perfect Solution

If you want to have the best possible platform today and still be relevant in a year from now – there’s really only one way to do it.  Your online mobile presence needs to have at least 2 targets.

The high-end Apple iPhone & Google Android devices are so powerful they can do things that even full-sized computers can’t do yet!  They support newer technologies than the browsers you use on your desktop!  And, of all the platforms listed above, they have the highest number of people actually using them to find businesses online.   You want to put your best foot forward and impress these people with a stunning and fast website that gives them information at their fingertips.  It needs to be “touch friendly” so that every button and link is big enough to accommodate a finger (rather than a stylus or a joystick like some other mobile devices use).  Watch for these features when you evaluate mobile products – if they are not set up correctly, car buyers will not use them.  If you look at a ClickMotive FUSION ™ Mobile Web Application, you’ll see it looks & feels a lot like other Apple iPhone products – this means people already know how to use it – to shop your inventory, call your service department, see when you’re open, get directions, etc.  It’s no wonder we see an average 43% conversion rate on these sites (yes, you read that right!)

At the same time, you can’t afford to ignore everyone else.  There are lots of Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and other devices out there.  When those users look for your business, they need a clean display that works even if the screen is tiny (because it often is). The application needs to have very few features (these devices move very slowly when downloading pictures).  The formatting has to be kept to a light-weight minimum or it will not work on all the devices the same.  ClickMotive FUSION™ Mobile Web Applications have been tested on 35 hardware platforms and evaluated against nearly 100 more.  We even conducted user focus group studies to ensure it works the way users of those products expect.

But What If Someone Wants to Sell Me An App?

At NADA, we encountered lots of companies selling what they called “Apps” – these were essentially a static business card that could be uploaded to Apple’s “App Store”.  While this is novel, it serves very little business value.  Consider the following when comparing a Mobile Web Application to an App-Store App before you buy one of these little money wasters:

Bear in mind, a well-designed mobile web application has all of the features of an App-Store App – but without any of the drawbacks in the table above.  It can be made into a desktop icon, it can update for fast operation, and much more.

If after all of this, you still think it would be cool to distribute through the App Store, any good provider should be able to offer this to you for an additional fee.  All that’s involved is using a program to wrap up your mobile website and submit it to Apple for review.  ClickMotive will do this as well – but with some honest and friendly advice first.

As always, if you have questions, we’d love to hear from you.

SEO Results Improved Again

February 10, 2010

Free & new feature in ClickMotive Fusion improves SEO effectiveness

Released: January 28, 2010

As always, the world of marketed SEO “Services” for car dealers is filled with misinformation!

Here’s a chance to set some of the record straight and show another way that ClickMotive leads the pack in SEO innovations.

You may have heard that “meta” tags are important for SEO.  Then you may have heard that “meta” tags are NOT important for SEO.  Here’s a simple explanation that tells you everything you need to know.

A “meta” tag is a bit of code on a webpage that you can’t see in a browser.  There are lots of different kinds of meta tags.  Two in particular have a relationship to SEO.

One is called the meta keywords tag.  It contains a list of keywords that your site is about.  It was important to SEO back in the 1990s before people started using it to cheat.  No search engines today pay any attention to meta keywords any more.  If you have an SEO “consultant” trying to sell you services that include improving your meta keywords – fire them.   They’re only taking your money and adding no value.  If they can’t get this simple thing right – how can you trust them on anything else.  The same goes for any online “grading” tool for SEO.  Remember – the industry is full of fraud and scams!

The other meta tag related to SEO is the meta description tag.  Long ago, this tag was important for SEO, but once again, since it was not visible, unscrupulous people used it to cheat, and the search engines started ignoring it.  But then, more recently, Google and other search engines started displaying the content of meta description tags in their search engine results.   The black-colored text that you see under the blue-colored link on a Google search engine result page will often (although not always) come from a meta description tag.  Most experts agree that this text has little to no influence on how high you appear in the search results, but it does influence what your link looks like.

At ClickMotive – we took these even further for our customers!

Many SEO experts have measured the effects of what this text says – and it can make a huge difference.  For example, if the black text is garbled, stuffed with keywords, or not straight-forward English, it decreases the perception of professionalism and trust.

Even better – if the text actually tells you what to do – if it contains a “Call To Action” it can dramatically influence the click-through rate!  Some studies have shown that results way down the page with better written text are actually more clickable than results further up the page!  Imagine that – being on top isn’t everything – it’s getting clicked that counts!

Here are some examples from a simulated search for a “Toyota Tundra in San Antonio”

This sample search engine result had little consideration given to its title tags or its meta description.  The result, a confusing mess with lots of “…” and covering just about everything BUT the Tundra!

Lloyd ToyotaSan Antonio area Toyota dealer in San Antonio
Lloyd Toyota in San Antonio Texas with internet specials on new and used Toyota … on any new Toyota 4Runner, Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Camry Solara, …

Now, look at this result – notice it’s clean (no “…”) and tells you exactly what you’re supposed to do (“Check it out”).

New 2010 Toyota Tundra 4WD  (Gray Truck) San Antonio.
Check out this New 2010 Toyota Tundra 4WD CrewMax Short Bed 4.6L Grade (Gray Truck) from Myers Toyota of San Antonio serving San Antonio. This vehicle is currently available in-stock to buy now.

Every ClickMotive Fusion search engine result meta description has been re-written to contain positive “call-to-action” language.  Over the next few weeks, this will make its way into the search engines, so watch for results that look like the ones below –  notice each one has a “call to action” designed to improve click-through.

Visit the Official Site of Myers Toyota, selling Toyota in Plano, Texas and Serving DFW Area.

Shop now for New Toyota Cars for Sale in San Antonio. See the currently-available in-stock units to buy now.

Watch Myers Toyota Virtual Tour Research Videos from Myers Toyota in San Plano, Texas, serving DFW.

Take advantage of Specials at Myers Toyota in Plano, Texas, serving DFW. Check out our great Specials for online customers in all our different departments

As always, neither ClickMotive nor any other company can control the results displayed by Google & other search engines – but through constant research and development, we can work hard to improve the results.

At ClickMotive, we never stop innovating for our customers – new features come online every month.  Check back here often for information on the newest features.