If I put you behind the wheel of a car and blindfolded you, how far could you drive before crashing? One mile? A couple yards? A few feet? Would you even take the risk? I mean, after all, it’s not exactly the smartest or safest thing to do and there’s a lot (and I mean a lot) that can go wrong.

Now, let’s say you ran a dealership and I blindfolded you in front of your computer. Would you have any idea what is going on with your digital marketing efforts? How long would it take before things spun out of control? Would you even take the risk? I mean, after all, it’s not exactly the smartest or safest thing to do and there’s a lot (and, again, I mean a lot) that can go wrong.

With so much emphasis shifting towards the digital side of the business, it is absolutely critical that you drive your digital marketing strategy with your eyes wide open and hands firmly at 10 and 2. But, with so many marketing investments spread across so many channels—not to mention the vendors you work with and technology you use on a daily basis—how do you take the pulse of your efforts without knowing exactly what to look for?  

Enter the Digital Audit.

Our digital audits cover five core components that influence, and are influenced, by a dealership’s digital marketing strategy; SEO, SEM, Social Media, Website Merchandising, and Lead Handling. By taking a deep dive into each of these key areas, we’re able to give unbiased insight into what is and isn’t working, as well as missed opportunities and actionable recommendations for improvement. This allows you to make educated decisions regarding your marketing budget and puts you in the optimal position to do what you do best, sell cars.

Why do we inspect these five components and what do they mean for your dealership? Well, let’s take a look.


Your website isn’t doing your business much good if people can’t find you. Likewise, your ads aren’t doing much good if they’re finding the wrong people. In fact, it could be hurting you. By inspecting the quality of the traffic you are receiving and the health of your website, we are able to find missed optimization opportunities or recommend fixes for your existing problems. An SEO-healthy website appears more frequently in search and the more times it appears, the more likely you are to make a sale. Similarly, we’ll dive into your AdWords campaigns to see how you’re structuring your account and how intuitively you’re structuring your keywords. These insights will not only strengthen your ads’ effectiveness, but it also allows us to identify high and low performing campaigns so that you can appropriately allocate your budget to maximize conversions.

Social Media

In order to sell to your customers you have to be where your customers are and, according to Statista, over 81% of Americans are currently on at least one social media platform. Many dealerships are starting to (wisely) embrace social media as a tool to connect with customers, but they can sometimes lack the time, commitment, or understanding of how to take advantage of these tools. As we’ve seen countless times, poor or ineffective content coupled with lackadaisical execution can be a death knell for a dealership’s social media strategy. Guided by the principles of the Automotive Social Media Sales Funnel constructed by our Social Media Director, Denise Casagrande, our audits focus on actionable recommendations and proven advertising strategies to help your social media presence flourish.

Website Merchandising

Your website acts as your virtual showroom and will almost certainly see more traffic than the floor of your actual dealership. This, in addition to the fact that a consumer is also likely to visit your competitors’ websites, means you need to take every opportunity you can to separate yourself from the pack. We’ll help you stand out by keying in on your Vehicle Detail pages as well as other vital pages to see if they are in line with best practices and recommend improvements. Digging deeper into your website, we’ll also offer suggestions for your video marketing strategy and how to get the most out of the content on your website.

Lead Handling

You could span the globe compiling a team of the greatest minds that digital marketing has ever known, but if the sales team following up on those generated leads isn’t effective, no amount of marketing wizardry can help you. Marketing can’t fix a slumping sales team, but the insight our audits provide can shed light on ineffective tactics and questionable processes that can curtail a sales team’s success. We go about this in two parts, the first of which entails mystery shopping you and your competitors to compare your follow-up processes. From that mystery shop, we’ll also breakdown your email follow-up and templates to see where your team is leaving points on the field. Finally, we tie a bow on all of it by inspecting your CRM to see how you stack up on benchmark KPIs. This also allows us to locate areas where you can increase efficiency or detect missteps in your process where things are going off the rails.

Removing your digital marketing blindfold can be a difficult decision to make, and as someone slightly more famous than myself once said, “living is easy with eyes closed.”  I’ll concede that it’s certainly easier, but as I’ve seen time and time again, it’s just not very beneficial. By gaining a full understanding of these five core components and how they are being utilized, you’ll have the power to make educated decisions regarding your budgets, vendors, and strategies that will put your team and dealership in the best possible position to succeed.

Wondering if your dealership (or small business) needs a digital audit? Download our Audit Checklist, or Contact PCG today to learn more about how we can work together.

About the Author

Jared Weinstein is the Education Manager at PCG Companies.