Auto industry experts say there are around 36,000 car dealership businesses in the United States, but the exact number is unknown. If you own a car dealership, especially a small one, you should consider investing the following online tools to gain the upper hand on your competitors. Using these tools, you can make your business more efficient and sell more cars in the process.

#1) YouTube

YouTube is a powerful online marketing tool that can help your dealership attract new customers and increase its brand visibility. Approximately 84 percent of car buyers plan to watch online videos before purchasing a new car. Before making a final decision, a car-shopper may watch YouTube videos about the car. Unlike photos, videos provide a deep level of insight into the car’s performance. A video may reveal the car’s acceleration, handling, engine firing and more, all of which can help shoppers make more informed decisions. As a dealership owner, you can take advantage of this by publishing informative videos about your car inventory on YouTube, or by giving the viewer a call to action directing them to your website at the end of a car review video.

#2) Google AdWords

Statistics show that 75 percent of car buyers use the internet for research when shopping for a new car at a dealership. Although there are dozens of online advertising platforms that can reach these buyers, and AdWords makes an argument for being the most effective. Originally launched in October of 2000, AdWords is a self-serving pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform that allows you to create custom ads for Google Search, YouTube, Gmail and other properties.

AdWords is particularly effective for dealerships because of its local targeting options. You can create custom ads that are only displayed to Google users within your dealership’s geographic location. If your dealership is located in Los Angeles, displaying ads to users in New York City isn’t going to help. With AdWords’ local targeting, you can set up your ads so that only users in your dealership’s area see your ads. This means your ads will be highly targeted to prospects who may visit your dealership, resulting in a higher return on investment (ROI) for your advertising dollars.

#3) KPI Tracking System

You can also streamline your car dealership business by using a key performance indicator (KPI) tracking system. It’s no secret that tracking KPIs is essential to your business’s success. KPIs tracked in the car dealership industry include net income, number of new vehicles sold, number of used vehicles sold, total cost of advertising, and gross profit per sale. Rather than tracking these KPIs manually, though, you should use online tracking systems like business intelligence dashboards.

Business intelligence dashboards offer a convenient interface where you can monitor your dealership’s KPIs and performance metrics. Not to be confused with a performance scorecard, it provides detailed insight into your business’s operations. Using the information acquired from a business intelligence dashboard, you can optimize your dealership’s operations for higher profits.

#4) Review Sites

Finally, you can use review websites to handle customer complaints and manage your dealership’s reputation. Whether it’s Google Local, Facebook or Yelp, review websites such as these allow buyers to see how dealerships treat their customers. Rather than neglecting to monitor your dealership’s reputation on review sites, you should take a proactive approach by regularly checking for new reviews. If a customer leaves a negative review, try contacting him or her to find out what went wrong and whether you can fix it.

Miscellaneous

Look for ways to save time through technology. You can save a lot of time and money through things like outsourcing your small business bookkeeping or saving time communicating by using tools like Slack instead of regular emailing and texting. Little things like these two allow you focus more on what you do well, which is selling great cars.

Don’t let competing dealerships steal your customers. By using these four tools and looking for opportunities to increase efficiency, you’ll create a more successful dealership that’s able to grow and expand.