Style Guide

Copy Standards

Please refer to these copy guidelines and standards when editing or updating the content on

The brand is “Autotrader.” The website is also referred to as “Autotrader,” never The brand is Kelley Blue Book. The website is They are not interchangeable, ie: “partner with Kelley Blue Book,” “Kelley Blue Book® Product Name,” etc. vs. “ visitors,
“ traffic,” on “”

Capitalization & Headline Styles


  • Top two levels of the navigation: all caps (e.g. DEALER SOLUTIONS, VEHICLE LISTINGS) – “A”, “B” & “C”
  • WordPress page titles need to be in title case.
  • Breadcrumbs and “I’M LOOKING TO:” module: ALL CAPS
  • Footer: the top-level links are in all caps. All others are in title case.

Button / CTA text

Sentence case, e.g. “Request a demo,” “View more” or “Check it out.” 
Don’t use punctuation in links or buttons, unless it’s a question.
Do make CTA visitor-focused, action-oriented and specific.

When to use title case

  • Headlines or sub-headlines that are simply product categories, product names, product feature/tool names or brand names (This is very rare on the site)
  • News articles and blog post titles (This aligns with PR’s style.)
  • Third-level navigation items and most footer items, as noted above
  • Form labels, form fields
  • Tab headers

In all other headlines and sub-headlines, use sentence case without periods

Formatting rules when using title case (These rules align with PR’s style)

  • The first word should always be capitalized.
  • Use lower case for prepositions, conjunctions and articles.
  • All other words should be capitalized, regardless of length.
  • When using a hyphenated phrase in title case, such as Trade-In, each word should be capitalized.

Formatting rules when using sentence case

  • The first letter is always capitalized.
  • Do not use periods in headlines, sub-headlines, CTAs, navigations items, etc. If necessary, a question mark is okay.

Subheadlines and bullet points in a series

  • A series of sub-headlines or bullet points should have parallel structure, i.e. all short phrases, all commands or all full sentences of similar length.
  • If bullets are complete sentences, include periods. (Again, all bullets in the series should be parallel, so we would not have a mix of periods and no periods in a set of bullets.)

Trademarks and Product Names

Use trademark symbols in the first instance of a term per page. Always superscript the ® symbol when used.

  • We don’t have a list of Autotrader trademarks that I can find. However, I am still exploring and hope to find one – Justin

Industry Terms (rules for Instant Cash Offer only)

  • Cost to Market (not cost-to-market)
  • Look to Book (not look-to-book)

Data Sources

  • When citing sources on the website, use the tooltips feature. Format should be sentence case, without periods.
  • For a data comparison, format should be: source of data + comma + details about what we’re comparing + relevant dates (spelled out and separated by an n-dash, if needed), e.g.:
    • VinSolutions Sales and Data Table via Collibra, May–September 2020
    • Autotrader site statistics, comparison of VDPs per listing per day, May 2020
    • Note: A comma should only be included before the year if the day of the month is listed. For example, “May 2020” has no comma, but “May 25, 2020” has one.
  • For a study we’re citing, use the name as provided, and add the date if it’s not part of the study name.

Other Formatting Rules

  • Do not use the serial (Oxford) comma, unless needed for clarity.
  • Phone number formatting should be “888-777-9999.”
  • Include spaces around slashes (i.e. “new / used”).
  • Super-scripted notations and asterisks go after punctuation, unless that punctuation is a dash — in that case, they go before it.
  • Please do not use capitalization solely for emphasis.