A 15-Minute Check Can Create More Opportunities and Sales!
Feeling like your web presence just isn’t clicking the way it used to? Not getting enough leads?
Our clients often scramble for an answer. Is your competition trying something new? Are your model research pages the issue? Maybe it’s the homepage! Let’s redesign the whole kit and caboodle!
Often, the solution is usually much simpler and is a better use of your time than a massive overhaul: your SRP and VDP probably just need to be revisited. With some minor changes, you could see a massive boost to your lead generation!
In this article, we’re going to share with you our secret sauce for generating high-quality leads. These are easily and you can often do without bringing in your support teams.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion Rate Optimization (or CRO) is the modification of your website to generate the greatest amount of opportunity possible.
Why Should You Care About CRO?
Because that’s how you sell more cars! Your operational management team’s goal is crafting your floor team into a conveyor belt that turns customers into sales. Why wouldn’t you want your website to operate on the same principle?
There is a ton that goes into a successful website and CRO is among the most important items. CRO is about the long game. You’ll find it well worth your effort.
How Do You Calculate Conversion Rates?
Conversion rate can be calculated by using this formula:
(leads generated ÷ website traffic) * 100 = Your conversion rate %!
So if your website gets an average of 200 leads and 5000 sessions (using Google Analytics as a tracker) per month, your conversion rate would be:
(200 ÷ 5000) * 100 = 4% Conversion Rate
What Counts as a Conversion?
This is the part that we believe some people overlook. In our humble opinion, you should only be reviewing anything that can be converted into a sale.
This means calls, website chats, and lead generation forms (inventory, finance, trade-ins, service requests, etc.).
This does not mean form starts (but not finished!) or landing page views.
Landing page views and form engagement are incredibly important to build an audience profile! They are also important to modify your existing lead generation tactics.
But if you are reading this guide, you are most likely not there yet! Start with the basics, get primed and ready for testing later.
So, as a rule of thumb, if you can make money off of it, it should be counted as a conversion.
You can create sales of someone’s email or phone number, but not VDP views!
How Do You Track Your Conversions?
There are several tools available to you that you can use to track your conversion, such as
- Google Analytics
- Adobe Analytics
- Your website CMS
Ask your website provider how they track conversions and if you need assistance setting them up. They might already be tracking them as far as you know!
If you are using a 3rd-party provider for your financing applications, get in touch with your support representative and they will most likely know how to connect all of your conversion tracking tools to your analytics platform of choice.
What is a Good Conversion Rate?
Now that you understand what CRO is and how to track it, what do you do if you find out your results are poor? Do you need to change everything up or make minor adjustments?
The answer is the most important response in all of web design. Ready?
That’s not very helpful, we know! Let’s dive in and get to a more actionable solution.
The commonly accepted average for conversion rate for web leads in the automotive vertical is around 1.5%.
This number will fluctuate. Don’t panic if you’re at 1.51% and a new study comes out that says the floor is 1.75%.
Why? Ultimately, this number is useless for you. This may be surprising due to all the sales pitches from digital marketing companies. But it’s the truth.
The reason why it’s not very useful is because your conversion rate depends on several factors completely out of your control. These can be:
- Location: Rural vs. Urban
- Region of the Country: (the southeast of the U.S. is far more hospitable to a best price button than the northeast)
- OEM: A Honda dealer will receive more leads than most Acura dealers. If you can afford an NSX, you probably aren’t likely to put in a lead online.
If you’re a Chevrolet dealer near Atlanta, GA, you would not be as shocked to learn than your website operates on a 10% conversion rate on web leads. If you said that you’re an Acura dealer in the northeast and you are pulling a 6%, we’d be more impressed.
Keep this in mind!
Your Website is Your Digital Showroom
Here are some tricks and strategies to help you improve your website conversions.
SRPs and VDPs: Keep It Simple!
First things first, a clean, simple website will usually outperform one that is a visual nightmare. If things start to look busy to you, the website owner, they are likely twice as confusing for a customer. Good UI/UX (user interface/user experience) is crucial!
In short: simplicity wins.
Call to Action
Your call-to-action (or CTA) should be readable and clickable on both mobile and desktop. These are your most important items on your site besides your inventory!
On your SRPs, keep your calls to action minimal. Remember, this is the first time a customer is viewing this inventory. Reduce your CTAs to the absolute minimal amount.
Customers can become paralyzed by choice and will ultimately decide to move on. If you keep your CTAs simple, it’s easier for a customer to focus on finding a vehicle with the right price and less on all the myriad of options and considerations they could be making.
CTAs should also create a sense of urgency. “Check Availability” is one of the least performing CTAs you could possibly use. Most customers know that if they see the vehicle on the site, you most likely have one in stock. And if you don’t, they definitely know you can get them one.
If you’re adding a third or more CTAs, ask yourself: “is this absolutely necessary to have right here on this page?” If it’s not, dump it. Your customers will appreciate it.
Price is a larger determining factor for a customer’s inclination to submit a lead. “Get Our Best Price” is still one of the best lead-submission generating lines around.
If you have digital retailing tools, focus more on utility. “Get Financed” or “Start Checkout” do not really cut it in our experience. You’re more likely to pique someone’s interest with “Build Your Deal” (as they aren’t feeling the pressure to finish right here, right now).
Another important piece is ensuring your vehicles have images of the vehicle. The vehicle could do well to swap out the stock photo for an actual image. Seeing the vehicle is one of the largest deciding factors to whether or not someone submits a lead!
It may seem obvious, but you could have a website designed by Amazon themselves and if your truck is $3,000 more expensive on your site than a competitor’s down the road, customer are not likely to give you their information. They’re calling the other listing.
Make sure your pricing is competitive. We recommend tweaking the following:
- Showing discounts before or after the Best Price lead is submitted.
- Deciding whether to use Best Price at all.
- When compliant, using a red strikethrough to indicate a greater price beyond the Best Price.
If you change your pricing, be sure to change your CTA verbiage as well to match. You do not want to claim there is a better price beyond a CTA only to show nothing!
This one also seems relatively simple, but it’s missed all the time. Make your customers do the least amount of work possible. That means lowering how many forms you require them to submit or filling out the least amount of information on them. This applies to your service forms, credit applications, SRP/VDP Best price forms; all of them. If you don’t like filling them out yourself, your customers won’t like them either.
Requiring a name, address, phone number, and email address is often too much. If you’re struggling to generate incoming leads, only require name, address, and your preference between email or phone number. Another possibility is to let your customers choose which of the two they prefer. Requiring both can be overkill.
Think Outside the SRP
Reviews also play a huge part into a customer’s likelihood that they submit a lead.
There are two factors that goes into this: average rating and number of reviews. If you have a 5.0 rating on Google, that’s great! If there are only two reviews, that’s less great.
Think of everyone’s favorite ecommerce site: Amazon.
Obviously, you shouldn’t copy everything from Amazon. We created a three-part feature on that mindset, after-all. But there are some features that are worth mentioning.
Amazon lets you sort through their inventory from highest to lowest reviews.
Anecdotally, most people who use Amazon swear by shopping with this filter. It’s human nature to not to be first to take the plunge on a brand-new
Ask yourself: why would a customer take a chance on your dealership if you’re sporting a 3.0 average and only 20 reviews? Quality and quantity count.
Customer service very much translates into the digital world. Keep this in mind and get happy customers to leave you glowing reviews online.
Test, Test, and Test Some More
One of the best pieces of advices is to take it slow and change only a few small things at a time. A/B split-testing can help save you a lot of headaches in the future! Believe us, it’s the worst feeling changing a website’s layout only to find it performs worse than before and getting a third of the leads. For example, you could change one vehicle’s layout, then see if it’s working over the course of a month, then apply it to the rest.
We hope you find these tips and tricks useful! For more exclusive strategies on how to boost your online presence, subscribe to our newsletter! We’ll send the latest issues directly to you so you can stay ahead of the curve.