Coversion Rate Optimization

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 business? Worried about the competition?

Many of our customers come to us with the same questions. If you’re searching for answers, a fresh website is a great place to start.

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 our secret sauce for generating high-quality leads. These are easy to do yourself without bringing in support teams.

What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a way of increasing the number of users who perform an intended action on a website, which can be buying a product, signing up for a service, or clicking ‘add to cart’.

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.) that lead to sales.

This does not mean form starts (but not finished!) or landing page views.

Landing page views and form engagement are incredibly important to building an audience profile, but they do not count as conversions.

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?

It depends.

That’s not very helpful, we know! Let’s dive in and get to a more actionable solution.

The commonly accepted average 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 Get 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 that 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

Automotive Dealer Inventory Calls to Actions

 

Your call-to-action (or CTA) should be readable and clickable on both mobile and desktop. These are the 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 minimum.

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 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).

Images

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!

Pricing

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:

  1. Showing discounts before or after the Best Price lead is submitted.
  2. Deciding whether to use Best Price at all.
  3. 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!

Forms

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.

Amazon Shopping Review Features

 

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.

Videos – More Important Than Ever

A massive change from 2020 to 2021 is the necessity to have video content on your website. Due to COVID-19, shoppers became accustomed to shopping online at a rate that has never been seen before.

No longer will your text descriptions and feature lists suffice!

Now, you’ll need to showcase your inventory with video walkarounds and feature overviews so that customers can have the showroom experience right from the comfort of their couch.

Our recommendations for improving your video walkarounds can be found in this article made by fusionZONE Automotive. The key points you should take from it are:

  1.  Schedule your videos in advance
  2. Take your time and be thorough / be detailed
  3. Have a way for your customers to follow-up for more information

Don’t feel pressured to make a video for every vehicle on your lot tomorrow. Do them in chunks, week by week, and make it a habit Before you know it, it’ll be a natural part of your process and you’ll reap the benefits of a higher time on site and more conversions!

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.

CEO Ed Barton talks about when and why you should be updating content to not only rank better with Google, but also to attract more users.

fusionZONE CEO Ed Barton shares a story about the importance of safety inspections and the danger in not taking them seriously.

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CEO Ed Barton is very excited to talk about what fusionZONE’s partnership with Karmak could mean to your business’s overall website presence.

Think phone calls aren’t a large part of your lead generation? Think again. fusionZONE Automotive CEO Ed Barton discusses how impactful your phone line could be.

 


CEO Ed Barton talks about how to not only generate new visitors to your website, but also to have them spend more time and retain more information by utilizing videos.

How often do you update your onsite content, and why? We’re not just talking about updating prices or specials, but also the key content on your website.

Your website and its content aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it situation. Even if you’ve reached your goal of a stylish, informative and intuitive website, there’s always more that can be done to attract new customers and keep your visitors coming back for more.

If your onsite content has been stagnant for quite some time, you may want to think about some updates. After all, there are many benefits to fresh content!

Here are a couple of reasons why it pays to keep continually improve your onsite content:

Creating Value for Your Visitors

If you want your website to become an authority within your market of products and services, then you need to create real value for visitors.

Your site can have the most well-written content and most detailed information, but if it’s old and outdated, it may not be doing your visitors or your SEO any good.

To attract visitors — and the right visitors — you need relevant and fresh content.

For example, outdated content isn’t going to fly for new car shoppers. They want details on the latest vehicles and why the new model is better than the old model. They may not be looking for just any brand-new crossover or SUV; maybe they’re only shopping for models with Apple CarPlay and adaptive cruise control. If your onsite content is outdated and generic, how are you going to attract these buyers?

Likewise, drivers searching for a service center in their area want to know why they should choose one over the other, not just that you do indeed have a service facility.

Creating value for your visitors should be the goal of any website. But how do you attract visitors and potential customers in the first place? That’s right, with SEO! Improved search engine optimization is another benefit of updating your onsite content.

Enhanced SEO

If you’re looking to grow your customer base and attract more attention online, then search engine optimization matters. Creating fresh, tailored content around your targeted keywords is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve SEO and website traffic.

When search engines regularly scan your website to index pages, they’ll take notice of any new content on your site, whether that be new webpages or updates to current pages.

If search engines already recognize your website as a valuable resource for certain topics or keywords, then creating new content can establish even more authority for your site.

Maybe you haven’t quite reached where you want to be in terms of attracting traffic around certain keywords. But by continually refining and even expanding your site content, you can get there.

Have you ever come across a website or blog with lots of fresh content or frequent posts, but it was clearly written for search engines? Yeah, it’s not pretty. That’s why writing merely for SEO purposes won’t cut it.

Updating your onsite content is a great way to enhance your website, both from an SEO and visitor’s perspective. Of course, updating your site with just any content to keep it “fresh” won’t cut it: you need high-quality, relevant content. After all, they say “content is king,” which couldn’t be more true today and going forward.

Is Your Site Content Ready for an Update?

If you’d like some assistance with updating your onsite content, we can help. Reach out to fusionZONE, where we have dedicated SEO and Content teams and are committed to SEO best practices!

When it comes to marketing your business, you know you need a website, but what exactly does that entail? As you start to research website design, you might begin hearing terms like PPC, leads, SERP rankings. When all you want to do is take some inventory photos, load the pictures to your website, and sell the cars, it can all feel overwhelming. The reality is, when designing a website, there is a lot to consider.

Think about your own experience when searching the internet. What do you like? What do you dislike? What makes you buy something, and what makes you close the window in frustration before the page even loads? From the speed it takes to load the page to the colors used on the page, a lot of subtle choices in the recipe of the website create an excellent experience.

Here at fusionZONE Automotive, we make it our priority to stay on top of current expectations and tactics so you don’t have to. You want a website that works and is easy to use. That’s where we come in. Here are some of the most common mistakes web builders make and how we avoid them.

1. Create An Experience

When designing the physical layout of your showroom, you’ve probably thought long and hard about your customer’s experience. How your customers are greeted upon arrival, how your signage appears, and how potential buyers are toured through your inventory all create an experience. Maybe the pastries and coffee are carefully laid out and chosen to help customers enjoy their time at your dealership. Your website needs to be equally organized.

If a little is good, then more is better, and the most is best. Or is it? Have you ever gone to a website only to be visually overwhelmed? There’s simply too much going on. A common instinct is to try and tell everybody everything at once. The result is telling nobody a thing. A clean and visually appealing website will create a feeling of comfort with which people will want to engage. Your customers will feel assured that a quick scan of the page will allow them to find what they’re searching for.

2. Don’t Forget To Read Goldilocks

Just as having too much going on can overwhelm visitors, offering too little can frustrate visitors. Like all elements of design, web design is about balance. Your website needs to offer a simple design that is intuitive and inspires confidence. Think about the web pages you like and why. When you visit your website, do you get the same experience? If you aren’t sure, ask a friend who’s never used your site to sit next to you and search for your product. Watch them navigate various pages and see what struggles they encounter.

User experience is something we often overlook or don’t know how to measure. If you owned a restaurant, you could stand at the door and watch people as they dine, seeing that their food comes out on time and staff is readily available to assist them. Just because you have a website doesn’t mean you can’t follow the same concept. Implement a chat agent to greet users. Use a heat map to analyze website traffic. As more users interact with your website, make sure the pages offer just the right amount of ambiance and information.

3. Pay Attention to CTAs and Limit Pop Ups

We’ve all experienced it. We’ve pulled up a website. We’re looking at a picture or reading an article when suddenly — a pop up appears on the page with a discount offer or a form to sign up for a newsletter. We haven’t even bought anything yet, and we’re being inundated with ads and opportunities to learn more. Unfortunately, having a strong call to action and building an online community through a regular newsletter are important marketing tools. So, what do we do?

As is often the case, timing is everything. Give website visitors a few minutes to get situated. Just as you would invite them in the door and offer them a comfortable place to sit or something cold to drink in person, allow website visitors to become familiar with your website before you ask them to sign up for a newsletter. Once they’ve been introduced to your business and found what they’re looking for, they’ll be more likely to seek another positive experience with your business and save on their next visit by subscribing to your newsletter.

4. Looks Could Kill Your Business

The layout of content on the page, what the content says, and the use of white space is key to the overall performance of your website. When building your website, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about SEO and how important it is to your business’s success. The first thing to do is define SEO. “SEO” stands for search engine optimization, which means optimizing your website to show on search results pages (ideally, near the top). Essentially, when someone searches Google you or businesses like yours, do you pop up? (For more on SEO, check out this video.)

The text on the various pages of your website needs to be informative, appealing to the eye, and strategically written to help Google find you. A common instinct is to stuff sentences with extra words to help Google rankings (known as “keyword stuffing”), resulting in content that is hard to read. Just as it’s easy to overwhelm visitors with pop-ups and bombard them with images, you can also overwhelm with the words on the page and even risk sounding unnatural. The content also needs to be updated regularly to keep you fresh and relevant.

By considering and understanding these four elements of successful website design, you can provide an experience that your customers will enjoy and keep them coming back to your dealership for all of their automotive needs for miles to come.

Effective Website Design - Part 2Welcome back! You have reached the third and final installment in our series on Effective Dealership Website Design. So far, we have covered intuitive and responsive design in parts one and two, which you can review here on the fusionZONE Blog.

Today, we’re finishing up our principles of great website design series with one final topic: simplicity.

Why a Simple Design for Your Car Dealership Website is Best

In website design, it is always better to strive for simplicity over complexity. While a flashy website with thousands of features, links and pop-ups may seem more impressive to some, it often results in a clunky or downright frustrating user experience.

With a car dealership website, you are designing the site for ease of use of your customers. While you certainly want your site to be attractive and professional, going overboard with features, plug-ins and navigation menus can negatively affect the user experience.

Users who visit your website are likely not there to simply admire the design elements and advanced features of your site: they are there to achieve a goal. Help them reach their goal of buying a new or used car, appraising their trade or scheduling service with a simple and uncluttered layout.Schedule Service

 

In this screenshot, we see the schedule appointment section of the dealership’s service department page. There is a prominent ‘schedule appointment’ button plus simple steps listed to complete this goal.

 

Simple Website Design

Most users don’t read, they scan. If your site is cluttered, it can be overwhelming, and the user will go elsewhere. Make scanning your homepage, navigation menu and all other pages easier with a clear and simple layout. This lets users control how they interact with your site, which could lead to decreased bounce rates and increased engagement and conversions.

A simple yet attractive layout with ample white space, clean graphics and effective writing can provide a better user experience — and help improve conversion rates!

In this next example, the dealer displays some of its most popular new models on the homepage with links to its inventory. This simple, clean layout makes it easy for the many users visiting the site to shop for a new CR-V or Civic.

While trends in website design seem to change regularly, one constant going forward is that simplicity tops complexity every time.

We hope that you have enjoyed our series on Effective Dealership Website Design. If you have any questions about your current dealership website or what our team can do for you, reach out to us today.