Optimization rules everything around us– and it never ends.
Dealerships strive to supercharge their business potential with kick-ass websites. But simply having a kick-ass website and an online presence is no longer enough! You need to have a website that’s fully optimized for conversions.
To create a top-performing website, there are two key optimization strategies that a dealership needs to follow. First, there’s search engine optimization (SEO), which includes a number of areas on and off the website that must to be optimized in order to improve position and visibility in the search engine results page— content relevancy, page load speed, title tags, meta descriptions, image optimization and so on. Then, you need to optimize a website to maximize its rate of converting website visitors into leads and potential customers!
In this blog, we’re focusing on the latter: Conversion rate optimization.
What is a conversion?
The term search engine optimization (or SEO) is widely known within the realm of digital marketing, but what about the term conversion rate optimization (CRO)? Sure, we toss the words around often and understand that conversions are something we aim to gain more of by continuously optimizing our websites. It’s not simply a marketing buzzword, though, it’s a metric that needs constant attention.
So what exactly is a conversion and why are we striving so hard to increase conversion rates? Websites for automotive dealerships must be built to not only attract visitors but to provoke some sort of desired action, too. That particular action—whether it’s a form lead, a phone call to the dealership, a newsletter sign-up, or a test drive—is a conversion.
Put simply, the conversion rate refers to the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action on your dealership’s website. Check out Wordstream’s definition here.
How can you calculate your conversion rate?
The conversion rate can be determined by taking the number of visitors who completed the action and dividing it by the total number of visitors to the site. Easy, right?
For example, if your dealership wanted to find the conversion rate of your credit application page, you would:
First: determine how many visitors that landing page had during a specific time period (best practice is to measure in one week intervals)
Then: compare that number to the number of credit applications that were completed and submitted during the same period.
If your credit application page had 200 visitors and 50 loan requests were completed, your conversion rate would be expressed as:
50 / 200 = 0.25, or 25%.
Why are conversions so important for your dealership?
The reason marketers pay such close attention to the conversion rate is so that we can easily identify what actions or elements on your website impact any real action taken by potential customers. Your dealership’s ultimate digital marketing goal is likely to increase its business and sell more vehicles, right? Well, your conversion rates are powerful indicators of how effective your online presence is, which directly impacts your business and vehicle sales.
Google uses conversion rates as an organic ranking factor, so when your dealership has higher conversions, the website is more likely to rank higher in the search engine results page resulting in increased visibility and web traffic. More website traffic online means greater opportunity for converting leads into potential customers!
Five ways your dealership can increase its conversion rates:
Conversion rate optimization is an ongoing process that involves continuous experimentation aimed at improving overall user experience on your dealership’s website. This includes visual aspects as well as functionality.
We’ve got a few simple suggestions to help your dealership begin optimizing its automotive website for conversion…
Website Headers & Copy — Try changing your page headers week over week. Compare conversions for each variation of header to see which copy performs the best. Engaging copy and compelling offers generally help to increase conversions!
Call-To-Actions — Experiment with various Call-to-Action buttons that ask the user to do something (ie. “Submit” for online credit applications, “Book A Demo”, or “Call Now” for click-to-call conversions). Test variations of these buttons including different colours, placement as well as engaging copy that would entice a user to click.
Eliminate Distractions — Try removing any elements of your website that might distract a user away from completing an action. One easy way to determine areas of frustration or distraction is to conduct user tests or recording user interactions with your website.
Rearrange elements to find top-performing placement — Move online forms or other areas of conversion (such as click-to-call buttons) to improve their visibility. Experiment with different placements to determine which areas on the website convert higher.
Test, test, test! Optimizing your dealership’s website to increase conversion rates is an ongoing process. That’s why optimization processes often include continuous iteration of similar versions and ongoing A/B testing (or testing one particular version against another). With A/B split-testing, half of your website’s visitors will experience once variation while the other half will experience the other. It’s a simple way to determine the most effective route to higher conversions!
Finally (and best of all), your dealership can partner with a digital marketing agency to find the optimal solutions and highest converting versions for your automotive website.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help
We know it sounds a little daunting. Don’t fret, though. Our in-house team of Organic Search specialists can optimize for conversions in their sleep. Want to learn more about how your dealership can maximize its online conversions and increase traffic to the lot? Get in touch and let’s find your ideal strategy to optimize your conversions together.