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In recent years, automotive marketing professionals have aligned around the concept of the Vehicle Detail Page. We’ve become preoccupied with optimizing and tracking VDPs as an overall barometer for the effectiveness of our virtual dealership.
But the world has changed, and dealers have too. While we’ve gotten more sophisticated in refining and improving web site performance, our customers increasingly shop for cars – and dealerships – using mobile devices. It’s time for a more clear-eyed view of the VDP, and a new metric that helps dealers assess quality over quantity and get really granular on the subject of ROI: Value per page.
There are several problems with using aggregate VDP views as the primary yardstick of marketing success:
Of course it’s important to keep an eye on VDP views, and to continue to optimize these workhorse pages. But by getting a little more specific in how you track and evaluate consumer activity, you’ll be able to tell not only how many people are viewing a page, but how much money each individual page is making for your dealership.
What should I be tracking?
We know it’s harder and harder to catch a buyer’s attention – the advent of the web has resulted in more educated, and more fickle, consumers. But the trackability of online activity has also made it much easier to know when buyers are raising their hands and saying “I’d like to buy a car” – and increasingly, they are doing so on mobile devices.
Instead of focusing on page views, why not keep closer track of conversions – in other words, those buyers that have taken an extra step that tells us they are primed for a sale. Here are some key conversions that have strong predictive value:
Now that you’re tracking critical conversions, we can get down to the brass tacks of determining what each page is worth.
Calculating Value Per Page
Value per page is calculated based on dollar values that you assign to website conversions (like the ones listed above). Each conversion should be given a dollar value that accurately reflects its ability to impact your bottom line. In other words, form submissions will be worth much more than visits to your hours and directions page, because they are tied more directly to interest in a particular vehicle.
Once you’ve gone through this thought exercise, the pages on your website that help generate those form submissions and clicks for directions will get credit in a metric that everybody in the dealership understands: dollars and cents.
You’ll move beyond simply looking at vehicle detail pageviews and get closer to understanding which vehicles on your site are actually making money. A sports car may nab a thousand pageviews every month, which on the surface says that your website is killing it. But if none of those shoppers convert, then those pageviews are worth exactly $0 to your bottom line.
Armed with better information about which pages are converting the best and making money for your dealership, you’ll be better able to shift your marketing budget around to focus on high-value marketing activities – and have better discussions with your vendors to ensure they are driving high-quality leads to your dealership.
So how do I actually do this?
To learn more about the mechanics of calculating value per page, download our recent eBook on the subject:
And check out a companion blog post that breaks down the formula in more detail: