We all know that just having a website, no matter how great, is not enough to make sales in the automotive industry. LEARN MORE
By Brian Pasch
Recent research from Cobalt has shown that as vehicles get more VDP views, they will sell faster. Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) views are a proxy for the stealth shoppers that do not submit a lead, call the dealership, or chat with your agents before they show up at the dealership. Increasing VDP views should be a goal of every Marketing Manager.
Since this is one metric that is aligned with increasing the velocity of sales at the dealership, are marketing managers keeping an eye on VDP view trends on their website? Marketing professionals should make VDP data a part of their monthly marketing review and analysis of website traffic.
One of the charts marketing managers should create is the VDP views by source so that they can see which marketing investments are generating the most VDP views. By color coding the graph, marketing managers can also quickly see monthly increases in traffic by source.
For example, in the last 30 days there was a 100%+ increase in referral traffic that generated VDP views on this dealer's website, shown in purple. For this dealer, it would be a great time to see which referral sources generated that big increase (832 to 1,852).
Another metric to look at is the number of people who looked at a Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) by source, which I will call a "shopper". This will show marketing managers the number of shoppers their marketing dollars are generating each month, by source.
If VDP views are one metric that is related to the velocity at which cars at your dealership will be selling, shouldn't marketing managers make sure they are looking at VDP trends each month? This data is readily available in Google Analytics and other software solutions.
If your dealership is using Google Analytics, you will need to determine the "pattern" that your website provider uses for VDP URLs. For example, Dealer.com uses three patterns: /new/, /used/, and /certified/. Vinsolutions uses one pattern: /vd/. Once you know these patterns, Google Analytics can be configured to count visitors who visit a VDP and how many VDPs are viewed per month.
I hope you agree that this is another good metric to inspect as part of your monthly review of marketing investments. I will be writing additional article on what metrics Marketing Managers should include in their monthly review of website performance.
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Brian Pasch, CEO