CDK's purchase of Auto/Mate may create a major disruption in the dealer management system (DMS) industry. Here is our take. DOWNLOAD
What's the best way to generate more leads from your website? Contrary to popular opinion, the answer isn't to "get more website traffic." Although a comprehensive digital marketing strategy is key to driving appropriate traffic levels to your website, unless those visitors convert into leads, that's money down the drain.
Before you spend more on search engine and digital advertising, focus on website conversion. Think about it: if you could double your website conversion rates, you could sell twice as many cars without spending another penny on advertising!
If you're thinking that website conversion is the sole responsibility of your website provider, think again! The dealership is actually responsibility for several key elements to conversion, including:
Content: People buy from businesses they like and trust. Content allows you to own your branding and showcase your strengths. Does your website content give customers a reason to like and trust you? Does it clearly state your value proposition (why buy from you?) Or does it read like many other cookie-cutter dealership websites?
Social Proof: This could be included under content, but it's so important it deserves its own category. Car shoppers want to know if you're trustworthy. The best way to do assure them you are is to litter your website with customer testimonials and plenty of quotes from (and links to) your online reviews.
Phone Ups: Believe it or not, your phone number is one of the biggest lead generation tools on your website. Make sure your website vendor includes your phone number in large font on every page. Make it stand out. Even more important, make sure your internal phone-answering process is flawless. You're paying for every phone call, so have every call answered quickly, by a human being, and don't leave callers on hold or transfer them to voice mail.
Chat. Does your chat window pop up the second a visitor lands on your website? Chat best practices include waiting a minute or two before approaching a visitor to see if they need help. Train your chat representatives to inform visitors about your latest offers, specials and incentives. They should also include URL links to other areas of your site to entice visitors to stay longer.
Lead Forms. Think of all the technology advancements that have been incorporated into dealership websites in the last ten years. Now think of your lead forms. They haven't changed much, which is why they don't perform well. Customers are conditioned to ignore them and most forms ask for too much information. To increase lead form conversion, reduce the number of field forms required to no more than three. Also be sure your lead forms answer the "What's In It For Me?" (WIIFM) question. Don't expect your website visitors to hand over their email address for free; what will you give them in return? Offering free content, a coupon or an incentive of some kind will help increase conversion rates.
Additionally, be sure your website vendor places all lead forms "above the fold" and incorporate borders, colors and other design elements to make them stand out.
Mobile Website: Last but not least, if you don't have a mobile, responsive website by now, make this your first priority! More than 50 percent of car shoppers are using their mobile devices to view dealer websites, including inventory pages. If you're not mobile, this is probably the easiest and fastest way to double your website traffic AND conversion rates.