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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Why Your Vehicle Details Pages Aren’t Converting

Getting traffic to your Vehicle Details Pages (VDP) is important, but turning that web traffic into real prospective customers for your dealership should be your ultimate goal.

Unlike ecommerce websites where the transaction is likely to take place immediately online, buying a car typically requires a much longer, more involved purchasing process, as prospective new customers search for the right car, with the right features at the right price. And many times, those prospective buyers are referencing your vehicle details pages to gather this information.

However, more often than not, many dealerships are generating enough traffic to their vehicles details pages but those pages are failing to convert those prospects into real, warm leads for your dealership’s sales team.

Why? Read on! In this blog, I’ll cover the four most common reasons your vehicle details pages are failing to convert.

Negative Reviews

Online reviews from other car buyers about their experiences at your dealership can make or break traffic to the dealership’s website. And negative reviews are possibly the most damaging in terms of hurting conversions as they can prevent potential customers from even considering browsing your inventory.

Even if the car buyer looks past the negative review initially, it may prevent them from submitting their contact information once on the site.

Confusing Calls to Action

Do your visitors know exactly what it is you’d like them to do once they’ve arrived on one of your vehicle details pages?

Don’t leave your prospects guessing. Utilize relevant call-to-action throughout that guide your visitor on what you’d like then to do next.

Use colors that stand out from the rest of your site as well as calls-to-action text that conveys exactly what the user can expect to happen once they click. “Click Here” and “Submit” are not very descriptive and don’t provide the assurance your customers need.

Lack of Trust Signals

Convincing visitors to submit their personal information online is becoming increasingly more difficult as all of us combat spam, and some of us deal with identity theft. It’s important to disclose a privacy policy and use other trust signals, like security badges from 3rd party vendors on any page you use to collect information.

Lack of Conversion Opportunities

Not all website visitors are willing to submit their personal information online, even with trust signals being displayed. Having your telephone number displayed prominently is a great way to give a potential customer an additional way to communicate their interest in one of your vehicles.

One common issue I see on many dealership websites is a lack of alternative conversion methods, such as a phone number or email address, near the primary contact forms. Including the phone number at the top and bottom of the page is also recommended, but it should also be placed near a form as an alternative option for someone who is unwilling to submit information online.

And don’t forget – the sales phone number should also be displayed in a different color than the service phone number so that a quick scan of the page would be sufficient to identify the number the customer should call.

Asking for Too Much

In terms of conversion forms, less is more.

Having too many fields, especially required fields, in a form can deter your customers from submitting information. Short forms convert better, so keep the number of fields limited to the absolute minimum and then do the work of following up to gather more information.

Also, consider your customer base and determine whether your potential clients are more prone to submit email or telephone contact information.

Aside from preventing these common mistakes, the best way to determine what works for your website and your prospects is to test, test, test. From landing page forms, to calls-to-action, to page copy, fonts, images and more. It’s absolutely critical to test, analyze and continuously optimize your dealership’s vehicle details pages in order to drive traffic and generate conversions. 

Grant Gooley
This is all so true. I really like the point you made about trust. I have always thought that one day people will be sick of submitting a lead due to lack of care on the other end. I know if I choose 3 different industries and submit 10 forms with my information, there is a good chance that 30% wont get back to me 50% will be an auto-response and the other 20% MIGHT be worth my time. That being said people will stop submitting if we don't get better at engaged responses that have value. I took an idea from this post that might just work. What about a call to action that says "Email The Manager On Duty". We would have to create an in store process ready to handle this, but hey, it's different and might compel the in market buyer to take action. Thanks for the great info in this post!
Greg Churchill
You may be asking the wrong question if you are defining conversion as the customer completing a web form or trackable 1-800#. If you are doing a great job with your used car listings and answering all of their questions within your content and pictures, the customer may just come in and buy. While they may e-mail or phone to confirm that the vehicle is still available, they may just show up. That is the double edged sword of providing great content - it may mean that your customers don't need to complete a web form, chat or phone in to ask for more information. Your website has already done its job. Great problem to have but requires diligent measurement of your floor traffic to identify and measure.
Grant Gooley
Well said Greg! Very true. Similar to bounce rates.. people worry about having a high bounce rates on a great landing page. Maybe the customer got what they needed and moved on. Not always a bad thing...
Christopher Countey
Thanks for reading and for your comments, gentlemen!
Ken Lees
All, good points -- and totally agree about the Trust Thing -- AND the WIFM? Consumers will NOT engage if there is no guarantee of getting something in return for providing their ever so valuable name, email and phone # - There HAS to be something in it for them! -- related, conversion of EXISTING traffic to a qualified lead is not only a common challenge for many, but executed right can be a strategic & competitive advantage for many, particularly if a dealer believes in providing transparency – imagine offering consumers personalized, detailed, professional-looking INSTANT (within nano seconds) Price and Lease quotes that present MSRP, less OEM incentives/rebates AND less dealer defined incentives, like AAA, First Time Buyer, etc.. A great example (and there are many) is a Northern Virginia Hyundai dealer who utilizes a SUITE of 8 Smart Conversion Tools (INSTANT price quote, INSTANT Lease Quote, INSTANT Incentives, etc....) that generates on average 2%+ INCREMENTAL leads/mo. from existing website traffic! Happy to share details of how this very compelling suite of Conversion Drivers strategically plugged into dealer sites like can show similar results for any brand while complimenting/enhancing ANY DEALER WEBSITE providers solutions...

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