Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) | KPI Cafe Episode 11 Supplement
You’ve created a solid digital marketing strategy that drives qualified traffic to your dealership’s site. It encompasses all of the keystones you’ve learned:
- SEO best practices
- Granular paid search ads
- Highly targeted programmatic media
- Plus much more.
But you might be missing out on opportunities to turn all of that traffic into sales.
Many dealerships don’t ask their internal team or marketing partners to perform conversion rate optimization (CRO). This makes their website stagntant because the volumes of data from Google Analytics, AdWords, Search Console, Hotjar, and other sources aren’t powering lead generation.
CRO for Automotive Dealerships
CRO = User Experience (Onsite Behavior + Search Intent + Searcher Expectations)
There are some universal expectations, including:
- Finding your dealership’s location
- Having the ability to click to call
- Navigating your site with ease
- Not being hounded by pop-ups
- Not dealing with intrusive chat placement
- Not looking at a dozen banners
Other shopper expectations will depend on the type of page that they’ve landed on.
The best way to understand search intent is to leverage the data from your Search Console and Google Ads, so you can see what and how people are searching.
When you have a complete understanding of their intent and expectations, you can better capitalize on their behaviors — what they are and are not doing, which you can glean from a few audits we highlight below, as well as heatmapping tools — across all of your most valuable pages.
What Are Some of Your Most Valuable Conversion Metrics?
The most valuable conversion metrics get people to take an action.
Are people …
- Submitting a lead form
- Using the trade appraisal
- Viewing inventory
You’ll also want to monitor other important conversion data to continually optimize your site. This includes:
- Desktop conversion
- Mobile conversion
- Traffic source conversion
- Landing page path analysis
- Landing page drop-off
- Engagement rate analysis
(Sidebar: You could dive into Google Analytics to see the path: did these shoppers click on a specific VDP from your SRP list, then interact with the vehicle and submit a form or call? Plus, did you set up the best macro- and micro-conversions as goals to properly many of track these?)
All of this information can help you make informed decisions based on where consumers are taking an action, what action they’re taking — and where and what actiosn they are not taking.
When you analyze this data, you can benchmark and see what’s happening over time. You can then prioritize your efforts to create the largest increases in leads and customers.
So Why is the Topic of Conversion Important?
Remember that every shoppers on your site that you compel to take an action is another opportunity to make a sale, which is reflected in each percentage point reported in your conversion audit. Track monthly changes and make sure that you’re trending in the positive.
And, of course, you want to make sure that you don’t neglect your homepage. That’s because one of our fundamental audits, which we spoke about on KPI Cafe Episode #9, is the homepage to SRP clickthrough rate. Again, the importance of eyes on inventory — the purpose of your dealership’s website.
Too many dealerships and even digital marketing agencies focus on and report how effectively they’re increasing your traffic. But if that traffic is not qualified — if they are not shoppers who’ve demonstrated a greater intent to buy through search signals — then you won’t fulfill the potential of your efforts.
It’s vital that you look at both SEO and CRO to see where your greatest opportunities lie to net the greatest number of car shoppers.
Is Your Internal Team Marketing Partner Auditing Your Conversion Rates?
They should look at the historical data on your site and beyond. If it’s an agency that you work with, this includes leveraging the data across their network of dealerships. Looking at only your data, an agency could justify any improvement as a success.
By contrast, we look at the data across our national dealer network to benchmark a well-vetted industry average — and judge how your dealership or dealerships stack up against that vast data set.
If you’d like to see how you compare, we offer a free digital analysis.