When you take a look at the performance of your advertising efforts, how do you evaluate the success (or failure) of a campaign? You might look at any one of several Key Performance Indicators, but the truth is that none of these metrics can tell the whole story by itself. You might have a high click-through rate from your ads to your site or lots of hits on Google, but this paints only part of the picture. It doesn’t take into account the amount of non-shopper traffic, nor does it examine the behavior of shoppers once they’re on your page.
That is why the conversion rate from unique visitors to lead submissions is so low. There is a misalignment between advertising and website optimization. You wouldn’t try to pour more fuel into a leaky gas tank, so why are you spending thousands of dollars on SEM, advertising and SEO when your site isn’t optimized to convert these visitors?
Are the visitors to your vehicle details pages coming in from a search engine and leaving quickly or bouncing away after only viewing a single page?
If so, you have a problem.
According to research conducted by Cobalt, two of the most important indicators for how well your site is performing are the time spent on VDP and the total number of VDP views. When you’re able to track these key metrics, you can add this knowledge to the other data you have. By stepping back to look at the big picture of your dealership website’s performance, you’ll be able to identify aspects that need improvement.
If you dramatically increase the number of views on your site through well-planned (but expensive) internet marketing, and your salespeople are closing at the same rate, but you’re not experiencing the increase to your bottom line that you had expected, where can you look next to fix the problem? A closer look at your sales funnel can shed some light on which parts need fixing. There is a misalignment somewhere between your efforts to increase your internet presence and your salespeople. Just as you recommend customers bring their vehicles in for regular maintenance, your sales funnel needs the same kind of time and attention to assure that it is performing at its peak.
When you take a closer look at the bounce rate of your VDPs by examining the number of VDPs that shoppers are viewing on your site, you get a much clearer idea of how your website is performing. When people land on one of your pages via a search engine but don’t find exactly what they’re looking for, what is their next step? Chances are they’ll bounce to your competition. If you can create an engaging website, not only will you see time spent on VDP increase, you’ll also witness shoppers browsing further on your website, rather than leaving to shop your competitor.
By: Devin Daly, CEO
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