With ninety-six percent of car buyers saying they research a dealership online before entering a showroom, it is blatantly clear that a high performing, quality website is a crucial element of a dealer’s marketing strategy.
Despite this however, many dealers are still missing the mark when it comes to offering customers websites that meet their needs and encourage interaction and engagement.
So, what do you need in your website to ensure it is providing optimal opportunity for you to draw in more customers and sell more cars?
1. Load speed
Sites must be quick to load. Customers are too impatient to wait for large images and videos to appear on screen. They want everything at their fingertips, immediately, and if they don’t get what they are looking for on your site, they will move to a competitor’s.
Load speeds also have an impact on search rankings, with search engines rating websites that load quickly, higher than those that don’t.
2. Mobile responsive
Over sixty-five percent of customers view websites on their phone, so it’s important that yours is mobile-friendly. A well-built website should respond and adjust according to the device on which it is being viewed, ensuring that the navigation, content and forms adapt for optimal viewing and functionality.
Customers want to be able to get around your website and find what they are looking for quickly. One way to enable this, is to include a “sticky” navigation bar – a menu that sits at the top of a website, but then follows as a user scrolls down the page so that it is always visible and accessible.
4. Stock Locators
For optimal user experience, stock locators need to be custom-built, not embedded from a third-party’s website. Dealership stock locators that are built specifically for your site look better and can be customised to your needs. Also, unlike third-party stock locators, they also allow search engines to identify car listings individually, meaning, if relevant search terms are entered, your vehicle will be displayed as a search result.
Your website needs to look different to your competitors’. Customers do not want to merely see a replica of another website of the same franchise, they want to see a site that is unique to your dealership and that speaks to their demographic.
Customers love videos. It has been found that including videos drives up the amount of time people spend on a website. This in turn can result in an increase in the number of leads generated. So, whether it’s manufacturer content, or dealership vehicle walk-throughs, ensure you include video.
7. Calls to Action
It’s important to make it easy for a customer to log an enquiry or lead on your website. Including click to call buttons, live chat, enquiry forms and SMS functionality gives customers the ability to contact you how and when they want. This creates a good customer experience from the outset.
Customers tend to leave a website if they need to click-through too many pages – particularly if load speed is slow. Your website should navigate straight to content that the user is likely to want, rather than requiring them to click through multiple pages.
9. Ad Creative
Many customers will visit a website in response to an ad they have been presented via digital advertising, email marketing or print media. It’s important to display artwork on the website that is consistent with the current advertising campaigns that are running, to ensure the customer can recognise a connection between the ad they saw and your website. Without this, customers can become disconnected and drop off.
10. Customer Data
Each dealership/ brand’s website data and customer behaviour is different. It is important to be across the data behind your website, understanding which pages customers are visiting and where they are converting. With this intel, you should adapt and optimise your website accordingly to maximise conversion opportunities.
So, with these key features in mind, I encourage you to take the time to audit your own website. With a few tweaks made by a reputable web provider, you might just find you are able to generate a significant increase in leads flowing into your dealership.
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