By: Steve Lausch, Director of Product Marketing
Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with one of our Google reps at a digital marketing event Dominion co-hosted with them in Indianapolis.* We discussed the metrics dealers should be most concerned with as they continue to develop the e-commerce side of their business.
No surprises here. The ubiquitous objectives continue to center around:
1. Attracting the greatest amount of traffic to dealership websites
2. Engaging visitors to stay on the site
3. Providing compelling reasons for those car shoppers to convert
A plethora of options are available to help auto dealers accomplish these objectives, but one strategy is absolutely critical in addressing all three. The content placed on a dealer’s website.
To prove it, we reviewed OEM-specific websites — those with Dominion’s content strategy in place and those without — and identified basic trends against the three objectives listed above. The study gave rise to three, compelling stats that every dealer should know.
1. Organic Traffic
The first objective in any sound web strategy is to effectively attract the greatest amount of traffic to one’s site. Via Google Analytics, the study showed that websites with Dominion’s content strategy in place enjoyed 123% more organic traffic over those without.
Someone may ask, “What about paid search?”
Without question, a dealer can invest big dollars in paid search to do this. While our friends at Google would be happy to accept those dollars, it ignores the huge win available with “free” organic traffic. Furthermore, the dealer would see a poor ROI, since paid search alone does little to address the remaining two objectives.
2. Pageviews per User
The second objective dealers need to address is engaging visitors, keeping them on the site, and encouraging them to stay longer and explore further. The study examined the number of pageviews per user and found that dealers using our content strategy enjoyed 54% more page views over those without our content in place.
Shoppers looking at more pages are more committed. There is an increased likelihood these shoppers will buy from a given dealer. This is especially true if those pageviews are of vehicle details pages (VDPs) — arguably the most critical metric in identifying quality shopper traffic.
As it happens, the increase of pageviews for those sites using Dominion’s content strategy result in a similar increase in VDP views.
The presence of an effective content strategy is proving its worth — at least with respect to our first two objectives (traffic and pageviews).
3. Conversion Rate
The final objective is to connect with online shoppers that they are willing to convert. Considering that 19% of shoppers will submit a lead online (J.D. Power & Associates), pursuing these leads is a tough business.
However, the study found a 53% higher conversion rate for those websites with Dominion’s content strategy over those without. With fresh, relevant, helpful, and local content added to the site over time, shoppers are finding answers to their questions.
Quality content establishes digital trust. As a result, shoppers find more value in giving up their anonymity to “learn more” vs. remaining in the digital shadows and showing up on the lot of their choice. When content drives conversions, we have succeeded in accomplishing our third objective.
How They Did It
With Dominion, dealers can take advantage of numerous content strategies to better drive site traffic, engagement, and conversions. Beyond a real-time inventory feed from Dealer Specialties inventory management and automated rebates and incentives, let’s consider three strategies Dominion dealers use to win the content game.
1. Virtual Showroom Pages
Unique descriptions of each model assist online shoppers in answering the questions that are central to their search for a new vehicle. Listing of trims by price and the latest color visualization modules help narrow a shopper’s search for the perfect car.
Also in the virtual showroom are OEM-approved image galleries, features and equipment comparisons, and vehicle package definitions. And since responsive display comes standard, these model landing pages never looked better on a mobile device.
2. Relevant Reviews & Ratings
Every day, fresh content about your dealership is generated in the form of customer ratings and reviews. Since over 80% reference reviews in the car buying process (Automotive News Power Training), why not present such content right on your website?
Those taking advantage of Dominion’s reputation and social media management solution are able to not only display reviews on the site, but to do so in context. This powerful ability empowers dealers to showcase the best of their service reviews on the Service page, the best of their model-specific reviews on model-specific pages, and so on.
3. Content Pages
Whether they address sales questions (such as leasing vs. financing) or touch on common service needs (such as vehicle winterization, tire tread life, and maximizing gas mileage), these content pages turn a dealer website into an automotive resource center.
Whether it’s written or in video format, this unique content is as useful in your social media posts as it is to draw customers into your showroom and service lane.
Bringing It Home
No two dealerships are alike. Your store is unique, and if your website content reflects that if you are going to enjoy higher organic traffic, page engagement, and online conversions.
If you’re interested in how we can help take your dealership to the next level with content that works for you, reach out to us today. Call 877.421.1040.