Many dealers we speak with tend to overlook the potential of their websites.

By not converting interested buyers into leads, marketing managers in dealerships are simply wasting costly ad traffic.

The antidote to a low-converting website lays in putting your data to work.

Your website can do better

The best quality online leads come from your website. They cost less and
close more often.

Car dealers rarely optimize Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs) for higher conversion rates. They simply don’t consider their website to be a powerful tool in boosting sales. Everyone in the dealership – GM, Sales and Marketing
Managers – have an opinion on what Call-to-Action (CTA) should be on their
VDPs. Usually, they make decisions off their gut.

Dealers design and place critical buttons on the VDP like “Get a quote” or “Contact us” primarily for aesthetic purposes. They rarely run A/B tests to confirm which button drives more clicks.

Importance of A/B testing your VDPs

An inefficient website decreases the effectiveness of all ad spend.

The numbers speak for themselves – the average conversion rate for a button click on a VDP is only 0.5%.

Meanwhile, A/B testing of CTAs on VDPs strongly correlates with boosting sales. In addition to helping marketing teams and General Managers figure out the best course of action for just about anything, there are multiple advantages to split testing:

  • Maximize investment of all ad spend

Ad effectiveness decreases if buyers don’t convert after landing on
your VDPs. A/B testing helps determine best performing CTAs and
make the most out of costly traffic.

  • Turn your website into a powerful lead source

What happens when a buyer lands on your VDP? According to Google statistics, only 26% of buyers will be willing to fill in a form before purchasing a vehicle. Such discrepancy points to a strong website inefficiency in the industry which A/B testing helps to tackle.

  • Put ideas into action

Most importantly, split testing provides real-time insight into your digital performance for a precise marketing strategy.

sMedia VDP Optimization Research

sMedia conducted the research across more than 100 dealerships in North America. To collect and analyze data, we used our VDP optimization solution called AI Lead Optimizer.

First, we created different button combinations for VDPs that range in color, verbiage, placement, and size. Our machine learning technology replaced and tested every button combination we created to learn and gather customer data.

This data included age, sex, interest, device, website visits, traffic source, make and model etc. Trillions combinations of variables were taken into account to predict the most probable behavior for customers.

Using this information, we showed a button that was most likely to yield action for a particular customer and collected behavioral data.


In this series of posts, we will uncover the most and the least effective button combinations for VDP conversion based on data analysis from more than 100 dealerships.

Let’s start with one of the most common and surprisingly least effective button groups – the “Test Drive” buttons.

The “Test Drive” Trap

Think of the last time you’ve examined a VDP. Chances are, you’ve encountered some button that incentivizes the buyer to test drive the vehicle they are in the market for.

The majority of dealerships we analyzed had either planned on implementing or were already using buttons with “Test Drive” verbiage in them.

Despite different context, verbiage and variation, “Test Drive” buttons resulted in CR of maximum 0.22%. While this button type seems appealing, data proves that its potential to convert traffic is low.

A/B testing results for performance of “Test Drive” buttons

If you fancy a video, hear from our CEO Marshal Finch on the worst performing buttons for your VDP.

Wondering how your VDPs are performing and if you could do better and increase leads? We’ve got you covered.

Try our VDP optimization software – AI Lead Optimizer – for free and put your data to work.

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