In today’s digital age it’s critical as a dealer that you have a well-optimized and designed website. Your website is literally a digital extension of your showroom and if your website is a mess, it reflects poorly on your dealership. It doesn’t take much time looking at analytics to know whether your website is helping you get customers or steering customers away. As the old saying goes, you only get one first impression, and since so many car shoppers go online to research dealerships first, if they have a bad experience on your website, you’re unlikely to get their business. In this article, we’re going to go over 5 reasons your website may be losing you customers.
Most people today expected a well-oiled website that’s easy to browse without slow loading times. If you go to apple.ca right now, we guarantee you that unless you’re using dial-up internet, you’ll be able to browse that site with ease and no waiting times. According to Trustsignals.com, 60% of customers on your website will leave if they have to wait more than three seconds for a page to load. Usually, the reason a website has long loading times is due to high-resolution images and other bandwidth-hogging content.
If you want to ensure your website is running quickly and smoothly, you need to keep your design simple. You should never upload images bigger than 2MB and you need to avoid uploading videos directly onto the website. If you need to post a video on your website, embed it from a video hosting site onto your site instead of posting it natively on your site. If you’re curious about how fast your website is, there’s no better place to test it than on Google Pagespeed Insights. This tool will allow you to see how quickly your site loads on both mobile and desktop. For the same purpose, you can also use Experte, which is a similar tool to Google Pagespeed except it allows you to test multiple pages at once.
Simplicity and cleanliness are key for your website. It doesn’t matter if the content you have is amazing because that all means nothing if your customers don’t see it. Your website should be well organized and easy to navigate so your customers can find what they’re looking for without having to look too hard. A great way to help your mobile visitors navigate through your website is to add a drop-down menu in the top corner of your site. If you really want to know how well your site is organized, we recommend hiring a usability tester. They will crawl through your site and then give you a report on how user-friendly it is and also add recommendations to improve it.
Using paid search and ads is a great way to increase high intent customers to your website. The idea behind paid search is to target the customer looking for a car and send them to a landing page on your website. The landing page should be one that will interest the customer and also have a clear call to action.
The problem is, we often see many dealers using paid traffic but their landing page is unclear and has a weak call to action or no call to action at all. If you’re sending them to an unclear and disorganized landing page, you’re wasting your money and losing a ton of potential customers. A great landing page should have copy written by a professional copywriter and then a designer that can make that copy stand out. This way, your subconsciously guiding the customers to look at the information you want them to look at.
The other common mistake we see when talking about landing pages is your landing page isn’t relevant to the customer’s search. If the customer found your ad when they searched “used SUVs” and the landing page you send them to is about sports cars, you’re likely going to lose that customer. Be sure that the landing page you’re sending them to matches their search.
Years ago, JD Power did a study where they concluded that over 50% of customers browse dealership websites on their mobile devices. Despite growing evidence that this number is increasing, many dealerships still put their website design focus on the desktop experience. There are a few things you can do to see whether or not your website is mobile-friendly. The first thing you can do is check Google Pagespeed Insights and see how your mobile performance is, ideally you’re in the green. The second thing you can do is browse your own site and see how the site responds. A responsive website will restructure content so you can view it effortlessly on your mobile device. If you notice things aren’t formatting/restructuring correctly, your site probably needs some fixing.
You could have the greatest content and the most beautiful designs, but if your customers can’t find your site, it’s all for nothing. This is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is so important. SEO is about bringing in customers organically from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. We recommend hiring an SEO expert to do maintenance on your website to ensure you’re ranking for keywords that will drive traffic to your website.
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