The Secrets to Growing Your Website’s Leads, Calls & Sales: Before You Change Even One Word on Your Website…

(This is the first part in a multi-part blog series that will explore virtually everything car dealers and other sales-focused businesses need to know to drive the maximum amount of leads, calls and sales from their existing website traffic.)

Car dealers and other businesses looking to dramatically grow their e-leads, their phone calls and even their sales generated by their existing website visitors are in luck. The difference between top performing dealers and average dealers with respect to website performance is dramatic; and employing just a few of the improvements discussed in this series will help the average dealer to more than double the revenues their website delivers – without changing website providers or having to spend thousands more each month.

There are two different approaches applied when dealers want to make changes to their websites. The first approach involves you or someone on your team making a bunch of changes because you determined your site was “stale,” or because you saw something “cool” on a competitor’s site, or worse: the owner came back from a twenty group with a bunch of new ideas.

That’s the primary way most dealers approach making changes to their website. Basically, they just throw a bunch of crap against the wall to see what sticks. This is, of course, fairly ineffective at helping dealers move the needle; and it’s definitely not the approach that top dealers employ.

The second method to making changes to your website is you determine your website’s goals and your customer’s goals. Then, you make sure that those goals align as you examine your websites strengths and weaknesses at reaching those goals. Once you have this data, you make what are called measured improvements. You make changes, you test and you improve. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Your Website’s Goals

If your dealership is a for-profit business, then your website only has two goals. The first goal is to attract visitors and the second goal is to convert those visitors into customers. That’s it. Those are your only two goals: attract and convert.

“But wait, Steve,” you say, “My website’s goal is to sell my dealership to prospects!” Or “My website’s goal is to display my inventory!” Or “My website’s goal is to brand my dealership!”

If this was your reaction to the two goals I introduced, then I would ask “to what end?” To what end is your website’s goal to “sell your dealership” or to “display your inventory” or to “brand your dealership?” To what end?

To generate a sale. Your website has just two goals: attract visitors and convert those visitors into customers. So, once the visitor is on your website, your only goal should be to generate a sale.

We all agree that your website does provide information; but, why? To drive a sale. Your website does display inventory; but, why?  To drive a sale. Your website does brand your dealership; but why?

Say it with me: to drive a sale.

Given this, if something on your site gets you closer to the goals of attract and convert, then it’s good. If something takes you farther away, then it’s bad. If something on your website does neither, then it’s fluff.

Determining how and what to change actually becomes quite simple once you understand your website’s goals and then apply the good, bad, fluff criteria.

Again, things that take us closer to our goals are good, things that take us away from our goals are bad, and things that do neither are just fluff.

Good, Bad, Fluff Examples

An example of something that’s good for conversion – meaning it takes us closer to our goal of converting a visitor into a customer – would be having a trade appraisal form on your website that’s easy to access and easy to complete. Dealers with these forms on their websites gain conversions they would not otherwise generate.

Something that’s a bad for conversion would be a specials page with no specials. For most dealers, the specials pages are often the third most-viewed pages on their website; and when these pages are blank, customer usually just leave your website assuming that nothing is on sale. This would be bad, because it takes us further from our goal of converting a visitor into a customer.

If you’re wondering what would be considered “fluff” on a dealer’s website when we’re looking at the goal of driving a conversion, you can usually look no further than your “About Us” pages that contain all sorts of fluff like your OEM’s Super Bowl commercials or even links to community events or other items of local interest.

These things aren’t bad for conversion, but they’re also not good for conversion. They have no impact on your e-leads, your phone calls or your sales, so they’re just fluff. Keep fluff on your site or don’t; it won’t impact your results either way.

Next up in the series: What’s Considered a Website Conversion Anyway? 

About TheManager:

Steve Stauning, creator of The Appointment Culture and an expert in Digital Marketing and Website Conversion. He is also an extremely popular keynote speaker, writer, and industry consultant. Learn more about Steve at