If we agree your website has just two primary goals (attract visitors and convert those visitors into buyers), then you need to ensure you’re giving every visitor lots of chances to convert with you. As we learned in an earlier part of this series, visitors don’t really know what you want them to do – and they especially don’t know it if you’re not putting conversion opportunities where they click.
For a typical car dealer’s website (built with a traditional top navigation menu), about 95% of the homepage clicks occur in the menu. This is a critical stat to comprehend, because most dealers, dealer group executives, OEMs and even website providers focus almost all of their website design attention on everything except the navigation menu.
Take a look at your own website; where do your eyes go when you see your homepage? Are you busy checking out some spinning this or that, an attractive carousel slide show, or some picturesque drone footage of your dealership?
Beautiful. Stunning. Perhaps, even breathtaking.
As we learned in the first part of this series, website fluff is neither good nor bad… it just “is.” It neither takes you closer to your goals nor further away. Fluff is fine, but it’s not the goal… it’s not a conversion.
Now look at your homepage with the understanding that 19 out of 20 visitors are making their first click from here into the navigation menu. They’re not clicking on your carousel slide show or your stunning video footage. This means you need to pepper multiple conversion opportunities throughout your menus.
Navigation Conversion Links
The conversion links you place in your menu should be worded in a way that entices the visitor to click, while setting the proper expectation of what you want them to do after they click. For example, the link to your trade-in form should read something like “Value Your Trade” and not the basic descriptive “Trade-In Form.” Likewise, a link to your online finance application should read something like “Apply for Financing” and not simply “Finance Application.”
(In other words, focus your verbiage on the action you want them to take, not what the conversion form is called.)
Moreover, you should ensure that those links that are most important to you (links to lead forms) appear at or near the top of each individual drop down menu – without preventing visitors from finding what they’re looking for (like inventory).
What conversion links should you include in the menu and where? For the most part, let’s use our heads here. For example, fixed operations conversion links (like order parts and schedule service) should only be included in the Parts and Service menu(s). Similarly, links to trade forms make sense in the New Inventory, Used Inventory and Finance drop downs, but not in the Fixed Operations or About Us menus.
The SRP and The VDP
As expected, most dealers see their greatest website lead and sales call counts emanating from their vehicle search results pages (SRPs) and their vehicle details pages (VDPs). Therefore, it’s important for you to ensure you’re placing effective conversion links/buttons on these pages that are clearly marked, descriptive and enticing.
Interestingly, while most dealers focus heavily on their VDPs, many dealers don’t understand how important the SRPs can be to generating conversions. If you’re an average dealer that provides opportunities for conversion on both your VDPs and SRPs, you’re going to generate a relatively equal number of leads from each. This means, your SRPs can be just as effective at generating a conversion as your VDPs; provided you include ample conversion opportunities on both.
Next up in the series: Pop Ups? On Today’s Web?
(If you’re catching this series for the first time, you may want to begin with the first post in the series: Before You Change Even One Word on Your Website…)
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 SteveStauning.com.