The Secrets to Growing Your Website’s Leads, Calls & Sales: What’s Considered a Website Conversion Anyway?


When you’re planning to make website changes to improve your conversion rate, it’s important to make sure everyone involved can answer the question: What is a conversion?

There are a lot of opinions about what constitutes a website conversion – especially from the classified listing sites – and the problem for you is that most of them aren’t really conversions at all. Let’s start by listing those “almost-conversions” that some providers will tout:

  • Vehicle Details Page (VDP) Views
  • Impressions
  • Click-Throughs
  • Phone Number Look Up
  • Map/Directions Look Up

None of the above are conversions. They’re certainly nice to have, and they may be worthy of tracking and measuring, but they’re not conversions. A conversion is very specifically one of the following four results from a website visit:

  • Sale
  • Contact
  • Scheduled Meeting
  • Raised Hand

A sale is easy to understand: Someone sees a special price on your website, drops everything to rush down to the dealership to buy a car. That’s a sale. In Service: A customer drives up to the service lane and gets an oil change based on a coupon they printed from your website; that’s a sale. In Parts: A customer orders new floor mats from the online parts store on our website; that’s a sale.

A contact is a phone call, a chat conversation or a text from a prospect; in other words, any two-way electronic communication.

When someone completes any form on your website that schedules a firm appointment (test drive, service), this is considered a conversion because it’s a scheduled meeting. This is different from a raised hand, in that these types of leads only require a confirmation from your team to get the prospect in the door.

When we think about conversions, the most common type that comes to mind is the raised hand. This is the “typical e-lead,” if you will, where the prospect has raised their hand and said “I’m interested in doing business with you; please tell me more.” For you, this might be a trade appraisal, a price quote request, an online credit application or virtually any other form on your website that doesn’t create a firm, scheduled meeting.

While a sale is the ultimate website conversion, you have little control over the customer until they arrive. The other conversions (contact, scheduled meeting, raised hand) are considered “leads,” and leads require some work on the part of your team to ensure they eventually translate into a sale.

What’s The Best Type of Lead to Receive?

When working with 20 Groups, I am often asked “What is the best type of lead to receive?” Now, I’m not trying to be coy when I say that the best type of lead depends on you and your team. For dealers with great processes that are strictly enforced, the preferred order is a phone call or a text followed by a chat, then a scheduled meeting, then a typical form lead from their website. Of course, if your team is lousy on the phones, then e-leads are often better for you (since you’ll at least capture the prospect’s information).

Next up in the series: Website Conversions & the Connected Consumer 

(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…)

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