The Secrets to Growing Your Website’s Leads, Calls & Sales: Website Messaging & Badges


As we learned in the last lesson in this series, there are essentially three primary things you can control that will influence those vehicle buyers who make no contact with you before they buy; those are pricing, reputation and messaging. (As DrivingSales tells us, those unwilling to connect in advance of purchase comprise 61% of all vehicle buyers.) Pricing and reputation were handled in the last post, so we’re tackling messaging here.

Messaging encompasses a whole lot, doesn’t it?

As you probably guessed already, the messaging you create (whether through traditional television commercials, online ads or even billboards) involves multiple channels, using multiple media, and it’s ubiquitous; that is, it’s everywhere. As this series is focused on driving sales and service business from your website, we’re going to stick to the best practices for that channel.

It should go without saying, but the messaging you choose to convey on your website should work in your favor. This means your messaging should be focused on addressing known customer pain points.

Trust Messaging

The bulk of your website messaging should be focused on building trust with the website visitor. Whether it’s about vehicle sales or service, today’s connected customer is looking for someone they can trust; someone who will treat them fairly; someone who will understand and serve their needs.

Trust messaging is actually pretty easy, and we can accomplish this with a mix of verbiage and badges.

Wait, you mean we do need stinking badges?

The right badges can (quite surprisingly) build trust with the online consumer quickly and simply. For example, consider these third-party badges:

  • AutoCheck Buyback Protection
  • Free Carfax Report
  • Carfax One Owner

For most consumers, badges like these feel like unbiased endorsements from trusted third parties, so dealers are smart to add these liberally (where appropriate). Interestingly, trust badging also works with what many of us would consider to be meaningless sales fluff. For example, creating your own badging (or using templates from your website provider) can also build trust, despite having no third-party backing.

The goal for these DIY badges is to convey some message that eases a pain point for the consumer. For example, badges that relay the following messages can actually help a dealer build trust with the online consumer:

  • Absolute Best Price Guarantee
  • Trade-In Assurance
  • Hassle-Free Financing
  • No Haggle Buying
  • Guaranteed Repairs
  • Free Repair Estimates

There really is no limit to the trust messaging and badges you can include on your website. Of course, you’ll want to include webpages that explain these benefits in terms your prospect can understand (via a click on your badges).

What if we’re actually selling vehicles online?

The ultimate test of trust messaging is whether or not a consumer will buy a new or used vehicle from you fully online and sight unseen.

Many dealers have already dropped the clunky shopping carts and non-working “buy it now” buttons that moved no metal, and have begun to actually sell cars 100% online. They’re making this happen via easy-to-implement tools from great partners like AutoFi.

Today’s successful vendors are able to help dealers build the ultimate trust with consumers by providing everything from to-the-penny payment calculations to genuine self-desking and even 100% online self-serve F&I. Moreover, because the consumers are doing all the work by themselves, these tools provide the necessary transactional transparency that connected buyers want.

Next up in the series, we’re going to focus more on the ultimate friction reducer for consumers: Transactional Transparency

(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