CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) is certainly one of the most popular acronym’s rolling around the interweb at the moment. More and more businesses are attempting to optimize their sites in order to extract more customers from their site visitors, however most website providers in the auto industry don’t seem to have hopped aboard the bandwagon.
- Well firstly, everyone in the auto industry is obsessed with SEO and PPC advertising. Any chump can drive traffic – but is it the traffic you want and is it converting the way you want it to?
- Most website providers are more interested in pumping out thousands of websites, without any regard for how consumers interact with their sites.
- Finally, the car sales process still involves human interaction. The submission of information on a site does not represent the end of a transaction (monetary or not), it represents the start. Customers are essentially giving you permission to sell to them.
This last point changes the way in which you as a dealer should be viewing your site. You are not trying to sell a car on your site, you are trying to capture customer intent. If your dealership can be the one to capture that customer intent online, you will go a long way towards selling more cars. Combining this with CRO means that, instead of optimizing your site to sell a car, which is literally impossible to do, you need to optimize for customer intent.
Here are 8 steps you can take towards implementing a CRO strategy on your site:
1. Drop your current website provider and contact Strathcom (Just kidding! Kind of…)
2. Define your goals and be specific! Saying you want more leads is not a strategy.
We want to increase new F-150 form completions by 20% month over month
3. What are you going to test in an attempt to achieve that goal?
We are going to test the new Ford F-150 SRP against a specifically designed landing page
4. How are you going to test it?
We are going to run a content experiment in Google Analytics. We will drive 50% of all traffic to the SRP and 50% to the landing page.
5. Implement your test
Has the experiment code been added to the head tag on your website? Is it redirecting traffic properly? Are the landing pages correct?
6. WAIT FOR A LARGE ENOUGH SAMPLE SIZE
We cannot stress this enough. Do not stop the experiment when you have statistical significance. You can achieve statistical significance with a very small sample size. Use a sample size calculator like this one and ensure your test runs for a complete time cycle (a week, month depending on how quickly you can build your sample size). For most auto dealers, you will need a month.
7. Analyze your results
Do the results provide conclusive evidence? Unfortunately some tests don’t provide us with the results we want, and that is fine! Learn from this and test again. Edison didn’t invent the light-bulb on his first try.
8. Iterate on your winning path
The worst thing you can do after increasing your conversion rate after one test is sit back and congratulate yourself on finding a better solution. It is your job to continue testing and find the best way of driving conversions on your site.
We can hear you cringing at that last point, however relentless testing and failure at some point are all part of the process. It WILL yield positive results for you and your dealership in the long run. Imagine if you could increase your existing monthly lead volume by 1, 2, 5, 10% just by implementing a CRO strategy. What is it worth to you?
This process obviously involves intense co-operation between yourself and your site provider. At Strathcom we are committed to providing you with a site that not only looks good, but captures the right customer at the right time. Your site isn’t one of thousands, your questions and concerns are addressed immediately and best of all, we are Canadian (well I’m not, but everyone else is!).