Turning Your Website from a Maze into a Clear Path

Turning Your Website from a Maze into a Clear Path

Discover how simplifying dealership websites can significantly boost user engagement and sales.

A Heart-to-Heart for Car Dealers

Picture this: Would you ever, in a million years, think it’s a good idea to chase a customer around the lot with a squad of salespeople all yelling different things at them? Of course not. So, why are you letting your website do just that?

You’re not in this business because it’s easy. You’re here because you’ve got a rare kind of persistence, and you know how to make a sale stick.

However, when it comes to your website, there’s a bit of a disconnect. It’s like we’ve all been throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks, hoping to catch potential customers wherever they hang out online. The strategy that kills it on the showroom floor is getting lost in translation online. In person you can read the room, adjust your pitch and guide your customer through their journey like a pro. But online it’s a whole different ballgame.

Your website’s search page, which should be your digital showroom’s crown jewel, ends up feeling more like a shouting match at a busy intersection than the welcoming, guiding hand it should be. It’s not just about simplifying. It’s about optimizing, personalizing and making every click a step toward sealing the deal.

The Simple Truth We’ve All Been Overlooking

It’s about the car, period.

So, here’s a thought: when a customer is in search of their next ride, don’t sidetrack them with all the extras. They aren’t looking for a credit application or a trade-in form, and honestly folks, they’re not there to browse your staff page. Sure, the price/payment is really important, but it’s not the main event and means nothing if paired with the wrong car for the customer.

Once you get that perfect match in front of a customer, everything else is just about clearing the path to make it theirs. Over 90% of visitors on our dealership websites are on a mission to find their next car. Importantly, 70- 80% of this activity happens on mobile devices. This means the limited 3” by 5” screen becomes our main battlefield to captivate 60-70% of our audience. Every inch of that space counts.

The Science Behind User Engagement

It’s about their attention span.

In website language, “cognitive load” means attention span. An excessive cognitive load overwhelms users, leading to confusion, frustration and, ultimately, the decision to abandon the site.

“If you confuse, you lose.”

Having multiple primary actions for each vehicle, such as four prominent buttons, negatively affects your site’s conversion rates. It confuses the user, who struggles to understand what they should do next. “If you confuse, you lose” aptly captures the outcome. It’s about optimizing the experience for the user by showing them what is most important.

The Results

Transformative user engagement strategies yield remarkable results for dealership websites.

The version of this article on AutoSuccessOnline.com has a great example of a client who dared to simplify their search results page (SRP) to its core essence. Removing all extraneous buttons, they left only vehicle tiles, each clearly beckoning with a “Buy Me!” appeal.

The results from Nov. 9 to Jan. 31, compared to the previous period show significant improvements in user engagement, views per user and bounce rates. These results were all achieved by simplifying the SRP. In a mobile-centric world, making the most of every screen inch is crucial for success.

Key Findings

32% surge in views.
Views per user soared by 57%.
9% reduction in bounce rates.
Average engagement time per active user increased by 66%.
Engagement time per session witnessed a remarkable 128% increase.
Engagement time per session grew by 84%.

These findings are significant. Simplifying the SRP led to far more valuable interactions for visitors. Not only are these digital strategies easy to implement, they will provide real advantage versus your competitors. 

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