Improving Dealership Website CTAs to Gain Clicks and Conversions

By: Kristy Esch

Known for her many years of writing long and short form articles for the multifamily industry. Her amazing writing continues to shine in other industries.

What entices a consumer to click on a Call-to-Action feature on an auto dealership’s website? Is it the color of the button? The position of the banner? The appearance of the sidebar?


While the color, position and appearance of your dealership website CTAs play a key role in who clicks or converts on an auto website, a true jump in conversions happens when those well-designed and properly positioned CTAs help guide the consumer through the buying journey instead of leading them down a rabbit hole.


Andy Medley, PERQ CEO and Co-Founder, compares it to picking your own ending to a favorite childhood story adventure where the hero must choose to run, fight or negotiate. “That’s what AI does,” he says. “The technology serves up the next best CTA based on where you are in the buying process. AI is behind the scenes, thinking about what the next best step should be.”


To determine how CTA characteristics affect click conversion rates, PERQ analyzed more than 8 million CTA renderings from more than a half million visitors on auto dealership websites. Here are a few key takeaways:


77% of Online Consumers Not Ready to Buy


Auto dealerships want to employ effective CTAs to increase engagement, generate more leads and close more sales. However, most auto websites today offer only three tools: a trade evaluator, a credit app and a buy now button, Medley says.


“If you are treating those consumers like they are ready to buy, you are outsourcing your sales to third-party sites.”


“The problem is that those are all in the buy phase,” says Medley, whereas the PERQ analysis found that 77% of online consumers say they are not ready to buy and are still gathering research about what’s available.


“As a result, you’re basically focusing on all of those consumers in that phase and telling the other 77% of the traffic to beat it. There’s nothing for you here,” he says. “If you are treating those consumers like they are ready to buy, you are outsourcing your sales to third-party sites or to sites that actually have tools available to allow the consumer to research and educate themselves.”


Improving Your Website Calls to Action to Increase Lead Conversion


Move Sidebar, Optimize for Mobile and Declutter


The position of a CTA sidebar on your website does matter. The CTA click conversion analysis found that moving the sidebar from the top left of the page to the bottom right produces more than a 200% lift in conversions.


Think optimizing for mobile isn’t important? Think again, Medley says. “If your site is optimized for mobile, you will see a 50% increase in conversions over desktops,” he says, including a 95% lift on banner clicks and a 167% lift in sidebar clicks. “Make sure your CTAs are optimized for mobile.”


Auto buyers, on average, shop only once every six years and many don’t even know where to start. However, Medley advises auto dealers to fight the urge to throw every choice at them by adding more CTAs to their websites. “It just confuses consumers,” he says. “Deliver the right button to the right person at the right point in the buying journey. This is what AI helps you do.”


Personalize the Car-Buying Experience


The CTA banners, sidebars and buttons should adapt to each web visitor and keep them moving through the buying journey. It should remember who they are, what they searched for, whether they asked for a trade value, and where they are in the buying process.


“Don’t deliver dead-ends. Provide a connected experience where all of the CTAs are working together,” Medley says. By delivering a personalized website experience, you’ll simplify the buying process, engage consumers longer, and ultimately close more deals.

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