How to Get More VDPs From Your Site and Eliminate Third-Party Site Costs
What’s the best way to tell if your website is pulling its weight? One very useful analytic that everyone seems to be talking about to gauge a site’s usefulness is VDPs, or “vehicle details pages.” VDPs are important, as they tell how many times a vehicle has been viewed online. And there’s a lot of correlation between the number of a vehicle’s “hits” and length of time on the lot for that vehicle. Everyone knows a pretty car’s page will sit on a website without any hits, shares or likes if nobody can see it, just like a pretty new vehicle kept out of site at the dealership. Nobody knows it’s there, so there it stays.
So it makes sense to stack the odds by enlisting as many outside forces to drive traffic to your site, correct? Search engine ads, ads on third party sites, retargeting… anything to get those eyeballs to the site.
Having lots of outside help (paid search, ads that redirect to your site, high-priced SEO support), might be a good strategy while you build an online presence, but the strength of a quality site is in its ability to bring in customers on its own.
So while VDPs do correlate to the time a car spends on the lot, they don’t direct people to the site. “There’s more to the story (of a successful website) than just VPD views,” says DealerFire executive and Digital Dealer speaker Christian Salazar.
An informative site with lots of information-rich pages is what search engines and consumers are looking for, says Salazar. Those are the kind of pages that organically rise to the top of the search pages, and that’s a key element to attracting eyeballs and interest early in the shopping cycle.
“Search engines are the key battleground for car shoppers and dealership websites are the main resource for consumers open to influence today,” says Salazar. “Are you capturing [customers’] attention early and often to convert the sale?”
Adding video, vehicle detail pages, and even other great helpful tips on financing, maintenance and other related topics, can also draw organic traffic and keep shoppers on your site.
Instead of paying third party lead providers for VDP views, says Salazar, dealers need to grab their own customer at the top of the funnel — when they’re starting their research. This segment of a consumer’s purchase cycle is also known as ZMOT, or Zero Moment Of Truth, when the consumer has a concentrated period of research and forms their impressions and early decisions that will direct them through the rest of the purchase cycle or funnel.
Salazar urges dealers to complete the narrative by creating a pleasant website experience for all buyers with consistency across all platforms. “[At DD16] I’ll show you easy ways to become the destination website and information authority that creates buyers and keeps them as customers who come back for more.”
In addition to creating self-generated VDPs, Salazar encourages dealers to think about what KPIs they should be looking at, beyond VDPs. “There’s been a lot of talk about VDP views,” says Salazar. “But what [dealers] really should be focusing on is creating an experience for the consumer that is consistent across all platforms.”
“If you can capture the buyer at that research stage (ZMOT), that will allow you to influence them throughout the whole process.”
At DD16, Salazar promises to give a larger view beyond the importance of VDPs, and address the entire website as a portal to capture consumers at the earliest stages, and keep them engaged. “We’ll talk about why it’s so important to be the information resource for online shoppers,” says Salazar, “and what information you need [to offer] to become that resource.”
He also promises to show some key SEO benefits of responsive websites, that can’t be ignored.[box]Don’t miss Christian’s session at the 16th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition, May 6 – 8, in Atlantic City, New Jersey that will help you create genuine VDPs and a stronger organic presence that will attract more buyers at the top of the sales funnel, and help VINs move off your lot in less time.[/box]