Automotive Digital Marketing

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You shouldn’t spend money on advertising to new people if your current visitors aren’t converting, period. Ask yourself this question: Would you spend $100,000.00 more on advertising knowing you only have one salesperson who’s closing ratio is less than 10%?

If your answer is what I think it is then why are you spending any money on “SEO” knowing that your name is what is driving 70% + of your traffic, any money on Page One Defense when the leak is so small or one more red cent on PPC to drive traffic to your Random Access website? (That’s the salesperson with a 2% to 7% closing ratio)

Let me repeat that: "You shouldn’t spend money on advertising to new people if your current visitors aren’t converting over 15%."

Let it sink in.

In a recent post Seth Godin wrote:
“The mistake we often make: thinking that the problem is that there’s not enough people starting the process, not enough people being exposed to your offer. In fact, it’s almost always a problem with how efficient the funnel is…”

If you want more business, more leads, more sales, then get more people to convert, that’s the key.
Fix your conversion funnel first. Then, you have an efficient machine and if you want to crank up the traffic you can do so.

This just makes sense none of us would load up our advertising if our sales force wasn’t closing at a efficient rate and we didn’t have a team in place to handle the traffic. Right now you don’t have a team to convert the traffic if it’s not doing so at least 15% and really should be more. So dealers please quit buying into these traffic building schemes that turn into nothing more than low quality traffic, a few more leads if any and nowhere near the sales to justify the cost.

I will be giving 2 sessions at Digital Dealer 9 in Las Vegas where we will be discussing conversion in depth and real world suggestions you can go back to your dealership with to start converting higher right away.

Wednesday October 13th Extreme Webpage Makeover Room #219 the Jamaica Room
In this session I will take websites and landing pages from the audience and give suggestions to go back and implement to start converting higher and engaging customer more. This is always a fun session but don’t come and offer up your page if you are easily offended.

Thursday October 14th Conversion Marketing Room #305 the Trinidad Room
In this session will discuss 7 deadly sins of search, email and display marketing that are killing your conversion. Many of these have been promoted as fact and best practice in our industry, we will be debunking those myths with actual user footage from a large case study by in conjunction with

I look forward to seeing many of your there, it will be fun and educational as always.

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Tags: CRM, Post-click-marketing, automotive, bruce, click, dealership, internet, larry, marketing, post, More…sales, sem, seo, site, web


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Comment by Larry Bruce on October 1, 2010 at 5:52am

We are doing that now across several microsites and landing pages but websites are going to be a bit more tricky.

Most of the web providers I have dealt with on subject of optimization, their platforms weren't built for testing. Basically almost all web providers today are a big inventory search engines with all dealership clients inventory in one place separated by store and using the same listing pages and detail pages, then individual dealership focused pages wrapped around that.

Listing and details pages are the largest bounce points in the conversion funnel but if you change any one of those pages you end up changing that for every dealership on the site providers platform. This makes it hard to test, then loses the competitive advantage for the dealership that paid for the test.

It seems to be better for the dealership to invest in strategic well placed microsites and conversion paths that can be controlled for testing and constant improvement and also can remain unique to the dealership and sustain their competitive advantage over competition.

However there are thing you can do within each web providers platform that will boost your conversion. I just did a 20 group presentation in Seattle earlier this week where we showed a 78% lift in conversion for one of our clients just by fixing problems and minor tweaks within their website that we could do without affecting the over integrity of the platform. We will discuss some of those things in my sessions. Would love to see you there I am sure you will have some interesting questions for me.

Comment by Larry Bruce on October 1, 2010 at 5:27am

Thanks Ralph, I think we get confused on the conversion funnel and the sales funnel. For the auto space I like to think of these as 2 separate funnels.

The conversion funnel goes from awareness to lead and the sales funnel goes from lead to sale. If you separate the 2 it makes it easier to understand where you can optimizes conversions and where you can optimize sales.

I used the sales analogy here to hopefully get dealers to understand that it's time to focus on what is important instead of trying to chase more traffic, spend more money in an effort to get more leads only to convert the same low percentage of more traffic.

That is a highly inefficient way to run a marketing campaign, has diminishing returns and the dealer will never be able to out run the cost.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on October 1, 2010 at 12:59am
Larry - Well stated, but sometimes I think decisions are made on the perception (or misperception) of which elements in the entire sales channel, or funnel that are able to be impacted by the dealer... Right, wrong or otherwise.
Comment by Brian Pasch on September 30, 2010 at 9:50pm
Larry, conversion is so very important and A/B testing to find the best designs on websites to increase conversion is what this industry needs. It would be great to eventually develop a documented set of case studies on design impacts to conversion so as to help everyone improve their web page designs. i look forward to sitting in on your classes.

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