Convert Browsers into Buyers with 7 Essential Website Features

A great customer experience is everything.

Creating brand loyalty in today's computerized world requires excellence and speed at every step of the automotive customer lifecycle, from first contact to repurchasing. If your dealership can't keep pace, we can guide you through a digital transformation to streamline your operations.

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A website’s functionality and quality has a significant impact on a company’s success, including car dealerships—and in today’s tech-heavy landscape, your prospective customers are conducting more car research online than ever.

However, you’re automotive sales and service specialists, not web designers—we know it can be tricky to know how to improve your dealership website or even what your website visitors want to see. Understanding these evolving customer demands for online vehicle research options and dealership services is crucial to competing with other local dealerships and independent shops.

Read on to discover some of the dealership website best practices you can employ as well as seven essential website features that will help enhance every customer’s online experience, convert these online visitors into leads, and drive business.

Website Design Essentials for Auto Dealers: 7 Features to Include

1. An Informative, Quality Dealership Blog

Posting a blog is a proven (and affordable) strategy to increase a website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and visitor traffic. By consistently posting new blogs, your dealership website will rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), increasing visibility. Adding fresh, unique content to your website regularly alerts Google and other search engines that your dealership’s website is an active and knowledgeable resource in the industry.

A dealership blog helps your website stand out from your competitors by providing potential customers with valuable material, helping compel them to revisit the website.

2. Eye-Catching, Responsive Features 

Many of your prospects will explore your offerings from your dealership website—before they visit you in-store—so you need a straightforward, eye-catching website design to attract and keep them. And since many will be browsing on a mobile device or smartphone, be sure to test and optimize your website to ensure an easy-to-use online experience.

Some of the essential website features to include:

  • A well-designed homepage with a clean design and high-quality visual content.
  • Concise content that allows potential customers to browse your website quickly.
  • A prominent call-to-action (CTA) that makes it easy for customers to schedule a test-drive or service appointment, value their trade-in, or apply for financing.

3. High-Quality Photos and Videos

First impressions count—and capturing your potential customers means catching their attention with high-quality photos and videos. As shoppers browse vehicle options from their home or office, these views showcasing interiors, exteriors, and key features of vehicles help build interest and excitement, pulling them in for a test-drive. Hazy images or those that don’t accurately depict your vehicles will cause customers to explore your competitor’s options instead.

In addition to your new and pre-owned vehicles, use high-quality images and videos to give website visitors a virtual tour of your dealership, highlight amenities, and introduce employees to add transparency and confidence in your store.

4. A User-Friendly Payment Calculator

Car shoppers want options that fit their needs, and you can help fill those needs (while collecting their details) with interactive website tools such as a payment calculator. Give your customers the ability to compare finance offers and monthly payments, helping them make a decision on a vehicle purchase while keeping them on your website longer and guiding them to contact your store.

As a bonus feature, including a trade-in value tool can help lead customers to a purchase or lease with your dealership with the added buying power their current vehicle offers.

5. Vehicle Comparison Options 

No one enjoys bouncing between web pages to compare vehicle features. Giving your customers the ability to view a vehicle’s key features side-by-side helps them make more informed decisions. Plus, it positions your dealership website as a source of concise and accurate information, helping simplify your customers’ research process and increasing your brand reputation.

6. Interactive Website Chatbots

One of the newer ways you can improve the customer experience online while extending the reach of your dealership is by using advanced AI technology, such as chatbots. With 24/7 availability and immediate, personalized responses, chatbots help drive customer satisfaction while streamlining communications and effectively collecting customer details. Some of the interactions a chatbot can complete include:

  • Answering questions about vehicles
  • Booking test-drives or service appointments
  • Finding finance options
  • Processing payments
  • Gathering customer feedback

7. A Google Business Profile

This isn’t a feature appearing on your dealership website, but it is crucial for you to include in your online arsenal. To help prospective customers find your website when searching for a “car dealership near me,” you need a Google Business Profile.

Previously known as Google My Business, this free tool allows you to manage your online presence on Google Search and Google Maps, including your address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and photos, as well as customer reviews. Your Google Business Profile helps increase your visibility, credibility, engagement, and insights, leading to better SEO and dealership website strategies.

Dealership Website Design Questions? We Can Help

A dull, overwhelming, or unresponsive website design won’t drive prospective car buyers to your store. Capturing more internet traffic—and more business—requires following website best practices and including essential website elements. With the right technology, you can improve the customer experience, generate leads, and drive profitability.

Contact us today and discover how Affinitiv advertising agency services can help your dealership attract more visitors to your website and convert them into leads.

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