Tips to Building the Best Automotive Websites
Before the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, less than 2% of new car sales were completed online. However, that percentage has skyrocketed over the past two-plus years. As of this point in 2022, online sales now account for almost 30% of new vehicle sales.
The exponential growth of digital vehicle sales has significantly increased the importance of car dealerships building top-quality automotive websites in order to keep up with the competition, set their dealership apart from other dealerships in their area, and draw in the growing number of online car shoppers who are choosing to browse for their next vehicle virtually rather than in person on a dealership lot.
It can be difficult to determine which features make up the best automotive websites. Auto websites comprise their own unique digital niche, which means there are specific tips that are crucial for building automotive websites but that may not be of such high importance for websites that fall under other categories. If you are in the process of building or updating a website for your car dealership, keep reading to learn more about 5 of the most relevant top tips to building the best automotive websites in the current digital climate.
- Offer Advanced Search Options
One of the main reasons why prospective car buyers visit automotive websites is to browse through dealerships’ vehicle inventories. It is crucial to keep the vehicle inventory on your automotive website as up-to-date as possible at all times in order to ensure that potential customers who set their sights on a vehicle model listed on your website are actually able to have a chance to purchase that model if they choose to do so.
It is also important to offer advanced search options for vehicles that are listed on your dealership’s website. For example, it is important to give prospective car buyers the option to filter the inventory results they are shown according to make, color, features, etc. This allows potential customers to browse through only the vehicle models that match their needs and preferences without having to scroll through endless pages of inventory results to find the models they might actually consider purchasing.
- Include Inquiry Forms
Inquiry forms are important to include on your automotive website. Many prospective car buyers who are starting their process of shopping for a car online want to be able to quickly show their interest in a wide variety of vehicle models in order to get more information about these models without spending too much of their time calling dealerships or visiting dealership lots in person.
Including inquiry forms on your dealership website makes it easy for prospective car buyers to let you know that they’re interested in a model or models that your dealership has to offer and gives you the opportunity to follow up with these potential clients via email or phone as soon as possible to offer them more information about the models in which they’ve shown interest.
- Make Your Design Dynamic
Online car shoppers value media-rich, dynamic website designs. Include multimedia, dynamic features on your automotive website wherever possible in order to draw in the more prospective car buyers and set yourself apart from and above other car dealerships in your area in the eyes of potential customers.
One example of including dynamic design features on your automotive website is incorporating 3D tours of your best-selling vehicle models on your site. 3D tours allow prospective car buyers who are shopping online to get a better idea of what a specific vehicle model actually looks like and to gain a clearer sense of what it would be like to actually be inside that vehicle and drive it themselves.
- Utilize SEO
Search engine optimization–SEO–is a tried and true digital marketing tool that is one of the most effective and overall best ways to make sure that your automotive website earns and maintains a high ranking in the results pages of popular search engines such as Google.
It is very important to optimize the content you include on your dealership’s website according to SEO principles. Optimizing the content on your automotive website helps you avoid including content on your site that is overfilled with fluff. SEO content is relevant, informative, and to the point–which is exactly the type of content that draws in prospective car buyers and keeps your dealership website ranked highly on Google and other popular search engines.
- Write an FAQ Section
Don’t underestimate the value of a well-written FAQ section on your automotive website. Most prospective car buyers have a lot of questions when they first begin looking into making their next vehicle purchase from a certain dealership.
Writing an FAQ section that directly and thoroughly answers common questions without forcing potential customers to actually get in contact with your dealership encourages trust among prospective car buyers and sets your dealership apart from other dealerships that don’t offer as much valuable information on their websites–which can cost them customers.