Proven strategies to boost your dealership’s website conversion rate

The best lead-generating websites give customers a reason to contact you and do so at the right time.

Most of car shoppers first learn about your dealership and vehicles from your website. That’s why having a dealership website that gets customers in the door is so important. We’ll discuss a few general and specific ideas and concepts that could improve your website conversion rate quickly. We intend to say a little more than “Offer chat!” too.

Offer a financing calculator or system

There are plenty of website plug-ins that easily compute a payment based on down payment, vehicle price, warranties, and credit score. Make use of these. Sure, your finance team probably isn’t in full support of giving away rate information but that shouldn’t prevent the customer and salesperson or BDC from getting basic info in a lead about numbers.

While this might sound obvious – a surprising number of dealers don’t have a decent finance calculator. Find one that doesn’t just show a number, but allows the customer to submit a complete finance app at the end.

Provide options

Your vehicle detail page and search results page should give a lot of options – in the form of buttons in which the user can contact you. Enable them to schedule a test drive from the page – many won’t, but some will. Give the customer lots of reasons to contact you from asking a question about the vehicle to requesting a window sticker. If they can’t think of a reason to contact you, give them one.

An array of buttons isn’t a bad thing. Over time, you can remove buttons that simply don’t produce any leads.

Offer something

You don’t have to offer anything big. I’ve seen lots of dealers do an additional amount on the customer trade-in to encourage both initial contacts and to ensure that you are able to buy a car to put on your used lot.

One key here is not being too aggressive. An interstitial, which is basically a pop-up on steroids, doesn’t need to show right away – and maybe only show it once per visit to a customer.

Prioritize lead types

Not everyone wants to call you – though you certainly wouldn’t mind a warm, responsive voice on the other end of the phone. Give the customer big, clear buttons for texting, chat, and calling. Don’t put these buttons over anything important though.

Take control of your chat

Some chat programs let you decide when and how often to make the chat bubble more aggressive. We suggest consulting with your chat provider regarding how this works. There isn’t a good chance that an excessive number of chat invites will push users away too fast. The chat provider might also give you insights as to how often people accept or initiate chats.


The best lead-generating websites give customers a reason to contact you and do so at the right time. You’ll simply want to give a bit more information, from financing to information, that gives the customer incentive to move forward, ultimately improving your dealership’s website conversion rate.

Stay up to date on exclusive content from CBT News by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our free newsletter to receive all the latest news, insight and trends impacting the automotive industry.

CBT News is part of the JBF Business Media family.

Ben Stewart
Ben Stewart
Ben is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News with 10 years of dealership experience in automotive marketing. Ben loves all things cars and putting together strategies that help dealerships succeed.

Related Articles


Manufacturers In This Article

More Manufacturer News

Latest Articles

From our Publishing Partners