When it comes to connecting with in-market shoppers online, some automotive retailers are challenged to deliver the website user experience (UX) that consumers have come to expect.
This takes more than fast site speed and attractive pages, and it can be daunting to begin the steps toward building a better website experience. Sometimes, it takes a mindset change about UX to start improving your digital traffic and conversions.
In this article, we’ll look at why website UX matters, the tools for measuring it, and how Dealer.com is leading website optimization.
Why a Good Website UX Matters
Like many industries, automotive is seeing consumer preference for digital experiences gain momentum. A good experience benefits both website visitors and the website owner.
With a good experience, your visitors can enjoy seamless interaction with the site and locate the information they expected to obtain. On the other hand, when visitors have a poor experience, they’re more likely to leave your website without taking the desired action.
As a website owner, you want in-market shoppers to select your website in search rankings and engage with it. Site engagement may take the form of searching inventory listings, viewing a Vehicle Deals Page (VDP), submitting a deal, or scheduling vehicle service.
When consumers leave your website before doing anything, you end up with less information about them. That means your leads and conversions suffer—and so does your revenue. For these reasons, UX-focused website design is crucial to your business success.
Tools to Measure Website UX
There are two types of data used to measure site speed and performance: lab data, and field data. Both are important but serve different purposes, so let’s take a closer look at each.
Lab data, or synthetic data, is collected within a controlled environment with predefined device and network settings. This offers reproducible results and debugging capabilities to help identify, isolate, and fix performance issues, which makes it very useful during site development.
Field data, also called Real User Monitoring (RUM), is collected from real page loads your website visitors are experiencing. It captures real-world UX, which includes experiences across a variety of devices, networks, and other conditions. For this reason, dealers like you may benefit from focusing on field data.
There are two reports that provide field data: Google PageSpeed Insights (PSI), and Google Chrome User Experience (CrUX) Report. The PSI report provides extensive lab data and a limited subset of field data about a page, while the CrUX report is powered by real user measurement of key UX metrics across the public web.
To further demonstrate the importance of website UX, Google will update their search algorithm in May 2021 to include a new signal called Page Experience. This will be one of hundreds of signals Google considers when ranking search results.
Google has made the priority clear: “While all of the components of page experience are important, we will prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content.” Source
Therefore, in order for your website to top the search rankings, increase digital traffic, and produce more leads, the best approach is to prioritize total UX over specific performance measures.
Dealer.com is Championing Total UX
With 55% market share of automotive franchise websites in North America, Dealer.com has unmatched visibility into actual consumer behavior and real-time preferences. We use this information to deliver technologies focused on the total UX, not just a single score that is based on a synthetic test.
Our team is continuously and actively improving key elements of site performance. Here are just a few recent examples: building responsive experiences, redesigning the VDP to be a deal-making destination, and optimizing font loading to allow car shoppers to see the textual content sooner.
Dealer.com is committed to providing enhancements to its websites platform that have meaningful impacts to site performance. We put our data and technology to work for your dealership, ensuring that car buyers find what they need quickly and have a productive experience, from start to finish.