Forgive me, because this is going to sound like a stupid question, but I am primarily asking it to gather some qualified opinions for a client. I am a dealer consultant that assists with marketing and advertising, but also in refining and improving the web site experience to improve conversion, customer experience and brand reputation. I have an excellent track record of taking over a dealership's site, working with their site provider and advertising agency, and producing significant improvements in site usage statistics (visits, new visits, bounce rate, pages/visit, etc.). But I've encountered a roadblock with a particular site provider for one of my clients recently. This provider (who shall remain nameless) does excellent SEO work. It's a custom platform built on some very smart, very sound SEO principles. But, as often happens, when one area is great, other areas that were not given the same amount of focus and the bottom line is, the aesthetics, marketing characteristics and conversion tools of the site are unimpressive. I've been trying to work with this provider to improve these things, under what I considered to be the modern opinion that metrics and measurables matter in determining a web site's performance. This provider, whose site converts only about 0.4% of its traffic to form leads (quick quote, vehicle-specific quote, request a test drive, make an offer, car finder, etc.). In my experience, on sites that I have worked with, that number is at or above 2% per visit (many site providers play a little shell game by measuring that metric per unique visitor instead of per visit, making it easier to get to that golden "2%"). Here's the problem: when in meetings with this provider and the client, the provider has scoffed at any intimation that their conversion rate is substandard. They point to the dealership's overall success, their in-store closing ratio and their increase number of walk-ins as indications that the site is performing its role successfully, even though they have had a substantial, steady decrease in traffic (~20% in 6 months) and phone traffic (-40% in the last year). The client trusts these guys, or has up until my partner and I came into the picture, and I don't want to undermine their relationship, but I want to guide my client in the right way; that's what they pay me for. My contention is that that form lead number is key, because, if properly executed (asking for the lead at the right place in the shopping process, but not harassing a customer throughout their visit), a good conversion rate is a bellwether for the rest of your conversion metrics. In other words, there's a pretty predictable, natural relationship between the number of form leads, phone calls, and walk-ins, and if you are doing things the right way, when you increase the easy to measure ones (form leads), you get a corresponding increase in phone calls and walk-ins. This provider keeps throwing up roadblocks to our site recommendations on the grounds that it will adversely affect SEO efforts. I feel that there has to be a better balance between SEO efforts and marketing/branding/customer experience efforts. So where do you stand? Are form lead conversions becoming obsolete? I appreciate any and all opinions.