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The Ultimate VDP Thread - Metrics, Ideas, Design, and everything VDPs

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by SeanWoodruff, Dec 5, 2013.

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  1. SeanWoodruff

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    It seems like on an almost daily basis another article or blog update is published about the importance of Vehicle Details Pages and how they should tie into your metrics and decision making. These three little letters lately seem to work themselves into most if not all discussions related to Automotive Digital Marketing, and it seems pretty clear that if you're not a VDP Master, you'll soon be eating the dust of the dealerships that are. This is still a new term to a lot of dealers and managers, but I think very shortly we'll all be referencing VDPs with the same nonchalance that we do BDCs or SEO.

    I thought it might be useful to make a thread dedicated to VDPs. We can cover topics like: how we measure them (cost per VDP view, VDP views per visit, etc.), why we measure what we do, what decisions we make based off of that data, how we improve our VDPs and get more eyes on them, how we get our customers to convert more often once they're on our VDPs, what products/companies/classified listings support and/or measure VDPs, how we can use the information to hold our digital marketing companies more accountable, how costs per VDP view should differ depending on the type of SEM campaign, and more.

    To start things off, what is your goal with your cost per VDP view? I've heard that $3-4 per VDP view or less should be what you shoot for. Also, has anyone heard of Lot Linx? I hear they have one of the lowest costs per VDP view out there.

    Let's get the discussion going!
     
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  3. anthonycapital

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    Metric: Unique Vehicle Detail Page Views (VDPs)


    Metric: Unique Search Results Page Views (SRPs)


    Comparison: Ratio of Unique Visitors to Unique SRPs


    Comparison: Ratio of Unique SRPs to Unique VDPs


    In my opinion you can only define a specific dollar value for a VDP in reference to your specific store.

    Also this diagram may be useful:

    ImpactVinExposure_combo.jpg


     
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  4. PaulS

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    Great thread Sean.


    IMO the most important VDP metric is the Lead Conversion Rate, i.e. Number of Email/Phone Leads per VDP view.
    Other "absolute" metrics such as SRP or VDP Unique Page Views are more indicators of how well your off-site marketing activities are performing (PPC campaigns, classified listings, etc) rather than how well your VDP itself is performing.


    The primary purpose of the dealer website is to bring online customers into your store, and the VDP is that gateway between online and physical store. It should be optimized to make it as easy as possible for the customer to get in contact with you.


    I still see so many VDPs with poor call-to-actions and poorly designed user experience (e.g. asking visitor to fill in a form with 10 fields if they want to enquire).
     
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  5. SeanWoodruff

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    Newest Dealer Refresh article on VDPs: The Most Important Page on Your Website

    A big thing we're starting to look at with our PPC campaigns is our cost per VDP view. If you have 2 used campaigns and one is $10 per VDP view and the other is $3 per VDP view, then you're getting WAY more for your marketing dollars with the second campaign. It's turned into a great way to hold our marketing company accountable. Everybody says "well look at all this traffic!", but like Brian Pasch says, comparing your traffic to selling cars is like comparing the weather to selling cars.
     
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  6. SeanWoodruff

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    We talk a lot about our VDPs having great content, pricing, comments, great pictures, call to actions, urgency, etc. Urgency is something that I've spent some time thinking about. What are some good ideas for creating urgency on our VDPs?

    I'm happy to say I just figured out how to implement countdown timers on my VDP pages. Here is a little snapshot of my VDPs that show my countdown timer.

    countdown timer example.jpg

    Feedback? Let me know if you want me to explain how I did it.
     
  7. Alex Snyder

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    Tie the countdown timer to a clear call to action.

    Think of it like an asshole: So the sale ends....whoopty doo! What does that mean to me? Why should I jump? Does the $3,000 go away? That number is too high to be believable anyway. 5 days is a lot of time to keep shopping. I'll come back if I don't find something better.
     
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  8. Spencer Gardner

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    Sean, I think it looks great. I found the timer you used. Do you go back and change the count down date, or does it auto-reset for a certain time period?

    Also, I'm not sure if you've had enough time, but any feedback on your conversion rates?
     
  9. joe.pistell

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    Awesome idea lost in CTA noise. kill it. Think "less is more"
     
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  10. SeanWoodruff

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    Alex - I wish I could tie it to a clear call to action but I can't think of any possible way I could do that. The only thing would be our "sale" ending. Also, $3k is definitely not too high to be believable. We sometimes have vehicles that are $5-6k under NADA Retail, and we can prove this to our customers or they can see it themselves by clicking our "Compare to Market" button. Every dealership shows vehicles that are discounted by $1,000 or $2,000, you don't stand out from the crowd with a $1,200 discount. But do you have any good ideas on a feasible call to action to tie the countdown to?

    Spencer - I edit the widget's date on the countdown website and then paste the new html code back onto my page. It only takes like 30 seconds. As far as a form conversion increase, I've only had it on my site since this past Monday, Dec. 16th, so it definitely hasn't been enough time. If I do compare Mon-Thurs of last week to Mon-Thurs of this week, we've gotten 10 more leads and there's been a 0.3% increase in our form submission rate, but I really can't attribute that to the countdown timer.

    Joe - I definitely value your opinion... but I don't know if I agree with you. I bet my conversions go up, plus I'm currently working with Dealer.com to reduce a lot of the noise on the page to make it waaay simpler. You're right that less is more and the page is definitely too busy right now but the countdown timer is one of the things that needs to stay in my opinion. I'm trying to create urgency and the countdown timer is clean, easy to understand, and simple. But I'm all ears if you have some better ideas.

    Thanks for the feedback guys!
     
  11. Alex Snyder

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    I should have said "I look at the stuff I put on the website like an asshole" so I set my personal expectations to something a little more realistic. I wasn't clear in that - sorry.

    As for the call to action, I'm with Joe - you have too many. If you had a single one that was clearly tied to the countdown timer people would put 2 and 2 together. Or kill the timer and just work on making the call to action more clear. Either way, there is a lot of noise.

    Working with Dealer.com eh? Maybe Joe or I can help there ;)
     

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