Typing on laptop

A Revealing Look At Dealership Homepage Banners

by Dane Saville

The emphasis many dealers place on creating homepage banners is a glaring example of the industry’s failure to communicate changing consumer behaviors. It’s no surprise that these have become a staple of websites, not just in automotive retail. They’re a visually compelling way to communicate monthly specials and incentives to car shoppers on a highly visible page where many consumers land. 

You may be one of those dealers who compels their agency partner to create — say — a baker’s dozen each month. 

The truth is that — even with the high-traffic visibility — homepage banners are not nearly as effective as you may have originally thought.

The Numbers Behind the Banners

While intuition can serve you well, no decisions regarding your digital marketing should be made without statistically relevant data. One of our (Reunion Marketing) Client Success Specialists intuitively felt that homepage banners were an outdated focus, so we took 24 clients who used the same industry-leading website hosting platform to analyze homepage data over a determined period of time. 

Below are the numbers of what we found.

Car shoppers clicked on the following: 

  • Navigation: 49.36%
  • Inventory Search Widget: 29.73%
  • Homepage Banners / Videos: 5.99%

This means that car shoppers, no matter the source or medium, who landed on our clients’ homepage, approximately 0.05 (or 1 in 20) of them clicked on a homepage banner. While it’s true that one person in twenty does have purchasing power, let’s take a closer look into the numbers.

Of the 5.99% of car shoppers who clicked on a homepage banner, here’s what we found:

  • 45.51% of them clicked on the 1st Position Banner
  • 25.27% of them clicked on the 2nd Position Banner
  • 14.37% of them clicked on the 3rd Position Banner
  • 9.42% of them clicked on the 4th Position Banner

This means that by the time you’ve created a 4th Position Banner, you’ve allocated time and resources to a homepage item that only receives 0.56% of all homepage clicks.

 Our research led to our setting-specific recommendations on homepage banners for our Dealer partners. 

Homepage Banner Recommendations

Based on the data, we concluded that automotive dealerships should create no more than three new homepage banners.

Though there is a demonstrated steep decline in car shopper clicks after the First Position Banner, we know, based on our work with hundreds of Dealer partners, that you need to manage more than a single special or event during a given month. This also begs the question for many Dealers: How do I manage this when my OEM requires XX (number of) banners?

You can still follow the recommended three new banners for your latest incentives and have a host of stock banners that satisfy the OEM requirement through which you can rotate. 

SEO Is Incomplete Without Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

This understanding of homepage banners is part of an ongoing process called Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), which should be a part of any internal team or agency partner’s SEO work. Beyond the homepage data analysis, there are dozens of other items that should be regularly checked or strategies that you can implement.

  1. Hotjar to monitor consumer behavior on pages.
  2. Checking for buttons above the fold.
  3. Compare metrics across devices.
  4. SRP to VDP Efficiency Audits
  5. Ensuring clear and consistent merchandising.
  6. Homepage to SRP Efficiency Audits
  7. Compare benchmarks for mobile clicks-to-call, form submissions, etc.
  8. Understanding what goals are underperforming

These are just a handful of items that should be part of your dealership’s Conversion Rate Optimization. You are, after all, spending money to have internal teams or outside partners work to send high-quality traffic to your website. It is incumbent upon them to also help optimize their ability to shop the site and feel further compelled to take action.

Listen to the podcast inspired by this article

Dane Saville

Dane Saville has enjoyed an eclectic career from the classroom to the classified room for the Department of Navy to the studio. One thing has remained constant among all of the changes: educational distillation. He helped co-found Reunion Marketing as its thought leader on content marketing and has spent the last few years learning from experts in all disciplines of digital marketing to pull out the essential pieces for easy-to-learn content. Dane now hosts an educational automotive podcast series, the KPI Cafe, available on all major podcast platforms.

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