Should you let the visit land on the SRP or the VDP?

11 februari 2018, Paul

New research shows that we may be leading traffic to the wrong landing page

Desktop screenshot

  • SRP = Search Result Page or the search results on your website or a portal
  • VDP = Vehicle Detail Page or the product page of a relevant car

Many car companies that advertise on sites such as Marktplaats, Gaspedaal and Google allow visitors to land on a VDP page on their own website. That seems logical, since many viewers want to view the car on the dealer’s website. But is this smart? Of course there are many people who want information about that specific car, but why would you loop those people to your own website? They can also find all the information they are looking for on the site where you advertise. Now they come to a page with the same information, the own dealer page, with just a different appearance than the commercial site. Why would you do that? Well, there is an important reason to pass them on. If you forward them to your own website, make sure that the visitor finds more information. For example more photos, reviews about your company or, and remember this one, a wider range.

Higher bounce rate

I want to address this because I see a lot of analyses in the market with high bounce rates. Now, a high bounce rate does not say that much, because if the customer on that one page does what you want it to do, then that customer’s visit, despite only one page view, is a great visit. To come to this conclusion you have to install Google Tag Manager and install events.

There is one ‘but’ to this story: many customers do not know whether the one car they view on the VDP is the ideal car for them. Maybe the color is not quite right, the car is actually too old or has a mileage that is a bit too high. Moreover, you may have cars on your own site that suit the customer much better. Now I can usually find those alternatives for that wanted car, but research by Brian Pasch, based on data from Dave Page (DEP), has shown that many searchers have trouble with it and that it is better to lead those visitors to your own website. That one visit to the VDP at Marktplaats, for example, is not bad, but taking the customer to that page instead of the search results of all those same models might be better… After all, showing a wider range converts better. A larger choice is presented there. And now ask yourself, how often does it happen to you that your customer buys a car at another company while you also have it?

No science

The above conclusion is based on data and is therefore reliable. Yet it is not science. If, for example, you have a VDP that deters because the page is not mobile-friendly, then you also have a problem. Actually, you can reason with data in a variety of ways, and a company that tries to sell marketing efforts to you will do the same: that reasons in its direction. So be careful and make sure that you are not misled. How? By using Google Analytics as an arbitrator and studying the data that is available, at least once a week. In addition, implementing Google Tag Manager is a must. With this you can create ‘events’ to better map the behavior on the website.

For example, if there are 100 visitors to your VDP and they all start filling out your lead form, and they stop when just half of the form is done, then you only see in Analytics that there are 50 leads left. However, the whole story remains underexposed. With Google Tag Manager you can see that 100 people have started and you can follow at what point the 50 leads dropped out. Your Form Completion Submission is 50%. Thanks to this data, you can give the website builder a KPI of, for example, 25% dropouts instead of 50%. In other words, the possibilities are endless! Ask and search for a good website platform that can actively show this type of data. In fact, find a platform that comes with this data itself to achieve the best result. Why? Because today’s customer demands it from you.

About Paul de Vries

Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marktplaats) after selling Nieuweautokopen.nl to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW Academy and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ is Paul’s new book, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at: DCDW.nl.