Best PracticesDealership Marketing

Should I Ever Use a VDP as a Landing Page?

Should I Ever Use a VDP as a Landing Page?

Let’s be honest: This is not an uncommon question. We have discussed before here on DealerRefresh in the dealer forums.

It’s important to understand best practices for all digital marketing strategies. The answer, most times, is the same. Let the customer’s intent and expectations drive your decision.

Consider these two examples:

  • Carousel Ads
    • If a shopper sees a carousel ad through social media or a retargeting banner, they’re clicking on that specific vehicle for a reason.
  • Specific Searches
    • If a shopper searches for “2018 [Make] [Model]”, show them your inventory and analyze all shopping behaviors that matter to dealers: Macro-conversions like form submissions and phone calls; Micro-conversions like inventory photograph views.
    • Google searches are specific. It’s important to have an idea of the type of car shoppers want — or even the color. You should drive them to pages that give those selections.

High Bounce Rates can be False Positives

The VDPs that shoppers land on will likely have a high bounce rate. That’s because you drove them directly to the last webpage of their journey; thus, you’ve satisfied their search. In these cases, the bounce rate is a false positive.

If you have great on-site SEO and deep linking, you’ll more likely see a high bounce rate. You are, however, reducing the number of people who exit at the wrong time. This bounce rate should also accompany more leads because you offered a streamlined user experience. People got to where they wanted to go.

This isn’t the only false positive.

VDPs Views can be False Positives, Too

Yes, VDPs visits are a goal to work towards. When you drive more VDP views from many channels, it can be a false positive that your site experience is creating the shopping behaviors you want. That’s why you must always consider the customer journey and how well you’re getting eyes on inventory from your homepage.

As with any metric, this can be skewed. Third-party sites spend money to get VDP views, but that’s not the same as consumers visiting your site and conducting searches. You can have a site with a poor user experience, poor design, and poor performance that has a lot of VDP views because of the many traffic sources. Remember to analyze user flow throughout the site and make it easy for car shoppers to find what they want.

I began my communications work for a Department of Defense contractor, then parlayed that experience into advertising and marketing. I began as a writ...