4 Data Informed SRP Best Practices

Your website’s search results page (SRP) is your digital lot. It’s where shoppers narrow down results to find their perfect car. Think of it as a self-guided tour—a place where customers can do research, look at cars, and form opinions about potential purchases.  

If your shoppers have a good experience on your SRP, it can be the key to your customers progressing down the path to purchase. Here are a few data-informed ways you can optimize your SRP to ensure a positive experience for each website visitor.  

1. Feature Custom Photos Prominently  

Make sure that your SRP includes custom vehicle photos and that they appear prominently on the page. That doesn’t mean photos have to take up the entire screen. Just make sure that they stand out and appear larger than a little thumbnail—that’s especially important on mobile.  

Also, the impact of recent photos of the actual vehicle you’re selling cannot be overstated. When customers visit websites with more than 65% of inventory using actual photos, they stay about 5% longer, view approximately 20% more VDPs, and see approximately 5% more VLP/SRPs. * Plus, new vehicles with actual photos were 30% more likely to receive at least one lead in a seven-day period and used and certified vehicles were 40% more likely.   

2. Cut Down the Calls to Action  

You want your SRP to be simple and easy to use. Crowding it with multiple calls to action distracts from the purpose of the SRP: to conveniently filter cars as part of the research process. Competing calls to action add unnecessary clutter and confuse the customer.  

If you think of the SRP as a self-guided tour, excessive calls to action can feel like an aggressive, overbearing salesperson constantly interrupting the customer, pressuring them to take the next step. Commit to keeping calls to action to one or two per SRP.  

3. Simplify Pricing 

Customers like to see pricing on the SRP, but too many pricing details can feel like information overload when they are browsing. Detailed disclosures of discounts and incentives are especially problematic on mobile devices, where even a small amount of information can feel cluttered and unprofessional.  

Instead, show the customer the vehicle MSRP, the total discount (including incentives and other discounts, but not including conditional offers), and the final price. This strikes a nice balance between full disclosure and optimal user experience.   

4. Use Free-Text Search Together with AutoComplete 

Many SRP visitors gravitate towards free-text search for simple filtering. Making sure this feature includes autocomplete suggestions can speed up the search process, avoid typos, and guide the user to the right vehicle filters. As long as your facets (drop downs) are organized correctly, free-text search adds to the overall user experience.  

With the right user experience, your SRP can give your customers a self-guided shopping experience and a dealership-directed focus on displaying the right information at the right stage in the shopping journey. Start implementing these changes to beef up your user experience and increase your car buyer leads.  

* Dealer.com’s New Search Results Page: Performance Analysis, Dec. 2020 

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