There are thousands of things to manage in each and every dealership, including your dealer website.  So much attention is devoted to leads, conversion rate, vehicle detail pages, etc., that sometimes it’s easy to forget one of the most basic SEO factors for your website – the speed at which it loads.

Site SpeedAccording to KISSmetrics, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and 40% of people will leave a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. When you factor in the immediacy of information most Americans are used to using their smart phones and other mobile devices, are you serving your dealership’s website to potential buyers fast enough?

Why a Fast-Loading Dealership Website is Important:

Google – Google made it clear years ago that they use site speed as a ranking factor – it appears that their algorithm is designed to penalize websites that are slow to load. This gives your fast loading site a leg up on your competition in search engine results.

Visitors – A quick loading website can help reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates. The faster your visitors are able to access the content they are looking for, the less likely they are to go to another dealership website. You’ve probably designed your dealership’s website to help visitors find the vehicle they’re interested in as quickly as possible, so make sure you aren’t slowing them up with a slow load time.

 

How to Tell:

There are a number of free tools online that will test how long it takes your website to load, and most offer suggestions to increase the speed. Just enter the URL you’d like to test. I’ve listed a few below, but you can search online for “site speed test” to find more.

Page Speed Insights (from Google)

Pingdom

Another, simple way to test how quickly your car dealership website is loading is to do it yourself! Use different devices (for mobile, test on both wi-fi and the mobile network) to time how quickly your website loads.  Remember that Google factors in page speed for each type of device (desktop, tablet and phone), so make sure you test the top pages on your site for each device type.

 

What You Can Do:

Minimize the types of files that auto-load when your site is launched – things like videos, music, or animations can slow down the initial load time. When possible, simplify the design of your website. Talk to your website provider about how their websites are structured and coded, and what they can do to help you achieve your site speed goals.