Another Google UX Playbook has been leaked, dating from January 28, 2019. This one is for autos. Almost all of the improvements Google suggests are relevant for most any site that has a product for sale. So it’s good to read and pick up an insight that may be useful to you.
Four Areas to Improve UX and Sales
After a review of auto related websites, Google identified four areas that are important to get right in order to maximize sales. Google calls this process, “Creating Frictionless Experiences Across the Funnel.”
- Homepage & Navigation Speed
- Build & Price
- Form Optimization & Drive to Dealership
Home Page and Navigation Speed
Google’s researchers concluded that the following four areas were important for improving the home page and navigation. :
- Ensure key calls to action appear above the fold
Highlight value proposition & drive to relevant landing pages
Encourage users to view & filter offers
Include support & post sales activity in menu
Prominent Call to Action
Adding a prominent call to action (CTA) has always been important. Affiliate marketers learned this from A/B testing layouts twenty years ago. Among the conclusions reached was that you almost can’t make the buy button big enough or bright enough. After A/B testing various layouts it was learned that big buy buttons and big call to actions increased sales.
Highlight Value Proposition & Drive to Relevant Landing Pages
In any sales oriented web page, it’s important to understand what the user expects from the product. Are they fulfilling an aspiration? Do they want to get a certain job done? in the context of an automobile, an automobile is a status symbol, a mode of transportation, a tool for getting work done, a symbol of who the buyer aspires to be.
An image is a powerful way to communicate a message. I can see using an image to illustrate how the product solves a problem or representing the person the buyer aspires to be.
Build & Price
The next section highlights convenience factors. This section primarily deals with making it easy for a potential buyer to research. Anything that allows a potential customer to compare is good. Giving the customer an ability to save information is also noted as useful.
Form Optimization & Drive to Dealership
This section is also about making it easy for a potential customer to research and make a purchase. The word “frictionless” plays a role in all of the section.
Google lists three benchmarks for speed:
- Start Render: The first point in time that something was displayed to the screen.
- Speed Index: The average time at which visible parts of the page are displayed.
- Time to Interactive: The time until the page being loaded is considered usable and will respond to user input
Speed is a soft ranking factor. It’s a ranking factor but it’s not a particularly important algorithmic ranking factor. However, speed is a huge factor for conversions, indexing, and increasing sales. Even if page speed was not a ranking factor, page speed should still be a primary consideration.
Page Speed has always been known to be important for sales and conversions. This is another area that affiliate marketers identified in the early 2000’s as a way to convert the most site visitors into a sale. I created very lean HTML web pages that had a high text to code ratio. That means, the amount of code was minimal. These pages performed amazingly well when under extreme loads because they were so lightweight.
Google UX Playbook Download for Autos
This playbook offers a lot of quality information for those that are involved in auto sales. But even if you’re not in auto sales but in a different niche, there is still much information that is useful. This playbook has recently been linked to by Sistrix in an article I noticed via Twitter although I didn’t read the article. Only after writing this article and checking the Sistrix article I noted that they had linked to it, so it’s appropriate to note that they linked to it before I discovered it via a Google search.
Images by Shutterstock, Modified by Author
Screenshots by Author, Modified by Author