|Web site providers are a pretty eager-to-please bunch. When you’re shopping around for someone to design and build your dealership’s Web site, the questions you ask are likely to receive a lot of positive responses: from “Yes!” to “You bet!” to “Absolutely!”|
The problem is getting what you ask for isn’t always a good thing. If you’re asking for the wrong Web site, that’s precisely what you’re likely to wind up with. Dealers manage to do this in two main ways:
Mistake #1: Asking for an Eye-Popping Design
If you want to ask a potential vendor about design, here’s the right way to express the question: “Can you build me a site that captures my dealership’s personality without sacrificing effectiveness?”
Mistake #2: Asking for Complete Customization
You need a Web site provider that understands the science of design and is 100 percent committed to giving your dealership a design that truly performs. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a role in the design process. This only means that you should look for a provider that cares too much about measurable results to yield to your every suggestion.
The Correct Approach: Asking About Performance
What is performance? That’s a great question in itself. You should have a sense of the answer and you should be sure to ask this question of any company that you interview. For an auto dealer, a performing Web site is one that generates a lot of traffic. It’s also one that turns a lot of that traffic into leads. Let’s look at some other good questions:
? How will this Web site create a strong flow of traffic?
The correct answer is going to have something to do with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is main technique for improving your ranking on the major search engines. The mere mention of SEO isn’t enough. For a long time, SEO was a pretty simple matter; a finished site was optimized for a handful of keywords that were refined and adjusted over time. Today, however, it’s possible to design a site from the ground up with SEO in mind—to make the very architecture of the Web site serve the purpose of driving qualified traffic. Be sure that the providers you talk to have this advanced view of the science of SEO.
? What does this Web site do to convert visitors into leads?
These questions are sure to make a lot of Web site salespeople twitch, mumble and cough. This is hard stuff, but it’s what performance ultimately boils down to: more sales opportunities, more service appointments, more trade-ups, more extended warrantees and ultimately more profits. If a provider’s approach isn’t driven by these things, it will show, and you’ll know to stay away.
PS: Beware of “Features”
The intent of the alliance is to give consumers more flexible choices when making vehicle purchase decisions.