Car dealerships operate in restricted space and depend on local clients for their business. However, these restrictions need not limit you if you have a car dealership. Cast your net far and wide with the use of a small business website and you could see your sales increase as more people find you and walk through your doors. However, before you go off and engage a web developer here are a few things concerning small business website design worth keeping in mind.
- Responsive mobile design
First and foremost, your website should be mobile friendly. This means the small business website design for your car dealership should be based on mobile technologies such as HTML5/CSS/Jquery. Majority of people use mobile phones to browse, search and buy. A responsive site will look good on any mobile device with any screen size besides adapting to the larger screens of laptops and desktops.
- Minimalist design
Get your web designer to align theme and colors to suit your company themes. Keep design minimalist and simple with light graphics. No visitor would like to wait for a long time for a page to load. Let your site have many pages but make sure each page has least amount of graphics and just a few images. Each car’s page could have a lengthy description and specification page which can be tedious. Instead, simply include a link or button like “read more”. That link should lead to a page that gives detailed information and that page, in turn could contain links to testimonials and reviews from your existing buyers as well as from independent review sites.
People want to view the model they intend to purchase so it goes without saying that your car sales website should show photos of each model from the front, side, back and, possibly, interiors. Incorporate an image carousel so that each image can be called up by swiping the screen. Better still, incorporate a video in your site that loads on demand or include a link to youtube. Videos let you show a lot more detail compared to images. It is better to use your iPhone or a DSLR and some lighting rig for photos and videos. And, importantly, be sure to mention whether products displayed are in stock or need prebooking.
You could have pages and pages dedicated to various models but which visitor has the patience to go through them? Instead, include a search box at the top. Search option should be a priority in the small business website design.
- Entice and motivate
Suppose a visitor to your site searches for and finds a model he likes. The next step is to entice them with a mention of some deal, free service, test drive or something similar. Motivate them to get in touch by including a phone number at the bottom, preferably a toll-free number they can dial simply by tapping. Give an option to fix an appointment. And how do they get to your place? Include a map. They can use the map to drive up to your dealership for a test drive. Alternative is to offer a test drive where they reside provided they are within a certain radius.
These days it is a common and, one must say, a rather annoying practice that business websites follow. A popup shows up asking visitors to the site to furnish name and email address before they can proceed with use of the site. This tactic has its plus side in that you can harvest emails to use for newsletters. However, do not make it compulsory for visitors to register. However, you can offer them an incentive such as free vehicle service or checkup if they do register.
- Price, ecommerce
You could think of small business website design for your car dealership simply as a way to get people in various locations to find you and drive down to your store. You could go a step further and incorporate elements of ecommerce in the small business website design and offer an option to visitors to buy. Cars are not bought on an impulse. Still, if your site provides all information that a visitor needs and he wishes to place an order he should know the price. When your page for each car loads on the screen do make sure the price is displayed and you should also state whether taxes and accessories are included. Get the developer to put in a “book now” or “buy now” button with some lure such as a discount if they place an order online. Another option is to simply put a “get the best quote” button that will get them to furnish their email.
- Make it SEO Friendly
You do want your site to be found on web searches so get your expert in small business website design to make it SEO friendly. Have a plan to promote your site once it is launched and focus on local directories like yelp. At the same time, create a presence on social media and write content about yourself, your dealership, about automobiles, how you are different and what you offer. Post videos on youtube about cars or useful tips on buying or maintenance. A website cannot stand in isolation. It is like a vine that needs support to grow and SEO is that support. Factor it into the website development cost. You may not have time for writing articles and stuff for social media and blogs so engage someone who does. Feed him all information you can.
You have a eureka moment and decide to jump in and get a website launched at the earliest. Wait. Stop a moment. Analyze your business, people in your area, what your objective is and then discuss all these with your business website developer for car dealership. Planning will surely help in a first time good effort that delivers results.