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
If a Web site company agrees to deliver a site designed entirely according to your specifications, one of two things must be true: either the company doesn’t know more about effective Web site design than you do or the company doesn’t care. Either way, you’re headed for trouble.
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
The only thing that really matters about your new site is whether or not it performs. If you focus your search around questions about performance, you’ll accomplish two huge goals. First, you’ll weed out all the pretenders. Companies that don’t think in terms of performance don’t have a clue about how to deliver it. Second, you’ll have much more productive conversations with the candidates that remain.
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?
? How can you ensure that the people who visit my Web site are serious car buyers in my market?
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?
? How can I measure the conversion of visitors to leads?
? How does the Web site turn traffic into increased business in all my profit centers?
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”
One last word: don’t let yourself get caught up in comparing or counting “features.” This is the key strategy in the marketing approach taken by many Web site providers and it’s mostly a way of sidestepping the question of performance. This or that feature may sound like a great thing, but the great thing is attracting new visitors, converting them to leads and making sales. If a feature isn’t presented as something that will help you do those things, then it’s not p
Vol 5, Issue 3