If you own a car dealership, it’s likely that you already have a website. But when was the last time that site was updated? Besides the design, how current is your code? Is your website compliant with the latest trends in mobile accessibility, accessibility standards, SEO, and information security? And when the time comes for an update beyond adding new inventory, are you stuck waiting until the one tech-savvy person at your dealership comes back from vacation? The answers to those questions may tell you it’s time for a new car dealership website. Knowing the information below, on the other hand, will arm you with the right questions and concerns to bring to a web design company like CarCasm to make the process, your site, and your business run as smoothly as a brand-new sports car.
Before you do anything else, it helps to understand your ideal customer, called an avatar. Knowing who they are, where they’re coming from, and what they’re looking for when they reach your dealership will drive many of the design and implementation decisions that follow. A customer shopping at a KIA dealership in Newark, NJ, a Lexus dealership in Newark, DE, and a dealership needing used car website design in Newark, IL each have different demographics, needs, and priorities. Your site needs to cater to your location, inventory, and customers; one size does not fit all!
If the check engine light is on, that doesn’t mean it’s time to replace the engine. Sometimes there’s just a part or two that needs to be taken care of — something as simple as a new gas cap — can have you firing on all cylinders. Websites are like that, too; sometimes a small change like adding a virtual deal/checkout option, CarFax Snapshots, or salesman landing pages can make an enormous difference. So, draw up a list of concerns and pain points in your sales process (yours and your customers’ alike) and bring those to your designer.
In marketing, collateral is all the content — from your web copy and product descriptions to your logo and colorways — that’s going to fill your site. Have that handy, since it will guide the overall structure and navigation for your site. It’ll also save you time and headaches later, since we won’t have to nag you for content and you won’t have to tear your hair out looking for the essentials.
Broadly speaking, your site needs to meet three big goals:
Web design companies aren’t all alike. Some will design for anyone; others are far more specialized. It’s the latter category you want, since a company that specializes in web design for car dealerships knows the lay of the land and the unique challenges you face in ways that a generalist wouldn’t. Even a halfway competent designer can handle your basic questions; a good one, on the other hand, knows the questions to ask you to clarify your intentions and the thought processes behind them, and to help you identify the gaps your current site may be leaving.
Getting a website done right involves a fair amount of time and effort for everyone involved. But don’t forget to look at the big picture: longer term, this will help your dealership operate more efficiently, and to generate and close higher-quality leads. The payoff will be directly proportionate to the time and (team) effort we all put forth. With that in mind, get in touch with CarCasm for your next dealership website redesign.