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Best Practices for Your Website

Your website is your online presence. When potential customers are searching online, it may be the first impression of your dealership so you want to make it a positive one. Here are eight tips to creating a great website to win over future customers and increase your sales. 

Keep Branding Consistent

What is branding? Branding "is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol, or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company." This helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services. Keep in mind that your "dealership's name" and your services define your brand. Click here to learn more about branding.

Do you have a company logo? Make sure you put it on EVERYTHING – website, Facebook page, marketing materials, outdoor and indoor signage, and all local advertising so it becomes cemented in the consumer’s mind. Your logo should appear on every page of your website, preferably in the header area. The color scheme of your website should reflect the colors in your logo – so that it all ties together. Keep it simple by limiting your website design to no more than 2-3 primary colors.

Make it Simple to Navigate

An easy-to-navigate website directs visitors to the pages and information on your site in the shortest time possible. It encourages visitors to stay, read your content, and have a positive experience. Easy navigation can lead to more sales and brand loyalty for your business. When designing a site, this needs to be this first thing you decide. The rest of your site will flow from here. Having a search box in the header is a great practice - it helps visitors locate what they want to find quickly.

OED elected to have 5 main options with drop down lists in our navigation bar when we created our new site in 2019: Products, Place an Order, Dealer Resources, About Us, and My Account. While our list is geared toward business-to-business encounters (namely dealers who are our customers), yours needs to be geared toward business-to-consumer encounters.

Learn more.

Have Strong CTAs "Calls to Action"

Your website is your online presence and it has two functions: attract new customers and tell them what products and services you offer. CTAs or “Calls to Action” should be considered when building your site.

You want to make it easy for someone to book a demo, sign up for monthly specials you may run, or contact you. Consumers shouldn’t have to search your site to request a product demonstration, it should be immediately known how to do that when they first access your site. Your contact information (phone number and email) should be present on every page – in the header and footer.

Be Fast Loading

Best practice is less than 3 seconds for each page of your website to load, especially the home page. The longer it takes for a page to load, the greater chance the consumer will move on to someone else’s site. Everyone’s attention span is getting less and less – they want immediate results, especially if they are looking for something. Images are a concern since they take longer to load then text. You should also be careful on the number of plug-ins your site has – the greater the number, the slower the loading process.

Create SEO "Search Engine Optimization"

What is Search Engine Optimization? SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from “free” or “organic” search results on search engines. To do this, search engines scan websites to better understand what the site is about. Who you are, what do you do, and which product lines you sell should be the basis of your pages’ keywords.

Create content as if you are talking to a customer in front of you. What would they want to know about you and the products and services you provide? Why should they start doing business with you? However you answer these questions, make sure your website copy includes the keywords that separate you from your competitors (e.g. been in business since 1923; highly trained, certified technicians on staff; free loaner units with "down" units).

It’s also important to make sure you have ALL the brands you sell on your website, even if each brand only has a simple landing page. This helps attract more consumers based on their searching habits. If a consumer is searching for ECHO and you don’t have it listed on your site, you may be overlooked for another dealer who does. Use all means to attract potential customers. Note: most OPE manufacturers will not link to your site if you don’t have their brand represented on your site.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of SEO.

Be Mobile Friendly

Do you spend more time on your smart phone, tablet, or computer? Today, most consumers spend far more time on their smart phones or tablets than on a standard computer. A site doesn’t appear the same on the different formats and can be difficult to navigate if it’s not mobile friendly – losing you potential customers and sales.

Regardless of the format consumers access your site, your site needs to be responsive enough to fit their preferred format. If you don’t, they will choose a site that does.

Remember, it's not about you, it's about reaching them.

Link to Social Media

Whether you connect on Facebook, share on Instagram, or tweet on Twitter, make sure you add links to all your social media accounts on your website. Everyone communicates differently, make sure you let consumers know how they can best communicate with you. Your website’s footer is the best location for these links to reduce the chance of losing traffic (i.e. keeping them on your website and not directing to another site when they’ve just arrived).

Use Quality Images

What do you remember more – a color picture or two paragraphs of text? Odds are it’s the color picture. Today’s consumers are visual based, meaning that a high quality, color image is truly worth more than a thousand words.

You should add pictures of the brands that you carry, services you provide, and images of the outside and inside of your facility. Staff pictures can be helpful to humanize your dealership, plus the consumer may recognize "John" when he visits for the first time, giving him a more personalized experience.

Photo selection should include high quality images that are reduced to 72 dpi or reduced in size at a higher dpi for faster loading .

Links to Quality Images for OED Brands

ECHO Images

No login required.

Shindaiwa Images

No login required.

Billy Goat Images

No login required.

Wright Images

No login required.

Walker Images

Link requires a login, but images can be accessed with no login at under each individual model series. More marketing assets are available at the Walker Images link above for stocking dealers.