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Dealer Resources

July 11, 2017 By Cherri Jackson

7 essential design tips for your dealership's website

7 essential design tips for your dealership website

Your dealer website is the virtual front door to your showroom -- open all day every day. If you want your customers to buy, not just browse, pay special attention to how you lay out your website.

Avoid clutter on your doorstep – keep a simple and attractive home page

The front yard of a house will make a big impression, especially when the lawn is mowed and the kids’ toys are picked up.

It’s no different for your website’s home page. An attractive layout holds the viewer’s eye while a busy, disorganized landing page will turn customers away.

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Balance your text, images, and white space to keep the car buyer engaged. If a customer can find what they want in just a couple of clicks, they’ll will linger longer, come back more often, and be more willing to act.

Stay up to date – make sure your website is responsive

A new kitchen, bathroom, or four-seasons room will increase the value of that older ranch home by thousands of dollars.

It is just as important that your website keep up with changes in technology. Cell phones have replaced desktop computers as the preferred search device, accounting for almost 60 percent of traffic. Your website must be responsive to both small and large screens, so your images and text should be scaled for both.

Google will also give your auto dealership a better search ranking than one whose website is not responsive to mobile devices.

Get a quote for a responsive website.

Don’t confuse your guests – make your website easy to navigate

Drinking glasses. The silverware drawer. The TV remote. A good host will ensure his guests know where all the essentials are.

Treat your buyers the same way. Website navigation needs to be simple and intuitive. Viewers expect menus at the top or left of the screen with main category links or buttons above the fold. Don’t get cute and hide the menu in a trendy sidebar.

More importantly, make sure your links work. Don’t send your buyers to the dark basement where they get lost in a series of bad hyperlinks.

Be neighborly – use conversational copy

Neighborly hosts should focus on their guests, not center the conversation around themselves.

It’s no different with your dealer website. Keep a lid on heavy promotion, and give customers the information they are looking for in a conversational manner. Follow good search engine optimization (SEO) practices by including relevant keywords, but don’t fill text with Google search terms. This casual approach builds trust and engagement.

Website viewers have a limited attention span, so keep your text focused and your paragraphs short.

Choose your paint wisely – use website colors strategically

A pleasing house has a nice, fresh coat of paint with colors that work together, not ones that elicit a sigh from neighbors walking by.

In the same way, customers will get annoyed if your website colors are too harsh or mismatched. For best results, don’t spill the color palette. Use a maximum of 4 to 5 colors. Those colors should complement your current branding.

When it comes to text and call-to-action buttons, think contrast. Text colors should stand out from the website’s background for better readability, and call-to-action buttons should draw the viewer’s attention.

Don’t crowd the walls with pictures – allow for whitespace

There’s a place to cover every inch of wall space with pictures and memorabilia. It’s called a man cave.

When it comes to your web layout, simple is better. Let your pages breathe with whitespace between elements. It provides a visual break for the reader’s eyes and emphasizes those elements that you really want your viewer to see.

If a page looks simple and uncluttered, people will read the content and have a more enjoyable experience, leading to longer visits and more engagement. It’s the intelligent way to lay out your web pages.

Visit our dealer website design gallery.

Walk them to the door – increase conversions with CTA buttons

Neighborly hosts walk their guests to the door. It’s the friendly thing to do.

Same goes for your website. To convert browsing to buying, you need bold Call to Action (CTA) buttons on every page. Those buttons should start with action verbs like “Apply Now” or “Sign Up”.

The buttons should be easy to find. Use white space and contrasting colors to ensure they stand out from the page background. Bright primary colors work best, such as red, green, orange and yellow. Darker colors have lower conversion rates.

Lay out your dealership’s website with these seven effective tips. It’s like leaving a key under mat. The neighbors will invite themselves back any time -- day or night.

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Topics: Tips & Tricks, Dealer Websites


Cherri Jackson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cherri Jackson is Creative Director at ProMax. She can be reached at CherriJackson@ProMaxUnlimited.com

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