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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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DealerOn

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Exclusive Blog Posts

5 Avoidable Ways that Car Dealerships Can Reduce Staff or Customer Injuries and Liability

5 Avoidable Ways that Car Dealerships Can Reduce Staff or Customer Injuries and Liability

The National Automotive Dealer Association (NADA) data for 2016, revealed that there are 16,708 franchised dealerships in the United States, who sold a rec…

Tips on Finding and Hiring Salesmen Who Have Experience

Tips on Finding and Hiring Salesmen Who Have Experience

Your dealership can't thrive without an experienced sales force. The trickiest part of this equation is finding "rock star" salespeople to he…

New Site Links from Google in Mobile Search

New Site Links from Google in Mobile Search

In thinking of a mobile first world, Google has rolled out new site links to the search results on mobile search.  Historically, Google would award…

What Your Dealership Should Look for in Insurance Coverage

What Your Dealership Should Look for in Insurance Coverage

When a person decides to start a car dealership, insurance needs to be part of their planning. It is a requirement for a dealership to have vehicle insuran…

The Power Of A Physical Location In A Digital World

The Power Of A Physical Location In A Digital World

Everything is moving to digital, does that mean that your location isn’t valuable? New research shows that your physical location could be your most …

Responsive Websites are not Created Equal

Responsive Dealer Websites

It’s easy to follow the trends. There is such an abundance of information out there regarding the latest strategies and techniques in marketing that companies will often hop on bandwagons and ride them until they show signs of slowing down. Responsive website design falls into this category.

We saw the signs that Google and other technology companies were putting out back in 2012 and quickly decided that this was the future of car dealer websites. However, our research showed that the technology had to be perfected before it would make sense in our industry because dealer websites are built differently than just about any other type of website on the internet. Speed counts. Quality makes a difference. Following the basic premise of responsive website design is not enough to make it valid for car dealers.

In case you’re unfamiliar with responsive website design (RWD), here’s a quick explanation. With RWD, websites are coded to fit appropriately based upon the device, screen size, and screen orientation. Unlike adaptive or mobile websites, responsive websites present a uniform style and functionality on mobile devices, tablets, and desktops, making them ideal for the car business which requires multiple website visits before customers come in to make a purchase.

The challenge is that there is so much content in the form of images, videos, buttons, and widgets on a dealer’s website that serving them all through a 3G internet connection can be challenging. This is why some companies have stayed with mobile sites. We have solved this challenge with our responsive websites, but not everyone who is pushing their responsive technology has taken this into account.

Speed is extremely important when it comes to both SEO and user experience. Making a website responsive is easy. Making it load at appropriate speeds across all devices is more difficult, which is why dealers should use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get a feel for whether or not a responsive solution is properly built to handle all internet speeds.

There’s more to it than speed, though. A huge part of creating the proper user experience is making sure that the interface on a mobile device operates to take advantage of the small screen. There are advantages to having everything consolidated into the palms of our hands. We can be more focused on each individual component rather than missing the trees for the forest as is often the case with a busy desktop website. As we discussed on our blog, there are important things that must be taken into consideration with responsive websites and how website visitors can interact with them on their smartphones.

Most companies in our space are heading in the direction of responsive website design because it’s the way that websites should operate, particularly in the automotive industry. However, don’t fall into the trap of believing that any old responsive website will do the trick. We’ve done the research. We’ve identified the pitfalls and we’ve figured out how to make responsive websites work in our industry. We might not be the only ones, but there are plenty out there that fall short. Be aware.

PAUL ACCINNO
Ali, You ended by saying, "Be aware." I'd like to change that concept a bit to be more forceful. "Beware!" You're absolutely correct that not all responsive websites are the same. We, too, took a long look at responsive back in the early days and spent a great deal of time, energy, and money perfecting the way that the website operate in order to get all of the benefits of RWD without sacrificing speed and UX. As DealerFire noted, fast is important but it isn;t everything. Dealers should be taking the entire digital marketing picture into account before hopping on the RWD bandwagon with any old vendor that claims to be doing it right. We respect what both companies mentioned have been able to do and we feel that we fall into the same category of being one of the great ones out there in a sea of poor options. RWD is definitely the future of dealer websites and we're happy to offer what we consider to be the best in class within this important trend.

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