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There are countless website providers beating down your doors and crashing through the phones. Some have great products and some have not-so-great products. Dealers need to understand that websites are not products. They are pets.
If you believe your website is a ‘leave-it-alone and let it do it’s thing’ robot, your website is going to be a misbehaving, costly animal. They should not be plug and play. They can’t be left alone for too long or they’ll chew the leg of your new couch and not benefit you one bit. Yet far too many dealer websites sit unattended, poorly cared for, or viewed as an afterthought. They should not simply be chosen, hired, launched live, and let to live out its life alone under the domain. Websites should not be lifeless.
A great website is a living, breathing organism. It needs to be looked after, cared for. It is alive, much like a pet. And with the proper care and maintenance will serve you well into the future.
So how do you make sure your website is alive?
Make sure it not only has a name (domain), but is registered (across the business listing sites) as well.
Dress it with lively conversion tools, but not too many or you'll suffocate it.
Make sure you have ever-changing, dynamic calls-to-action, but not too many or you'll confuse it.
Raise it to be responsive to all environments, be it mobile, tablet or desktop. (It should be able to adapt its behavior to the device. You can’t just have a lap dog.)
Give it the occasional scrub and face-lift. A nice grooming and homepage refresh goes a long way to understanding functionality (especially if you A/B test the looks).
Feed it with quality content, forever growing the pages. (Don’t let it sit dormant or it will wither away.)
Show it around, say its name, and make others aware of its presence.
Update its information, give it new tags, and be social with it.
If you constantly add to your website, exercise it, and feed it, it will grow. It will get big and strong and generate you more traffic than you’ve ever had. Like a good website should.
Understand this takes work. It takes a team. While we at DealerKnows aren’t website providers, one of our first priorities is to bring our clients’ websites back to life. In that respect, we are website veterinarians. We make sure dealers know how to keep them healthy, prescribe the right diets and exercise, and help groom them. It needs to be one of your top priorities as well. Know that website maintenance takes time, knowledge, a little bit of money, and a lot of focus.
So, ask yourself, how much attention am I (and my provider) paying to my website? If you’ve left it there to die, it’s time to resuscitate it or get a new one. If you have a living, breathing website like I’ve described above, great job. Now don’t stop caring for it, and it will keep you happy for a long time. What are you doing to keep your website alive and kicking?