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Communication Is Key

Prep your website for the spring riding season

Spring riding season will be in full swing this month, and for many powersport enthusiasts the excitement of riding outdoors and planning their adventures is just one click away from your website. Customers are thinking about new apparel, service, accessories, vehicles, spring/summer events and so much more. I’ve worked with hundreds of dealers throughout my years, and when spring riding season arrives, there’s a sense of excitement within the dealership and within customers that enter the store. That excitement starts with your website! You will see an increase in visitors to your website in the spring because customers have a need or a want, and your website should provide your customers with information that gets them excited to come to your dealership for all their powersport needs.

The job of your website is to provide your customers with rich content and current information, so the call of action is the customer wanting more. Just remember that your website acts as a virtual customer service and sales representative for your dealership, and I guarantee the majority of your customers are coming to your website before stepping foot in your store. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a website that not only engages the customer but also provides content of value.

Every month your site should have a stream of new and relevant content. Don’t over-think this process; your content can be simple.

Here are a few recommendations and tips to make sure your content is web ready.

Content setup as a visual aid:
Visually you want your content to be legible and easy to read. The content throughout the site should have a consistent font size, color and style. When highlighting text, bold the words or use a different font color, but don’t incorporate the colors of the rainbow all over your site. Another no-no is using a large type face within the whole paragraph. Larger type faces are recommended with titles or to highlight something of importance within your text, but that’s it. Keep it simple. If you can easily read the text and if your eye is drawn to a section that’s highlighted in a different color, that’s a great setup. Keep it professional looking and easy to read.

Keep focused and concise:
Always try to put the most important information first. If the title states "What’s New at ABC Dealership for Spring," make sure you start it off with one of the main focuses to your title to draw the customer in. Think about the order of importance when writing your text. Also, remember to keep your content concise and to the point, especially if it’s content for the homepage. Use keywords like "Just In," "What’s New" or "A Must See" to help engage your customers to read your text. If there’s additional information for a customer to read, add this information to another page and provide a "Read More" link.

Repeat without copying:
Repeating information in different sections of the site is beneficial, however, try not to copy and paste the exact same phrasing. Every page should have some fresh content, and if you do have the same content on different pages throughout the site, try changing the title or intro text to vary your content. This technique is also good for the search engines.

Links within your content:
Linking to other sections of the site is a great way to keep visitors on your site browsing for more. If you’re talking about a service, vehicle, event or anything within the site where you can access additional information, create a link within your content using specific keywords. For example: "New Spring Apparel Now Available Online." Within this sentence, I recommend "Spring Apparel" as a link to a specific catalog or section of your site so customers can browse to see the new product you have at the store and online. Add links where it’s appropriate, and just remember never to make your customers work to find additional information that you’re promoting.

Proofread:
Always proofread your text for spelling and grammatical errors. A customer could interpret these errors as your store’s lack of attention to detail, and these errors are simply unprofessional.

It can be a challenge to add fresh content to the site every month. However, I recommend you get your department managers involved. I understand they already have a lot on their plate, but if they can spend five minutes every month putting together a list of their announcements, specials, department news, tips and more, it can make a huge difference. In your monthly or weekly meetings one of the topics should always be the website, especially if you’re discussing your monthly marketing strategies. The more people that are involved with the site, the more you’ll get out of the site. Everyone’s input at the dealership helps create fresh new content for the site! Just remember the basics mentioned above and keep it simple. Give your customers what they want: updated content about what’s going on at your dealership. Follow these tips and your site will be a success.

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