Just about anyone who has been on the internet in the past couple of decades has fallen victim to the unfortunate fraud of contact form ambiguity. You fill out a form in order to get some information or to be contacted by someone, only to receive the wrong information or to be contacted by the wrong (or even multiple) people. It has gotten to the point that contact forms in general often leave a negative taste in web surfers’ mouths.
Moreover, they rarely have the right information even in the forms themselves. It’s common to be filling out a form and not have all of the information necessary to know if you’re filling out the right form or not. This is not only a pain, but it can be dangerous as well. Between privacy issues and the need for transparency, collecting information on the internet has gained a bad but deserved rap.
Earlier this week I wrote a controversial piece about responsive website design that brought the ire of professionals within my industry and a flood of emails calling me all sorts of names. Yes, there were those who agreed as well, but they were the minority.
In retrospect, I sold out. I looked at the data, saw how responsive websites were not performing very well on mobile devices in industries that were heavy on data, and came to the conclusion that adaptive was a better solution for some. I stand by that statement based upon practicality, but there’s an addendum to that answer: if you want to do the absolute best practice possible, it would be to build your website from mobile up rather than from PC down.
It’s always easier to make a site more complex than to simplify it. Adding features is simply easier than taking them away. If you build your websites with the following three ideas in mind, you have the greatest chance for success:
Mobile is huge and getting huger. Assume that your website will be accessed as much if not more on mobile devices in the near future than on big screens.
People love mobile designs because they’re used to them. If a website displayed on a PC operates much the same as it would on a mobile device, it will perform better. That’s not to say that you need to sacrifice design or make your website look amateur on a big screen, but strive to make it “mobilesque”.
Touchscreen functionality and the art of scrolling rather than clicking is becoming more of a “thing” for desktop websites. Keep that in mind when you build pages.
If you take into account how your website will load, operate, and perform on mobile devices and build up from there, you will find that your overall website performance will improve. The problem with responsive websites in some industries is that they cram as much as they can to fill out the big screen and then it looks terrible and performs poorly on the small screen. Work from the small screen up and the website will do better regardless of the device.
The “Daily Deals” model has been a rocky road of late for companies like Groupon and Living Social, but Dealers United has shown tremendous success in it’s “Deal of the Month” offerings to car dealers. This month’s deal, a website and SEO offer with KPA, is now in its final week.
This deal is exceptional in many ways. As car dealers become accustomed to challenges they face with their website vendors, having one with a proven track-record and measurable search engine success is at the top of mind for the most web-savvy and aggressive dealerships.
In the end, it comes down to 3 things:
Commitment (and no commitment)
When KPA purchased TK Carsites last year, one component that had been challenging to get used to was the long-term commitment that is inherent with most website offerings. The high-quality vendors all have one-year or longer contracts, while the low-quality website vendors hook dealers into ineffective website platforms with month-to-month offerings. As part of Dealers United’s charter, their deals must be month-to-month and must utilize the services of the company who has the best product on the market. This created a catch-22.
KPA demonstrated the commitment to quality necessary to win the Dealers United offer, then accepted the challenge of doing so without a long-term contract. This in itself is enough to compel dealers who really want to get ahead to switch providers to a true partner in their online marketing efforts. KPA is making the commitment to quality while not requiring Dealers United members to make a commitment in term. That alone makes the deal exceptional, but it goes further…
With 40% off the website platform and 53% off the optional SEO attached to the deal, Dealers United has delivered to their members something that has never and will never be offered again.
The Elite SEO product alone is normally priced at $2499 per month, but the Dealers United deal offers Elite SEO and a website for less than that. This is normally not possible; KPA Elite SEO is the highest level available from any vendor in the automotive industry and requires a tremendous amount of constant improvement to work effectively and keep ahead of changes in Google and Bing. The only reason it can be offered is because of the bargaining clout that Dealers United and its 4000 members hold in the industry.
The Connect Platform
KPA’s prowess in SEO is unquestioned – a Google search for “Automotive SEO” demonstrates who truly understands how to optimize websites in the industry.
Website platforms are much more subjective. Everyone claims to have the best. Everyone claims to have the best lead conversion, the easiest interface, and the most robust functionality. Who is correct? What is real?
KPA Connect was designed with search, social, and conversion as the cornerstones of the platform. It is one that is fluid – there’s no need to upgrade or replace it when improvements are made. The platform grows based upon changes in the industry, keeping dealers on the cutting edge of marketing in the automotive industry.
Flexibility is a key to any website platform and looking at Lebanon Ford, Holiday Automotive, and other KPA website clients shows how much flexibility the platform allows.
Between the month-to-month aspect, the tremendous discount, and the power of the KPA Connect platform, dealers who want the competitive advantage required for success in today’s competitive digital marketing environment must take advantage of this deal before it ends on August 31st. To do otherwise would be a mistake.
The vast majority of websites are not targeting properly. It’s that simple. They’re doing the “spray and pray” technique (if you’re not a first person shooter fan, sorry for confusing you) which can still be effective in bulk, but it’s definitely less elegant and about as effective as the wishbone formation would be in today’s NFL (more apologies for another obscure analogy).
If you check your analytics, you’ll find that an extremely small portion of your website visitors are pushing the buttons you worked so hard to position on your website’s homepage. A recent batch of data that I saw (that I, unfortunately, cannot reference yet) shows that those Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social buttons are being completely overlooked by most of your visitors.
Sometimes, a URL leads you to exactly what you expect. Other times, it takes you to blank pages, advertising link pages, or just plain dumb stuff.
This list of 10 (plus 4 dishonorable mentions) includes excellent domain names with great type-in traffic (at least they did back in the day when people still relied on type-in traffic) that just don’t give you anything that you can use.
Our personal favorite: Hot.com takes you to a campaign video for Dennis Kucinich. Not all that hot anymore, if he ever was hot.