The single largest problem with websites in the automotive aftermarket industry in Australia is that companies don’t have a clear idea of what actions they want users to perform when browsing the site, and the desired outcomes.
A great website has clearly defined objectives to ensure that there are elements of the site that are geared towards specific actions; like collecting data, purchasing a product, or encouraging them to contact you. One of the most popular forms of data collection we use is developing a company newsletter that users can sign up for via the website. This allows us to collect a database of customers’ email addresses and communicate with them further over time to develop a relationship.
Often a customer will visit a company website once or twice, but if there is no compelling reason to revisit, you may have lost that customer forever. Nine times out of ten, the customer will simply click off your website and you will never hear from them again. You have to start viewing website visitors as very potential customers, and try to develop a relationship with them which we can then convert to sales. You want them to give you their email address and engage with your social media channels to establish solid lines of communication.
Another very important function of an automotive company website in 2012 is mobile optimisation and compatibility. You simply cannot afford in 2012 to have a website that is not optimised for mobile, and you are missing out if you are not offering unique features to engage with mobile users.
In the two years to November 2011, mobile internet usage in Australia surged 71% (source: Nielsen Online Ratings). This trend is rapidly increasing with cheaper technology and wider adoption. The introduction of new devices like the iPad has contributed significantly to the recent rise in mobile browsing. Having a clear online mobile strategy will place you in a great position heading into the future. If you don’t do something about it now, you will be left behind!
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is another area where many companies in the Australian automotive aftermarket industry suffer. In my research of the industry, up to 90% of the websites I encountered are getting the fundamental techniques of SEO wrong. There are basic guidelines that you need to follow, and many websites are not following them. This has a direct impact on how your website shows up on search engines like Google and Bing.
Effective SEO means that your website needs to be able to communicate clearly to a robot. If you don’t have the core fundamentals set up right from the beginning, the search engines won’t have any idea what your web page is about and you won’t show up as highly in search engine rankings.
If your website has not been updated in a long time, it could be hurting both the functionality of your site and the SEO. A lot of websites stay static after they have been built which gives users no incentive to revisit the website. It’s very important to have frequently updated content on company websites to keep them fresh. As the old saying goes; ‘content is king’. The more content you have, the more likely that people are going to be able to find you on the internet; it’s as simple as that.
DBC2 Digital, launched in March 2012, was developed to help automotive businesses in Australia understand and take advantage of the many unknown, untapped opportunities that this new digital space offers. It is important to get your website audited once a year to ensure that it is helping achieve your company’s overall strategic goals. Give DBC2 Digital a call on 03 9305 4006 or visit www.dbc2.com.au to find out how we can help you.