When it comes to your website strategy, content remains “king,” but user experience is gaining ground. In fact, beyond speeding shoppers toward conversion, a good user experience is increasingly rewarded by search engines with better page rankings. Here are a few simple best practices that can help you ensure your dealership’s website is optimized for user experience:
Audit your Content frequently.
Misty Weaver of content-insight.com suggests auditing every piece of content on your website for overall relevancy and value. If a pages appears outdated (and aren’t time stamped), it’s time to say goodbye. For car dealerships, this can include:
- Old specials
- Profiles for former employees
- And landing pages for new/redesigned models that have launched (especially those that say “coming soon.”)
Simplify your navigation.
Google is also keeping an eye on how users access content. Specifically, Google wants to see sites that have clean, simple navigation bars. If your site is clogged with too many choices in the navigation, most of which lead to similar pages, it’s time to clean it up. Simply put, visitors shouldn’t have to think too much about where they need to click in order to find the page they’re seeking; it should be obvious from a simple glance. The simple, streamlined navigation on Lithia Mazda of Fresno‘s site provides a good example:
Test your mobile experience.
On the subject of accessibility, Google recently announced it would also be keeping an especially close eye on mobile redirects. What is a mobile redirect? It’s when users are redirected to a mobile website, rather than the full desktop version, after clicking on a link.
This is done in order to decrease load times, simplify navigation and increase readability on touchscreen devices.
In some instances, websites might redirect you from the page you’re seeking to the index page of the mobile site be default. Google considers this a bad user experience because the visitor must then manually navigate back to the page they were initially trying to reach. As you can see, this has the potential to not only impact your rankings, but also to frustrate your customers.
Dealer.com designs its sites to properly redirect mobile users to the correct page every time. And if there’s no mobile version of the page the user is trying to access, they’ll be asked if they’d like to load up the full HTML version of the page instead. If you’re not running a Dealer.com site, it’s worth loading up a page on a mobile device for yourself to see if your platform is properly redirecting users. If it’s not, follow up with your provider. Google is keeping a much close eye on this, so your rankings depend on it!
In the end, creating a solid user experience is about delivering relevant content in a way that requires the fewest clicks possible. And this makes perfect sense, too. The less time users spend navigating your site, the more time they have to start admiring the vehicles in your showroom.
Joe Evans and Katie Moss are SEO Copywriter Team Leads for Dealer.com.