So much time is spent on making sure your website is search engine optimized, but I feel that less time is spent on what the customer will see once they have found your site. I thought I would mention a few ideas that you might consider when building your website, updating it, or even if you are just considering whether or not yours is user-friendly.

Simple is not a bad thing. It seems that most people feel that the flashier their website is, the better, however, they do not realize that flash can hurt you more than it can help. Flash on a website cannot be picked up by search engines, so if you have a lot of it on your site, the space it takes up could have been better used applying things that will help you with SEO like images with mouseovers, keywords, etc. Not only does flash hurt you, but it also slows your website down. A slow website is surely one that will be left quickly. OK, so you might not be the coolest looking website without it, but your visitors will definitely appreciate it. Hey, and you will probably have more of them.

Make it easy for someone to find what they are looking for on your site. There is nothing more aggravating than to have to click 3 different times just to find the preowned inventory. Design your website so that everything is a simple click away. One thing to consider here is the different ways to navigate your site. You can have the dropdowns across the top of your page, but you could also have search buttons with the most common areas people want to go (new inventory, preowned inventory, financing, service, etc.) for easy navigating.

Lastly, keep in mind your audience when designing your site. Are most of your customers older and conservative, young and progressive, or family oriented? If you are in Sarasota Florida and selling Cadillacs, your main demographic is an older crowd, so you want to keep your site conservative, you want to avoid a lot of flash, and you want to keep the navigation very simplified. Also, you probably do not want to use graphics with young families loading the vehicle for a vacation as this probably does not interest that customer. If most of your customers are young and progressive, go with colors that would appeal to them and graphics catered to them. If you offer a first time buyer program or have a strong special finance program, you might want to have that info on your home page. If most of your customers are family oriented, again create or use graphics that show families doing things together. Toyota did an awesome job with their “Swagger Wagon” youtube video in their marketing. It makes owning a minivan cool. You can do the same thing with your website. There is no reason why you cannot have fun with it. By the way, if you have not seen that video yet, you should check it out!

In closing, there are many things to consider when looking at your website, and the SEO is of course one of the most important. However, you should make landing on your site a pleasant experience and design it with that in mind. At the end of the day it’s not what YOU want to see on your website but what the customer wants to see.