Your dealer website can make or break your business. A majority of your sales begin with your website, and If your site was difficult to find, navigate, or didn’t provide a great user experience, that customer probably went elsewhere. The question comes up often; should you consistently revamp your existing site, or start out fresh? With rapidly evolving technology, entirely new frontiers coming into play, and tried and true SEO best practices, you cannot afford to ignore your online presence, especially your website.

Your site’s architecture will provide a good clue as to the proper path to take. If your site was created in .net/XML or similar flexible architecture, your options are much broader and you will be able to consistently update and modify your site to incorporate new technology, or add or remove content quickly. If your site is more than a few years old, and you are paying a developer on a regular basis to do major reworking of the site, you probably are ready to move to one of the infinitely more flexible website platforms. Site architecture will also have a great impact on SEO.

Does your site provide the ability to create URLs that are keyword rich? Can you tailor the URL to the content on the page? As they say, “the URL is king”, and if your site does not offer this ability, it’s time to look for a new site, because you are missing out. Utilizing a keyword rich URL can lead a customer directly to the content they are looking for, and that’s the objective of every web search.

An example of a keyword rich URL:

http://www.liquidmotors.com/Dealer-Inventory-Management/Mobile_Data_Collection.aspx

If you are a Lot Services Company seeking a new mobile data collection solution, you will land right where you want to be.

Setting up backlinks is a strategy that you don’t hear much about on the automotive best practices sites. A backlink is a link that is directed to your website from another website. The quality and quantity of backlinks is an indication of your site’s relevance and will result in higher ranking in search engine results pages. Google and other search engines relate the backlink to the content of the site to determine relevance, so linking up with other sites within the automotive space makes more sense than linking up with a frozen yogurt shop. Having your webmaster actively seek and set up backlinks with relevant sites will pay you back with more visitors.

Website best practices are some of the most discussed and debated online topics, and not just in the automotive space, but all industries. Being educated, obtaining information from multiple sources, or hiring a reputable website developer to manage these activities, is certainly a smart way to keep your site relevant and driving customers to content they are seeking. Get the foundation set and grow from there with a flexible website architecture and make a concerted effort to grow your backlink relationships now, not later will put you ahead of the curve. I welcome your feedback.

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