What are the Ideal Sizes for My Image Sliders?

The Strathcom website platform uses multiple aspect ratios for image sliders, which offers flexibility within different responsive views. To make updating your site even easier, we’ve collected the recommended image sizes for our most popular slider ratios. So what are the ideal sizes for image sliders?

What are the ideal sizes for image sliders

The 4 Strathcom Image Slider Aspect Ratios

4:3 – “The Mobile Slider”

For the most part, the 4:3 ratio is garnered for mobile-specific views. This allows your image to be properly sized to the device in both content layout and file sizes for fast loading speeds. We suggest using images at 500×375 pixels.

16:9 – “Tablet and Mobile Views”

Use this aspect ratio for your sliders if you want to use the same image across mobile and tablet devices but want to ensure your pages load quickly. We suggest using images at 960×540 pixels.

68:7 – “Banner View”

This aspect ratio is great for desktop views. Its small form-factor allows for easy placement anywhere on your page without distracting users from your overall website content. We suggest using images at 1800×185 pixels.

21:9 – “Multi-Purpose For All Devices”

The 21:9 ratio option is the most versatile and popular. It can be used for designs on any device or responsive view, from mobile to large desktop screens. We suggest using images at 2100×900 pixels.

Now that you’re armed with knowledge about what are the ideal sizes for image sliders and you’re ready to start up a new PhotoShop document, remember with great power comes great responsibility. Don’t forget to optimize your images; we’ve got a few quick tips to ensure you aren’t slowing down your page load speeds with your amazing promotion slide.

4 Ways to Make Your Mobile Site Better, According to Google Best Practices

In the latest article from  Google Best Practices, Google gave 4 Tips for a Frictionless Mobile Experience. Not all of their tips necessarily apply to the automotive industry, but these are 4 simple ways to make your mobile site better.

Woman using tablet at night, visiting a mobile site

Make it Responsive

Even in 2017, there is a chance your site may not be truly responsive. In order for your site to be responsive, it must automatically adapt to every screen size: desktop, tablet, mobile, and every variation in between. Here is a quick and easy tool you can use to see if your site is responsive or just mobile-friendly.

Make it Quick

We have all visited (and left) sites that took too long to load. Find out what your load time is on both mobile and desktop with Google’s Page Insights Tool.

Make it Pop-Up Free

Pop-ups are to a website as retail employees are to a clothing store. If you are like me, you want to get in the store, get what you are looking for, and get out. Having someone approach me to let me know what the deals are can be helpful, but the more I am approached with offers the harder it makes it for me to just get in and get out. The same is true for pop-ups. I know you want to let them know about everything you have to offer, but the more things you have popping up on their screen, the harder it is for them to get to the ‘Schedule A Test Drive” form.

Make it Easy

Google titles this section Reduce buying friction, and provides ways for advertisers to make the checkout process as easy as possible. Right now this doesn’t completely apply to the auto industry, but I’m sure if you look there is friction in your buying process.

For example, how often do you check that the urls on your ads direct users to the right landing page? Are any of the links on your site broken? When was the last time you secret-shopped your own site to make sure your users aren’t running into any errors? These types of things can create friction in the buying process and make it more difficult for shoppers to get what they are looking for.


Mobile Site Speed Matters. Are you up to speed?

Consumers and search engines have a certain level of expectation for mobile site speed and performance. If your site has problems that go unchecked, it can have a big impact. We have all visited a mobile site that has taken too long to load, got impatient, and left.

Modern Car Speedometer, representing mobile site speed

According to Akamai’s recent Consumer Web Performance Expectations survey, nearly half of all consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less; and according to DoubleClick by Google, despite major advancements in network speeds, most mobile sites don’t measure up. Google data also shows that the average load time for auto sites in the U.S. is 9 seconds; things like third party scripts, images and videos can increase your site’s load time. And don’t get us wrong, it would be silly to remove important things like Chat, vehicle walkarounds, and high quality images just to shave off a second of load time – I would rather wait an extra second and have a better user experience – but if your site is taking longer than the average 9 seconds, you may need to fix some things.

Web pages and customer expectations are evolving, which means it is increasingly important to do occasional website audits. Audits also empower you to manage and continually optimize the user experience. Audits should include finding page errors, checking site speed, looking for faulty links and incorrect page redirects.

How can you improve your mobile speed?
  • Look for ways to optimize your websites content for mobile devices. File sizes can substantially influence loading times.
  • Try and make sure the site elements load in the most efficient order possible, and be sure that the first things people see on the site are ready quickly. Make sure to keep monitoring your site’s mobile speed to continually improve your users mobile experience.
  • Try targeting fewer server requests to optimize load time. If you can ensure only the necessary requests are going through to your mobile site then you are going to create a much smoother and more pleasant mobile experience for your audience.

Start taking steps to improve your sites mobile speed, it does require some daily effort, but is worth the extra attention!

CMS Update: Silent Salesman’s New Style

technology updates with a laptop computer.

Here at Strathcom, we are constantly working on new features and new ways to provide the best experience for our clients. Here are just a few things that we updated in the last week:

New Silent Salesman Styling

Our Silent Salesman tool is just one of the tools we have added to our new website platform. Inspired by Amazon and Expedia, this tool uses scarcity tactics to create a sense of urgency for potential customers viewing a piece of inventory on your site. Last week, we updated the styling of this tool and we added arrows to indicate when the price of the vehicle as recently increased or decreased.

example of update made to the silent salesman toolexample of update made to the silent salesman tool
Incentive Pricing Calculation Fix

You and I know that manufacturers change their incentives every month, but that doesn’t mean your customers do. Our OEM incentive tool automatically pulls incentive data and displays it on your SRP as well as your VDP – it even breaks down the Cash, Finance and Lease information for you. Last week, we deployed an update to correct a small calculation error that some feeds were seeing.

example of our Incentives tool

example of our incentive tool

example of our Incentives tool




For more information on both of these tools, give us a call today or subscribe to our newsletter!

Online Presence: why it is vital in today’s car buying process

typing on a laptop

As consumers, we have more information at our fingertips than ever before. It’s no doubt that the research process during the car buying experience has changed dramatically. According to studies by Google, “consumers in their early research moment, such as which car-is-best or is-it-right for me moments, are signaling intent to visit a dealership within a week”. A visit to your website is ideally followed by a visit to the dealership. So, for automotive retailers, having a strong digital presence is crucial.

According to Google, the car buyers’ thought process looks a little something like this:

  • Which car is best?
  • Is it right for me?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Where should I buy it?
  • Am I getting a deal?
Which car is best?

One of the most impactful mediums for consumers looking to make a vehicle purchase is video. In fact, when buying a car, 69% are influenced by video opposed to other mediums such as TV, newspapers or magazines. When using the search network, the most common searched terms are “[brand/make] + reviews”, “[brand/make] + specs” and “best luxury cars”. 

Is it right for me?

After consumers have narrowed down their search, they begin their hunt to find out if the vehicle is right for their lifestyle and needs. This is where the consumers discover features/options and the interior/exterior aesthetic. This is mainly a visual process, and a majority of time is spent looking at photos. The photo searches of “[brand/make]” is up 37%  and 80% of these searches are now happening on mobile.

Can I afford it? Where should I buy it? Am I getting a deal?

After the first two questions have been answered, the consumer generally begins searching for a dealership. This is where the individual dealer’s web presence will become a factor. Dealers need to make sure that they are showcasing OEM incentives, internal promotions, as well as leasing/financing information. But most importantly, prices need to be shown because that is what the customer is ultimately looking for. Dealers should also make sure that their site provides a positive user experience; something as simple as having an unresponsive webpage can impact whether or not a user decides to visit the dealership.

Dealers also need to utilize tools such as Google+ reviews, automotive forums, Unhaggle, and other mediums that customers use to help them make their decision.car salesman congratulates a family for buying car

Despite the evolving methods of how consumers access information, the end of the process always ends at the dealership. As consumers come into dealerships equipped with their researched knowledge, they expect sales staff to also be product-experts. In order for manufacturers and dealers to fully understand the decision making avenues of the buyer, they must understand the small “micro-transactions” involved throughout the entire procedure. Having a strong digital presence in each of the avenues will always set a dealer ahead of the competition.

To find out more about how to improve your online presence and get more leads, give us a call today or subscribe to our newsletter!

A Look Back at a Successful Year

2016 was a very successful year for Strathcom Media.

We strengthened partnerships, made new partnerships, and even developed and launched a brand new WordPress website platform.

New Website Platform

Last year we had a dream. A dream that resulted in us investing over a million dollars into developing a brand new website platform that was jam packed with new tools for dealers.

Less than a year later, we began moving our dealers onto our all new WordPress platform with technologies like Personalization, Geo-Fencing, Notepad, Silent Salesman and more. This new platform is faster, more secure, and more user friendly so dealers can spend less time making changes to their site and more time selling cars.

New Opportunities with Google

We spent a lot more time with Google in 2016, and even achieved Premier Google Partner status!

In addition to Google breakfasts and hangouts in Vancouver and Toronto, we also held our very first Google event in our hometown of Edmonton, Alberta in June. We also held a contest in September to bring 6 lucky winners to Google’s newest & coolest office in Waterloo, Ontario!

New Partnerships

In 2016 we became a Provider for the Mercedes-Benz Canada Dealer Website Program, and a Preferred Website Vendor for the Kia Dealer Website Certification Program.

We also became a Facebook Marketing Partner and recently hosted our very first Facebook webinar for FCA dealers!

New Conferences

In addition to speaking at conferences like AR Canada and DSES, we also had the opportunity to speak at the first annual Women & Automotive conference in Toronto. We also attended several events including Western Canadian Dealer Summit and ThinkAuto.

We were also included in AR Canada’s Power 200 List for 2016!

New Office

And finally, last month we packed up and moved just up the road into our new office. A new location means a new atmosphere, and a new atmosphere means fresh ideas for the new year.

Thank you to all of our customers for their support, and we look forward to what 2017 has to bring!

Google’s Top 5 Principles from Think Auto

Back in the fall, we attended Google Think Auto and gave you our key takeaways. Now Google has given us their top 5 principles from their 2016 Think Auto research!

Google talked to 5,000 Canadian car buyers while they were in the “thinking”, “researching”, and “buying” stages and found out how Canadians shop for cars and how dealers can reach them in the key moments of their buying journey. We have summarized the results of their research and what these results mean for Canadian car dealers.

customer buying stages

Continue reading “Google’s Top 5 Principles from Think Auto”

Strathcom Media has been Chosen for the Kia Dealer Website Certification Program!

Kia Optima

All of us at Strathcom Media are extremely excited to be named a Preferred Website Vendor for the Kia Dealer Website Certification Program! Kia had great success in 2015/16 with the program and wants to work with only the best moving into 2016/17 to take the program to the next level.

How can a preferred partner help you with the Kia DWCP?

  • Preferred pricing on website products. Who doesn’t love a deal?  With three different website service levels you can select the product that meets your dealership’s needs.
  • We know what Kia is looking for and will ensure you get and maintain a high certification score.
  • Best in class insights and performance.

More specifically, how can Strathcom Media help you?

  • 19 years of experience and the Canadian automotive industry is all we do. We speak at every major automotive event, we train manufacturers, and we work with some of the largest automotive groups in the country. We have the expertise to help you succeed.
  • We are a Google Premier Partner and a Facebook Preferred Partner. This means we can provide you with a best-in-class online advertising solution.
  • World class website platform. Does your website have technology like Personalization, Geo-Fencing, Notepad, Silent Salesman, Inventory Management, Data Syndication and Dynamic Incentive tools? Ours do.

If you are looking for different results moving into 2017 give us a shout and let us show you what we can do differently.

Why Honda Dealers Should Choose Strathcom Media

So, you have decided to have work done on your website or online marketing. But who should you leave in charge? Many dealers figure they’re going to wind up with the same end result no matter the provider. Wrong! Value is what counts, and we are proud to offer just that to our Honda and Acura dealers across Canada2017 Honda Accord Sedan

If you are unaware, we have been working with Honda and Acura Canada for the past 7 years on the Power Honda and CUV program and sending your certified used inventory to a number of different portals.

Our expertise in website design, online advertising, dealer tools, inventory management and much more makes us confident we can help you improve the results you are getting online. Why are we so confident we can help Honda dealers? It’s simple, we have proven ourselves to be a valued partner to Honda and a number of Honda dealers for over 17 years.

Here are a number of other benefits that Strathcom can offer you as a Honda or Acura dealer

Honda CivicStrathcom Media works with Honda to build websites that meet your brand guidelines, making it a smooth experience to develop a website that stands out and converts. You can also increase your online exposure through Strathcom as we can send your inventory to over 70 automotive and media portals across Canada.

Strathcom offers DMS automation and we are a Reynolds and Reynolds certified provider. If that doesn’t sound familiar, this means we can take the information from your DMS and drop it right into the back end of our easy loader market platform where you can adjust pictures, pricing and descriptions very easily.

If you are contemplating entering the online advertising world, or you’re not sure if your money is going to the right place, we can offer you a free online advertising review and we can develop a tailored strategy for your area. We would be happy to audit your campaign and let you know what’s working well and the opportunities available to you to improve your results.

Give us shout, we would be happy to sit down with you and answer any questions you might have!

Website Personalization

personalized starbucks cups

As a millennial, I can admit that I come from a generation of people that like to feel recognized. Afterall, we are the Netflix-watching, Starbucks-drinking, everyone-is-special generation. If you don’t believe me, here are some stats:

  • According to a study by Janrain, 74% of people get frustrated when websites have content, offers, or ads that have nothing to do with their interests.
  • 62% of people under 34 years old are willing to share their location for more relevant content.
  • 40% of consumers will buy more from a retailer that personalizes the shopping experience across all channels.

You might be thinking that these are just a bunch of random percentages and that just because millennials generally shop this way, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to sell this way.


But consider your own experience. Don’t you like being able to have your own, separate Netflix account so you don’t have to dig through the programs your spouse, friends, or your kids watch? Don’t you appreciate it when Amazon shows you the products they know you will be interested in? I don’t know about you, but I appreciate it when companies make things easier for me.

At Strathcom, we know that personalized content is something your potential customers want. This is why we developed our website personalization tool. This tool keeps track of the pages your visitors look at so next time they visit your site they are shown content relevant to their needs.

With our website personalization tool, you are able to customize the image, the video, the messaging, and the calls-to-action based on the inventory viewed by each individual user. If they are a student looking at vehicles that are at a lower price point, you can change the image or video to a small car and the messaging to “check out our vehicles under $10,000”, for example. Or if they are a lawyer looking at more high-end, luxury models, you can change the image to a video slider that showcases luxury details. Since these visitors likely aren’t as interested in special offers as they are in showing up their neighbours, you can change the messaging to “only 2 left in stock” to utilize their fear of missing out.

This is just one of the ways we can personalize your site. For more information on our other tools such as Notepad, Geo-Fencing, and Silent Salesman, drop us a line at info@strathcom.com  or subscribe to our newsletter!