In an age of “hybrid synergy drive”, CVT’s and FWD, you may be wondering what purpose an archaic, performance-focused flagship vehicle can serve?
Often complex, under produced and over-engineered, halo cars can be described as a figurehead of a brand. They act as a symbol of a brands research, ability and image. One could argue it to be so much more than a symbol to a manufacturer, a flagship vehicle serves one of two purposes. Primarily, drawing eyes both young and old to a distinct brand. Additionally, a flagship vehicle can enthrall and inspire buyers into purchasing a brands comparable models. In doing so, a halo car helps sell a large number of “mainstream” vehicles to consumers. Whether they’re as common as a Miata, or perhaps as rare as Mercedes’ Maybach series, each serve a purpose.
Take the Scion FR-S (now Toyota 86), for example. This small performance coupe served the purpose of bringing in young, upcoming buyers, buyers who might be searching for performance and aesthetic appeal at the moment, but will likely find themselves needing to trade into something larger and more utilitarian down the road. This buyer has spent the last number of years building a relationship with Toyota, and Toyota now has a particular advantage when it comes time for the buyer to make that upgrade and buy a new vehicle.
Further, buyers may feel inspired by a flagship vehicle’s performance metrics or luxury offerings to the level at which it will influence their next purchase. An example of this would be those seeking an Audi RS Model after being influenced by the acceleration, looks, and overall presence of an Audi RS7. The buyer decided to pursue the closest option he could achieve – the Audi A7. The A7’s 333hp 3.0-liter turbo engine may not enjoy the same potency as the RS7’s 605hp 4.0-liter turbo engine, however the buyer has achieved similar styling, luxury, engineering and presence.
So what are halo cars used for? These distinct luxury or performance oriented vehicles serve a much more prominent role than simply portraying a manufacturers potential. These figurehead models ensure similar vehicles are sold in large numbers so dealers can facilitate in generating lifelong customers.
Every year when January rolls around you vow to get in shape, save money, or spend more time with loved ones. But what goals do you set for your website? In the spirit of new beginnings, Strathcom has come up with some resolutions to tidy up your website and make your dealership the best it can be in 2015.
Here are our five picks for best site improvement resolutions for the year ahead and how to achieve them:
1. Technical Clean Sweep
There are always some pesky technical pieces that need to be checked and updated, so keep this list handy for next year:
Copyright date in the footer
Your “About Us” page: Is the map correct? Are key staff names, bios, and phone numbers updated?
Meta Data: Are your page titles and descriptions the right length? (55 and 115 characters, respectively)
Dead or Broken Links? Try running a link checker on the site to identify any link issues that need to be addressed.
Browser Test: Try using the website on different web browsers like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
Lead Testing: Ever heard of eating your own dog food? Test out all your lead forms as a customer would. This is a good way to root out any problems.
2. Content Audit
Your website is an investment and the content is its most valuable currency. Some things to look for:
Current Model Year Info: Ensure all your landing pages reflect the latest model year information, videos, and images.
Inventory Update: Have you updated the descriptions for last year’s inventory? What about clearout pricing and incentives?
Irrelevent Pages: Check Google Analytics and determine the most visited pages. Consider adding links to less visited pages, or perhaps deleting them altogether if they don’t serve your brand or marketing goals.
Blog: When was your last post? Is your blog being kept up to date and being used to its full potential?
Duplicate Content: Use a service like Siteliner to check your site for duplicate content that could be hurting your SEO efforts. Ensure only the most relevant keywords are being used.
You probably already own a domain or two for your website, but did you know about these practices?
Renew your domains for as long as possible: Usually it’s cheaper that way, plus search engines favor long-term sites so it’s an additional SEO boost.
Ensure URL redirects are done: Make sure all variations of the same domain point to the same place (.ca, .com, .net should all point to your primary domain).
Your primary domain should be your oldest: Use a domain age checker to see which is your oldest domain and make the most of its rank authority.
Buy negative domains: Purchase any domains related to your brand, even the negative ones. Buying your own equivalent to mydealershipsucks.com can save a lot of headaches in the long run in case a competitor or irate customer decides to buy it instead.
4. UX Performance
Whenever you talk about websites, you need to consider the user experience. Whether it’s through slick graphics or excellent content, the user is really the one you should please—not yourself. Some items to check to keep your users happy:
Homepage: This is huge. Your homepage should be interesting and inviting while relating the primary objective of the website—to sell cars. Before making any large changes, consult your data. It might not be necessary to do a complete overhaul; usually, a small tweak like changing colors or adding a new graphic can give it a boost.
Relevancy: Old content can become frustrating if it becomes out of date or inaccurate. It should be revised, archived, or removed.
Make data a priority: If you don’t have user tracking on your site, now is the perfect time to add it. Incorporate heat mapping, or click Scrolling Tools to really see how your customers engage with your site.
Sluggish website performance is terrible for SEO. How quickly does your site load? Could it be speedier?
Use Google Page Speed Insights to find what slows your site down. Sometimes, simple changes can improve your load speed. If you have a score over 70 then you’re doing well, but aim for 80s.
There you have it! Some quick and easy things you can do right now to start 2015 off in the right direction for your dealership.