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.

 

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!

Form Creation: Avoid Frustration for You and Your Customers

If you’ve ever had to fill out a form online, you’ve probably run into some of the problems that arise with them. When you don’t put care and consideration into creating a form, they can easily become frustrating for both the customer filling them out and the company receiving them. There are many ways to simplify the process, from label awareness to simple design considerations. Setting up your form right in the first place will keep a customer from getting scared away when first visiting the page or while filling out the form.

Give Yourself Some Space

One of the huge advantages to online forms is that they are not limited to the size of the paper they are printed on. Increased padding and space between sections can make the form easier to read and fill out. Separating sections distinctly with background colours or borders can make it easy for a customer to skim the document and double check individual sections.

Seperating your fields into sections simplifies a form.

Labels

Labels can make or break a form’s functionality – literally, in some cases. Keep labels as simple as possible for easy skimming, and make sure they are clear and concise. Placing labels within a larger titled section can shorten them: for example, skip writing “Your” in front of every single contact information label by putting the entire section under a “Personal Information” header. You can also make labels more functional than simple text. If you assign a “for” property to a label, you can assign a matching id to the corresponding input field. This makes the label clickable and automatically places the typing cursor in the text field, increasing the area a customer can click to start typing. Neat! You can make this feature even more obvious by adding label{cursor: pointer} to your css. For checkbox or radio fields, labels can also increase clickability and ease-of-use. Wrap your entire checkbox field and text description in a label to make the entire area clickable. Adding a “for” label and matching id to your form fields also allows blind or sighted customers using a screen reader to easily identify form fields.

Clickable labels increase usability.

Tab Order

Depending on how you’ve set up your layout, tabbing through a form might not produce the desired results. Tabbing can make form completion very quick, for those used to using it. To assign a custom tab order to your form, use the tabindex property on your input fields. The default tab order of a form is the order they have been placed within the html. To aid a customer tabbing through a form, instead set your fields to tab from left to right, in reading order. Start your tabindex at one for the first field, and work your way down!

Keep the height and number of fields down to keep your customer on the page.

Minimize Form Fields and Required Fields

Nothing is more daunting than an online form with a tiny scrollbar and dozens of fields. To keep your customer on the page, minimize the number of fields wherever possible. If the information is not absolutely required or not immediately useful – skip it! Generic email contact forms should be reduced to Name, Email, Message, and an optional phone number. Keeping the number of required fields down will also help a customer feel more comfortable filling out the form, especially if they are only asking a simple question about the product and don’t want to fill out their entire address to do so.

Responsive Fields

Another advantage of online forms is the ability to control what options are shown to the customer. You can minimize your form fields and reduce confusion by hiding options that are not available to the customer. For example, if you have a Yes/No question asking if the customer currently owns a car, you can hide the fields asking about the vehicle if they select no, and show them when they select yes. This can be done using a simple jQuery onchange statement.

Concise, simple, and clean are the rules to follow for form design.

A Clean Form is a Happy Form

Combining the tips above with traditional design rules will give a good first impression to a customer visiting your form. It will also increase their ability to fill out your form quickly and easily. Combine these tips with proper client-side validation and you’ll end up with a form that both your customers and your company find simple to use and understand.