Long gone are the days when few people were Web savvy or Internet illiterate. Toddlers are playing Angry Birds before they learn to tie shoes and almost every purse and pocket has a smart phone in it. There are over 12.5 billion devices connected to the Internet, so those who provide service to these devices undoubtedly have to be on top of the game. So what game are we talking about? Website performance optimization. In this game it’s all about speed, users’ experience and the service provider’s ability to keep those factors working together to benefit the dealership.
Most likely we’ve all experienced the frustration of less than quick service at a restaurant.
An empty glass on the table as the waitress buzzes past for the second time.
Craving an appetizer, knowing the order despite the fact not one server can be found.
The irritation can quickly multiply on an empty stomach. This experience is similar to an end user’s experience on a website that has an inadequate service provider. Slow page loading times lead to users clicking off pages, fast. Google found that a page listing 10 results took 0.4 seconds to generate and a page listing 30 took 0.9 seconds, but had a 20 percent drop in traffic. A half a second caused a 20 percent drop in traffic. With an incredible amount of researching done on dealer’s websites before even taking a step on the lot, think about how easily a sale could be lost if you have a slow website.
Having a provider that stays on top of the game is what counts for a dealership. It simply comes down to sales and lost sales. Amazon knows that for every millisecond it increases speed it will increase revenue one percent. Now, you’re not Amazon but the game hasn’t changed and neither has the user. Users who can’t search your dealership’s online service department menu will likely find a site where they can.
Does your service provider do this for you?
- Update Back End Coding
o Keeping the back end, the behind the scenes, part of a website up-to-date is prime to optimizing a website. Many, many factors can slow down a website and they all happen behind the scenes. A good provider pushes this through without the front end noticing.
- Keep a Look Out for Emerging Technology
o What’s happening in the world of service providers? A good service provider knows– even before the latest tech magazine hits the stands.
- Front End Technology
o Testing and then testing some more. Service providers test on the front end to see if something new will optimize a site even more. If it doesn’t work, or the cost isn’t right, they simply roll it back.
Ranking on page one is the bottom line, isn’t it? When a service provider is keeping your site running at optimal speed Google rewards it.
How does a great service provider help you rank?
- Google’s ever-changing algorithms
o When these updates happen, a website run by a good provider shouldn’t skip a beat because the provider has already done all the work behind the scenes.
- Custom design without affecting speed
o Sites that use flash poorly are slow. Sites can use over 200 kb just in flash. Sites will run the fastest and look the best when built to specifics. Dealers using template sites have to choose between optimization and customization.
- Search Engine Optimization
o A service provider should know the ins and outs of SEO functions when building your site.
There are ways that you can check your site’s speed and the results could indicate it’s time for an upgrade. Simply downloading FireFox’s tool YSlow and installing Firebug will allow you to run tests on your site. Then, you’ll receive suggestions on optimizing your site, and it will even give your site a performance grade.
Our professional opinion is a site should ideally load in five seconds. Obviously that’s very dependent with volume of page content being a significant factor in increasing and decreasing site load time.
DealerFire moves at an incredible pace to keep updating our websites to so they remain fast and secure. DealerFire is the only automotive website design firm in the industry that custom designs every website from the ground up, we never use templates. Our customers know the difference our server provides because their sales are all the proof they need.
Whether your dealership is a single rooftop with one website or you’re running multiple locations with micro sites and mobile sites—the value of a good service provider cannot be stressed enough. The game keeps changing, by 2015 there will be over 20 billion devices connected to the Internet, and right now is the time to ensure your team is stacked.
Jessica Ruth is a Digital Marketing Ace @dealerfire who has a mild infatuation with Twitter and tries to hide her Midwest accent while writing.