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Why You Need to Treat Every Website Page Like It's Your Home Page


Sara Towner, Cobalt Account Advocate
by Sara Towner, Cobalt Account Advocate

Like most of us, when you think of your website you picture the home page. Much like shoppers browsing the magazine racks, the cover, or home page, of your website is most likely to grab the attention of automotive Internet shoppers right away.

 

When talking with my dealers, we definitely spend a lot of time on the cover story for the home page. We take time to personalize and brand the home page, making sure the content that is most important is at the top of the page and the first thing the consumer sees. Building the cover of the home page is your chance to show a visitor what you are all about. It's a key opportunity to build your brand and define what differentiates you from other dealerships.

 

As with many things, first impressions count. But there are no guarantees that your home page will be a shopper's first impression. So it's important to treat every page like it's the first and only page a consumer will see. Your website’s interior pages are just as important as the home page, and should receive the same time, attention and customization as the home page. Let me show you why.

 

In talking with several dealers, analyzing their website traffic and examining the way consumers shop (myself included), the truth is that many visitors won’t land on the home page on their first visit. Thanks to finely tuned search engines (think the big three: Google, Yahoo, & Bing), most organic search results list interior pages on the results page.

 

For example: In the the search results for Cobalt, you can see that several interior pages are listed in addition to the Cobalt home page. Looking for a phone number? Just click the Support link.

 

search engine results page

 

 

The home page is still a draw, but more savvy shoppers are on the hunt for a specific result. And if you're leveraging a dynamic digital advertising solution, shoppers will be landing on designated interior pages on the site when following a paid search link or display ad.

 

The idea is to make an impact on the visitor no matter what page on your website they see first. Here are two important rules to follow when creating any page on your dealership website.

  • Branding
    Branding and contact information should be visible on every page. This can be achieved by having a masthead with your logo and contact information as well as consistent navigation links. This is pretty basic stuff, but you'd be surprised how often this step is overlooked.
  • Focus
    Having a call to action and focus for each page is also a must. If a certain model or profit center is the focus on your home page, there should be calls to action for those same focuses on the interior pages. If there are calls to action on the page, make sure they link to the appropriate profit center or inventory pages. Dead end pages can lead to more site exits.

Consistent Focus Across all Pages

 

When adding content to your interior pages, it's important to follow the same rules as you do with your home page. Your business goals and website focus should be consistent throughout the website. Use your entire website to take the visitor to your most important pages based on your business goals and strategy. It'll go a long way towards creating a positive shopping experience that inspires visitors to return to your site during their car-shopping journey.

 

 

 

About the Author

Sara Towner, Cobalt Account Advocate Sara Towner is an Account Advocate on the Volkswagen team at Cobalt. She works with VW dealers to identify and implement digital marketing strategies to align with their dealership’s goals and business needs. Sara has a background in website and email marketing and holds an Art History degree from Western Washington University. Born and raised in Seattle, she stays involved in the community volunteering with Girls on the Run of Puget Sound, Washington Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association and coaching lacrosse at Mercer Island High School. You can reach Sara directly at towners@cobalt.com.

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Tags: Sara Towner, automotive marketing, dealer marketing, dealer website optimization, dealership websites, internal page optimization

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Comment by Ralph Paglia on September 28, 2013 at 12:58am

There is no doubt that dealers must be diligent and not treat their online assets as "set it and forget it" systems...

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