At one point, I was J. Jonah Jameson. When I left the dealership world and hit the vendor side over seven years ago, I learned from necessity that website add-ons were not a good idea. At the time, many were flash, most made the website load slowly, and few did much more than cannibalize leads that the website would have provided anyway had the add-on not been in play.
Fast forward to the last couple of years and things have changed. Websites are, for the most part, better now than they were just a short time ago to the point that they have become commodities. An argument can be made between adaptive and responsive, but otherwise the debates about proper lead-generation are pretty much behind us. That’s not to say that the website providers in our industry are doing it right. They’re just doing less wrong at equal degrees.
Over the last few months, I’ve been digging deeper into ways to improve website performance. Since my company does not build software, I’ve had to explore dozens of products in order to present to my clients ways that they can improve their website experience. At the end of the day, that’s what it really comes down to: experience. Shooting for pure “lead generation” is no longer reasonable. Yes, websites generate leads, but people are more skeptical today about leaving their information through the various online forms. It’s for this reason that improved experience will generate stronger appeal, more phone calls, and more showroom visits rather than just more lead form submissions.
Here are some of the things that I’ve explored. [Read more…]