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 01-30-2004, 09:13 Post: 75459
Art White



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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

All right surfers, we are about to do a new website and I'm wondering what you look for or would like to see in a dealers website! Chief, I know you are looking all the time but we are looking to make it easy for you as well as us and we want to have more content then we have availble now.






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 01-30-2004, 09:40 Post: 75460
BillMullens

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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

Art,
Regardless of content, I just don't visit sites that take a long time to load. Most of this county is still on a phone dial-up internet service provider, so the graphics intense, flash animation, high-resolution web pages just aren't worth the bother for me.
As for content, I always enjoy listings or thumbnail pics of used equipment that is available, along with specials in parts and equipment.
Not really business related, but pics and bios of some of the dealership personnel lets me know who I'm talking to if I call or e-mail.

Bill






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 01-30-2004, 10:05 Post: 75462
blizzard



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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

Art,
In the 'Product Lines' area there are a lot of not linked products. If there is no Mfg. website to link to, please give some info about sizes, prices, or contact info. Two examples are Elevators and Gratz Chain.
In the 'Equipment for Sale' area, catagories with no items are listed, leading to a lot of useless browsing. It would be nice if the drop-down catagory selector would either:
list the number of items available or,
not show 'empty' catagories.

There are possibly some copyright issues, but manufacturer options, like power beyond, mid-pto, and heavy-duty buckets that are not always installed on purchase might be listed.
Extra nice if a general cost range or minimun cost could be included.

As Bill mentions, speed and information are important. I don't need music or strange formats that use a special reader to use. Keep things universal, so us dialup, old-computer, non-XP, non-Windoze, surfers will find the site useful and (hopefully) BUY. The site should provide useful information no matter which browser is used, even lynx (text-only) without too many annoying error messages.


Thanks for asking,
bliz






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 01-30-2004, 10:15 Post: 75463
Art White



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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

WE are going with a totally new site developer. The old one doesn't offer the options and we have an offer from a company that we can't refuse! Some of the Case-IH and New Holland dealers are currently using them the name being Tom Rowe associates.






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 01-30-2004, 11:02 Post: 75467
kwschumm



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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

I don't bother with web sites that are slow on dial-up lines. This means a site should be clean and simple with small graphics images. No flash or special readers and it should be universally designed to work on all browsers. It's nice when small images can be clicked on and zoomed. No pop-ups either. Pop-up use is abused so often that many people use pop-up blockers. No SpyWare - it's rude to collect data from people who visit your site.

As far as content, it would be great to have specs and prices on the equipment. Keep it all current and offer regular specials to encourage visitors to return often. People who are browsing often aren't sure what options are required (SCVs for loaders, power beyond for backhoes, etc) so it would be nice to have option requirements for major attachments. Make it easy for people to notify you of corrections or problems with the site content. As mentioned, a used equipment inventory with pictures and prices would be great. I think it would be a good idea to allow people to register for a weekly/biweekly/monthly newsletter of specials and used equipment you have in stock. Make it clear what you can and can't ship out of state. Keep everything up-to-date - failure to do so says to your visitors that you are disorganized and willing to let things slide.






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 01-30-2004, 11:14 Post: 75469
Chief



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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

Art, one of my favorite and user friendly sites is Lawn & liesure. Very simple yet gets right to the info. I want. A format similar to this might be something to consider.






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 01-30-2004, 11:20 Post: 75471
kubotaguy



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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

I definitely like to see prices, not necessarily a dead set price but at least a ball park figure. A place to e-mail questions to, but the catch to this is that all e-mails are responded to within 24 to 48 hours. A parts section may be helpful as well.






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 01-30-2004, 11:27 Post: 75473
shortmagnum

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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

Art/Chief, I also like the sites that give you a directory right away. I don't read the dealership promotional propaganda, at least not right away.

One thing that you rarely see that might be intesting are pictures of the service area and service personnel. As an earlier posting mentioned, putting faces on your people could be helpful.






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 01-30-2004, 15:34 Post: 75493
lamarbur



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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

simplified, cut down on high end graphics that get some mad waiting to load, and most important to me, at least some prices listed for new and used. It's the old "no ticky, no shirty" when buying theory. Do like the big 3 Ford, GM, Chrysler and post some low costs new, of course very few options, and some used prices. My in laws- 50 years as Chrysler and IH truck found out to never put in the paper, please call for price or not to lists any prices. When they did this, nothing. At least with listing a plain Jane BX and maybe a plain Jane 3130 or something,and a few used, you create traffic. The web is nothing more than a glorified newspaper that is easier to obtain and quicker to read






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 01-31-2004, 08:08 Post: 75535
TomG

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 Howto Design Dealer Web site

Art: I share the ideas of most others here. I find current 'site style' interferes rather than helps me finding what I want--going around in circles and reading around a bunch of graphics clutter doesn't earn any good will from me. I'd add that maybe a list of PIPS available and similar content might be interesting. I do read the few monthly newsletters I sign up for. You probably already have thought through what a site is supposed to do for you but it's important to do so. It could be developing new business or earning good will with existing customers. It also could be taking some load off of sales staff by answering common questions before customers show up.

If it's developing new business, I think you have to assume that most site traffic will come through links from sites like this board or the Kubota dealer locator service. People do find businesses through general web searches but the competition for top search placements is huge and only the top ten get much traffic. For example, there are no tractor dealers in the first 10 sites for an IE search on 'kubota dealers new york.' I also did IE and NS searches on the design company's name. It's not on IE, which isn't unusual for a new or low traffic site. I wasn't inspired by the site I found on NS. You might ask the company for examples of sites they've designed, the placements on major search engines, the traffic they receive and whether they're listed on all major engines and directories and the typical annual budget for paid listings.

Even so, I'd forget about the search engine stuff for leading new customers to your company. Your participation on this board likely earns your site more traffic than any design will do (and good will besides). I think you are mostly in competition with other dealer links on tractor related sites and with other area dealers on the Kubota dealer locator. If that's true, then the question is how does the site earn more good will than the competitor's sites. I think the other comments here are pretty good guides for doing that. A site has to have content that people really want or it's not going to have appreciable traffic. Your work with customers and your participation here makes you an expert on the subject. You already know the answer better than any web designer.






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