An initially good idea from car dealers and garages to save time and money by opting for a cheap template website can backfire, especially when a quick google search shows that their ‘new’ affordable website design is actually being used by other dealers.
An individually designed website should be your preferred option, offering better value for money and enabling you to stand out amongst your competitors to attract more enquiries.
Without an SSL certificate, browsers will warn visitors that your website is not safe. Not only will this put off your visitors, but your site search position can also suffer as Google will rank secure sites more highly. Your low cost website suddenly isn’t such good value when some template site providers and small web companies charge large annual fees to have an SSL certificate.
Pages and Plugins
Basic templates rarely include landing pages, mailing lists, finance plugins, enquiry forms and additional pages such as news, blogs, careers and customer testimonials. These features are likely to be chargeable options from a template site provider, which again makes a basic template site with a few add-ons suddenly transform into an expensive proposition.
The menus, page layout, stock details pages, website headers and footers within a template site all look the same. These sites might also use the same header image – which is another reason template sites for different dealers look almost identical. Having an individually designed site built to your taste means you have the freedom to stand out from the crowd.
Your company branding makes your business unique, so you need to use this on your website to set you apart from the competition, and you should make use of your logo colour scheme. Website templates offer very limited branding options, usually just a logo and stock header images, with a limited choice of colours which can make your site look plain and dull.
Designing a website should involve your own ideas to ensure it fits your vision and branding, however this isn’t the case with template sites which tend to have limited design choices. You can have as much design input as you like with an individual site, where designers will work from your brief with you to produce the best possible website for your business.
Templates are difficult to make ad-hoc changes to or overhaul the design – whereas with an individually designed site, ongoing tweaks and design refreshing can be accommodated easily and quickly. If you find yourself being charged by the hour to make changes to a template site, this makes the template option more expensive than you initially thought.
Recent industry research showed 59% of car hunters in the UK use their mobile phone to identify their next vehicle purchase, so it’s extremely important that your website has a design that works across different devices. Templates are generally more focused on the desktop version of your site, which effectively means you’re only catering to 41% of people searching for cars.
Outdated Plugins found in website templates can mislead dealers regarding SEO ranking factors. Content is therefore poorly worded, resulting in negative SEO results and a less than enjoyable website experience for your potential customer.
First impressions count
Car dealers and garages need to cater for consumers today who do a lot of online research, whose first impression of a business is going to be their website. Trust is a big factor in attracting new customers – if your website doesn’t look secure, or looks the same as other dealers’ sites, it could easily make prospective customers wary and convince them to look elsewhere.
All Dragon2000 garage and car dealer websites come with a free SSL certificate as standard, and are all individually designed. You can have a unique feature-rich website all at an affordable monthly cost, where our experienced website team will work with you to create the perfect “shop window” for your business. All our websites also fully integrate with our award-winning DragonDMS dealer management system, meaning sales enquiries and service booking requests are fed straight into the DMS, and there is no re-keying of vehicles or re-uploading photos, as any stock changes appear live on your website automatically, saving you valuable time.
Dragon2000 have been helping dealers and garages drive their businesses forward since 1995. Talk to our team today on 01327 222 333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how DragonDMS and our Dealer Websites can help your business increase profits and reduce costs.