Shop Site of the Month
Bove's Auto and Truck Service - Rockford, Ill.
A striking, out-of-the-ordinary design will always grab the attention of visitors, and Bove's Auto certainly hit its mark. The site brings together a clean design, good typography and professional-looking photography to deliver its messages. We loved the large, visible contact information up top, and the shop's pictorial blog provides a humorous touch to the repair business.
Nominate your shop's site for a Net Worth profile. E-mail your Web site address to email@example.com.
Web Wise: Ensure Your Redesign Stays Focused
You've made the decision to redesign your site, and I applaud you. Website redesigns don't happen soon enough for too many sites, in my opinion. But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater in your zeal to create a fresh start. Many redesigns make some serious mistakes; let's make sure you don't.
• Don't dump your old domain. You have spent years carefully building a following with your domain, both in terms of human searches and search engine indexing. Don't throw away that good will and trust. If you absolutely must use that new domain, be sure to redirect all your old pages to the appropriate new content. Otherwise, it could take you months to build credibility again.
• Ugly URLs. Making the jump from straight HTML-based coding to a dynamically generated content management system (CMS)-based website brings a lot of benefits to a small business owner. However, some CMSs still, by default, use unintelligible URLs for your content. Understandable Web addresses, such as http://www.yourdomain.com/tires/tiredeals.htm, are visitor-friendly and will help boost your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts with the search engine bots.
• Ignoring social components. Don't overlook adding items to your site that can be easily shared on social networks - videos, blogs, press releases and even radio commercials. If your site is built on a CMS, don't forget to add in Share/Like buttons for the social media sites too.
• Too many graphics. You want an attractive site, but don't let an overabundance of images on your pages take over the message. Your site is supposed to create business for you. Don't make it difficult for visitors to understand your message and take action.
• Failing to test-drive before launch. We understand you don't want the general public seeing your new design until it's ready, but always test-drive a redesign with a few trusted customers before the official launch. Their comments and insights could prove to be invaluable for the future usefulness of your site.
When your redesign is finished, be sure to drop us a note at AutoInc. We'd love to feature it here in Net Worth.
ASA Web Ways: Join Us at ASRW
During Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW), we'll be providing live updates from the show floor. See the latest products and services available to the automotive repair industry, and stay abreast of the latest news from NACE and CARS at ASRWnow.com.
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