As the story goes, a mom was making a pot roast for family dinner with the help of her daughter. Before placing it in the oven she cut the ends off of each side of the roast. Her daughter asked why, and mom replied “because that’s how my mother taught me to do it. I think it may sear in the flavor, but I’m not sure.” Curious the daughter called her grandmother and asked why she cut the ends off the roast. The grandmother said it was just how she was taught by her mother. So the daughter called her great grandmother at the nursing home to ask about the roast. The great grandmother explained that her oven was so small, she had to cut the ends off of the roast so it would fit into her tiny oven.
This story is commonly shared because of all of the habits we as human beings fall into without question, just because it’s how it was done before us.
This also happens all the time with business, and processes. Back in the late 90’s I was one of the first wave of dealers to sign up with Powersports Network for a website. Having previously experimented with a customer building our sites only to find out updating units was just too heavy of a lift, I knew that a ‘done for you’ specialty provider was the way to go. And I was right, PSN made a great product and were regularly listening to clients and adding new features and bells and whistles.
At some point way back then, I think we all began to think that the more navigation buttons we had the better the site. In time the sites became extremely busy even offering games and puzzles, weather widgets, and all kinds of other amusing links designed to entertain site visitors and therefore increase their duration.
Back then, many “experts” were teaching us that the goal of our sites was to keep visitors hanging around longer. Things evolved, and in time we all begin looking harder at how to drive more traffic to sites and generate more leads from that traffic. Many of these “newer” best practices challenged the traditional thinking of the more bells and whistles the better. What was really the goal of a dealer’s website supposed to be?
Here at PSM we sat back and watched as new site providers came in and took market share from Powersports Network who once owned our industry. We even became fans of some of the new providers and would recommend them to our clients. As a marketing company it was our job to figure out how to drive more quality traffic to sites and get that traffic to convert into leads. As time has passed, the new providers began adding more and more “bells and whistles” and we once again began challenging what many of the “experts” were saying was the purpose of a site.
This had a lot to do with our decision to enter the website business. We often have dealers tell us the purpose of their site is “to get our name out there”, “it’s our online store front”, “it’s the new yellow pages”, “to brand our dealership” etc.
None of those answers are necessarily bad, and most are a happy byproduct of a good site, but none are the exact answer we’re looking for. We have a very narrow focus and feel that the purpose of your website is: “To Generate Sales Opportunities aka Quality Leads.”
That seems pretty straight forward right? You can’t sell a new or pre-owned bike online, so the next best thing is to have site visitors raise their hand and identify themselves as prospective buyers (aka a conversion). The more your site “converts” the more leads you generate, and the more leads you have, the more you should sell.
So why do some dealer sites in similar market areas with similar brands generate 30% to 50% more leads than their competitor? Let’s look at two popular search engines for some perspective.
Here is what Google looks like when you arrive: And here is what Yahoo looks like:
Both are search engines, but Google owns about 86% of the *market share with Yahoo and Bing fighting for most of the balance. Google has a clear vision as to what the purpose of their site is. They want the visitor to “convert” by typing in a search keyword or phrase. They have had the discipline all these years to fight off the bright shiny objects that could be all over their home page. Do you think Google could generate some revenue by putting corporate advertising on their home page? You bectcha they could, but they remain laser focused on the purpose of their site. Here at PSM we’re really excited about our new Firestorm websites, and we’ve bought a bigger oven and are no longer cutting the ends off the roast.
We’d love to share our secret recipe with you, for more information contact us today at 877-242-4472 or shoot us a message at www.powersportsmarketing.com
*Research conducted by Statistica