THE SHOP

Performance & Hotrod Business - July '15

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76 n Performance & Hotrod Business n July 2015 BUSINESS T he fact that your shop needs a website may be the most obvious statement you have read in a very long time. As a business owner, you are well aware of the impor- tance of planting your website flag in the ground of the Internet world. You have probably been given hours of advice from family members, friends and business partners about the need for you to have a "web presence." And, with web- site building businesses readily available including GoDaddy, Wix and Weebly, you have probably already taken the plunge and built your own site. Some of you may have gotten your nerdy nephew to build a WordPress website for you, or maybe you hired a local com- pany to build your site. Regardless of the method you have chosen, you should be commended for jumping in with both feet. Unfortunately, most shops have long since forgotten about their good ol' web- site since the initial excitement of launch- ing an online presence. Freshening Up In working with hot rod and restora- tion shops of various sizes, we have found that there are typically two types of shop websites. First, there is the shop that built a website years ago and has rarely touched it since. The website hasn't been updated or revised in years. Frankly, most shop owners are spend- ing time in their shops and garages doing what they do best. They rarely have time to spend updating the content of their web- site, let alone trying to figure out Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Very often, this website ends up being managed by the spouse or child of the shop owner. For this shop owner, the website has become more like that rusted-out car that sits behind your shop and simply annoys you because you can never find the time to get to it. The second type of website that most local shops have was typically built by a local web expert. In nearly every town in America, there are dozens of web devel- opers and designers that will build your website for you. These stay-at-home consultants have the skills to build a working and useful website, but lack the industry knowledge to truly understand the content needs of the hot rod shop. The result is often a bright and flashy website, with lots of con- tent and graphics, but can quickly become a nightmare for the shop owner to update. We often call these Frankenstein web- sites, because we have bolted on appli- cations and content over the years until finally we have built a monster of a site that becomes a massive frustration to maintain. This website is like the car in your shop that never leaves because the car owner continues to make changes. It sits in the back as a constant reminder of your ongo- ing frustration. At this point, it's probably necessary to point out that this article is dedicated only to a discussion of your website presence. An in-depth discussion of comprehensive Yes, You Need a Website But, do you know why? By christina hill Christina Hill is a web project and social media development expert for Green Beans Design (www.greenbeans- design.com) who focuses on small- to medium-sized retail stores and shops. Her firm follows the content steps out- lined here to build easy-to-use websites and manage social media programs. All of its clients receive a free website and social media audit prior to development of a new web strategy. Email: chris- tina@greenbeansdesign.com. Building a professional website is a must for successful hot rod and restoration companies. n BUildiNg a BUsiNess

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