Performance & Hotrod Business - July '15

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July 2015 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 79 Accolades. Create an "awards" section of your website to list the accolades your shop has received. Include car show awards and magazine articles that feature your shop. For many magazines, you will be able to provide a URL link to the article on their website. For car show awards, take photos of your trophies and plaques to be posted on this page. For new shops, this may be one section of your website that you do not include initially. If the above seven content elements seem obvious and self- explanatory, that is because they are. These are the most common core components found on the best hot rod shop websites. In addition, this is the content that your customers are expect- ing from your website. This should be the minimum amount of content you maintain for your current or new site. More impor- tantly, this is the amount of content that you will be capable of maintaining while still running your core shop business. What's Next? You may notice that the above recommendations have said nothing about SEO, social media and phone/tablet responsiveness. These are all important buzzwords in the world of online market- ing and branding. However, none of these tools is useful to you if you don't have the correct content and processes for maintaining the seven core elements of your website. Your next best step would be to do an inventory of your own website, based on the above discussion. First, outline what your core customer looks like. You must first define the audience that will be viewing and reading your website. Next, do an inventory of the content of your current website or proposed content for a new website. Use the seven core ele- ments as your guide. List them on a piece of paper and then write next to each what content your website has for each of the seven elements. Then, give yourself a grade for how well you presented each piece of that content. If you really want to have fun revising your website, get an outsider to do the inventory audit. Maybe that nerdy nephew has some time to critique your site's content and presentation. If you are in the process of looking for a consultant or web designer, work directly with them on a core website audit. This audit should be a standard practice for any web development firm. The bottom line is to not ignore your website any longer. We have all gotten caught up in the flurry of social media growth. But, never forget that your website is your primary online business card. You don't need to create the next great website. But, you do need to have a website that tells your unique story to your specific audience. 100-32X-15PB.indd 1 5/22/15 2:22 PM

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