THE deadline for submitting your website for Ewards 2011 is rapidly approaching. JAMES BATCHELOR takes a final look at one of this year’s entries and our judges give their thoughts.
In his entry for Ewards 2011, Jason Harwood sums up what frequently occurs every year in our search to discover and celebrate the best dealer websites. ‘We think that as a small independent dealer our website has extra points that a lot of dealers websites do not offer,’ says Harwood.
Small independents doing battle against larger competition is great to see, and Harwood’s own site, constructed by Active Media, is a good example of tools and features being used by the big boys but on an independent’s website.
Its simple, clear design is something all of our judges were agreed upon. Stuart Niblock from Ewards headline sponsor Autotorq.com remarks: ‘A simple and clean website. User goals are clearly visible and valuable content and functionality is on the whole above the fold. Good used car imagery and video is essential for any independent business and this is impressive on this site. Well done for verifying and personalising Google Places.’
Clear website design also appeals to Tim Smith of GForces, who says the website ‘boasts simplicity with clear calls to action, ease of navigation and large visuals making it aesthetically pleasing.’
Harwood says he has tried hard to make sure his site boasts video content of all of his stock – something ‘which shows real attention to detail. It’s clean, functional and encouraging to see they’ve integrated their eBay shop,’ adds Smith.
Roland Schaack of Codeweavers also liked the website’s design, adding: ‘The Harwood site looks basic and it is a relatively simple website but it really works.’
‘It’s personal and friendly,’ says Car Care Plan’s Matthew Strudwick.
‘Combined with the ‘‘Driven by Service’‘ slogan, it generates a favourable impression. Each vehicle listing has plenty of information, and the inclusion of a comprehensive ‘‘video walkaround” is useful feature.’
New to Ewards 2011, Experian’s Andrew Ballard liked the site’s ‘clean look’ which ‘emphasises personal service’.
Meanwhile, new to Ewards, Spidersnet offered some top tips to dealers on how to make a good site. Ashley Hitchcock said: ‘Make sure you have ‘‘social buttons” next to all of your car listings so users can quickly share these pages. Also if you have a Facebook or Google+ business page or twitter account you should ensure that you have visible links to these.
‘You do however need to make sure you keep these up-to-date with fresh content and also answer any queries quickly.’
CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES IS NOVEMBER 24 – SEE BELOW ON HOW TO ENTER
FOR 2011, WE’LL BE LOOKING FOR WINNERS IN EIGHT CATEGORIES…
1. Single Franchised Dealer – this is open to all franchised dealers that represent just one manufacturer.
2. Multi Franchised Dealer – this is open to all franchised dealer groups that hold franchises for more than one manufacturer.
3. Car Supermarket.
4. Independent Dealer.
5. Car Manufacturer (automatic entry).
6. Social Media user of the Year.
7. Web personality of the Year – nominated and voted for by the judges.
8. Innovation of the Year.