10 Jan 2013

What Do Jeeps and Web Design Have In Common?

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If you know me, you know my love of Jeeps. I currently own my third Jeep, but have driven SUVs (including two Amigos and an Xterra) for most of my life. Outside of good communication tactics, there is precious little I enjoy more.

As I was writing yesterday’s post on our new look and feel, I was browsing Jeep parts at a number of different sites. Allow me to show you three of them:

If you don’t take the time to click through to all three, here’s what you will miss:

  • A site that is mostly functional, looks like it is stuck in 2004, and that doesn’t make it easy to limit your part options based on your ride.
  • A site with a clean, modern design, and easy to use tools to focus on your vehicle.
  • A site that isn’t functional at all, and looks like it is stuck in 1996.

I’ve been a fan of Quadratec for quite some time, and they have earned a lot of business by providing good service.  I have even grown to accept their really mediocre website.

That said, my next order will be from Extreme Terrain.  I really respect their efforts to provide a clean, modern look, and making it easy for me to find parts.  I don’t have to scroll/click through dozens of items that aren’t for my car.

In addition, Extreme Terrain is doing A LOT else right online.

For instance, I found Extreme due to a simply targeted Facebook ad – for people who have “Liked” Jeep.  It’s amazing how much FB users tell you about the stuff they are into, but advertisers still don’t use it.

Second, once I visited the ET website, I immediately began seeing retargeted ads on other sites.  Retargeting, for those unfamiliar, allows you to deliver an ad unit on other sites to people who have trekked through your site.  By placing a cookie that identifies you as a past visitor, I can then push ads to you on other sites.

It gives ET an opportunity to close the sale even after I have left their site.

There is a lesson to be learned from ET.  Smart marketing and ease-of-use will go a long way to earning you business.

(As for Rocky Road, I really have nothing at all good to say about it. I had never heard of them (despite FREQUENT searches for Jeep parts) until an episode of House Hunters caught my eye.  In it, the owners of Rocky Road were looking to buy a house.  At one point the camera panned over the name of their company. Surprised that I had never heard of them before, I went searching.  They pop right up when you search by name, but are almost impossible to find when searching generally.  That’s no surprise given their SEO is terrible. If you’re not going to invest in SEO, however, at least pay for advertising – something RR has failed to do.)   

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