4 Mobile Design Elements That Will Never Go Out of Style

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It’s hard to keep up in the ever-evolving world of mobile devices. Earlier this year we wrote about design features for mobile that should never see the light of day, and all of that is still true, but you still have to figure out what your site should look like when someone’s holding it in their hand. Lucky for you, there are a few design elements that won’t be losing their effectiveness anytime soon. If you stick with them, you’ll be headed in the right direction.
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Stay On Top by Sticking to the Bottom

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Put your most important information above the fold — that’s what the newspaper editors of old did, and it’s a practice that web developers still follow today. Above the fold content includes anything position in the uppermost part of a webpage, where it is visible to users without scrolling. When you only have four seconds to get your visitors’ attentions, it makes sense to optimize your above-the-fold content in order to keep them coming back for more, but once you’ve got them caught, how do you reel them in?

As soon as your users get started in the buyer’s journey, you need to start thinking about the rest of your page design. Not optimizing your below-the-fold content means you’re missing out on some great opportunities to turn a lead into a buyer.

Stick to these best practices when it comes to optimizing for the bottom of your webpage page, and you’ll be heading to the top in no time.
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Website Conversion 101: In-Site Search Options

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When users visit your dealership’s site they want to get right to the point. They want to know what’s in stock and what features your vehicles have and they don’t want to waste time. That’s why most visitors are immediately drawn to your search widget.

You have a lot of choices when it comes to your in-site search options, so there are a couple of questions you should be asking. How specific do you want your search options to be? How should it appear on a desktop versus a mobile browser? What exactly are my users searching for?

But don’t worry, I’ve done the hard work for you. I researched different search options and found some of the pros and cons.

Open Search Fields

A simple way to add a search option to your site is with an open search field. Similar to a regular internet search bar, only this widget would be specific to your website. This a simple option, since visitors can search for anything that they come up with, however if a search isn’t specific enough, or even too specific, it will spit out zero results. Site visitors might think you don’t have what they’re looking for, and then your potential customers become frustrated and your dropoff rates skyrocket.

Very few sites utilize open search fields, preferring instead to offer a few search variables. We found in a recent study that the majority of searches performed with an open search field were on stock numbers. This means open search fields are only really being used by dealership employees, rather than by clients. Probably not the best way to make a sale.

So What Search Fields Do I Include?

If you do decide to be more specific with your search option, you’ll need to know what fields to include. Fortunately for you, again, I already did the research and found which fields users prefer. I’ve listed them below from most to least important:

  • Model
  • Year
  • Make
  • Body
  • Price

Desktop vs Mobile Browsers

In today’s technological age, you always want to consider mobile browsers when making decisions about your site. Your search option should look different on your desktop browser versus your mobile, starting with its shape. As we know, desktops are horizontal rectangles while mobile phones are viewed as vertical rectangles (usually). Take these different formats into consideration when designing your site and choosing your search widget.

We know that search widgets are used more often on phones than on desktops, so it’s important to make your search option easy to find immediately upon entering your site.

Here are some good examples:

Your search option is a frequently used tool on your dealership’s site, and is sometimes the first step a visitor takes to becoming a lead. Remember to use familiar fields and to optimize for mobile browsers so you can create an easy, enjoyable experience for your site visitors.

It’s much easier to give your customers options to choose from when searching for their next vehicle, because the odds are pretty high that they won’t type with 100% accuracy, or remember every single trim level for every single car they’re researching.

As with most things regarding your website, you never want to make potential customers do more work than they have to, and filtered site search, along with the best practices I’ve outlined here, is a great way to lighten the load.

Have you checked your mobile landing pages lately?

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In this week’s Wednesday Workshop, we talk about the importance of landing pages – specifically, mobile landing pages. It’s incredibly important to keep customers on the path they start off on, so it’s important to create landing pages that make sense. Speed is important too… Nothing kills conversions more than a slow-loading landing page. Watch the video for all the details…
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Website Conversion 101: Banner Blindness

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You’ve heard of the blind leading the blind, but maybe you haven’t heard of the blind ignoring your web banners. It may not be a global epidemic, but it’s a problem every website owner should be aware of, especially since banners are becoming more and more popular and necessary.

But what exactly is banner blindness? It’s when site visitors either consciously or unconsciously ignore banners, or even anything that looks like a banner. There could be a lot of reasons why your banner is being ignored. Maybe its distracting and disruptive to the flow of the site, or maybe it breaks a user’s concentration.

Most users ignore banners if it distracts from their purpose for being on the site in the first place, which means not only is your banner not working, but now your users can’t navigate your site!

So how do you avoid banner blindness? Keep these four key points in mind and your banners will stay relevant and useful.

Placement

It’s important to put your banner in a place where it will be the most helpful. We’ve mentioned before that users read a webpage from left to right, top to bottom, so place your banner in these optimum “read areas” to get the most out of it. Also keep in mind that users rarely seek out information that’s not right in front of them. Be sure the banner is in their direct line of vision, not in their peripherals.

If you use multiple banners on different pages, keep their placement consistent throughout your site. This will help with navigation and avoid confusion.

Design

A successful banner balances blending in to its surroundings with drawing attention. Your banner should appear like it belongs with the rest of your site, but still stands out with contrasting colors, fonts, or shapes. Play with these details until you have a banner that meets both of these qualifications.
Something that’s easy to misuse while designing your banner is animation. It is possible to walk the fine line between subtle, eye-catching animation and something distracting and out of place. Too much animation can lead to a negative association with your site—something every website owner should avoid.

Content

Now that you’ve captured the attention of your users you can focus on what it’s saying. The content of your banner should be relevant to the page it’s on. There’s no need to include a coupon for an oil change on your About Us page; this may distract from the purpose of the page.

The last piece of content on your banner should be your CTA (call-to-action). We’ve talked about the importance of CTAs before, and the importance of having a clickable button that brings site visitors closer in the purchase process. Your CTA should encourage some kind of action, such as “Get 10% Off Service” or “Receive a Gift Card with Test Drive.” Adding time-sensitive words like “Now” can also help drive a sense of urgency. This will create a need where clicking your banner brings about a solution.

Usefulness

Even if you keep all of these points in mind, your banner won’t achieve anything if it’s not useful. Your banner should help your users during their visit and avoid distraction. This is even more important if your visitor is using a mobile app. These banners should be easy to read, easy to tap, and short enough that it doesn’t push all your content out of sight.

Keep these points in mind to make your banners as natural and non-disruptive as possible to avoid banner blindness. Banners can be a useful tool if used properly, but if your site visitors have gone blind to them they won’t do you much good!