Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Prepping for the Mobile-First Market

Mobile devices have changed how we use
the Internet and Google has taken notice

Google is the largest search engine in the world. They process 77% of the world’s search traffic1  — 63% of U.S. search traffic1  — and lately, they’ve noticed a big trend that is about to shake up the way they rank your site in search results.
Google’s business model is dependent on directing searchers to the most relevant and helpful results — and they do it better than any other search engine. To do this, they use special algorithms, designated groups of questions and statistics, to evaluate a page based on a number of elements such as page load time, keywords, and user engagement rates. If a user has a poor experience with a page that Google sent them to, they will ‘bounce’ out of the page and look somewhere else. That’s bad for Google, which means it’s bad for your site too. Go ahead and say goodbye to that potential customer because 61% of consumers say they are unlikely to return to a site that they had difficulty using.2

Where Does Mobile Come In?

Over the last few years, Google has seen the number of mobile visitors overtake those coming from desktops. As visitors become continue to be glued to their mobile devices, they search more often while they’re out and about - and less while tied to their desks. This has raised a massive problem for Google and searchers alike.
Websites built for traditional desktop users — or websites that were carelessly converted to be ‘mobile-friendly’ at the cost of losing content  — don’t provide a seamless experience for the mobile searcher. These on-the-go consumers are clicking through links on Google and becoming frustrated by pages that don’t display well, don’t contain the information promised, or flat out don’t work on mobile devices. Right now, it’s not a big deal because Google’s current algorithms are based on the desktop experience and don’t take mobile friendliness into account,, but that’s about to change.
The Solution? Mobile-First Indexing.
To make sure searchers are getting the content they were promised, Google began to experiment with new algorithms that look at the content and experience in mobile websites before looking at the desktop experience. Websites with mobile content relevant to the users search term will start to increase in rankings while desktop will fall second. Now, once the algorithm is programmed, users will be less likely to become frustrated by missing or pointless content when they are browsing on a mobile device. Less irritation for users means more trust for Google and increased engagement on your site.

What Does this Mean for You?

Google’s Mobile-First Indexing changes, once fully implemented, will be a boost for your dealership if you already have a mobile-friendly website. Sites like Cycle Trader optimize their site, and your listings, for mobile users and will adjust based on the device being used to search. Your listings will get ranked higher on Google than competitors without a mobile presence or with a poorly designed mobile experiences.
If your page isn’t responsive or you are missing content in your mobile site, your listings will become much harder to find on Google — even if the majority of your users are browsing from the desktop. While search engine optimization and targeted search engine marketing services, such as those offered by Cycle Trader, can help you from falling off the search results completely, your site will ultimately rank behind competitors with similar content and mobile-friendly sites. The bottom line — mobile optimization is crucial at this stage in the digital game.

What can you do?

Google is looking to release Mobile-First Indexing sometime this year. The rumor mill suggested that changes were happening on July 1, 2017, but we now know changes won’t take effect until 2018. From Google’s advice, the number one way to prepare is to take the time to ensure the content you want to rank highest in search results exists on your mobile site and is easy to use. Fortunately, by listing your inventory with Cycle Trader, your content is shown on the leading responsive web platform and is available to 2.7 million monthly unique visitors.3 Your inventory listings will rank higher in Google search results than competitors not following the algorithm set forth by Google  — and that means you’ll be moving more metal  — and quicker.
While Cycle Trader will do much of the leg work for your listings, your dealership website is still extremely important. Your website serves as an extension of your dealership — so, if your website is a mess, a potential buyer might assume that your physical location and customer service is too. Savvy website providers will build your website from the ground up to be mobile-friendly and compatible with Google’s big changes — so keep that in mind when you choose who to work with. Remember, 61% of consumers are unlikely to return to a site that they had difficulty using. Don’t let your dealership’s site and inventory become part of that statistic.
2 Google Surveys, 2016.
3 Omniture, 2017.
Trader Online Web Developer

Let’s Talk About Price

I've heard them all all the reasons not to include a price on your listing, including...

It encourages consumers to call
We don’t want to show price on new units
We might be able to offer better deals in the dealership
I’m concerned my prices aren’t competitive in my market

But despite the excuses - I’ve never really understood why you wouldn’t include a price. It seems pretty clear that having some type of price, even if it’s just MSRP, on your listings is probably the most important thing you can do to attract customers.

At first, I thought I was the only one who felt this way — but the results say I’m not. On Cycle Trader, listings with a price get 19 times more clicks than those without a price.1 And it’s because consumers are naturally skeptical — so if a dealer won’t include a price on their listing, they feel like the deal may be a bait and switch. You have to remember - it’s not personal for these buyers. They are looking for their next bike at the best price — and if you don’t want to share that information with them when and where they want it, they are more than happy to find another dealership that will.  

Still not convinced? Let’s look at it a different way would you share the price with a buyer who walked into your dealership? Of course. It feels a little crazy to even ask.

You want them to buy it and to decide they want to buy it, they need to know how much it costs. Using that same thought if your online listings are a digital extension of your showroom you shouldn’t withhold the price there either. You want to provide a consistently good experience, no matter how a consumer chooses to check out your inventory.

So now that we’ve(hopefully) convinced you to include a price on all of your listings you should know we can also help you be strategic about what that price should be. The Cycle Trader TraderTraxx platform now includes the Price Analysis Tool — which shows you the median price of your specific inventory in both the local and nationwide market giving you a real-time snapshot of how your prices compare. So c'mon - put prices on your listings. There is no reason not to.

2 Google Surveys, 2016.
3 Omniture, 2017.
Trader Online Web Developer

In Case You Missed It: June Moto News

Cycle Trader is your go-to when it comes to finding resources to sell your inventory and keep up-to-date with best powersports business practices - so why not come to us as your ultimate resource on all other things motorcycle news-related? To help keep you informed with moto industry news, new product launches and upcoming model reviews, here's a recap of some of the most viral cycle news stories from the month of June. Check them out and see which story you think was the highlight of this month.

Ducati released a teaser for the ‘end’ edition of the legendary 1299 Panigale before the model’s formal unveiling at Laguna Seca on July 7th. The ad reads: “When The End Tells the Whole Story”, hinting that this may be the last edition of the renowned model.

Following suit with a number of other states over the past year, New Mexico, Oregon and Oklahoma have reclassified licensing requirements for the Polaris unit, requiring drivers to only carry a valid automotive driver’s license, rather than requiring an additional motorcycle license or endorsement. That’s one less barrier to sale, folks.

The go-to industry news source for powersports dealers held a webinar on July 21st, discussing current conditions of the motorcycle and powersports industries as well as trends we can expect in the coming years. Using the link above, you can read one viewer’s key takeaways from the session or you can view a recording of the webinar by clicking on this link to Powersports Business’ website.

Image: Powersports Business

The company released their lineup of 2018 Motocross and Cross-Country units toward the middle of the month, including the new YZ450F motocross bike, TW200 and XT250 dual-sport motorcycles and the V-Star 250 Cruiser. Yamaha also expanded their off-road lineup to include new editions of the Kodiak 450, Kodiak 700 and an all-new Grizzly.

Powersports Business recently announced their appointed industry leaders of 2017, naming Cliff Clifford (Co-founder and CEO of National Powersports Auctions) as Executive of the Year. Click the link above to read who else made it to this year’s list of influential figures.

Kawasaki presented the newest, updated edition of the Jet Ski SX-R earlier in June, scoring high marks from a number of enthusiast media sources. The stand-up hasn’t been updated since 2011 and the re-launch seems to have been received extremely well by the public.

Image: RideApart

Harley-Davidson has announced that they will be instructing an entire town in North Dakota on how to ride a motorcycle. The town, appropriately named ‘Ryder,’ only has a little over 80 residents - 50 of which are qualified to actually begin riding. The course is associated with a local Harley dealership and you can follow the story using the link above.

Kawasaki fined $5.2m for neglecting to report defects

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC) has confirmed that Kawasaki will be paying a penalty fine of over $5 million to resolve ‘failure to report’ charges. According to the Commission - retailers, manufacturers and distributors are all required by federal law to report potential defects on their units within 24 hours of discovering evidence or receiving related information. More than 30,000 Teryx models from 2012-2016 were involved, potentially initiating unreasonable risk for riders, ranging from serious injury to death.

At the beginning of the month, thousands of Can-Am Spyder owners came together in Canada to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the revolutionary three-wheeler. Three special edition models were unveiled for the anniversary, all marked by jet black coloration and liquid gold accents. Check out more details on both the event and special anniversary models by clicking the link above.

Numerous reports have pointed out that Harley is preparing a bid to purchase Italian rival Ducati - and if the purchase goes through, the acquisitional value for the two companies could be worth up to $1.5 billion, as reported by Reuters in a recent article.

We'll be back next month with more highlights, but in the meantime, you can stay up-to-date here.

Trader Online Web Developer