I’ve seen a lot of bad websites and I’m sure you have too. You know, the kind of websites that look homemade, where you can’t find what you’re looking for, are impossible to navigate on a tablet or phone and so on. These mistakes can lead to lost business and frustrated customers.
Today we’re going to look at what’s wrong with one website in particular. Lordco Auto Parts has several locations across British Columbia and is one of the best known auto parts dealers in BC. I was surprised with how bad their website is, especially considering how large and busy their company is. So, what’s wrong with their site and what mistakes are they making that you should learn from? Where do I start…
In 2016 it’s not acceptable to have a site that isn’t responsive (meaning it adapts to different screen sizes).
If you want an exercise in frustration, try using the Lordco Auto Parts website on your phone. Navigation buttons are teeny-tiny and browsing through their suppliers is almost impossible.
It Looks Dated
This one is a bit surprising, especially considering that their website was redesigned in 2015. To me it looks like it would be a great design if it was 2001. A lot of things have changed since then…
Any business that wants to be taken seriously online can’t afford to have a dated looking website. It creates the impression that your business is behind the curve and may not be credible.
Not targeted to their Customers
Ask yourself what a Lordco Auto Parts customer would be looking for. Probably products or store locations right? Their store locations are easy enough to find, however they don’t list any products on their website. They have a products page, but this page only contains links to their suppliers websites. For the end user this is frustrating, and misleading. They could easily list a complete line of their products and make these products easily searchable. This would no doubt lead to increased sales.
When building a new website or redesigning an existing website, it’s important that you think of your customers first. Ask yourself what they’re looking for and what problems they’re trying to solve.
Most importantly, while you’re building your new website, contact your customers and ask them for feedback!
Pages with Almost No Content
If you’re going to create pages with educational materials, they should be content rich and have content your visitors will actually want to read and/or view. When you navigate to their training videos page you’ll see a single video with no written content titled “zorbie spill management training”. Is this what the average user is expecting to find when they navigate to their training videos page? Personally I was expecting to at least find a few in depth videos on topics such as how to change your spark plugs, how to do an oil change and similar topics. Wouldn’t that be the perfect kind of content for an auto parts supplier?
Strange Navigation Structure
I don’t know what they were thinking when they structured their navigation. They can’t seem to decide if their website is for customers or not. There are several menu items in their main menu that lead to pages not intended for the average customer. I personally can’t decipher who they are intended for. If you navigate to resources->documents you’ll see a page with a few PDF’s and a button for their MSDS service (what is that exactly?) . Or if you go to resources->premiums in their main menu you’ll be sent to their login page.
It’s important when building a website to carefully consider it’s navigation structure and to put yourself in the shoes of your most important visitors (your customers). Only the most important pages on your website should be included in your main navigation and non-important pages should be relegated to the footer.
Build your website for your customers first. Listen to them and gather feedback. Do this and you’re on the right track.
Listen to the experts you have contracted to build your website (like me). I’ve had clients in the past that were too focused on the stuff that doesn’t matter, like button colors and completely forget about the main purpose of their website, to drive their business forward. While button colors certainly deserve attention, things like your content, message and site structure are infinitely more important.
Excellent article, Myles! People often lose sight of what people searching for or stumbling upon their website are going to be using it for.