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Where are your website links leading?

By Liz Keener

Liz KeenerWe’re all guilty of becoming lax from time to time. We forget to do certain tasks because not doing them won’t make the world come to an end, and there are more pressing issues to attend to.

However, too many of us have become lax with our websites. It’s there; we know it works, and whomever we pay to keep it going is doing their job. However, it’s our job to update content and make sure that every link is going where it’s supposed to — and that those links are relevant.

I’m on dealership and aftermarket company websites all the time, and I’m often surprised where some of their links lead. As a news source, we want to know what everyone’s up to, so we can share it with our readers. To that end, we follow as many companies that we can on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

However, I often find concerning links attached to social media buttons on those sites. One of the worst offenders I ever found was an aftermarket company that had a Twitter link that went to an employee’s personal Twitter feed, and that employee had been ranting and raving about nothing industry related. Many other times, it leads to a company’s Facebook or Twitter feed, which hasn’t been updated in more than a year — or sometimes four years. Or it leads to a broken Facebook or Twitter link. And often Google+ buttons lead to Google+ pages that have barely been claimed, let alone active.

So what can you do? Find someone to click your links periodically to make sure they’re leading somewhere that enhances your brand, not leaves a bad taste in your customers’ mouths. In a Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo session, Neil Pascale of Dominion Powersports called this person your Link Checker. He suggested you pick one person at your dealership to, on a monthly basis, check all the links on your site to make sure they land where they’re supposed to land. If you don’t think one person has time to do this monthly, I suggest making it a roving roll, with a new person assigned to it every month, which could lead to different links being checked or different feedback. And think about bringing the task home now and then — check the links yourself, or have a spouse or one of your kids run through the site and point out the issues they’ve found.

And when issues are brought up, fix them immediately. Maybe no one at your dealership updates your Twitter feed. If so, get rid of that button. There’s no use sending customers to a place where they’ll receive no extra content from you. Or, if it’s leading to the wrong page, get the link fixed, so it points customers in the right direction.

Do yourself a favor. When you have 5-10 minutes today or tomorrow, pull up your homepage and start clicking. What you find may surprise you and may warrant a fix.

Liz Keener is the managing editor of Powersports Business, a trade magazine for the powersports industry. She reports on the powersports industry through Powersports Business’ varied media, including in the magazine and online. She assembles the brand’s three-times-a-week e-news and handles a variety of assignments for the magazine. Powersports Business is known for its exclusive national dealer surveys, in-depth industry analysis, Power 50 dealership honors program and dealership conference, Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo.

Contact: lkeener@powersportsbusiness.com
Website: www.powersportsbusiness.com

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