Ideas for Joe's Website

  • The #1 change that I think is vital to the site and that will drastically change your revenue is this. Your site shows items that you want to sell to people. People browse the site or end up at the site through a search engine. They look at photos and see listed the price. At the point where a customer wants to buy something, they're stuck. There's a few problems here. The first is that there's no obvious way to then buy the item that you see. If a user wants to buy an item they have to seek out the your email address or phone number. Each item should have a button or link next to it that a user can click to start them on the process of buying the item. There should be something to click on next to every item saying that the user wants to buy the item. This should then go to something that starts the purchasing process. The second problem is that the method you have setup to buy stuff on the site depends upon a customer being comfortable with cold-emailing or cold-calling you to buy the part. This barrier, I think, would be enough to lose a lot of sales. I think that some customers who are surfing the web to look for car parts, don't want to initiate a personal contact to another person to buy their part. As it is right now their only option is to write you an email describing what they'd like to buy. This should be a process, that if the user wants, is something they can complete from beginning to end on their own, without having to contact you.
  • The second most important change that I think should be made is to entirely rewrite the pages with keywords in mind. For example :
    • Add into item listings full years, not just 72-80. This will better match people searching for "1972 dodge door seal" which wouldn't match any of your pages currently. This could be conveyed in meta information or somehow in the page.
    • Re-present all of your part listings by year in addition to by group, for example, have a page for 1975, showing all of the parts applicable to a 1975.
    • List on this page all of the full model names that apply (dodge truck D200, Power Wagon, Dakota, etc.)
  • When photographing dark brown metal objects, don't do so with a wood background cause you can't see them. Use a white background. Also, get some lights and a light box to photograph the items. You might need to assemble a somewhat large light box since you're photographing big stuff sometimes.
  • I imagine some of your customers aren't familiar with the Dodge group number that associates to each different system. Remove that from the page listing, and put it on the page itself with more detail like "Dodge part group # 3"
  • Change item to image links to javascript popups instead of normal links. This will keep the person from moving around and it's easier to use. You could instead use some kind of AJAX gallery tool http://minishowcase.frwrd.net/demo/
  • Render two different sizes of photos for each item, a thumbnail smaller than what you've got now, and a full resolution photo bigger than the one you've got now. popup to the thumbnail and have a link to view the fullsize image.
  • It's a bit confusing to have the NOS Parts section (merely one of 15) as a link on the main header. This should either be a javascript drop down menu of all of the sections or be a link to page that has all of the groups in it (instead of a link to one of the groups)
  • Why reveal the author and modify date on each page, does the user need to know this? I'd say that the upsides of this is that it conveys the freshness of the page, and the downsides are that it looks amateur. I think there are better more obvious ways to convey freshness and I'd take it out..
  • I would use header buttons that conform to more modern design aesthetics. As times change so do styles. This wouldn't matter except that it conveys to the user the freshness of the site. If you have buttons of a style that was popular a long time ago it indicates that the page is old and not fresh. I'd render some new buttons conforming to modern styles http://iris-design.info/photoshop/web-20-style-buttons/
  • Images need to be downsampled. The compression used on the images should be ramped up. They're bigger in bytes than they need to be and you can change the JPEG compression quality and save some transfer time without noticeably affecting the image quality. This comes back to the need for thumbnails.
  • All items need images, even if you didn't take them, even stock photos. Also each item needs to have some kind of uniqe identifier so the customer can ask for a specific thing. Currently they'd have to describe the item they want, which could be a turnoff for a potential customer.
  • Get your stock listed in google's product search. http://www.google.com/base/help/sellongoogle.html
  • Start processing orders on your website and accepting credit cards online instead of requiring contact from the customer
    • Google
      • Fees
        • Free for 2007
        • 2008 : 0$ per month 2% + $0.20
    • Merchant Inc
      • Fees
        • 25$ per month / 2.3% + $0.25
    • EasyCharge
      • Fees
        • 16.95$ per month / 2.25% + $0.25
    • Paypal
      • Fees
        • non-merchant : 0$ per moth / 4.9% + $0.30
  • Add CSS styling of fonts. The current fonts look a bit amateur. Try out some different fonts. Spice it up.
  • Page width needs to be constrained. Currently paragraph text is hard to read cause it wraps all the way across the screen. Most websites these days restrict the width of the page so that the reader, when they get to the end of a line of text, can more easily find the beginning of the next line of text.
  • Main page is too long, hard to navigate. Separate it into different pages or sections.
  • Break contact page into sections, it's one long section that people won't read all the way through to find what they're looking for.
  • Does everyone know that these parts are universal to all dodge trucks? Are they universal to all of them. If people don't know this you should list on every page the truck models that the parts apply to.
  • Probably best to remove the thanks to Clark text.
  • The location of the phone number is hard to find on the contact page. Maybe break it onto it's own line. Maybe a different font or section.
  • Edges of header image shouldn't be so sharp. Rounded edges, gradient fade, transparency maybe. This will just make the site look a bit more professional.
  • You should add a small copyright statement to back up your note about, please don't copy the content of this site.
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