TireConnect provides several different types of embeddable search modules known as “widgets” that are collectively intended to provide your customers with an optimal tire search experience, while simultaneously providing tire dealers with as many options as possible for adding TireConnect to their website. We’ll look at the unique properties of each widget type and discuss how each is intended to be used as well as some general best practices. Please note that this is not a technical how-to document, but rather just a collection of best practices to help you decide how to best implement TireConnect on your website. If you are looking for a technical guide on this topic, please see this document.
General Website Best Practices
Before we dig into TireConnect, let’s take a quick review of some general website design best practices.
Lite Page Loads
The more stuff you put on a page (text, images, videos), the longer that page will take to load. While images are great for creating effective marketing pages that will engage your visitors, use them carefully and judiciously.
Websites work best for your visitors when the most critical content is easy to find. If your users need to click through multiple levels of navigation menus, we can guarantee that you’re losing visitors. If you do have lots and are struggling to organize it, try putting the most important items directly on the first level of your navigation menu and put lower priority items into the sub-menus. We also suggest that you have the same navigation menu on each page of your website. Keep it clear and standardized so that your visitors can easily and efficiently find the stuff you want them to find.
Above the Fold
This is a term that comes for the newspaper industry. Broadsheet newspapers that are folded in half learned long ago you put your important stuff above that fold. On a website, the fold is the bottom of the screen. If you have something critical you want your visitors to see, make sure that it is at least partly visible and recognizable without the need to scroll your page.
These days, more and more people are surfing the web using smartphones and tablets. These devices have much smaller screens than desktop computers, so it is absolutely critical that your website look good on them. In order to be usable across all types of network devices, your website should use a responsive design. Responsive designs can reconfigure themselves to fit the screen they are being viewed on. We suggest that if you are looking for a website developer, you make sure they are familiar with responsive design techniques.
TireConnect’s Embedded Search Tools
TireConnect provides several embedded search tools, each of which was carefully designed to solve specific design and usability challenges. Selecting the correct ones and placing them appropriately on your website is critical to maximizing your value from TireConnect. Working examples of each widget type will be linked to below. Each widget type will allow your users the choice of searching by tire size or by vehicle type.
Standard Search Widget ( Click here to see an example )
When beginning with TireConnect, you must create a dedicated tire search page on your website that uses our Standard Search Widget. This will be the heart of your TireConnect installation. Your new tire search page should be prominently displayed on the first tier of your website’s navigation menu. Visitors to your website can use this Widget to conduct tire searches and to view their search results.
The Standard Search Widget is fully responsive. When viewed using a desktop or laptop computer with a large screen size, the Standard Search Widget will automatically fill the width of your website. If you need to place content (text or images) above the Standard Search Widget, try to keep it short so that the Widget is still well above the fold.
- Create a dedicated search page that uses the Standard Search Widget
- Keep it above the fold. Don’t put too much content above it
- Fully responsive
- Automatically scales to full page width
Locator Search Widget ( Click here to see an example )
The Locator Search Widget is designed for tire dealers that have multiple locations. Very important: If you have multiple locations, you should use this widget instead of the Standard Search Widget. The Locator Search Widget will allow you to present individual pricing and offers for each of your shop locations. Your TireConnect sales/support representative will discuss this with you before your account is setup.
- User Locator Search Widget instead of the Standard Search Widget if you have multiple locations.
- Consider the advantages of creating individual pages for your locations, each with a Standard Search Widget.
- Keep Locator Search Widget above the fold.
Vertical Compact Search Widget ( Click here to see an example )
The Vertical Compact Search Widget was specifically designed for use on the homepage of dealer websites. It’s small size allows it to be easily integrated into many page designs and it can even be placed into sidebars if desired! Like its big brothers, it can perform searches on either tire size or vehicle type. Searches from the vertical compact widget are redirected to either the standard or locator widget on your website to display the search results.
Finding a Specific Location
The Vertical Compact Search Widget can be set to one of two different methods of selecting locations;
Manual - Compact widget displays pull-down menu of your locations for the user to select from;
- Auto - Compact widget has text field for user to enter zip/postal code, or even city. Based on user input, TireConnect will automatically select the nearest location for your customer.
Small size makes it ideal for your homepage
Can fit easily into sidebars
Search on vehicle type or tire size
Searches are redirected to the Standard or Locator Search Widget to display results
- Easy selection of dealer locations
Horizontal Compact Search Widget ( Click here to see an example )
The Horizontal Compact Search Widget is very similar to the Vertical Compact Search Widget. It supports performing searches on either tire size or vehicle type. The Widget is optimized to take only a very slight horizontal amount of space and can be spanned from side to side across your website. This is handy for sites that have limited space where even the Vertical Compact Search Widget is too large. It can be placed directly beneath your website’s banner or horizontal navigation bar, for only a small sacrifice of space. As with the Vertical Compact Search Widget, tire searches performed here will be redirected to your main tire search page and displayed in the Standard Search Widget.
This widget definitely needs to be place high on the page it resides, well above the fold. There is no additional cost for using the Horizontal Search Widget on your website. It was specifically designed to complement and interact with the Standard Search Widget.
Extremely small footprint
Designed for homepages
Place below top banner or horizontal navigation bar
- Search on vehicle type or tire size
Offers Widget ( Click here to see an example )
TireConnect Offers is a widget that provides a concise real-time catalog of all available tire discounts and rebates. TireConnect Offers is directly connected to the main TireConnect widget, where customers can complete their purchase of these featured tires. The offers widget displays on a tire dealer’s homepage, and can also serve to replace and automate a coupons page.
- Save time on administering rebates and discounts.
- Enhance your website's search ranking.
- Improve customer experience.