For instance, when a hobbyist oversees building their company’s website,
it’s painfully obvious. Keep in mind that it takes only a couple
seconds for a user to recognize they’ve stumbled onto an amateur site,
which more than likely has a chaotic and jumbled flow, and click off of
“You’re an amateur if you’re not being paid to do it,” Hill said. “Invest in it … work with actual designers.”
Web design trends have gone through many phases as we’ve evolved into a
digital world. For example, Adobe Flash, a now deprecated multimedia
software platform, was once highly sought after and used in web
production, but is now seen mostly as a distraction.
So, too, is music, animation, visual counters and “coming soon” pages.
“‘Under construction?’” Hill asked of areas of the website that haven’t
been fully fleshed out. “Nope. That’s just saying it’s not that
important to you yet.”
Staying consistent with the design is important, which means font, the
specific style and size of the letters you use on your site, matter.
Hill advises Auctioneers to pick one font type that is aesthetically
pleasing and stick with it throughout the site. And always ensure that
there are no grammatical or spelling errors anywhere on the site.
Catering to the User
For Auctioneers looking to update their websites, mapping out the
strategy is easier after running through a checklist of things that
buyers and sellers want to see and experience.
For example, Hill said that most buyers want the auctioneer site to
include an auction calendar and a chance to receive email notifications
of upcoming auctions, photos of the items being sold, detailed
individual lot listings, a way to register to bid through the website
and to view and pay an invoice.
Even if all the photos for every lot haven’t been taken yet, post what you do have, he said.
“Don’t have them go there and not show them something,” he said.
To generate more interest, Hill advises that Auctioneers feature their
biggest attraction on their website. Go into detail about the item and
offer plenty of photographs.
Sellers want to see your results – proof that if they hire you, they’re
making the right decision. However, Hill said that if you have an
auction that doesn’t go so well, and you’ve already made the decision to
post your sales results, you have to stay consistent, which can be
embarrassing when things go south.
Sellers also want to have easy access to company information, from the
“about us” page to how they can contact you. Don’t complicate the
process by having them fill out a 35-question document before they can
email you, he said.
“Start with small questions and challenges,” Hill said of developing a
strategy for improving a website. “Think about your audience. Buyers are
looking for auctions, looking for specific items and gathering
“Sellers are thinking about having an auction, looking for an Auctioneer and learning about you.”
This article was an excerpt from a presentation given at the 2018 NAA International Auctioneers Conference and Show
. Want even more tips regarding this topic? NAA members can access the full audio of this presentation and many others in the NAA Education Portal