Web Design Tips for an Auto Parts Website


There is no one-size-fits-all approach to website design. Whilst some strategies, like link building and content marketing are applicable to all industries, it’s important to adopt a holistic approach to website design if you are marketing a niche business. Here are some tips to help you design the perfect website for an auto parts business.

Anyone can build a simple website. Content management systems like WordPress and Magento are easy to use and once you have a basic framework in place, you can play around the layout using a drag and drop interface. However, if your business depends on website traffic, it’s sensible to look into website design Melbourne, as a professional website designer will be able to advise you on SEO and the more technical aspects of web design. But if you already have a website and you just want to tweak the design, check out the following tips.

Mobile Friendly

Businesses can’t afford to ignore the importance of mobile-friendly web design these days. More people than ever before are using mobile devices to search online. This is especially true in the auto parts industry, where customers need parts quickly and are often outdoors, or away from a computer.

Google likes mobile-friendly websites, so if you don’t take steps to make your website suitable for mobile devices, it could harm your position in the search engine rankings. It will also make it harder for customers to find the auto parts they need.

Easy Navigation

How easy is it for customers to find the auto parts they need on your website? The harder it is, the more likely they are to click away and use a different website. Since you probably have a vast catalog of different auto parts, it is essential that you catalog them in an intuitive manner. Look closely at your navigation links. The more steps a customer has to take to find the part they need, the more annoyed they will be. Install a search facility on your site to make it nice and easy for customers to find the part they are looking for.

Eye-Catching Design

Auto parts are not very sexy, so you should try to make your website as easy to the eye as possible. Try to avoid using too much text on the homepage, as this is less appealing. Use professional photos, preferably images that are unique to your business. However, check how long pages take to load once you have images installed, as slow load times are damaging to your SEO.

Business Branding

Use branding to set your website apart from those of your competitors. Do you have a company logo? If so, incorporate it into your website design, along with any colors you use.

Local Information

Do you have a bricks and mortar auto parts store? If so, place your contact details in a prominent location on the site. Having a landline number on a website establishes your business as a trustworthy partner.

Don’t forget to include social buttons on every page, so customers can share information about auto parts with their friends.

Israel flying high with NASCAR


There is not a long and storied history of Jews in motorsports. The cast of characters is limited and filled mostly with names like Jody and Tomas Scheckter, François Cevert and Peter Revson, all of which likely means little to the average American, and less to the average American Jew. Even Kenny “The King of Speed” Bernstein, a Motorsports Hall-of-Famer, isn’t well known outside racing circles. Perhaps the most iconic Jewish racer was Paul Newman, a man far better known for his acting and activism. And if you narrow the story’s scope to Israel, it becomes so short it could be a haiku: Chanoch Nissany /did not race in the Grand Prix /how good could he be?

So it might have come as some surprise if you happened to catch the trials for this year’s Daytona 500 and caught an odd sight on the track. There, among the cars emblazoned with the logos of corporations like Target, Burger King, GEICO, FedEx and Miller, was the No. 49 car, a bald eagle on its hood, clutching the flags of Israel and America in its talons, with the words “United We Stand” above its grille.

If your first instinct is to suspect that this development is AIPAC’s latest foray into public relations, or that a pro-Israel billionaire like Sheldon Adelson decided to drop a couple million on a car to bring his message to the masses, you’d be wrong. In fact, the No. 49 car was conceived in a partnership between Robinson-Blakeney Racing and America Israel Racing, and their background might surprise you.

Speaking on the phone from North Carolina, America Israel Racing (AIR) co-founder Rich Shirey wasn’t hesitant to say that there’s “not one Jewish person on our team.” Shirey was raised Baptist in a home where, he says, they were always taught to stand behind Israel. Shirey, who has no background in racing, says the idea for America-Israel Racing came out of a desire “to show the world, and Israel, that a majority of Americans do support Israel.”

After being inspired to do something in support of Israel, Shirey got in touch with his friend, AIR co-founder Mark MacCaull, a former NASCAR engineer, to try and make his idea a reality. In Shirey’s mind, there was no better way to raise awareness about Israel than through NASCAR racing, the sport he loves. “Fortunately enough, Jay Robinson of Robinson-Blakeney Racing was coming up out of the Nationwide Series,” NASCAR’s second division, “to the Cup Series, and we went and met with him and it just was a perfect fit,” Shirey said.

“Everybody we have on our team, from the air team to the driver, to the crew chief, to the team that actually owns the racing team … everybody is 100 percent on board with this,” Shirey said. Even driver J.J. Yeley, when told what would be on the hood of his car, was hugely supportive. “When J.J. found out what we were trying to do … he was ecstatic.”

With Robinson-Blakeney and Yeley on their team, Shirey and MacCaull knew there were still many hurdles ahead. “Everything we do, NASCAR has to approve of,” said Shirey. And while the sport’s governing body has been very supportive, there’s still the matter of funding a race car, which is no small feat.

“We’re not rock stars or movie stars or anything like that, we’re just ordinary people,” said Shirey. “We have enough money to run Daytona, and Phoenix, and there’s a good possibility we’ll be in Las Vegas, but we definitely need to get funding.”

While AIR has been collecting donations on its Web site, americaisraelracing.com, the real struggle is “to try and get some corporate sponsors on the car.” But despite having yet to find a big-name sponsor, Shirey remains hopeful. “In America right now, things are tight for everybody.”

More than anything, Shirey wants to get the message out that America and Israel need each other and that, at least in the world of NASCAR, Israel is a true friend to America. “We’re two countries that are a lot alike in everything we do. They’re our closest ally in an area of the world that’s not real friendly to the West. And we need Israel as much as Israel needs us.”

Ron Bloom: Car czar in the Labor Zionist tradition


By now Ron Bloom’s professional road to becoming the Obama administration’s car czar has been widely reported. Missing from the coverage, however, has been any mention of those formative years at Jewish summer camp.

Born in New York City and raised in Swarthmore, a suburb of Philadelphia, much of Bloom’s early life revolved around Habonim (now known as Habonim Dror), a progressive Labor Zionist youth movement that emphasizes cultural Judaism, socialism and social justice.

It’s all part of an upbringing that the man overseeing the country’s bailout of the U.S. auto industry cites among his earliest influences.

“I had an aunt in the teacher’s union,” and relatives who were “Hebrew butchers and Hebrew bakers,” Bloom recently told JTA in an exclusive interview a few days after returning from a trip to Israel to attend the 80th birthday of an uncle who moved there several decades ago. “My grandparents were immigrants from Eastern Europe; that was very much in my upbringing,” Bloom said.

Bloom’s parents met at a Habonim summer camp in the 1940s and moved to Israel, intending to make aliyah. Though they changed their minds and moved back to the United States, Habonim remained an integral part of their lives.

“My parents had always been supportive of doing something that we found meaningful,” Bloom said. “There was always a view that what’s going on in the world matters. We talked politics at the dinner table. Life was about engagement in the world.”

At age 10, Bloom was sent with his two siblings to Camp Galil, a movement-run summer camp near Doylestown, Pa. He returned each season for the next four years and later became a camp counselor.

One of campers was Jack Markell, who years later would become the governor of Delaware. Bloom reconnected with Markell, as well as with several other old Habonim friends, upon arriving in Washington for his new job. They are now “offering me home-cooked meals,” said Bloom, who is commuting between his family in Pittsburgh and his job in Washington.

Bloom recalled camp as “a fun experience” that afforded him the opportunity to “meet people from different places.” He said he never intended to go into the Labor Zionist movement professionally.

Addressing the question of how the experience influenced him, Bloom said, “It’s all a tapestry, and it’s hard to figure out what fits where.”

He says Habonim infused him with values that influenced the way he views public service. “We sang the songs, but it wasn’t about that,” Bloom said. “It was a broader sense of identifying with the underdog, and of observing the world through a lens, through people who don’t have as much and aren’t as lucky.”

The Labor Zionist movement prides itself in its direct connection with union work and its ability to inspire leadership, said Kenneth Bob, the president of Ameinu, the Labor Zionist organization that provides funding to the Habonim Dror youth movement.

Prior to his ascent in the Labor Zionist movement, Bob was actually Bloom’s counselor at Camp Tel Ari, Habonim’s leadership training institute. He recalled Bloom as being “a very serious, engaged person, there for the right reasons, to drink in the experience and learn as much as he could.”

Bob said there is a “great deal of pride” within the Habonim community regarding Bloom’s new position in the Obama administration.

“There’s definitely been a buzz on the online alumni listserv,” Bob said. “People are very proud, very supportive of Obama and excited about the things he’s trying to do, and to have one of our own helping.”

Bloom’s expertise in both private banking and the labor union movement, as well as his reputation as a passionate but pragmatic negotiator, helped him land what he says is the job of a lifetime.

A graduate of Harvard business school, Bloom worked as an investment banker for a decade before leaving the financial sector to take a position—and pay cut—with the United Steelworkers of America. Then, when Obama came into office, he became an aide to Rattner at the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry. When Rattner resigned after just five months, Bloom took over as car czar.

Now, there’s speculation in Washington that Bloom will be offered a new position next month overseeing manufacturing policy for the Obama administration.

Bloom said his decision to join the administration was, in part, the product of a broader sense of engagement and desire to improve the world, which he developed in his Habonim years. “That’s part of what I try to do in my work life,” he said. “That’s one of the things that made me want to work for Obama.”

As for the possibility of future assignments in Washington, Bloom said that the difficulties of commuting and the strain it places on his family would need to be taken into consideration.

“I’m not in a position to talk about future,” Bloom said. “I will stay as long as the president wants me to stay. If there are opportunities, I’ll consider them.”