Discuss Turn Heads with Online Marketing and Social Media for Dealers in the Automotive Internet Marketing forum at Car Dealer Forums; Five years ago, every business needed a website. These days, every business needs a blog, ...
Turn Heads with Online Marketing and Social Media for Dealers
Five years ago, every business needed a website. These days, every business needs a blog, and automotive dealerships are no different. Blogging is booming in the dealership community as the strong benefits and low barrier to entry are becoming more and more apparent.
One of the most important parts of having an online presence is making sure your website shows up prominently in relevant search results. When someone types in "car dealership" and the name of your city into a search engine, you want your dealership to show up front and center. The more contextual and relevant content you have, the more likely that is to happen as the search engine "crawlers" visit your site more and more frequently. With free back-end analytics software, you can see exactly what search terms readers are using to find your site and optimize accordingly.
According to a recent article in Dealer’s Edge, readers and customers are finding blogs through highly specific search terms, which can include particular makes and models, as well as more local queries. Checkered Blog, the offshoot blog of Checkered Flag, was found recently using the search query "pictures of a midnight blue Audi AB with automatic transmission." With specific, detailed, and targeted search terms like this one, even smaller dealerships are finding themselves more able to compete for search engine traffic.
The beauty of these kinds of visitors is that they would likely never end up at your main site through their search queries. Static websites tend to only carry the information absolutely necessary to the average visitor, including the hours that you’re open, or the models you carry. By blogging for your car dealership, you can open your traffic up to visitors who may not be in active buying mode, but will be in the future.
In order to properly take advantage of this traffic, it helps to have solid knowledge of search engine optimization, or SEO, strategies -- the proven methods of helping your blog get more prominent placement in search results. "Search engine optimization...is the practice of using relevant content to inform your audience and to establish credibility with search engines," explains Ryan Gerardi, founder of the internet marketing and advertising firm web2ologies and an industry specialist.
You can do optimize your website by hiring an SEO expert, but much of the information is available online for free. With a few hours of targeted research, you could be optimizing your blog and your website by lunch.
An active blog is part of what marketing professionals call a "long-tail" strategy, meaning the sales cycle is a lengthy one. The content you publish on your blog today may not turn into a sale for months or even years, but the cumulative effect of dozens or hundreds of blog entries can be astronomical. In tandem with a full social media strategy, blogging can have a dramatic impact on your sales and repeat customers, and it costs virtually nothing. Can you afford not to blog?
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Last edited by yhurg; 05-01-2008 at 07:47 PM.
Reason: fixed hyperlink
I feel writer put up hard effort to write this post..Really get impressed and agree with the post..SEO is the term which makes the website more visible for the users..
Driving More Traffic To Your Website and Blogs
I agree that blogs are good for increasing traffic to a website.
However, the difficulty with a blog is to make the blog work correctly.... you need to have a constant stream of timely relevant content, someone has to moniter it (daily or more), there needs to be a focus or a goal of the blog, and the person or people doing it have to be fairly literate and able to communicate in this medium and in the dealerships interest. It helps to also actually enjoy blogging.
In my opinion, most dealerships and independents should go for the easy stuff first to drive traffic....like....
* Make a concerted effort to put your url everywhere, letterhead, on your buildings, uniforms, business cards and all advertising
* make sure you have your website copy (all of it) set up properly with keywords
* I looked at 2 websites the other day for dealers that had apparently no seo efforts that I could find made to / for the website
* consider a PPC (pay per click) advertising program, it's cost effective, easy and targeted for your store
Blogs are a good idea in the right situation, but for most dealers, not worth the effort right now.
Considering that blogging has proven to be a viable means for building the online presence of businesses now for more than half a decade, I do not see why dealers should be excluded from this.
An effective blog marketing strategy is a totally viable means for auto dealers to differentiate themselves in today's market and I would argue that maintaining a blog is absolutely worth the effort right now. The dealership would benefit from SEO, branding, and networking, i.e. incremental sales.
If the Dealer can make this part of the employee culture at the dealership and incentify its people to contribute the end result could be killer. But I do not see this type of thinking at the dealer level and it is a shame.
As a result you get companies offering to provide these service for dealers which is certainly viable as well. The right partner can set up, run, and maintain a blog marketing strategy for dealerships more cost-effectively than can be done in-house too.
Maybe start a blog for service customers
Maybe to make the transition into blogging at a dealership easier, it could try to start their blog for the service department or body shop. It would be an easy topic to get content for as the customers would surely use it.
I believe in blogs. It's just tough to keep them going consistently in a dealership environment.
Sure. Concentrating on the more regular service needs of your customer audience offers far more utility to people than their vehicle purchase interests which are more spaced out.
We run a list-building program that promotes the dealers in new vehicle markets and in service markets. The more we do this the more we see our emphasis shift towards service & parts. Financing is on the horizon too but that ties in with the commodity purchase markets.
Two of the more fruitful programs we assist in are for Vinart and John Marazzi Nissan. You are welcome to join these lists that we run to get an idea what's going on, how it all ties in with service, and where the dealers themselves are involved.
Vinart - http://blog.vinart.com/member-savings/
Marazzi - http://blog.johnmarazzinissan.com/specials/
Internet marketing is sometimes considered to have a broader scope because it not only refers to the Internet, e-mail, and wireless media, but it includes management of digital customer data
Great thread, thanks!
Kent Hallum - Hallum Motors
In order to maximize a dealer blog you don't have to update it daily. Even 1-2 updates per week is good enough to help gain social marketing traction and ultimately relevant backlinks. A blog is a great tool to get backlinks and should be used as a HUB for your other social marketing efforts on sits such as Twitter and Facebook.
Gaining the backlinks is whats going to raise your standings in search engine results and you can do that by distributing your blog posts to article submission resources and getting it republished or linked back to from other relevant blogs. Once you understand how Google and other search engines work, it's not hard to give them what they are looking for . The Golden egg that keeps on giving is lasting organic rankings in as many of your local markets as is feasible.
I agree everyone needs a blog for the dealership but what I am having a problem with is you already have a static website built, inventory management software integrated into your website now I need a blog fine fine fine.
My problem is that I could just add a blog and link to it but it would not look like our static site so that's a problem
I cant seem to find a way to add a blog that would look like our current site without starting from scratch.
If anyone got some ideas I have missed Id love to hear them.
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