Archive for the ‘Automotive SEO’ Category

A.C.E. the Content Marketing Test

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

A.C.E. It!  Passing the Content Marketing Test in Any Size Market

a_plusIn today’s online business environment it’s pretty fair to say that competition has never been more fierce, especially for companies that must compete in or near the large geographic landscape of a major metropolitan city. Not only do these car dealerships compete in a market crowded with direct competitors in the form of other dealerships, they also must compete with indirectly.

Indirect competition can range from things like public transportation and even much smaller companies most of us may not think to include like perhaps the local bike shop or even carpool initiatives. So what can one take away from this?

Large city + competition from all angles = a much needed and highly specific game plan.

So what is a dealership located near a major U.S. city supposed to do in order to reach their target audience? Naturally, with it being 2014 and all, they must rally the troops and march to the online battlefront. (Yes, even for businesses that sell cars a lot depends on online efforts.)

And how should a car dealership in a large (or small market), look to better reach its target audience and get ready to take their marketing efforts online? Well, it’s just another test. And what do you want to do when they are given a test? A.C.E. it of course! Here at DealerFire, A.C.E. means to: Analyze, Collaborate and Execute.

One thing we take tremendous pride in here at Dealerfire is our content marketing. Content marketing can accomplish so many great things for every car dealership; from helping them rank at the top of the SERPs to building their corporate image and brand, and helping to convert leads into customers. Even though it’s a term with which most are familiar, we see it is a whole lot more than meets the eye – content marketing is more than just putting up words on a website.

ANALYZE

When starting any content creation, analyzing, collaborating and executing is vital to the dealership’s online success. The strategy starts with our Account Management sitting down with every client to unveil core competencies, unique and specific advantages and basically the burning problems or gaps that any particular dealership wants to overcome and conquer.

COLLABORATE

This is the big one!

After the initial communication channels with the dealership have been opened and we understand what needs to be done, that information trickles down to the content writers. However, just creating content around a few key takeaways and assessments is simply not enough and is only a small piece of the puzzle. Some may think it’s best to skip the small talk and jump right to the bottom line of selling more vehicles! But it’s not that easy and there is no one trick pony that will sustain in getting a dealership that first page ranking and consumer interaction. These ideas and thoughts must be shared across the entire marketing spectrum and everyone needs to be on board for this all to work.

  • The Account Management team may ask, “How large of an area are we looking to cover? Who/what is our major competition?”

  • Our PPC (Pay-Per-Click) team needs to be informed on what the content is intended to organically rank so they can match search terms to enhance the dealership’s overall quality score and drive more people to the website through paid advertisements.

  • The Support Department needs to make sure everything on the website is working properly. They may ask, “Do the calls to action on our custom content pages take the user to the next step and get that ever important conversion?”

  • The Analytics Experts need to monitor and track success to help adjust the marketing strategy as needed and keep content relevant and fresh.

The list of inputs goes on from virtually every department here at DealerFire.

EXECUTE

Taking into consideration variables such as geographic proximity, seasonal events, community events, new trends and pretty much anything and everything the public eye may be focusing on right now, we start developing content that drives automotive consumer engagement. So really, when you think about it, having a company blog or updating web content is great! But only considering new content and ignoring the many other moving parts of digital marketing efforts will lead to a plateau. It’s only when you really start to fine tune all the parts to work effectively together you can expect to A.C.E. today’s digital marketing test.

Written by Lance Kozic, Content Writer

Written by Lance Kozic, Content Writer

The Bounce Rate Blues

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

What are your bounce rates REALLY trying to tell you?

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 10.47.20 AMAs we learn about site metrics, we’re often forced into a frame of mind that leads us to believe that for each performance metric, you want to see them at their highest or lowest numbers. Higher is always better, and lower is always worse.  Or vice versa.

Let’s take for instance Bounce Rate. According to Google Analytics, Bounce Rate is defined as the percentage of single-page visits (i.e. visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page).

Naturally, it’s safe to assume that the lower the bounce rate, the better, right?  Of course we want people interacting with our site!  Whereas site interaction is good, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a lack of site interaction is bad.  It is my contention that in many instances, a higher bounce rate could be indicative of a STELLAR and effective entrance page.

My favorite example of this is a gorgeous auto repair microsite, Sentry Collision Center in Boston, Mass. This site is gorgeous and converts, but it does have a relatively high bounce rate, and the client was concerned.

Here’s the situation:  A guy wrecks his car.

Question is:  Where does he take it to get repaired?

Answer:  He does his research – checking out Google Places pages, Yelp reviews and others, he finally lands on my client’s page and says, “Phew!  After ten minutes of clicking around on Google and Yelp, I have finally found you, my chosen auto body repair shop.  Thanks for making your phone number prominent.  I shall call you now.”  <CLICK.>  He X’s out.  The site gets a bounce, but also delivers a lead.

Believe it or not, this guy DIDN’T say to himself, “OK, now that I have found this site that I like from a shop that I know is in my area and with reviews I can trust, I better click their SERVICES tab to make sure they repair front bumpers.  It would be a shame if this auto body shop only repaired rear bumpers.  I better read more to find out before making a call.”

Conclusion: So you see, in many instances, a high bounce rate could mean they liked what they saw, they judged the book by its beautiful cover and they decided to call.  Invest in tracking numbers to validate your suspicions, but don’t dismiss a website and its supplemental digital marketing because certain entrance pages have a high bounce rate.  That could just be exactly what you’re looking for!

Written by Eric Giroux, Account Manager

Written by Eric Giroux, Account Manager

DealerFire Academy Now Enrolling for May: “Video SEO – The Secrets for Shooting & Ranking Your Walk-around”"

Monday, April 21st, 2014
Luke filming walk-around

In our fourth installment of DealerFire Academy, we have a very special presentation for May based on something NO one talks about in our industry right now…Video SEO! Sure, you’ve seen it mentioned a few times at Digital Dealer and Kain Automotive, but does anyone really do it?!? Well, DealerFire does, and we’re going to let you in on the secret sauce for getting your walk-arounds ranked on page one of Google!

Which is more difficult? Shooting a video walk-around, or doing SEO on the video to get it to rank?

Lucky for you, we will have our very own videographer, Luke Mekuly, on hand to give you his top 5 tips for shooting a walk-around. That’s not all – Cavan Robinson will then show you how to upload your video to YouTube, optimize it for search and get it ranked!

If you’ve been struggling with the implementation of video in recent months, this is the webinar you need to attend. A few minutes per week can really make a big difference!

Register today to learn the secrets!

Wed, May 14, 2014 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM CDT

Feeling Empowered with Automotive SEO!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

We caught up with the Mac Haik Auto Group at the 15th Digital Dealer Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, NV, to talk about their experience with DealerFire over their  last seven months as a customer when “feeling empowered” came into the conversation. From an increase in website traffic to an improved quality score for Google Adwords through relevant pages and content marketing, the results speak for themselves.

But don’t take our word for it!

Ben Stapleton, Internet Marketing Director at Mac Haik Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram in Georgetown, TX, tells us more:

Why DealerFire: Auto Dealer SEO Testimonial from Mac Haik Auto Group from DealerFire on Vimeo.

When asked to comment on his customer’s testimonial, Eric Giroux, DealerFire Account Manager, said, “Successful sites like Mac Haik’s take two to tango. Ben is a very active Internet Manager who has helped us push the envelope to create an industry-leading site like his. I’m stoked to see that he is satisfied with both our product and our service and I’m really looking forward to serving more of the Mac Haik stores!”

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SEO Doesn’t Work! Selling with Content in Automotive

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

An excerpt from Christian Salazar’s presentation at the 15th Digital Dealer Conference & Expo, October 15-17, 2014, at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  Want to get your hands on the full PowerPoint or recorded session? Just ask HERE!

Content Marketing in Automotive

Christian Salazar tells a packed house why “SEO Doesn’t Work!”

Whether from the end user, website owner or advertiser perspective, Search Engine Optimization is as vital to Internet operations as air. SEO is meant to help people find what they’re looking for, but SEO doesn’t work alone and it’s NOT making you money.

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Content Marketing for Dealerships: More than just leads

Monday, October 28th, 2013

About a month ago, we followed-up to a presentation Aaron Schinke, Digital Marketing Director, made at AutoCon 2013 in our DealerFire blog about how crucial content is, in “How to Kill It with Content: Writing Off Your Competition.”  I’d like to expound on how and why the concepts covered are SO effective, and provide some insight as to exactly what dealers should focus on in their content marketing platform.

Let me set it up first.

Content Marketing with DealerFire

On the sales side of the house, I talk to hundreds of prospective clients a week and let me just say, a six year old can tell you just as well as I can what the goal of a car dealer is: To sell as many cars as humanly possible.

That’s not rocket science, right?  However, some dealers I talk to are apparently satisfied with never increasing their sales volume. The excuse I hear most often is, “I get more leads than I can handle right now.” That tells me that apparently they never have a second of downtime and can’t find time to contact every lead.

I have a theory.

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Google and YouTube are a Dealership’s Best Friends

Friday, September 20th, 2013

The Google bar should be a car dealer’s best friend. If you don’t know that by now, you may live in the dark ages!

DealerFire Automotive SEM

DealerFire loves YouTube + Google

Even if you can say, “We’re making record profits.” Compared to what? What’s your potential? Maybe your record profits are less than they could be!

Everyone wants and needs to make more money for their dealership, so if potential is endless (and it should be), then why would we limit ourselves by not utilizing every available resource. The vast majority of potential car buyers are researching their cars directly on your website – your virtual showroom – and one of the best ways to get there is through the Google bar.

Okay, by now I hope we can agree that we should love and embrace Google and search engine marketing, but everyone likes to have more than one best friend. Should we limit ourselves to the written word? Or should we utilize the worlds second largest search engine?… YouTube.

Imagine this: Someone types in YouTube “Shelby GT500 VS Camaro ZR1” to see which car is faster head to head. What if your dealership was the source of that information via video!

According to data directly from YouTube, there are over 1 billion original users every month.

Lets do some math: 1 percent of 1 billion is 10 million. Obviously the likelihood of 10 million viewers for a car dealership video isn’t very high, but how about 1 percent of that, or 100 thousand. If that number seems too high take one percent of that. Your final number would be 1,000. I feel like that is a safe number for a video tagged properly. Nobody would be complaining about 1,000 views per month. Also remember this, that number is taken from a percentage of NEW visitors each month. We all know most people visit YouTube multiple times per day.

If you still don’t believe video for cars can be effective, check this out: The new advertisment for the 2014 Kia Soul has 1.1 million views and counting. Oh, and by the way, it was posted about two weeks ago. I understand that this was done with tons of marketing dollars, but you don’t need over 1 million views to call a video effective, that’s the difference.

Now I’m going to suggest something that might not seem very conventional, but what if you, as a dealer, shot a video of how to change oil for one of your most popular cars. Think of it this way: you put the video on YouTube and on your website. You might be saying, “Wait just one minute, that will take away business!” No, it most likely will not.

When people go to YouTube to look up how to change their oil, they’re going to find a ‘how to’ video one way or another, so why not be the credible source. Why not have these people find YOU and remember YOUR dealership when they need other services done, or even maybe when they need to buy a new car. Just a thought.

The simple task of pulling out your smartphone and hitting record could, in the long run, benefit your dealership more than you may have thought.

So…give it a try. If you don’t get positive results, you only invested five minutes of time that you may have used to casually grab another cup of coffee instead. Just sayin’.

How to Kill It with Content: Writing Off Your Competition

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

An excerpt from Aaron Schinke’s presentation at AutoCon 2013, September 4-6 at Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.  Want to get your hands on the full PowerPoint?  Just ask HERE!

Aaron Schinke presents at AutoCon2013

Aaron Schinke kills it with more than content at AutoCon 2013

It’s unanimous. As confirmed by Google, one of the most important things you can do for you brand and its digital presence is produce high quality, unique content. But what does that even mean? It’s more than hyperbole – but it also deserves more than just lip service.

The purpose of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.

Huh?

The secret here is to just get started.

But people don’t like to read!

Really? While ereader sales are down from its peak in 2011, providers continue to invest in tablet improvements for an expected 11.7 million dollars in sales as late into the future as 2017.

But buyers only use 3rd party websites for consumer research!

Really? According to Google, 83% of consumers use a dealership’s direct website as the main source of research information when shopping for a car.  This is a fact supported by recent case studies and research released by top 3rd party lead aggregators themselves!

But I have nothing to write about!

Well…you’ve got us there.  The task of creating unique and compelling content is one that challenges even the best hypothesis theorists in history; tests even the most proven algorithms.  Otherwise, we’d be out of work!

Not really.

Google provides tools to find keywords and plan content around real topics consumers are searching NOW!  Real-time analytics provide further insights into what’s working and how to adjust your strategy.

Ok. Now where do I post it?

Blogs and forums are everywhere, but focusing on those that are top in your industry and get picked up most by Google will be your best bet. WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr are good examples. Next up? Professionally written press releases, custom landing pages and microsites.

Have a personality. One of our top converting pieces compared a used 2006 Ford Econoline Cargo Van in Kansas to a blank canvas to an artist possible of transporting large exotic animals and the world’s largest Pog collection. Boom. Sold.

Be sharable. The DealerFire Employment Page calls for a new Content Specialist to the join the team by making it clear it is looking for the next Bill Shakespeare capable of making a Ford Pinto sound like a Cadillac with nothing more than their poetic skills. Boom. More resumes than we can handle.

You have the immediate opportunity to be found during your customer’s shopping experience. If you do it right, you’ll be right where your consumer is when they go to look for information.

Putting time and effort into content for your dealership is paramount to its success, but you need to do more than a 3rd party to copy and paste some awful blogs for you. Your entire dealership (and website) is a content hub waiting to be unleashed. Put your site to work for you right now – and even have fun while doing it!

Want to get your hands on Aaron’s full PowerPoint presentation deck?  Just ask HERE!

Announced as Google Engage All-Stars!

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

DealerFire Selected as a Winner in the Google Engage All-Star Competition

"We are Google Warriors!"

“We are (Google) Warriors!”

Aaron Schinke, Director of Digital Marketing at DealerFire, is not a man of many words. When he found out DealerFire, and his Digital Marketing Team received yet another invitation to a Google Event in California, he was ecstatic–that’s right, ecstatic.

His words echoed through the halls and corridors at the DealerFire office in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, like King Leonidas himself, commanding the 300 Spartans into battle. If memory serves correct, it actually went something similar to this:

“Blood alone moves the wheels of history! Have you ever asked yourselves in an hour of meditation – which everyone finds during the day – how long we have been striving for greatness!?” Aaron declared. (more…)

MozCon Recap and My Trip to Seattle: DAY 1

Thursday, July 25th, 2013
MozCon 2013

MozCon 2013

MozCon is an SEO conference hosted by Moz (formerly SEOmoz). A sold out event in 2011 and 2012, I was excited to represent DealerFire and and bring home next-level ideas to both the company and our automotive dealer customers.

Held in Seattle, Washington, July 8-10th, I had just spent the 4th of July weekend with my wife, Meagan, in Chicago. It’s always hard to leave family, but I had those butterflies of a new adventure as soon as I stepped of the “L” into Midway.

Boarding my plane, I began the journey… (more…)

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