Jeff Kershner and I were having a great conversation the other day about why dealers don’t have a blog on their dealership’s website and for the dealers who do, how can they make the blog posts even more effective. We came up with a number of ideas and good shortcuts I wanted to share with the community.
Myth #1: Blogs won’t help my site performance.
Properly constructed blogs can help you incredibly with a number of factors on your site.
Tip #1: The trick is to blog well and blog often. Best practices suggest that 2 properly written blog posts be posted each week and be a minimum of 250-300 words with a good sized quality picture. (don’t forget the alt-text for the picture). We have seen the following metrics increase dramatically when blogs are employed; time on site, page views and an increase in conversions. It really works, but it takes time for it to develop. There is a saying I have heard, “most people stop blogging right before the real magic happens”.
Myth #2: I can just take information from the OEM and publish it to save time.
Don’t cut and paste information on your blog from other sites. You do not want duplicate content from another site anywhere on your site, period. It must be original.
Tip #2: Content for your blog is literally everywhere. Use the OEM site for motivation. Wouldn’t someone want to know that the 2015 make/model has 10 airbags? Or, that there is an an optional panoramic roof to enjoy the skies? You can simply pick 5 features about a car and write a great blog titled, The Top 5 Features of the 2015 (make/model). Then, list them 1-5. You’ll have 250-300 words in no time. Ok, you say I’m not a writer. Fair enough. I have to give Jeff credit for this amazing idea, Invest in a dictation program for your computer. Grab an OEM brochure and read it into the microphone. This content generally is not online and you can write 10 blogs in less than 20 minutes.
Myth #3: You can have a blog on a stand alone website.
I see this all of the time. If you do not have the blog hosted your website then you get no SEO value to your website. So, all of those blogs you write do not count toward additional pages on your website. The value to you organic SEO strategy is huge if it is on your site.
Tip #3: That being said, there are a number of web providers who do not have the ability to incorporate a blog into their platform. Optimally, your web provider should integrate WordPress into the site as WordPress is very easy to use and you can schedule posts to automatically populate on specific dates and times.
Myth #4: Blogs don’t convert or generate leads, so I don’t have the time to write them.
Properly written blogs do generate leads and convert, but they will not do so unless you are placing links in the blog to allow the customer to click on it. In my opinion, every blog should have at least three opportunities to have the customer click deeper into the site and hopefully into inventory, because the inventory is what we can sell them.
Tip #4: Let’s say you are writing a blog about the Toyota Camry. In the blog you can hyperlink key terms to get the customer to where you want them to be, for example, a simple statement saying view our Camry inventory, hyperlinked to your inventory takes them to the Camry’s.
Try to always put calls to action in your blogs.
Myth #5: I would blog, but it doesn’t get me an email address to market to.
If you are using WordPress or have an email program like Mail Chimp, you can easily insert a button or hyperlink to a question.
Tip #5: They have to give you an email to sign up if you’re encouraging them to sign up for your newsletter. Be sure that you have content to send to them monthly so that you can fulfill the promise and don’t make that content a heavy sales push. Keep it transparent and informative to separate you from the competition. View this as your lead nurturing bucket. You have a much higher likelihood of getting this person to engage with you when they are ready to buy if you have been offering them value for a period of time.
What are you doing these days with your blog?