Archives For automotive

Source: Search Engine Optimization: Easy-to-Use Tools to Improve Your Dealership Website’s SERP Rankings

What happens to car dealership websites that don’t show up on the first page of search results? …They remain buried forever (play scary music).

Having a top rank in SERPs (search engine result pages) is crucial for car dealerships – it’s no wonder why SEO is considered a crucial strategy for many car companies.

In the last few years, SEO has evolved as a technique like never before. It is implemented at a high level to gain the required traction of the target audience.

With the changes in algorithms, the way automotive consumers tend to search has updated a lot. Whether it is being mobile first or the growing popularity of voice searches, these SEO trends have emerged in such a way that they decide the factors that impact the dealership’s website rankings directly.

But SEO is often mistaken for being a one-time hack. On the contrary, it’s a long term strategy. To ensure that you are able to attract customers organically, you need to work on optimizing your dealership’s site continuously. Search engine algorithms are always changing, so you need to have a smart approach to be able to adapt to those changes quickly.

I know, it sounds like a lot of work. However, there are several SEO tools  that can help you with this and get your site optimized.

In this post, we’ll take a look at 8 such easy-to-use SEO tools to help you improve your website rankings.

 

#1. GTmetrix

GTmetrix is a site analyzer and optimizing tool. It tells you everything you want to know about the performance of your website. It is a very effective tool to gauge the loading speed of a website.

Image via GTmetrix

You can test the loading speed of your website from different locations. GTmetrix has 28 servers located in 7 regions across the globe.

It tells you everything about the loading time, or the total number of requests being handled at different times. You can also set up alerts that’ll be triggered by your page if it faces certain conditions. GTMetrix displays a video of your page while it’s loading which helps you to identify any bottlenecks.

 

#2. SEMrush

SEMrush is another great SEO tool for businesses. It helps digital marketers to do keyword research and analyze keyword strategies used by their competitors. What’s more, it helps you run SEO audits of your content, find backlink opportunities, optimize landing pages, and more. With the free trial version, it has become quite popular among the masses.

seo-tools-Semrush

Image via SEMrush

SEMrush also helps you track the kind of traffic your website gets, in terms of paid and organic. The tool allows you to identify new keywords and their potential. SEMrush helps you craft better content and learn effective content marketing strategies as well.

 

#3. Majestic

Auditing your backlinks can be a hefty task, but Majestic makes it all very easy. It is a great tool to analyze how trustworthy your backlinks and referrals are. With the help of its site explorer tool, you can analyze a domain or URL in depth.

seo-tools-majestic

Image via Majestic

The backlink history checker enables marketers to audit backlinks detected by Majestic’s sophisticated web robots. You can compare backlink histories of competitors too. In a nutshell, Majestic provides you with an advanced link intelligence map with plenty of useful data.

 

#4. SpyFu

SpyFu is a very important tool to gather information about your competitors. Simply by entering a domain name, you can find out all the keywords your competitors are using. In fact, all the ad variations they’ve used by far will be shown as well.

SpyFu

Image via SpyFu

This can prove to be immensely valuable in gaining an edge over your competitors. You can also increase your web traffic with the help of useful recommendations.

Additionally, the tool enables you to connect and build important partnerships. SpyFu keeps you informed about every domain that bids on your AdWords, and suggests the AdWords you should be bidding on. It even tells you the ranking history of a website or web page using a keyword.

 

#5. Pro Rank Tracker

Pro Rank Tracker is a free cloud-based keyword rank tracking and reporting solution. It can prepare and provide advanced reports for your website by providing you with information on the keywords your website is ranking for, and suggest the keywords you must target.

seo-tools-PRT

Image via PRT

Pro Rank Tracker is suitable for businesses of all sizes. It is one of the best rank tracking tools available today. Its state-of-the-art algorithm gives you the latest, most accurate results about the ranking of your website.

The tool automatically tracks the ranks of your web pages. You can specify the search engines you want to track. It even allows you to track the ranks of your videos on YouTube and other video channels.

 

#6. Moz Pro

Moz Pro is an all-inclusive tool which takes care of all your SEO requirements. With a simple and easy-to-use interface, the tool provides you with analytics and insights to give your search engine rankings a boost. Its free add-ons such as Open Site Explorer and Keyword Explorer are also particularly useful.

seo-tools-Moz

Image via Moz

Their popular Chrome extension called Mozbar provides information about a page’s Domain Authority and Page authority directly on the browser. This is pretty handy for a basic competitor analysis.

Moz Pro helps with rank tracking, site crawling to uncover issues, on-page SEO optimization, link profile analysis and much more. Lastly, it can also assist with content management to ensure that businesses are able to promote the right kind of content.

 

#7. Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is a very popular tool for click-tracking and heatmap generation. This tool is quite different from most of the SEO tools available today as it helps you track the behavior of your visitors on your web pages.

seo-tools-Crazyegg

Image via Crazy Egg

You need to embed a small code on the pages of your website and this code will help track visitors that come to your pages.

Who are clicking on your pages? What are they avoiding? Are there any bottlenecks because of which they abandon the website? Which portion of the web page is most beneficial for conversions? Crazy Egg helps you answer all these questions with the help of heatmaps they generate.

 

#8. Copyscape

If your website content is a copy of some other page, it hurts your credibility and SEO. As Google is known to penalize duplicate content, your search engine ranking can be negatively impacted as a result.

seo-tools-CopyscapeImage via Copyscape

Copyscape helps you avoid any issues with duplicacy. It is a tool that helps you to check for plagiarized content by scanning and monitoring web pages with ease.

It can send alerts if your content is copied and or if it is being used elsewhere. Its sister site Siteliner can detect duplicate content within a website. What’s more, it also checks broken links and more.

 

Wrapping Up

SEO is a continuous process. The digital landscape is dynamic and ever-changing. So you need to continually monitor the performance of your site and optimize it.

There can be a host of problems on your site – with meta tags, copy, fonts, images, coding, broken links etc. SEO tools can help you uncover these issues. Once you are aware of them, you can fix them so as to provide a great experience to users.

Which are your favorite SEO tools? …Let us know in the comments window below.

Edited and reposted from article written by

Guest Blogger @Mention

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

Source: SEO or PPC; What’s More Important?

SEO or PPC; What’s More Important?

Just recently, a friend of mine approached me about his dealership site and how they had a consultant (SEO guru), do an SEO analysis of his site.

He was concerned that he may be losing money on keyword selection based on the analysis. As I explained to him there is some confusion out there regarding the entire Google platform and that having a balance of both high-level SEO, and an optimized PPC campaign is the ideal. I also explained that you only get charged by clicks, not keyword choices (lol)

Let’s cover SEO first.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” which is a practice that makes sure that your website follows all of the necessary rules of engagement to make it easy to rank as organically high on the search engine results pages (SERPs) as possible. It includes having good content in the form of copy, pictures, and video. All material should be relevant to the subject matter and have keywords and key phrases as an essential part of the site copy.  There are other technical aspects but forget those for now.  Having great SEO is the “free” way to get listed.

Offsite SEO is still a huge part of the overall SEO mix. Having other high-quality sites backlink to your website is the water that lifts the ice cube to the top of the glass so to speak. Having your dealership properly listed via all of the 300+ listing sites and the 4 main data companies (Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup and Neustar (Localeze), means that people will correctly know your company name, address, hours of operation, and telephone number. To have incorrect info strewn about the internet will definitely hurt your chances of getting highly-ranked. It will hurt your overall “Quality Score” which is essentially what Google uses to rank you in the search engine, and that’s where PPC and SEO strike their balance.

What is the “Quality Score”?
Quality Score is Google’s rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It is used to determine your cost per click (CPC) and multiplied by your maximum bid to determine your ad rank in the ad auction process. Your Quality Score depends on multiple factors, including:

1) Your click-through rate (CTR) (PPC campaign)

2) The relevance of each keyword to its ad group (PPC campaign)

3) Landing page quality and relevance (SEO)

4) The relevance of your ad text (PPC & SEO)

5) Your historical AdWords account performance (PPC)

As you can see, there is a mix of PPC and SEO involved in optimizing a Quality Score which essentially determines where your stores website is going to show up in a typical search operation. Great SEO alone can get you on to the first page of search, but unless you are well-branded, your position may vary from near the top, to not on the page at all. The leads you get from great organic (unpaid) placement are basically free and are high quality. However, to get into the top position and get the most clicks possible, and the best clicks according to numerous studies, you have to pay for placement.

PPC guarantees a first page presence.
The cost of that presence is somewhat based on the quality of the website’s SEO execution. The ads in the pay per click campaign have to be compelling enough to get a good click through rate, but the words and phrasing used in each ad must also match those keywords and phrases (long tail search terms) on the website pages they are linked to. The better the execution and matching of verbiage in ads and on the site, the better your organic ranking, and the cheaper you clicks will be. It’s a seriously incestuous relationship. Google wants to reward you for creating a good user experience (SEO) but needs to make money so they have PPC to nudge those rankings to the top if you pay enough to rank high.
Google really has it figured out. It used to be that Google had two columns on every search results page. The left column had the organic listings (best SEO executions and/or brand names). People used to click at an 8:1 ratio favoring the organic or “free” listings over the listings in the right column which were all paid for. Google then eliminated the two column design and started putting PPC campaign ads on top of each SERP which now has only one column combining paid and free results. This cut down the ratio that favored free search results and increased Google’s click revenue.
The point is, having as much visibility as possible in any search operation is crucial. It’s termed “page dominance”. In my estimation, the companies that do both well, win. The companies that only do PPC, run inefficient, expensive campaigns. The companies that ignore PPC, are likely too budget-conscious to compete and suffer with inconsistent visibility. Those who combine Google Best Practices, and optimize both SEO as well as their PPC campaigns, dominate their competition.
I hope this helps clarify the decade-old question of how SEO and PPC affect one and other, and how using both to your advantage is the best way to the top of the mountain.

Source: ‘Ralph Recommends…’ Newsletter Announcement on ADM Professional Community

“Ralph Recommends…”
eNewsletter Publication Launch Announcement

Ralph Paglia, "The Godfather of Automotive Digital Marketing"Having been the Editor-In-Chief and managed the ADM Professional Community for over ten years now, it seems that every technology development, software and application being sold to car dealers, along with various service provider programs and just about anything somebody conceives of that they would like to sell car dealers has been pitched to me at some point…

Usually in the form of a product demonstration, sometimes starting with a two minute “Elevator Pitch”. The vast majority of time I have considered incumbent upon my obligations to this professional network to listen, watch, take notes, try it out, talk to any dealers currently using the widget in question and generally become aware of what it is, what it costs and what the claimed Return On Investment (ROI) is all about… The how when and why of ROI.

More background and qualifications; For over 30 years I have been blessed with work and assignments that required me to (in addition to selling cars) create product and solution development “Road Maps” used to guide future products and when they would be released for companies such as American Honda Motor Company, Reynolds, ADP (CDK), JD Power, BMW North America, Tier10 Marketing, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Sales, Mercedes-Benz USA and a few more. These projects resulted in me spending countless hours with software developers, project planners and executive committees as we defined what car dealers would need to stay competitive and to improve what customers experience when dealing with them.

As a result of this exposure, combined with my experience in selling cars while managing car dealerships, solution development and professional services to car dealers while working at the Reynolds and Reynolds Company, ADP Dealer Services (CDK Global), Tier10 Marketing, Courtesy Chevrolet and many other dealerships… I have developed a strong sense of which products and services do what, how well they do it, and whether or not they are worthy of consideration by car dealers, auto groups and enterprise organizations.

You may be thinking “Everybody has an opinion”, and you are correct… However, my opinion comes from an auto industry veteran with Bachelor of Science and Masters Degrees in Business Administration, who has implemented software and business procedures in car dealers that I served as a manager, as well as being employed by the largest software development companies in the car business to serve as Practice Leader and manager of consultants deployed to assist car dealers in the implementation of technology, people and process designed to drive improved business results and customer experience. I know what I am talking about when it comes to deploying solutions in car dealerships and I am eager to share my experience, insights and wisdom on the use of existing solutions and those to come in the future.

Several weeks ago I was approached by a couple of automotive professionals who I consider to be “Thought Leaders” within our industry… They asked me to consider creating and publishing a weekly newsletter with insights, opinions, guidance, reviews and recommendations for car dealers focused on products and services, along with sharing best practices and what I see as future developments, strategies and tactics in the car business.

My initial response was to say I am already doing this with the ADM Professional Community website and network. These people, who I consider to be wiser and possibly more intelligent than me, responded with, “Maybe so, but you currently provide your members with something that they must go to your site to find and see…” Which I acknowledged was true. They went on to say, “We want to create a newsletter that is delivered to members of the ADM Professional Community and additional professionals who are not members, but who work in the auto industry, which will become a valuable resource throughout the car business…”

I agreed and so the genesis of the “Ralph Recommends…” eNewsletter has come to be. Within the next couple of weeks you will be sent the first issue of “Ralph Recommends…” and I would like to ask for your help. Please take a look at what is in there and let me know your opinions about what’s good, what’s bad and what you would like to see. You can send me an email to RPaglia at Gmail dot com, a message via this network, Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM, call or text me on my cell at Five Zero Five, Three Zero One, Six Three Six Nine, or contact me in whatever manner suits you… But any feedback will be appreciated and considered as I move forward with the “Ralph Recommends…” project.

“Ralph Recommends…”

I look forward to hearing back from each of you…

Ralph Paglia
Editor-In-Chief
AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com

‘Ralph Recommends…’ eNewsletter Launch Announcement

Sales of sport utility vehicles were particularly strong this year, according to joint research by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive.

Total light-vehicle sales are expected to finish out 2017 at 17.2 million units, a decrease of 1.9% from 2016, according to joint research by J.D. Power and LMC Automotive, with retail light-vehicle expected to finish the year just below 14 million units – down 1.1% from 2016.

Having personally invested 5 months into working in car dealerships during 2017, on the front lines managing digital marketing campaigns and supervising BDC operations… I can attest to the simple reality that trucks and SUV’s were where we were able to generate excitement and consumer response in 2017. At Tier 3, we feel the mood of the car buying population far sooner than reflected in sales numbers. 

The continuing shift of sales percentages into more trucks and SUV’s and less conventional passenger cars is reflected in the responsiveness that automotive consumers have to sales promotions and campaigns on each model type.

Looking forward to 2018, both firms expect total light-vehicle sales forecast to top out under 17 million units, a decline of 1.2% from 2017, while the forecast for retail light-vehicles is 13.8 million units for 2018, a decline of 1.4% from this year.

The big surprise for 2017 turned out to be the strength of sport utility vehicle (SUV) sales, according to Jeff Schuster, LMC’s senior vice president of forecasting.

“SUV demand has been robust and is expected to finish up 5% in 2017 from 2016 and a market share of 43% of total light-vehicle sales,” he said in a statement. “The SUV reign will continue for the foreseeable future [as] SUVs are expected to  account for 50% of new model activity in 2018, which will help push the share of total sales to 45% and continue the segment’s volume growth, even as the total market is projected to contract further in 2018.”

He added that light truck models overall accounted for 68% of new-vehicle retail sales through Dec. 17 – the highest level ever for the month of December, making it the 18th consecutive month above 60%.

 

While participating in a meeting during NADA 2015 in San Francisco, I challenged Brian Pasch’s assertion that car dealers should not invest too much time or energy on Pay-per-Click Search Engine Advertising strategy or tactics… Almost a year and a half later, I believe Brian has come to understand why I still work so diligently at educating dealers about Google Adwords as a strategic digital marketing tool.

Recently Brian published an article on LinkedIn which references Ford Motor Company’s latest initiative to compel their dealers to spend more of their advertising budget on PPC Search Advertising.  This article is compelling because it showcases a major OEM doing whatever they can to drive their Dealer Network’s competitive positioning in Search Results Page rankings via the use of Google Adwords.

Although I agree that dealers need more and better educational resources for their digital marketing proficiency, I do not believe it is a 100% educational issue, nor will the problem be resolved by learning alone. Car Dealers have an almost inexplicable affinity for the off-line advertising media that has served them so well over the years… In the past. This will only be overcome when those of us in the automotive digital marketing world learn to communicate, present and close deals as well as the old school media sales professionals.

Here is the bulk of Brian Pasch’s article:

Education Is a Cause of Low Impression Share

Founder of PCG Companies, Author, Keynote Speaker

Education Is a Cause of Low Impression Share

Recently, Ford sent out a memo to their franchise dealers outlining their new co-op policy regarding funds associated with digital media investments. The new policy will require Ford Dealers to use 50% of the digital media funds for paid search, starting July 1st, until dealership impression share increases.

The reason for this change in policy, according to Ford, it the abysmally low AdWords impression share that Ford dealers have when consumers conduct a search in their local market for Ford related terms or general shopping terms.

The dealers must increase their paid search spend until they hit a target impression share, which would make the brand more competitive in search results.

While I understand the reason for this policy change, and how it will help to support the national advertising campaigns that Ford runs, it does not fix the underlying problem.

Why are Ford dealers not seeing the need to invest in search engine marketing?

According to Ford’s memo,  their dealer network is being outgunned by competitors by nearly a 3:1 ratio in paid search. Other dealer networks are investing in paid search, protecting their brand related terms, resulting in a much higher impression share.

So what is really the root cause of this competitive disadvantage? An issue is the current state of franchise dealership education. It is not a problem unique to the Ford dealer network. While some Ford dealers may not understand that they must advertise online, why is the Ford network they so far behind their peers?

While policies that require spending in specific strategies (SEM) makes sense in the short term, to protect market share, the bigger problem at hand is the failure of dealership education and certification regarding online marketing.

Franchise dealers hate being told how they have to advertise their dealership.

So, I’ll raise my hand to offer assistance to the Ford dealer network regarding strategies to help Ford dealers understand the “why” behind digital advertising and online marketing. PCG has developed a comprehensive catalog of online workshops designed to educate dealers on automotive digital marketing and sales process.

Once Ford dealers understand the “why” behind this policy change, they will adjust their spending patterns naturally. Forcing franchise to spend their advertising dollars in certain areas, without establishing a clear financial benefit first, will create friction between Ford and their dealer network.

Right now, affirmative action is needed. I support that decision, however, what about social media advertising? Video pre-roll advertising? Will the beatings continue without education?

Do you agree? Share your thoughts below.

2016 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference

I invite all dealership leaders to join me at the 6th Annual Digital Marketing Strategies Conference (DMSC), May 22-24th in the Napa Valley. This conference is designed for dealership owners and managers who want to gain a competitive edge with their online marketing strategy. 18 tickets remain; act quickly.

Conference details: http://digitalmarketingstrategies.org/

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ralph Paglia

Automotive Marketing Pro with a Passionate Commitment to Clients

Ralph Paglia currently serves as President of ADM Consulting, LLC based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to his launch of the ADM Consulting Practice in May 2014, Ralph drove the concept, business strategy and creation of Automotive Media Partners, LLC… From January 2011 and up to to the corporate formation and official launch of AMP in April 2012, Ralph served as Vice President – Digital for Tier 10 Marketing with offices in Washington, DC and Miami, FL.  During his time at Tier 10, Ralph recruited, hired, trained and led the Digital Marketing and Advertising Team. Ralph created Tier 10’s Digital Advertising Operations, and defined those operating procedures in a Documented Manuals. Ralph designed the team’s work-flow processes and digital advertising operational steps that executed campaign fulfillment for Tier 10 Marketing dealer and dealer association clients.

From early 2007 through the end of 2010, Paglia was responsible for ADP Digital Marketing Business Development. He established key strategic partnerships with Car Companies (Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Hyundai,Kia), Social and Digital Media Enterprises, major universities (ASU), car dealers, large dealer groups and digital marketing enterprises such as Google, Yelp, Yahoo!, DoubleClick, Specific Media, Jumpstart Automotive Media, KnowEm, Ning, TubeMogul, Network Solutions, DealerRater, Facebook, Presto Reviews, J. D. Power and Associates, Digital Dealer Conference, Cars.com, CBS, Ford, Kia, Honda, Toyota, General Motors, Hyundai and others.

At both ADP Dealer Services (now CDK Global) and Tier 10 Marketing, Paglia created significant revenue growth from new solutions to accelerate vehicle, parts and service sales using digital marketing, site visitor retargeting and behaviorally targeted online display advertising, search engine advertising, social media marketing and reputation management strategies and tactics.

Prior to Tier 10, Paglia created new businesses for ADP Dealer Services (now CDK Global) such as Digital Marketing and Advertising, OEM Digital Marketing Consulting, and Social Media Reputation Management.

EDUCATION: After earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Valparaiso University, Paglia attended SUNY-Buffalo School of Business for his Masters in Business Administration (MBA), specializing in Marketing. His first job after graduate school was with De La Fuente Automotive, Inc. in San Diego where he served in multiple roles over an 8 year period including sales manager, general sales manager and general manager. .

AUTOMOTIVE: Since his San Diego dealership days, Paglia has served in management capacity for dealer groups in California, Texas and New York. Ralph has become a nationally recognized thought leader, conference speaker, consultant and frequently published author on automotive CRM systems, Digital Marketing and Advertising Strategy, organizational development and Internet Sales Team Operations and Management.

GODFATHER OF DIGITAL MARKETING: Paglia has been tagged as the “Godfather of Automotive Digital Marketing” by several industry veterans as a result of his remarkable history and pioneering thought leadership. His experience at large scale implementation of auto industry Internet Sales Departments, Business Development Centers (BDC) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tactical operations is unmatched. Paglia is a well known speaker and frequently published expert on Automotive Digital Marketing and Advertising, automotive solution development requirements, CRM systems, dealer business process and operations, Digital Marketing value propositions along with measurement criteria, platform data points and collections systems for performance reporting and ROI analysis.

HIGHLIGHTS

1986 San Diego: Paglia pioneers “Internet Leads” using Bulletin Board Systems at defense contractor facilities

Dealer Authority

Automotive Digital Marketing

Search Engine Journal

Search Marketing Advice, News, and Tutorials

Cars.com DealerADvantage

Cars.com's resource for dealers and national partners, sharing strategies for effective online advertising and internet sales processes to sell more cars.

Automotive Social CRM by Ralph Paglia

Social Media Based Customer Relationship Management Strategy and Tactics for Car Dealers

The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice

The secret of Leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there...People will follow. ~Seth Godin

CBT Automotive Network

Automotive News, Training and Insights

Matt Collins' Blog

A Blog About Disruptive Tech, Trends, & Opportunities

Sales, Marketing & Social Media Today

This is a blog that explores the trends of Sales, Marketing and Social Media. Send me your questions!

Evans Design Studio, Chip Evans

Wordpress Website Design and Development | Drupal Web Design and Development | Custom Web Design and Development

Social Media PR

Our Social Media Consultant And Marketing Agency Gets Your Brand Noticed Online

%d bloggers like this: