Nov 012013
 

 dpball From Dan Ball’s Desk

SEO

SEO is ever changing. And, it has developed a bad reputation in some circles because many companies ignore best practices, and don’t keep up with changes in algorithms and guidelines. Some use spamming techniques to try to fool the search engines. Others make promises they can’t keep. So what do you do? Find out some basics.  Let’s go over a few things to make sure your team is providing what you need today.

Link Building

Link building used to be a common practice and was abused with link farms and link vendors. Link building isn’t necessary outside the scope of possibly linking to related industries with authority (manufacturers, associations, government sites, educational sites) and those in your geographic location that are related to your business (RV parks for example).

“All links should be provided for the best customer experience.”

Co-citation

More importantly today, co-citation brings traffic. Your dealership can be referenced in an article in RV business for example regarding your large Airstream inventory and expert staff. When someone searches for Airstream – ‘large airstream inventory’ or ‘RV dealer with expert Airstream staff” , that “co-citation” without any type of site reference or even a text link, is taken into account by these super smart search engines, and your site will be shown in the search engine results pages (SERPS).

Content Marketing

In addition, content has always been the good foundation of obtaining traffic. Today, creating good, original, quality content for your pages is more important than ever before. It is the absolute foundation to build your inbound marketing strategies on. You must market your content. That means posting on social media channels in a way that brings traffic to your website, where landing pages complete the offers. There the visitor makes a decision to read and interact with content, trade their contact information for downloadable offers using opt-in email. This enables additional content marketing that is specific according to what they opt-in to receive. Happy visitors return for more when that lead is nurtured appropriately by providing the information they are seeking.

“Today, creating good, original, quality content for your pages is more important than ever before.”

Social Media

All of the tools available through social media, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram will not work for your dealership if you don’t have content in place to DRAW the visitor to your website.

“Social media will not work to bring traffic without a message that compels potential customers to click on the link in your post, and visit your content page or landing page to find what they are seeking, immediately!”

Many  businesses, including most RV dealers, make the mistake of placing social media icons on their website, sending visitors to their Facebook page or YouTube channel. You work so hard to get visitors to your website, which today is just as much your place of business as your brick and mortar facility — Why would you send them away? That is like closing the door when the customer parks on the lot and you see them coming.

Make sure your marketing sends customers to your website. Don't let your website send customers to your competitors.

Don’t send them to your home page. There are too many distractions there. When visitors arrive to follow through on your social media post, they should find the content they seek, relevant incentives and calls to action  — immediately. They should also find an opportunity to contact you, exchange contact information with you while they select the type of information they wish to receive via e-mail.

“If a customer wants to look at a Class A Motorhome, you don’t look at him and say ‘They’re out there!’ pointing to your inventory lot. Why would you do the same thing when online customers respond to your ad, your social post, or your email? If you begin the offer in your ad, post or mail, then complete it when they arrive. That’s what they came for — Make sure they find it easily!”

“Sharing offers and content in this way on your social media channels brings visitors to the site where you can do what you do best — Sell RVs.”

You don’t have to be on every social media channel to be gain traffic. But you do have to be sensational in one or two. When you spread yourself too thin, it is hard to keep up. With sharing automation the task can be much easier so it all depends on your budget, your time and your manpower.

Organic Optimization vs PayPerClick

If your website is properly optimized… and let me say here that proper optimization is not a bad thing. In fact Google and Bing wouldn’t have guidelines, with suggestions regarding how to do it properly, if it were… you will receive traffic. You will rank high enough in the results pages and people will find your website easily for what they should be finding it for. PayPerClick campaigns are excellent for geo-targeting specific areas where you desire traffic from. But don’t use it locally unless you have no search engine results organically. And, if you have no search engine results organically your website is not optimized. Appropriate Page Titles, meta tags, headline tags to stress important information and much more, go into on-page optimization. Appropriate files that only the search engines read, are also necessary elements of a truly optimized website.

 PayPerClick Display Advertising

Another alternative to Text Based Pay Per Click campaigns are display advertising where website owners place your display ads (you can also do this with text ads) on their websites. People who have searched for your products and services (keywords specific to your dealership) will see these display ads on websites they may visit that incorporate monetizing their websites with advertising. It’s like having a billboard on the highway that you don’t have to pay for unless someone walks through your dealership door. You only pay, when they click through to your website. As I mentioned above, send them to a landing page to complete the offer and convert that visitor to a customer.

 Email Marketing

Through the use of targeted email marketing, you nurture the leads you capture on your website. You allow the customer to select the information they want to receive, and send links to on-site content, with a compelling message of course, to meet their specific need. Tailor your email marketing to those who are at different stages in the buying cycle according to the type of information they select to receive. Nurture those leads with communication and content, developing a customer relationship.

There are definitely no shortcuts in internet marketing. Beware the unsolicited SEO experts who spam your inbox with false promises based on old methodologies and ‘black hat’ techniques.

“Cost is relative to what has been done, what needs done, and how much you are able to invest in your website”

You should expect a return on your investment. It is an important and integral part of your business. Today, you cannot be in business without it if you hope to be successful and reach sales goals. The best way to approach it is to develop a budget, set goals and talk to a reputable marketing agency that can assist you in coordinating these marketing efforts. They will work within your budget, make suggestions, coordinate traditional and internet marketing so your message is consistent. A hammer and saw are not used by a Starbucks barista in the same way that they are used by a professional carpenter. It might surprise you to find it may be more cost effective than hiring someone to do the work in-house. Efficiency is efficiency. Plain and simple.

Dan Ball
www.dpballadvertising.com