Automotive SEO: Online Communities pt 1. The blog

online community
| Posted on | Automotive SEO

Forming an online community like a blog or forum on your website is one of the best ways to ensure that you have fresh content, as well as establishing your site as an authority within the endeavor which it represents. Search engines prefer sites that are frequently updated over sites with stagnant content or that contain less frequently updated content. Starting a community is easy and is generally very inexpensive and in some cases – even free!

One clear benefit to creating a community website or even a community within your website is the fact that communities encourage interaction or engagement and content creation also called user generated content. User generated content from blogs and forums is one of the most effective ways to build your reputation as an authority. This will also lead to the natural forming of link building naturally from within the online community.

A blog is an online journal of sorts. You are reading my blog. A blog can even function as a very basic website as in the case of my blog as of the date of this posting. It does not matter what kind of website you own, having a blog is a good idea. First, blogs generate clear SEO benefits through content creation and user generated content. Second, a blog helps to define you as an expert in your field. As an expert, others will link their websites to your content. This, in turn, passes link authority on to your blog lending your blog additional authority which you can use to pass authority on to your website. A third benefit is the sticky factor. Blogs are “sticky” in that users will want to subscribe to your RSS feed and come back to your website on a regular basis to check for new content.

Blogs are a great tool for promoting special offers and deals to your readers and they let you go into detail about your subject may require a more thorough explanation. If you were about to launch a new product that included a new, revolutionary way of doing something, a blog gives you the forum to contrast the benefits and usefulness of the new product versus the older generation of products previously used to accomplish the task.

In the next article, I’ll discuss forums. Thanks for taking the time to learn your craft. Please comment and REMEMBER: There are no stupid questions!

2 thoughts on “Automotive SEO: Online Communities pt 1. The blog

  1. Tim,

    2 questions…

    1. How do you recommend dealer groups setup a blog versus a single point dealership? Do you recommend each dealership within a group has a blog or should the group have a blog a each dealership or make has a page or category?

    2. How should the blog be branded? Should the title be blog.dealership.com or can the blog have it’s own stand-alone .com (for example, dealergroup-thoughts.com)?

  2. Great Question Andy!

    1. Like anything, you get back what you put in. While it will require more man hours, the best approach is for each franchise to have its own blog. More domains also equals the ability to implement a complex linking matrix down the road when the blogs have gained some authority.

    Think about it. I bet the stores cross sell their OEM’s as used vehicle’s right? So imagine what happens when the brand new 2010 model you blog about today becomes a used car down the road? Is that old article worthless? Heck no! Not if you implement an automatically fed inventory into that post! It will remain timeless and always be updated. AND every franchise in the group can have their now used 2010 make/model displayed on that blog post! That’s link power!

    2. The answer here is yes! LOL It really depends on the GPO (google page one) presence of the store in question. Some dealer’s have competition appearing for their own name. Additionally, some dealer’s OEM’s are very particular about the language or keywords used in non dba url names.

    If your store owns page one for their name ie Marlboro Nissan. Then you can explore using a domain like bostonnissandealers.com or something that has the potential to reach a larger audience.

    Another aspect to consider regarding GPOM (google page one management) is the fact that there is no limit to primary domains in the serp (search engine results page). If you own 10 domains and optimize them for a particular term you could literally control the entire first page of google for a certain term you deem worthy. On the other hand you are generally limited to 2 listings of a single primary domain be it a subdirectory structure like marlboronissan.com/framingham-nissan-dealer.aspx or a subdomain like blog.marlboronissan.com.

    So the short answer is… it depends.

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