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Eric Miltsch

3 Things We Can Learn From Facebook Friend Collages

So, the Friend Collage is a hot thing on Facebook. Whether or not you think it's annoying, there are still some pretty cool things you can learn from this nifty bit of content. For the 17 of you not on Facebook or you've just been more productive with your day, a friend collage is a simple 3rd-party application that automatically sorts through your recent Facebook interaction history and creates a pretty image of your connection's avatars. Read Post

2013 DrivingSales Executive Summit Recap Part II



Here's my follow up recap for the rest of the 2013 DrivingSales Executive Summit held last week in Las Vegas. 

Dylan Swift, National Director of Marketing at Yelp, opened up Monday morning with an overview of the online review landscape. He raised some eyebrows with his initial recommendation to the crowd: "Don't ask your customers for reviews on Yelp!" Dylan said that reviews should simply be an organic extension of your dealership's experience. Bad experiences will yield negative reviews. So, make sure your experiences are as positive as possible. Sure, obvious stuff - but it does helps to hear directly from Yelp about their processes and admitting the possibility of reviews being stripped away. (I've had legitimate, positive reviews for my dealership removed - and with no explanation) 

Some dealers may have taken this guidance as a sign that Yelp doesn't necessarily understand the dealership review landscape (much like Google str Read Post

2013 DrivingSales Executive Summit Recap Part 1

Wow. Five and half years years ago I received a phone call from Jared Hamilton. He asked, no - told me, I had to head out to Las Vegas to attend a new event he was holding specifically for "progressive dealers." I had no idea what he meant by that; as a relatively new dealer on the scene I just assumed every dealer was progressive. It sounded awesome and I knew I had to be there. so off to Vegas I went. Read Post

New Penguin Update: Get Rid of Paid Links Now!

Google announced another update to Penguin's algorithm that is clearly targeting website owners who have bought paid links. 

Simplest breakdown: If you have bought links that point back to your website, lose them. And they specifically said, "If your website rankings dropped after Google's Penguin update, you should try to get rid of the paid links."  

Think of Google as a bloodhound. They'll sniff these links out eventually. I'm going to keep pound the table on this topic - Google is turning into an "Answer Engine" and morphing away from simply being an index engine. they're going to make this transition by finding the old-school methods of trying to rank content and rewarding sites who are doing things the right way: Creating content that actually helps the user. 

Google's exact response has always been a very top-level approach:


We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this Read Post

Social Media Image Sizes and Dimensions [Infographic]

 

Updating social media profile avatars, backgrounds and images is a basic necessity of managing either your personal or professional brand. Unfortunately it’s also the biggest pain; just when you think you’re all set, another social platform changes their design and your images simply don’t fit the new layout. (Yes, this applies to you, the OCD reader)

So, hopefully this nice infographic will keep you looking good. The helpful folks over at Raidious (Go figure, they help build brands) covers all the bases for you with the latest sizes and dimensions for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn & YouTube channels. Why these channels? That’s all you really need to help with your objectives and also keep it manageable.

Now go check your images and get something cool and unique in place.

 


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Google Announces All New Algorithm: Hummingbird

Huge news day for Google and the search marketing world. Google announced their new algorithm called Hummingbird. The name obviously conjures up images of the small, swift bird that is impossible to catch. It's also a distant departure from the classic "black & white" themes of Panda and Penguin. Also interesting to note, these are not merely updates like Panda and Penguin were, rather it's an entirely new computing engine. A massive overhaul to the inner workings of Google's search technology. Read Post

Google To Stop Passing Keyword Data



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, it's finally happening. Google has announced that it will stop passing along organic keyword values to Google Analytics. The values will not flow through as users are being directed to the secure version of Google. Even if you type in http://Google.com your browser will redirect you to the secure version. (https)

Why are they doing this?

Basically this does two things. It keeps the SEO's guessing and more importantly it puts the focus squarely on content. Google wants websites to be important with regards to the quality of their content rather than just the quality of the marketing ability. 

Some may argue a Google-conspiracy theory at work in that this will just push more activity to Google Adwords (Adwords keyword data will still flow through to analytics) and therefore help drive revenue. Hooray for shareholders if tha Read Post

Five Myths To Better Google Organic Ranking Busted

Here's a nice interview I stumbled across with Googlers from the Google Search Quality Team. They were asked to share their experiences and knowledge about Google, what impacts search ranking and a few tips on what you shouldn't be doing! (The article claims to interview ex-Googlers, but I'm not so sure about that claim.) Regardless, this is still helpful info for anyone involved with ensuring their website runs as effective a possible. 

 

1. Quality content is more important than fresh content

Fresh content can have a positive influence on the rankings of a web page as long as the content is high quality content. The quality of your web pages is more important than their freshness.

 

Why quality? Quality gets shared and when content is shared it creates social signals - think popularity signals - and additional links and activity around your site. 

 

2. Internal link anchor texts are important

Internal linking with optimized anchor tex Read Post

The Battle: Facebook VS Google+ [Infographic]

Most people may simply look at the headline and proclaim Facebook as the winner based on size and user base. Don't be so quick to judge without taking a good look at the key characteristics of both platforms. Grasping the differences can help shape your content strategy as well as the tactics used to connect with users. 

Notice, and understand, the differences with regards to the how users behave within these networks. Facebook has become a personal escape for many; checking in on your friends' activities, benign updates about their daily rituals and a seemingly never ending stream of game invites. Google+ has almost positioned itself as a place to escape Facebook and connect people with more related interests with their ability to easily build your Circles. 

The demographics also tells an interesting story. Facebook has more females and a younger user base while G+ skews towards older males. 

Oddly, the infographic below doesn't mentio Read Post

11 Backlink Types Google Hates

 

Backlinks are still a core element of any organic search results strategy. The key to mastering this activity is knowing the quality factors Google is looking for when they're evaluating the links they scan every day. 

Even if you're not actively building your own backlinks, it's still a wise move to understand the guidelines Google has created. Maybe you're looking to hire an outside agency to assist with your organic search results. If so, you need to be prepared to ask about their methodology to protect your dealership's website. 

Here's a list of 11 backlink types Google doesn't want to see. And if they do discover any of these activities happening within your website, you could either be penalized or even worse - stripped from the organic listings altogether. 

1. Google does not like paid links

Buying and/or selling links that pass PageRank can negatively impact your website's ranking in search results. This Read Post

10 Things That Make People Bounce From Your Site

Many dealers have invested a lot of smart money in a lot of dumb things when it comes to their website. And by dumb things, I mean those things that are causing people to leave your site. I'm sure you remember being on a website that frustrates you. You remember that site and may even go out of your way to avoid it again. 

Think about the experience you're providing your visitors. Is it simple? Are their obtrusive items? Is it easy for shoppers to get the info they need to make a decision? 

Here's a list of some of the key culprits. And yes, I understand that you may not be able to control every single item. If so, speak up to your website vendor and let them know you want help with the changes. And if a website vendor tells you there will be a charge for it, simply ask them why they're charging you to help them improve their product. 


Music or auto attendants who automatically start playing - and are also difficult to stop. Would Read Post

11 Steps To Creating The Most Effective FAQ Page

Online shoppers want answers to questions. They expect easy access to this information. And they don't want to waste time getting those answers. 

One of the easiest ways to help your online visitors is to create a Frequently Asked Questions page. For those feeling extra ambitious could even create multiple FAQ's for different sections of the site. The point being, provide the answers to the questions you already know your guests are going to ask you. They'll appreciate the value in this effort incredibly.

Keep in mind, as Internet users continue to search using conversation search queries such as "How does leasing work?" "Where can I find 0% financing in Pittsburgh?" & "How do I trade-in my used car?" there will be more opprotunities for your content to get discovered. Plus, that's the type of helpful content users remember and share socially. 

Your stores are filled with experts, it's time to leverage th Read Post

Who's Your Dealership's Willie?



Check out my man Willie. He's a Wal-Mart greeter and he's one of their best. 

Walking into Wal-Mart isn't necessarily an exciting or memorable experience, but Willie does his best to make sure it is for anyone who comes through those front doors on his shift. He makes people feel special. He makes his introductions unique. And he gets people to remember him. 

Willie becomes the image of Wal-Mart in this town. He goes way beyond the expectations of the Wal-Mart greeter. Does the first person to greet your customers make a difference like this or are your guests simply met with a bland, "Hello, welcome to boring motors"

Who's your dealership's Willie?


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6 Reasons Why Pictures Of Your Customers And Their Cars Can Be A Great Thing

A popular topic of debate is whether or not dealers should be posting pictures of their customers with their cars at delivery. I say GO FOR IT! And here's why. It creates memorable, personal interactions with the customer Celebrating moments and telling stories about your brand is what social media is all about It helps drive the digital culture within your dealership Posting from mobile devices helps create more engagement Plus, why does it just have to be a photo? What about a Vine, or an Instagram video? Instragram now lets you upload video from your camera roll. Or, you could even try YouTube's awesome new video app: MixBit. Read Post

How To Increase Your Facebook Engagement In 1 Easy Step.

This is so simple.

Step 1. Post from your mobile device.

That's it. 

Facebook likes mobile. In fact, they love it. They're all about mobile usage, mobile interaction and most important - for shareholders - mobile revenue. So, their EdgeRank formula is even giving some extra preference to a brand's post made from mobile devices. Posting from your phones can provide up to 39% more interaction. (Another thought could be that most mobile posts contain more images & videos, which help create more engagement.) 

Facebook also notes that mobile posts doesn't mean grreater reach. 



 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would get into the habit of posting to your dealership pages from your phones Read Post

Looking Back On 7 Predictions for 2013

Can you believe we're halfway through the year? I've always believed that while you're tracking your daily activities to stay on course and hit your monthly goals you still need to keep your finger on the pulse of the bigger trends. What's the industry direction? Where are things headed? What will shape our decisions for our activities and tactics? I shared my thoughts, at the end of 2012, about a few topics and trends that I felt would be important for us as an industry. Read Post

So Yahoo Bought Tumblr. What Your Dealership Can Learn From It.

By now you've heard Yahoo announced they plan on aquiring micro-blogging platform Tumblr for $1 Billion. The news made CEO David Karp a very wealthy 26 year old, it scared off a few die-hard Tumblr fans and probably makes Yahoo shareholders a little nervous. 

But, what does this signal for the future of social media and user generated content? Whether or not this deal proves to be fundamentally sound, it does point to the perceived importance of user generated content, how we interact with it and how the market perceives the value of this platform. (Tumblr only generated $13 million in revenue last year.) 

The theme here is that Yahoo is fearful of becoming the older, out-of touch player in a new world of social and content. Yahoo's power hungry CEO Marissa Mayer is placing a sizable bet on the fact that Tumblr's younger, more socially active user base can inject a cool and edgy lifeline back into it's veins. 

It all comes down Read Post

What Are You Building Today?

What are you working on today that is helping you build something meaningful for tomorrow?

Or, does your day consist of going through motions that are essentially exercises in futility? If so, why is that? Is it simply a result of not having a plan? Are you doing what you truly love? Do you feel that you don't have the resources available to you?

We all have our core responsibilities - the daily grind. But this doesn't mean you can't build on something bigger with regards to your personal and professional development? You need to bake in value with everything you're doing, doing so inspires those around you while also raising the level of service you're providing.

Awareness, education and skills building is the new cool. The ability to find and consume helpful resources has never been easier.

Whether you want to learn how to improve your tennis game, understand the mechanics of the long term supply cur Read Post

40 Tips in 40 Minutes Webinar Recap

Last week I hosted a webinar for KPA marketing called "40 Tips in 40 Minutes." This was an updated version of a DrivingSales Executive Summit workshop held last fall. 

A major theme today is process, but as your proceses begin to tighten and your experience grows, you still need to be aware of new tools and tactics to continue improving and stay in the right frame of mind.

So, my goal of the webinar was simple - give visitors as many helpful takeaways as possible to add them to your current routines. 

Check out the deck and hopefully you'll walk away with at least one item that can help you and your marketing efforts within your dealership. If you want even more context around each item and to listen the full recording of the webinar, contact Becky Ross at KPA and they'll help you with the info.

And of course, if you ever have a question, feel free to shoot me an email or follow me on twitter @emiltsch 

All links in th Read Post

How To Motivate Sales People [Infographic]

Great leaders know how keep their sales people motivated. They understand both their individual and professional needs. Do you know the best ways to motivate your staff for the best results possible? 

Click to enlarge


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How DrivingSales University Is Making NADA 2013 Better For Dealers

I am so excited for NADA 2013! I'm more exctied this year than any other year I've attended for several reasons.

In years past I attended NADA as a dealer. The size of the event is simply overwhelming and figuring out what to do and where to go can be a daunting task. Then, once you hit the floor, you're approached by every vendor who pick out your "dealer" badge with alarming accuracy.

This year will be different - not only for my experience, but also for the attendees. I'll be in the DrivingSales University booth helping share the philisophies and strategies behind our industry leading educational platform for dealers.

What's going to be so different? For starters, the DrivingSales University booth (#2315) will allow dealers the ability to see how their current lead handling process works. This simple activity will glean massive insight into how your sales process begins, where the areas of improvement exis Read Post

How To Prevent Poor Lead Process Management and Poor Website Experiences





 

Last weekend I had the opportunity to speak to a 20 Group in Chicago - a group that has met annually for nearly 25 years. A very experienced group set in their ways. Yes, I was concerned with what I was about to show them - and how they would respond.

 

Fortunately, I was met with a group of professionals that came willing to learn. Their thirst for information was incredible.

 

Our day started off by talking about lead handling processes and the 16-Points every dealership needs to have in place - made famous by Jared Hamilton from his Process, Structure & Marketing industry overview. Nearly every dealership does two of the process points consistently - they take the lead in and they try to close the lead as hard as possible, that's about it. These efforts are incomplete a majority of the time. 

 

True opportunities for change and dealership improvement happens between these two actions. I believe these are amo Read Post

How Dealers Can Make Money On Facebook




Yesterday I shared this tongue in cheek image of how dealers can make money on Facebook. Sure, it's worth a few laughs, but it's also meant to get you to think about what you and your staff is actually doing on Facebook. (and other social sites)

 

If you're a sales person spending any amount of time on Facebook, you need to seriously evaluate what it is you're doing there. Here's a few questions to ask yourself - doing so will help frame your activities and keep your head focused on the important things: (Like creating amazing buying experiences and selling cars!)



Why do you use Facebook during the workday? Most likely you're procrastinating. Figure out what your purpose is - if you don't have a purpose, find one. Mine is to simply stay current with tech, digital & marketing news. 

What are you reading while you're there? At this point of the game, you've probably seen all the cute kids, funny cats and hilarious Read Post

3 Cool New Apps For Your Home Screen


Do you refresh your home screen apps? What about folders on the home screen? I don't use folders anymore, that's the digital equivalent of the junk drawer in the kitchen. But I do like to keep things fresh. 

 

My home screen has a few new additions to most used: (And they all have the same theme, location based & contextual aggregation) 



Grokr: This is a great solution for pulling in those pieces of content that are relevant to you and also leverages location based info to help provide weather and traffic data. The headlines, trending info and personal trending topics are all pulled in from your connected social accounts. Don't like what you see, change your preferences on your other social networks. I'm seeing content for movies, apps and headlines from my key sources, pulled together elegantly into one spot. And yes, standard social sharing features apply to the content consumed. 

Spun: Same deal as above, but focused Read Post

7 Predictions For An Awesome 2013

Every year I enjoy putting my neck on the line by trying to look into the future of our our wonderful industry, play Carstrodamus and see what lies ahead for us. Some ideas have been dead dead on: The importance of local search and social content sharing and location based marketing services. Others were a little early: HTML5 and NFC. A couple were either just wrong or haven't happened yet: Path being acquired by Facebook. Read Post

Why I Quit Klout and Why You Should Too!


Very rarely do I ever rant about something, but enough already with the obsession about Klout and your score. This debate continues to drone on and I'm simply tired of hearing about what Klout "means" - I'll tell you what it means: Nothing.

Sure, it's very easy to complain about something. I learned at a young age that if you're going to complain about something, you better be prepared to change it. Otherwise, keep you mouth shut and deal with it. That's why you don't often hear from me in this tone. My experiment is over, I've learned a ton and I believe I've made something that can have the same natural impact as it relates to your professional activities. (More on that shortly.) 

 

I understand we all desire adulation and some form of self-actualization. Ask yourself, is getting Klout and seeing your score fluctuate truly satisfying these needs for you and is it beneficial in any way?

 

This has created a Read Post

Sneak Peek: New Website Forums #DSNews


So, we've got some new things brewing for the DrivingSales community. This week, I'll be providing previews of the new features coming within our redesign of the DrivingSales website, what they mean to you and how you can benefit from the great stuff we're making for you.

For starters, one major change is the layout and presentation of the content you'll see on the home page. Rather than just pushing the most recent blog post down your throat when you arrive, we want you to see the content you're most interested in and also be able to interact with it faster and easier than before. Click to see full size image.



The forums section is now front and center to connect you with the topics, content and solutions you need to - as efficiently as possible. We understand your time is valuable; consuming content shouldn't be difficult. Click to see full size image.



We also understand that you don't read everything on every page. Most often, you& Read Post

What Would You Ask TrueCar's CEO Scott Painter At #DSES?




Everyone in the car business seems to have a opinion about TrueCar's CEO Scott Painter. Everyone seems to have the right answer or solution to the problems associated with TrueCar's business model. And of course, everyone has a question about what's going on with their current activities. 

Well, Jared Hamilton is giving you the ability to ask questions about TrueCar's views on the industry, their new business model and anything else you want to address. DrivingSales has always been a conduit of premier access to the best events, people and resources. We encourage your involvement to help make this year's DrivingSales Executive Summit the best ever. 

And, in typical DrivingSales style, here's our full disclosure and transparency on a hot issue: Topics and sponsors at DSES are requested by the dealer community. The topic of TrueCar and their business model was also requested. So, we did what we do best and Scott Painter agreed to an Q&A sess Read Post

4 Words That Make Sales Managers Sound Stupid


Joe Webb is at it again with another comedic, yet real, take on what's happening inside dealerships every single day.





Are you giving your customers the information they're seeking? Or are you still trying to "get them in?"
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September 15th Is Celebrate My Drive Day (Infographic)

Check out these stats regarding teen texting and driving. Statefarm insurance is taking a strong position on reducing this public health risk by adopting a supportive and positive approach towards teens. September 15th, 2012 is Celebrate My Drive day across the US. Check it out to see how you can participate and help reduce the number of teens texting and driving. Click image to enlarge Kudos to Andy Oberright from Harris Interactive for his awesome work on this. ... Read Post