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We are a Pa Honda car dealer. Thomas Honda of Johnstown is growing quickly. Last year in 2009 we were the leader in "comp. sales" for Honda in the state of Pennsylvania. When growing very fast and moving from the "stone age" to the new age of connecting with customer's there has been many growing pains. I have been put in charge of the Internet program here. Up until last year I had little or no experience in Internet marketing. I have spent the year in search of Internet best practices for our car dealership. While I have put my foot in the door of almost every avenue used to boost online exposure, I have yet to refine any of these practices. I have much to tell about the experience I have had of opening this new world of inbound marketing. Some of the things that I have come across that I have found to be of great interest are listed here.
SEO. Probably the first thing I learned and what I'm the best at by far. Through the teachings of Brain Pasch of the PCG Consulting group, numerous blogs and books and Robert Edwards, SEO Expert with real traffic productions I have come to outline the basis of SEO and the methods of building a Website's marketing power.
SEM. Like SEO it was one of my first encounters with a method of increasing traffic to my website. I have not, up until recently, paid much attention to this portion of search engine utilization. Its only been a year and I have found SEO to be more profitable for our dealership, especially in the long term.
Social Media. I have played with Social Media somewhat. Divining different ways to get in front of customers. PPC on facebook has been my most affective effort yet, save for the inbound links from the FBML application. I have yet to get the 25 fans of our facebook page to create a vanity URL and have run into the problem of not being able to use the Honda name on our facebook.
Blogging. Blogging has been very good to me and my website. I have started multiple blogs and each has been unique in its content and in its effect. Its probably the second most enjoyable thing I do at work as well. I absolutely recommend it. I think a downfall that I have had in the blogging world though has been starting off using the wordpress site instead of hosting my blog on its own. I have gotten them they're own URL but I believe that I should've gotten them hosted right off the bat and used the All-In-One SEO application that is available to people who do this.
Video. I had my dealership obtain a Flip camera to start taking video. A big problem with this was that the microphone did not pick up the sound very well and also the charisma of my sales people seemed to be lacking. I did successfully get our videos to a good position in search engines with little work and used them to build links but the videos themselves were not engaging and therefore poor in quality.
Ning. Probably the least effective of anything I've done. It really created almost no interest from anyone. I have suspicion that they may work better B2B than B2C.
Well, I hope it is obvious that I have tried many avenues and their are many more that I haven't put down. To start off this blog I will probably go through my trials and tribulations of each one of these things and then continue on to look at how I will continue to evolve our program. I hope that any readers can join in on the success and disappointments I've had, learn from me and help me learn from them.