As I start the review process of over 25+ automotive website inventory modules and website platforms for the 2009 Automotive Search Marketing Architecture (ASMA) study, I am very excited from what I have seen so far from the industry.
At the last Digital Dealer Conference in Las Vegas, I predicted in my Automotive SEO
seminar that within the year, major platforms would include a blog into their base infrastructure. That has come to pass in just under six months.
This week I had the opportunity to view two car dealer platforms that will release integrated Wordpress skins into their core technology. In one case, the WordPress technology was a menu choice off the main navigation with seamless integration. The basic WordPress functionality is in place with customized widgets for automotive services like lead collection.
The second vendor raised the stakes even higher with multiple WordPress skins at the touch of a button with the powerhouse kicker: SEO compliant inventory module PLUGIN for WordPress
. This brings the concept of a microsite to the next level. A low cost WordPress website, that dealers can edit and expand, with live embedded inventory. Remember that Wordpress allows dealers to leverage their brand on multiple DEALER OWNED domains with affordable CMS technology.
Automotive SEO is Evolving
The landscape for Automotive SEO is changing in our industry. My automotive website report (2009 ASMA) which will be published on November 1st, will be a forward indicator that will highlight companies that are changing the rules for content based SEO strategies.
This is the topic that I will be discussing at the 7th Digital Dealer Conference in Nashville which runs from November 1-3rd. I hope you can come to my seminar and be the first to get the ASMA report. (www.digitaldealerconference.com
It is my conviction that the reason why sites like Edmunds.com, Automotive.com and Motortrend.com dominate so many national page one search for car models is fundamentally about good content
. Over 90% of car dealer websites do not have 5 paragraphs of well written CONTENT on any one car that they sell. They may have features, specs and option lists but no real consumer targeted CONTENT.
With that in mind, the fact the forward thinking website platform providers are adding WordPress technology into their base platforms will be revolutionary. With the free plug-ins available for WordPress, car dealers can start to create attractive CONTENT so that when they drive consumers to their website via PPC, social media
or SEO, they have compelling content as well as an interactive experience.
Looking forward into 2010, the saavy website providers will take away the criticism that their platforms don't have on the fly page creation. They will include blogging software integration to leverage content based SEO strategies. Once that happens, dealers will be moving toward a common ground of SEO compliance.
This begs the question: What will SEO consultants be doing then?
Automotive SEO is Not Just META Tags & Titles
Once our industry moves to providing website platforms that are fully Google SEO compliant, we can move on to more important factors that drive traffic and conversion.
Allowing car dealers to add unlimited content pages without programming knowledge is the next big thing. Once the tools are in place for car dealers to have MORE control over their SEO destiny, they will come to the realization that they never hired someone on their staff to write good content, let alone follow "data directed" SEO content writing.
In 2010, I predict that the most valuable hire that progressive car dealers will make is an Internet Marketing Writer
that is focused on automotive content building
for their brand in their PMA.
This can be an internal employee or a consultant that has a cost effective content development team. These "writers" will take the new content based SEO tools, like WordPress, to new heights. Dealers will start to dominate their local markets with well written content that delivers SEO benefits as well as conversion benefits when social media drives traffic to their websites.
Automotive SEO is also about off-site SEO. Knowing
how and where to post content that is not on your website is equally as important for total domination.
So let me repeat that: Hire someone who can write and understand the basics of Automotive SEO
This new role will compliment that work that other staff members in the dealership are doing to attractive more consumers to visit the dealership website using social media
, PPC or other traditional media. It will be an interesting evolution as car dealers wake up to the fact that they can attract consumers via organic search through better content
and well targeted content.
Social media and traffic driving strategies will ultimately rely on platforms that can deliver good landing pages with easy to edit content that in the end, creates a call to action. WordPress can do this unlike any HTML editor on any platform today but it is NOT the only technology solution.
There are other options, but that is top secret.
Get ready for major shifts in SEO tools for 2010...the strategies will not change...however the teamwork with SEO consultants and dealer staff will never be more important!
Will I be out of a job? Never...but my role will change in 2010 for sure!!
P.S. If you are going to Digital Dealer in Vegas, make sure you come to my Halloween Party on the 31st!!