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It has been an amazing week here at the offices of AutoVelocity™. We are seeing many exciting things take place in the industry and it's awesome to be a part of it.
As I sit in my office this morning and do my routine check up on our clients websites, I am noticing a growing trend in the industry which I think deserves some attention. I'm not going to waste any time beating around the bush because dealers' need to know the truth - especially before too much damage is done.
The fact of the matter is this: If you have more than one website for your dealership that almost entirely duplicates the content of another one of your websites, STOP!!! You may not realize how much harm you are doing to your online marketing efforts.
Without getting too technical, let me just sum this up by saying that GOOGLE (and other search engines) LOATH YOU! It sounds harsh, but it's the truth.
At face value, it may appear that having more than one website would allow you to soak up more digital real-estate thus getting you in front of a larger traffic source, but that is simply not the case. You are accomplishing absolutely nothing!
I know what's going on here. Having worked in print media for almost 10 years (and being around the print industry most of my life), I know that via that medium you can reach more people by running the same ad in a variety of publications or magazines in multiple locations.
The internet is not like traditional advertising. Using traditional advertising logic will not work here. The web is a new arena which requires dealers to adapt or perish. Okay, maybe that's a little harsh - you get the picture though.
Allow me to quote from one of our eBooks, "Three Automotive Digital Marketing Tips" that I'd greatly encourage you to download if you haven't already done so.
Google's primary objective is to deliver search results that are 1) most relevant to what searchers are looking for, and 2) as close to their physical (the searchers) location as possible. Their algorithms are constantly scouring the web to find content that resembles what people are searching for and then deliver it. This can put the odds in your favor, depending on what your move will be from now on.
With that in mind, if you have a duplicate website kicking around the web all you are doing is confusing the heck out of search engines, and most importantly your customers.
The thing about duplicating content across multiple sites is that you really put Google between a rock and a hard place. You are forcing them to make a decision of which site to give credit too albeit increasing the chances that they will just give up and not rank any of your websites. The object is to get your site more visibility, not take it away and that's essentially what you are doing by having duplicated websites on the internet.
If you want to increase productivity (and profitability), let's take a look at how you can turn things around for your ultimate advantage. There are instances when having multiple websites is a good thing.
A microsite is a separate domain that has laser focus on one topic. For example, if you wanted to increase the exposure of one of your make and models, you could start by creating a microsite that focuses on nothing but that make and model. Do this for every make and model you have. In this way, you can have multiple web entities soaking up web traffic without doing yourself harm.
Don't succumb to the temptation of placing your entire inventory on your microsite.
Keep the site and the information on it focused to just one topic. Doing so will allow you to reach more targeted clusters of consumers and draw them to your full blown dealer site using strategically placed (soft sell) calls to action.
Here's my final plea: Stop with the madness! Stop doing yourself more harm than good! If you have multiple websites that are really just duplicates of your primary website, GET RID OF THEM! The end-of-the-day initiative is to increase profitability by selling more vehicles, products and services.
The web is not like traditional advertising where having your ad placed in various publications in multiple areas is the way to get to attract more people. One main website is all you need and if you want to ramp up the exposure a little, talk to your web provider about creating some targeted microsites.
Attract more qualified traffic, sell more vehicles.