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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
Hey - It’s time to join the thousands of other dealer professionals on DrivingSales. Create an account so you can get full access to the articles, discussions and people that are shaping the future of the automotive industry.
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Most Valuable Insight WINNER - Ian Curickshank

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The Real Secret to Search, Social, and Websites: Complete and Strategic Integration

Integrated Automotive Marketing Strategies

For the past 10 months, we have been travelling around the country as an executive staff, talking to current and future clients to get an understanding of what they are really looking for in a complete Internet marketing solution. We've taken this information and worked with leaders in marketing and strategy to harness what we know about automotive in an environment tempered by best practices in other industries.

The general theme that we've discovered is that dealers and marketing professionals agree on most (not all) aspects of Internet marketing, but one thing stood out as a clear "must have" across the board: integrating search, social, and website lead generation was the key to success going forward in 2011 and into 2012.

We have been doing this to gain an understanding of how to build and position the newest variation of our award-winning Power of 5 marketing platform to be unveiled in the Spring. What we learned is that "variation" was not appropriate. This is a complete re-imagination.

But that's not the point of this article. This knowledge that we've acquired has opened our eyes to how dealers should be positioning their Internet marketing strategies. Seeing your website, SEO, and social media as three separate activities is not the best way to take advantage of any of the three. An integrated strategy allows the whole to be greater than the sum of its parts.

When improving and implementing your strategies, keep this in mind. Keeping them as separate activities is not as effective. When you design or improve your website, ask yourself some questions:

  • - Do I have a strong inbound linking strategy to compliment my onsite design and structure?
  • - Is the message and design of my website a match for what I will be doing in social media?

When putting together your SEO strategy, ask yourself a couple of more questions:

  • - Is my website designed with SEO in mind and how will I link to the pages that are best converting?
  • - What can I do from a social perspective to enhance link-building and to take advantage of the social signals component of SEO?

Finally, when considering a vendor or internal strategy for social media, ask these questions:

  • - How easy is it for people who visit my website to interact with me on social media?
  • - Are my social pages properly optimized and are they going to enhance my search engine placement?

With these questions in mind, you'll be able to see the correlation between the three most important aspects of automotive Internet marketing.

Brian Pasch
Richard You stated "Do I have a strong inbound linking strategy to compliment my onsite design and structure?" From an SEO perspective, this is a very important element that many dealers forget. A strong SEO compliant website is becoming commonplace. The next step is to determine how to establish third party links and social relevance.
JD Rucker
Brian, I heard there are some great tools dealers can use to take control of their link-building at http://www.tkcaan.com - you should check it out! The intro is done by a very smart guy.
Jeff Cryder
In addition to Richards points, keep in mind your strategy needs to be 1) easy sustainable over the long term and 2)scalable. Once we [dealers] are able to integrate and synergize these three aspects of internet marketing it will be time to move on to the next more complex layer. Integrating it into your overall marketing strategy. Bum Bum Bummmm

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