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We are planning to add Microsites to our marketing plan in 2010. How many make sense? 100, 1000 or somewhere in between.

I am interested to hear from any dealers who have used them successfully or not...

Thanks!

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Cathy this question has no wrong answer really. I would suggest however you have strategy on web marketing before you just start adding random microsites. Here is what we employed at Motortrendsonline.com that was very effective. Each of the microsites should have a different domain name ex: MattBlattcommunity.com

1. Business Community Involvement Site - This is a site you connect prominently to your Facebook fan page, your Twitter home page, MySpace page ect. This Microsite will include bio on key personnel, dealer, GM, Salespeople, Service people. should incorporate all your community involvement, mission statement, what’s happening at your dealership, a contact directory and links to your personnel's Facebook, MySpace ect. pages as well. ** suggestion here hire a journalism intern from a local community college to interview customers, write articles on community involvement, take pictures and video and post them on this site. This is going to be tedious at first there is some technology on the horizon that will make this easier. For now the best place to set this page up in in Wordpress.com

2. Product Microsites - preferably one for each model you sell. VERY IMPORTANT take pictures of the actual cars not stock photos people buy cars not stock images. Focus one page on each of these three areas they are the most popular: Safety, Performance, Fuel Economy.

3. Used Vehicles - again preferably one for each used car same as above applies

4. MyStory Microsite - this is about how your customers feel about your dealership and their experience and ties into the community Microsite

5. Service Department Microsite - This site is to introduce and humanize your service personnel. Links to their Facebook, MySpace ect pages, Bios on writers and Service Manager, What's happening your service department ect.

This is probably overload at this point work on a few and if you would like me to look and make suggestions contact me here.

hope that helps
I would do less than 100. I have been advising clients to concentrate on their main website as opposed to creating dozens of microsites. Alot depends on the website provider. If they are cooking cutter temaplate sites then it will be much harder to index in Google.How will you market these sites?

My advice is to buy the URL's immediately to lessen the Google Sandbox Effect. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandbox_Effect

- Jason
Wow 100 or 1,000....someone must be drinking too much espresso!

I am a Wordpress Automotive Microsite evangelist.

The amount of work that goes into a good microsite and the off-site optimization that is needed, I couldn't see why you would need any more than 12 built over one year; one a month.

As Google Caffeine goes into effect, good content and content sensitive links and title tags will mean that flash in the pan ultra slim microsites will be less effective. Also, using WordPress, you have unlimited content pages that can be optimized for the dozens of keywords that play off the main domain name.

Example; If you purchases a domain name www.fordmassachusetts.com then your sub-directories can be:

www.fordmassachusetts.com/service
www.fordmassachusetts.com/parts
www.fordmassachusetts.com/used
www.fordmassachusetts.com/warranty

And under used you could pick towns and model

www.fordmassachusetts.com/used/boston/F150
www.fordmassachusetts.com/used/boston/mustang

So you can see in the two model examples below you have all "prime" keywords in the URL, which when matched with proper content, Title Tags and META descriptions, are very powerful. When indexed, this could be a page one site for hundreds of money search phrases.

So, good domain names one actual sites are very good and key to search marketing. just don't go overboard until you understand the ROI that your microsite design is delivering.

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