A recent post by Joey Abna
about his Cobalt website on ADM brought up the question about back links to their Cobalt website. Having other high quality automotive blogs and websites linking to your dealership website is an important part of an Automotive SEO strategy. However, getting links from other automotive websites is not an easy task so what should a dealer do?
Before I make some suggestions on how to build links, it is important to stay away from offers that sound too good to be true. Every week I get email solicitations from companies from India, Russia and the UK offering one-way links for a low fee. Most of these services create links from websites that will add no real value to your Automotive SEO
Automotive User Groups
In the automotive space, consider becoming a sponsor of popular automotive user group forums for your specific brand. Many offer links building opportunities and banner advertising at a very reasonable cost. For example, if you are a Nissan dealership you may consider becoming a supporting member of www.nicoclub.com
There are dedicated user groups and forums for every brand of cars. These sites have high keyword density and relevance for the dealer brand they represent. Articles posted on these sites, posting your cars for sale, or just advice to forum members can produce high quality links back to your website.
A word of advice; become a supporter and clearly identify yourself as a vendor. Also, take it slowly and build up your reputation and trust in the forum or you will be thrown out on your ass.
Outside of well ranked automotive user groups websites, look for automotive blogs that offer advertising space; many exist. An alternative is to look for automotive blogs or communities that will allow you to post articles in a field of your expertise for free. This is perfect for automotive professionals that like to write and share ideas.
If you don't have the time or the motivation to write, considering hiring a firm to write articles on automotive topics and post these articles on "ezine" websites like http://ezinearticles.com
or article directory websites like http://www.articledashboard.com
The articles you write must be informative and not sales pitches. When done properly they can create powerful links and attract organic search traffic. For example, writing an article on the benefits of purchasing a Toyota ExtraCare warranty
over a third party warranty would be a good article to gain link relevance on extended warranty keywords. You can link to charts or warranty information on your website and pickup a good back link.
Local Business Directories
Outside of these two strategies, look for ways to also establish local relevance for OEM car sales in your state. These opportunities are normally found on reputable statewide business directory websites. Make sure that the website has a Google PageRank of 3 or higher. Banner ads or sidebar articles can often generate hundreds of links to your website from one advertising sponsorship. The optimal advertisement will include some text that you can hyperlink with a strong anchor tag. An example is: http://www.newjerseyvisitorsnetwork.com
are another great way to build quality links and there are about a dozen great websites that you can utilize for PR and back links. The key is to use press release websites that allow hyperlinked text in the body of the press release. This allows for you to create "votes" for important keywords surrounded by relevant text. Try www.prlog.org
If you donate to local charities, schools, colleges and churches ask for them to create a sponsors page and add a short note about your support with a link back to your website. Links from these websites can be very valuable to establish credability.
Free Linking Exists
Other opportunities like Yahoo Answers, Merchant Circle Blogs, Fast Company and SlideShare are just a few of the dozens of free sites that can provide a good back link that will raise your relevance for the keywords you are targeting. Try to build links from blog articles that are about automotive topics.
You can also look for blog posts that you can reply to that allow links to be followed. Firefox has a nice plug-in that will show you which website forms have a "no-follow" tag and those that do not. Reply boxes that have a no-follow tag will not build back links.
In the end, link building is very important but it takes time and experience to know how to build the most effective links. Car dealers often do not have the time or expertise to build a consistent monthly link building campaign.
In the ideal situation, link building and other Internet Marketing tasks should be a shared responsibility between car dealer and outside consultant. Techniques and strategies are constantly changing and someone who builds links all day is normally finding new sites every week which can be an advantage over your competitors.
If you have questions, drop me a line or an email.