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How a Company Blog Can Help Your Site’s SEO

Google’s updating its algorithm. What are you doing to stay on top of search results?

A Quick Review of Recent Google Algorithm Updates

With all the updates Google has made to its search algorithm this year, it’s hard to keep track of what’s new and how to stay on top of search result pages. From back to back Panda updates to the new Caffeine Web indexing system released in June, Google has made significant changes to how it displays SERPs. Recent comments made by Google’s Amit Singhal reveal that the company is aiming to deliver search rankings based on “freshness”. In other words, Google ranks websites according to timeliness, and not just keyword relevance. Websites with the most up to date information provide a better user experience, and thus gain relevancy on Google and other search engines. You might think the change only affects websites about news, hot topics and regularly recurring events, but as Singhal points out in the Official Google Blog, this “freshness” algorithm change will also impact websites about products such as new cars.


Two Ways to Stay Fresh and Rise to the Top of Search Results

There are just a couple things you need to do to make sure you stay ahead of competitors on the first page of Google. If you don’t already have a company blog for your car dealership, start one and update it regularly. Creating a company blog and updating it with the latest information about new vehicle models, manufacturer news and local promotional sales events will only help improve the SEO for your website. Google ranks frequently updated webpages higher and takes into account simple information like the calendar date on which you added a new post. Having an active blog gives you three benefits in one: it helps you communicate with loyal customers, engage potential car buyers, and it gives Google the fresh, high quality information it craves.

If you just don’t have time to create and actively manage a blog, then the next best solution is to update the pages on your website with information like new model descriptions or current manufacturer promotions. You can write this content yourself, or work directly with an automotive internet marketing provider that includes unique content solutions in their SEO services. By adding timely, fresh content to your dealer website, you’ll be able to rank higher in Google, get increased web traffic and generate more leads.

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Tags: blog, company, sem, seo, writing

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Comment by Cole Matthew Mitguard on November 21, 2011 at 9:48am

This is a great Post Mina, really illustrates the rising importance of dynamic content in SEO!

Comment by Mina K. on November 21, 2011 at 9:31am

Thanks for reading and all the input, everyone! I learned a few things myself reading through the comments.

Comment by Bruce Etzcorn on November 21, 2011 at 7:44am

Be careful for those of you reading this post and heed the advice.

 

Google's Panda update looks specifically for content that is created for SEO purposes and flags these pages as poor quality, allowing each post to actually hurt your rankings instead of help them.

 

If you choose to do your posts on an of-site domain (as Ralph suggested) you'll have a few additional items to be aware of. Newly created/registered domains take time for Google to assess trustworthiness so your back links to your primary domain won't count for much right away. It's a process  that takes time. Don't give up writing amazing content too soon. 

 

Lastly, Panda's update also dinged duplicate anchor text so be sure to change that up frequently. Google looks for unnatural activity/patterns and over time you'll start to build up a decent number of links that might look spammy if all your pages share the same links to your primary domain. Since anchor text is often abused, try to make the anchor text more natural.

 

Quality content is still king and pages that are low quality will lower the reputation of the domain. So be careful, have a goal and update regularly.

 

Comment by Justin Braun on November 21, 2011 at 6:29am

Not only does a dealership blog help your SEO, but it also helps you humanize your brand, tell your story and involve consumers in your brand's discussion.  

 

I describe these fundamental benefits of company blogging in this post: http://livechat.ae/dealerblog

Comment by Tom Gorham on November 19, 2011 at 7:02pm

Great article Mina.  I think freshness of content is the key.  I really like the information from Ralph as well.  I've never felt comfortable putting our blog on our eCommerce site and I've know for a while that I need to make changes in the domain name.  This has pushed me further down that road.  Thanks!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 19, 2011 at 12:41pm

Tom - There is a lot of debate as to whether a blog should be a sub-domain of the dealer's primary eCommerce site, or should be hosted separately, on its own domain and distinct from the dealer's primary eCommerce site... I personally have experienced much better success with blog sites, specifically Wordpress sites when they are hosted on different servers, with their unique domain (URL) distinct and separate from the dealer's primary eCommerce site.

 

My favorite tactic for doing this is to register the dealer's dot-com URL prefix as a .org Top Level Domain (TLD) extension and host the Wordpress software on a separate supplier's hosting server, such as 1and1, RackSpace, or even GoDaddy. For example, RalphSchomp.com uses RalphSchomp.org for their social network which contains a blog application. 

 

A top SEO performing Wordpress hosted application example as used by the Penske Automotive Group can be seen registered, hosted and designed distinctly separate from their other eCommerce sites at www.PenskeSocial.com, while they also host and maintain (separately) a full featured social network site at www.PenskeCommunity.com.

 

Regardless of what others may say about this topic, if you look at all the real-world and compelling case studies, creating, hosting and maintaining distinctly separate websites, including blogs that are designed to serve people who are either interested in different subject matter, or are in different segments of the ownership life-cycle makes a a lot of sense.  Plus, if the functionality of the site is better served with a different application platform, then why would you try to shove it into an eCommerce platform that may not be ideally suited, other than to be a better customer for your website supplier?

 

In my experience, no dealership is best served by a "one size fits all" dealership website... The most successful digital marketing dealers use multiple distinct and separate websites for distinct and separate objectives, targeted audiences and communication purposes. These most successful dealers also utilize different site platforms that are both ideally suited and the most cost effective ways to achieve these very same marketing communication, customer engagement and eCommerce objectives.

 

For example, using a Presto Reviews or BusinessRater supplied dealership reviews website for customer reviews and dealership performance ratings, then syndicating those reviews into a section of your primary eCommerce website, Facebook, Twitter, Ning Social Network, and your Wordpress Blog works a heck of a lot better than simply inserting customer reviews into a page within your eCommerce website... Here's the analogy; a Master Technician does not use an adjustable crescent wrench to do a transmission overhaul.  Don't use an eCommerce site to create your dealership blog!

Comment by Tom Hawkins on November 19, 2011 at 10:09am

Does the blog have to be part of the dealership website?  I am building a blog on a different URL then the dealership URL.  Are there ways to integrate this to have the results you are talking about?

Comment by Tom Kain on November 18, 2011 at 9:00pm

We provide this service for our clients and of course highly recommend it.  Thanks for the post Mina!

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