I have been educating dealers on the concept of a POD Score
this month and I wanted to give ADM members advice on how to increase their POD score. You should also read the latest post on how POD Score is calculated. (Read Article
One of the fastest ways to protect a car dealer's BRAND and Page One search results is to purchase the .NET and .ORG versions of their brand name(s).
I am amazed at how many dealers have not
purchased the common alternative domains for their brand. Many dealers only own the .com version of their brand.
Larger dealer group are notorious for not buying their individual store domain names. These dealers have relied on their group site
to magically appear for all brands that they carry.
The industry is at the boiling point as dealers are realizing that group portal sites are NOT the magic bullet. In fact, when consumers search each store individually, larger dealer groups control very few of the 10 organic listings that show on Page One for a specific store name. (i.e. Low POD Score)Large Dealer Groups
I'll outline some practical advise using a fictitious dealer group with five OEM brands. The group is called the Paschonate Auto Group
and they operate the Paschonate Auto Mall
which carries Chevrolet, Ford, BMW, Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge brands.
Their group website is PaschonateAutoMall.com
. They have operated traditional advertising campaigns for years that uses radio, TV and print to drive traffic to www.paschonateautomall.com.
What this dealer group does not understand is that IF a consumer does not hear or see their traditional advertisement, consumers will search for an OEM brand in their area. Often, group sites DO NOT show in organic results because they don't have the specific OEM name in their URL.
Don't get discouraged..help is on the way.Protecting Your OEM Brand
Most OEM's require a dedicated URL, so in this example the Paschonate Auto Group has www.paschonatechevrolet.com
, etc with their mandated OEM sites. Some dealers pay little attention to their OEM mandated sites and this is a mistake. (I will discuss this in a separate article.)
An equally damaging mistake is that car dealers NEVER purchase the .net and .org version of their domains.
In this example, the dealer group should purchase www.paschonatechevrolet.net
They can use these domains to place websites, WordPress blogs, or NING social communities on these domains to PROTECT THEIR BRAND NAME.
When setup properly, the .net and .org sites will show when consumers search for a car dealer's name. This will increase the channels and paths to direct consumers to the dealer website and showroom. If it is not done, that traffic will most likely be directed to hostile forces or direct competitors.
Buying the domain is NOT good enough. Dealers need to place content, like website, on these domains. The websites can be NING communities that cost $20 a month. The websites can be WordPress websites at $70 a year. The key is that dealers need to own their brand domains and publish content on the .com, .net, and .org versions.
The #1 organic search phrases that brings consumers to a dealer's website is a search for their name.
Adding websites on the .NET and .ORG domains will increase their Page One visibility, control, leads, and POD Score.
Take 5 minutes to buy those domains for your dealership or dealership group and lock in your Page One control when a consumer types your dealership name into Google.
The ADM community members that invest the 5 minutes to buy these domains will be well rewarded in years to come.