Automotive Digital Marketing

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When I first started in digital marketing back in 2006, I had a dream of helping people take over the internet realm for their particular niche. At the time, I had 4 automotive clients and with the thought that content and links were so powerful for SEO while social media was the future, I pictured a product where my clients were blogging several times a week and posting them on several different blogs that fit in with particular topics.

There was a huge flaw in this mini-dream. Who has time to blog? Sure, a business can be expected to put up 3 or 4 good blog posts a month, but 20? 25? As someone who blogs daily, it's easy for me to sit here and say, "oh, it's so easy, you just have to schedule 15-45 minutes a day to do it, and then..."

Easier said than done, right? There's a reason that I haven't watched a television show since the series finale of Lost and I now realize that most people aren't wanting to add an additional hour or so to their daily workload. I get it. I rearranged that particular vision and decided to start offering the service rather than training people how to do it.

Then, I came across a dealership blog that blew my mind. They have been blogging for a long time and have accumulated nearly 700 blog posts. I was blown away. I knew of four other dealers that had put this sort of effort into their blog presence, and in all of those cases they had an individual or team behind it. This was different.

As I started reading through the blog, I realized that it was still using an older strategy. They were using it for SEO, which is fine, but at a certain point inbound links from the same blog to the same websites loses its juice. I realized that my vision of 2006 was finally finding an opportunity to be realized in 2014. Some dealers are blogging a lot and they could finally use my strategy.

One Verses Many

The only question that needs to be answered when deciding whether or not to focus on a single blog or multiple ones from a business perspective is bandwidth. The only thing worse than not having a blog is to have some that are ignored. If you can't put up a blog post every week, there's just no reason to have a standalone blog. If you're blogging lightly, bury it somewhere on your website and use it strictly for additional content every now and then. It's not a blogging strategy. It's just more content.

Keypoint #1: If you're once or twice a month, you don't have a blogging strategy

However, for those who can put up a lot of blog posts - double digits per month - and stick with it, you have the opportunity to branch out and have more than one blog. Then, a choice must be made...

Should You or Shouldn't You?

Blogs have multiple purposes for business. They can be SEO tools. They can be PR tools. They can be traffic drivers. They can be social hubs. They can be more than one of those at a time if you're great at it. However, do not fall into the trap of trying to do everything at once.

One very strong, well-maintained, well-followed blog is amazing if it's on the domain for SEO purposes. If it's off the domain or on a subdomain, the effectiveness as an SEO tool wanes over time.

Key Point #2: On-domain blogs are great for SEO, off-domain or subdomain blogs are not if used by themselves

If you're blogging often, you have a choice to make.

  1. You can put everything on one blog, build up a following and traffic, and use it as either a strong content pull if your blog is on your domain or as a separate searchable entity if it's on another domain or subdomain.
  2. You can split it up into more than one blog and focus on multiple niches. You won't be able to build as strong of a following on any one of them, but you may be able to get an overall stronger following on the whole network. This can be a bit more beneficial from an SEO perspective for links and social signals, but that is a minor play and should not be a big consideration.

Most in the search and social arena love the concept of consolidation. Some definitely promote diversity, but usually for different reasons. This is a complex question and the real answer lies in an analysis of goals, assets, and integration with other strategies.

Key Point #3: There is not a set, agreed-upon strategy with how to handle blogging - everyone is in a different situation

If you have the luxury of being able to blog often or can hire someone who can, then it's important to analyze everything you have going in order to select the right strategy. Rather than go too in-depth on the possibilities (that would be a 4000 word blog post itself), I'll open it up for questions here. If you have a specific situation you want analyzed, comment here or reach out to me.

Views: 93

Tags: blog, blogging


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Comment by Peter Saydak on January 21, 2014 at 9:26am

I would say definitely keep your blog on your website for the SEO boost.  Silo your content into different categories as Google really loves silo architecture right now.  There's no need to split up different categories into different blogs as long as they all fall into the ultimate sort of automotive category.

If you're trying to set up blogs on other domains to provide backlinks back to your site you want to find high PR expired domains as opposed to registering brand new domain with no PR.  Buy those and re-purpose them to suit your needs.

Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on January 13, 2014 at 9:03am

this is great, jd! u r a master :)

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