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Some people have heard me say this in the past

“It’s not your website provider’s job to give you a working website. It’s their job to give you a functional one; it’s your job to make it work”

What does that mean…REALLY?

     • It’s Your Job – to know what keywords to rank for
     • It’s Your Job – to create good content to make that site rank
     • It’s Your Job – to work to get the backlinks to your site

At the end of the day that is exactly what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is Keywords, Good Content & Backlinks it is really that simple and also that hard…Why?

Because we have been conditioned to think our website provider is going to do it for us. I can’t tell you how many times I hear website providers tell dealers “Our sites rank better and have better SEO than what you have now” and how many times dealer change website providers because they think the new website will be the magic bullet to get them ranked better, more traffic and more leads…WRONG!

In fact the website is pretty much worthless without the right online marketing strategy.

“Reality… the website should be FREE”

It is the tool of the online marketer not the online marketing strategy and that’s why I say…

“You don’t need a website provider you need a web marketing company that provides websites”

Without the marketing the website has NO VALUE.

What does a good online marketing strategy look like? Like this:










Now here comes the sad part ¾ of this you can’t even do because you lease you website presence from your provider you don’t own the property, and even if you did manage to find a good way to optimize your site it would only be a matter of hours before the other guy down the road on the same website platform had it too.

“The Law of equal incompetence” You can be no better than the network you’re on.


So what’s a web marketer to do? Optimally:

1. Get your own website
2. Start an aggressive PPC & landing page campaign find the keywords that convert and start your online marketing efforts with them
3.  Create a lot of good relevant content in your website 400 pages plus around those keywords
4. Get a blog make sure you set it up as a subdomain of your website
5. Create 30 plus relevant SEO optimized blog posts per month around your target keywords
6. Profile your customers & Facebook friends for interests
7. Share through social 20 pieces of content per day relevant to your audience
8. Integrate your social campaigns to your web presence to get the maximum traffic, SEO & conversion value
9. Use behavior targeting to drive organic traffic to high converting landing pages
10. ABT (ALWAYS BE TESTING) Split test everything often


I hope this post gets you thinking about your website and web marketing in a very different way, that was my goal.


If you want to know more or have questions we do a webinar on these very topics every Tuesday 1pm Central Standard Time , Click Here - Own Your Web Presence


Hope this helps

Larry Bruce - @pcmguy

Views: 179

Tags: Automotive, CRO, Content, Conversion, Digital, Landing, Marketing, Media, Microsites, Online, More…Optimization, PPC, Pages, Paths, SEM, SEO, Social


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Comment by Larry Bruce on November 12, 2011 at 6:19am

Jason normally I would agree with you, in the past its been good advice to do one thing and do it really really well. Unfortunately our world has become so fragmented that you can just do one thing right you have to do them all right.


That's why I think the dealership should focus on what it does best, Sell Cars one on one to individuals and partner with a good online marketing agency that can focus on getting people that want to buy cars in front of people that want to sell them.


Thanks for stopping by Jason always good to get your input.  

Comment by Jason Manning on November 11, 2011 at 7:39pm

I believe in Larry and Ralph.  I believe you should have one web site that you master results from.  Once you've done that, you should move on to a second site that is also valuable to the consumer.  Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your presence on the web.  Learn to do one thing right and build on it.  I will leave you with my favorite quote from Bruce Lee:


"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." -Bruce Lee

Comment by Larry Bruce on November 8, 2011 at 4:38am

Wow just realized that my comment got cut off. Here is the rest.
Setting up your blog as a subdomain of your website has much more value than setting it up stand alone as a separate domain because.

  1. You get the keyword density value from the content you put on the blog as a part of your “Random Access Website” helping it far more in ranking than you could by trying to back link from a single site
  2. As Google sees you subdomain and your domain as one site it will count the frequency and freshness of the content you put up on your blog very high, again helping to drive rank for the keywords you are targeting
  3. You will be able to get far more backlinks to your blog than you will to your “Random Access Website”

Sorry didn’t see this yesterday

Comment by Larry Bruce on November 7, 2011 at 9:45am

Ralph I think the main point we disagree on is that adwords is idiot proof (It isn’t) and that domain names have a dramatic effect on SEO (they don’t).

With that said let me agree with you, one website is not enough. In-fact I have created a whole application, based on that principal. A dealership should have a minimum of 50 microsites and landing experiences per franchise (click here if you would like to see a list of what those sites sho...


To expand further on that point here is the graph from my digital dealer presentation SEO VS PPC shows our clients and the correlation of landing pages to leads, you can clearly see the more landing pages you have the more leads you get.























Let’s take that even further to a similar Hubspot study of 4000 lead generation business [click here to download the Hubspot Study] and as you can see their results are almost exactly the same, basically proving the point that dealers absolutely need to have many websites to address different customer needs and desires.




















Where I do disagree with you Ralph is on the notion of creating specialized websites. When I 1st used the phrase “Random Access Website” I was talking about a visitors ability to get into a site and be distracted and get lost with the plethora information we put into our sites. With a microsite or landing page you remove all but what the visitor wants or needs to come to the logical conclusion to convert to a lead and you minimize the navigation so the site is simple and easy to use. 

The only time you should consider building a full specialized site is if you are going to have that site facilitate something. Using your case of a Fleet Customer site it would be good in that case to show them their fleet maintenance status, their credit account with the dealership ect. the site is now facilitating something that requires data integration and in that case a full specialized site is appropriate. 

As for the wordpress blog part a subdomain is not embedded into a website it’s a standalone extension of the website. The recent Google Panda update has made subdomains (standalone extensions) of a website act as one with the main website.

The benefits to this are 3 fold: 

  1. You get the keyword density value from the content you put on the blog as a part of your “Random Access Website” helping it far more in ranking than you could by trying to back link fr
Comment by Ralph Paglia on November 6, 2011 at 3:42pm

I love this post... Hate to admit it, because I disagree with Larry on so many topics, but he makes a valid point here, especially about leasing an asset that dealers should own! However, I would add one additional item that Larry may not agree with... ONE WEBSITE IS NOT ENOUGH!


That's right... If dealers want a competitive advantage they should NOT try to create one website that serves all customers on all topics.  The reality is that it is a lot easier to create a website that achieves all the engagement and marketing communications objectives for a specific model line and a category of customers if it is designed and maintained for the topic and the customer segment.  Most dealerships have a wide range of customers, and a variety of models, services and products they sell... I believe that websites are economical enough to merit creating specialized sites for specific categories of customers and products...


For example, having a completely separate website for Commercial and Fleet customers may make sense for dealers that do a lot of business, or want to in that segment.


Used Vehicles are a unique enough sales department and product in most dealerships to merit their own specialized site.


What about Fixed Operations? Seems like they have a fairly unique set of value proposiaitions, products and services that they may have good use for a specialized site.  Heck, the biggest and best online parts sales operations have their own website... Must be a reason why, right?


And, when it comes to certain brands, their new trucks are not only different from their passenger cars, so are the customers, and this may be better served by a dedicated truck website.  Heck, the Ford F-150 outsells a lot of complete OEM brands, so why not better serve the Ford F-150 product and customers with a specialized website all its own...


Anyways, I like Larry's thinking on this post, all except the Wordpress Blog embedded into the dealership's "Random Access Website"... On that issue I disagree with Larry.  let your Wordpress Blog site be hosted and owned by the dealership as a stand alone site with links pointing back to various other online properties that the dealership owns.

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