All posts tagged 'eo' | MXS Solutions

Why Dealer Websites fail to deliver

Creating and maintaining a normal website can be difficult.  Add in compliance, need for original content, graphics, high competition, and it seems like the impossible task.  The average internet director, doesn’t have the analytical, sales, 2D design, HTML, SEO / SEM, technical and persuasive writing skills necessary to manage a dealership's internet presence.  Although we’ve seen the gambit of those that have some, or even most of those skills, it seems only the mythical internet director of legend is capable of running the show on their own.

Each one of those skills is needed to successfully optimize the revenue coming from your website, and we’re going to discuss two areas of those skills and how the lack thereof causes fatal flaws in most self - run dealership websites.

First up, we have:

The Artist: (SEO / SEM)

These are the ones who missed their calling in life.  Beautiful websites, clean, eye - catching designs, and yet nothing is happening.  Hardly any traffic, no leads, and not a clue what to do about it. 

If you don’t know what you’re doing with search engine optimization, or you rely on platforms to optimize your site for you, that is what you see.  What are people searching for?  Of the people that arrive to your site, what keywords were bringing them in?  Are the right keywords being used on your site?  Are you tagging all the content with relevant keywords?  Is your content even relevant?

Or, are you clicking the “Add suggested tags/keywords” button and praying?  Not only does careful planning have to take place when attempting to capture traffic from organic search results but, monitoring and interpreting the data that you get from the traffic you're receiving is an intimate part of optimizing your website.

Followed by:

The Technician:  (2D design / Sales)

Like the green pea, faithfully following his up around the dealership waiting for them to say they want to take a car home, he’s got all the words, but doesn’t know how to say them.  The site is topping the charts, traffic is amazing, yet the bounce rate is 9 for 10 and you haven’t received a call yet. 

While getting people on your site is the first step, the next step is getting them engaged with the website.  The website has to welcome them in with interesting graphics and easy to use navigation.  Phrasing that gets them thinking about making a purchase decision without blowing them out with cheesy one liners.

Graphic design takes talent.  If you don’t have it, stay away from that part of the website’s design.  Just smile and nod while those with talent discuss whatever it is they do to make people want to stare at the banners for a couple slides, for no other reason than they look nice.  Think about all the times you’ve purchased some brand over another because the box looked nicer.  Don’t lie to yourself and let your website remind people of the store bought brand.

How can I get all of this done quickly and to get my business booming?

Outsourcing some of the work might be the answer, or it might not.  For some of those internet directors of infamy, it may be just the trick to get an outside contractor to pick up the slack.  Then again, it might be better to invest in a quality company that can deliver results.  Either way the number one reason dealership websites fail, is because someone there thinks they can do it all themselves. 

No company in the internet marketing business has one person handle everything for a client. I wouldn’t dare let Janice, from the graphics department, handle all the analytics and reporting for a client, and you shouldn’t either. Whether it’s in-house division of labor, or outsourcing to a reliable name in the industry, don’t let anyone go at it alone.   

Keeping your website current for success online

We've all been there.  You built a website, and it looks great.  The content is finalized and all of it has been pushed to production.  All the team members involved high-five each other and get started to work on the next task at hand.  What about your newly published website?  It became stale the second it was published.  How is that you ask?  Well, the information that it was published with was not the latest (hence publishing was the last thing that your team did), so it already is out of data.  Keeping a website that is up to date and fresh is the success of many websites online, if not all of them.Increase visibility online with Google Analytics

Good Information: Why change?

Let's list some key factors in why you want to have regular updates to your website.  These will help you understand the importance of why we do this regularly.

Search Engines need help finding you - this helps

If you like to be found in Search Engines, regularly updated content is the key on out to stay relevant to them.  Search Engines will give priority to websites that update often and prefer to list the latest pages first.  Value is placed higher for unique, and regularly updated websites.  If you don't pay attention to your site after publishing it, your rankings will more than likely take a tumble.

The "busy" of Business - are you working?

Is your last post from 4 years ago?  If so, folks visiting your website could think that maybe your business hasn't done anything, important or otherwise, for many years.  Another thought could be that you have gone out of business, which would be the worst thought to a potential or current customer.  Publishing an article, just to show the business has a pulse, from time to time is a good thing.  You can start with a monthly publication, and then move it up week-to-week if you can afford to do so.

Got External Links?

Nothing like people talking about things, especially if they are using your website a the source.  Chances are, if you have some good content, they just might link to it.  This is called natural link-building, and it is huge for quality score in Search Engines.  The more naturally created links coming from quality sites, the better.  Keeping the site up to date more often with quality content increases the likelihood of it getting linked to from other websites and blogs.  This can help get you noticed in the long term.

Keeping the website shiny

It's not difficult to keep a website update.  A business just needs to establish some ground rules and then stick to them and the cycle of publishing content, and it will always be getting updated.

Steal this blog...

... Or the idea of a blog.  A regularly released blog is a great way to keep visitors coming to your site to see what you have to say.  This could be a blog about your business on-goings, tactics of the industry or just some topic that your business is really passionate about.  This will keep your website fresh and relevant so that it will show visitors and Search Engines that your site still has things to offer.

Got things to say that are news-worthy?

Most businesses have things to say that are news-worthy.  Have a breakthrough on something? Write about it.  Did you just meet a goal in a focused area?  Write about it.  Did employees at your business just complete training on some national standard (e.g. ISO 9001)?  Write about it.  The form of a news item can come in many different flavors, and a news article that is about your industry will keep your website in the limelight with Search Engines, and more importantly, your website visitors.

Visitors love images and videos - and so do the Search Engines

Website visitors are generally visual.  Having website areas like image galleries and video galleries not only provide eye candy, but can also provide valuable image search results when users are searching Search Engines like Google solely based on images.  If you tag your images and videos appropriately, this provides another avenue of being found by a Search Engine.

Client testimonials

If you can get great client testimonials out of some customers, this adds fresh content.  If you have a lot of customers and are able to get a lot of testimonials, this can assist in conversions of future customers as well.

More content

It's true, content is king!  Well organized content can make your website appear more valuable to Search Engines like Google and Bing.  Be sure that it's relevant content to your website and industry.  You do not want to have spammy content, "just to have content."  If your business is customer-oriented where you are working with them in person, then perhaps a friend staff page with pictures of your employees and titles would help this out so that customers know who folks are before they set foot in your building. 

At the end of the day, keeping your website up to date with it's content, imagery, etc. will help in the long run.  This not only will keep your business engaged with the website, but also provide value to customers and potential customers alike.  Just remember that moderation is the key.

 

Improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If you just started your business website or if you have had it for years, you should know that it is very important to rank in search engines like Google, Bing and others.  So, how do you start ranking?  Will Google or Bing just "magically" come find my site?  Unless some other website is linking to your website, the answer is no. Improving your SEO for your Business

Not to worry, everyone who has ever taken their business online has gone through this exercise in some form or fashion.

Search Engine Basics

SEO is critical in order to increase traffic to your website and get all the content you worked so hard on shown to the world.  There are some very basic things that you can do to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) with your website.

Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and many other Search engines have algorithms at their core that figure out where a website should rank from a given search.  These algorithms are not "set in stone" and updated several times per year.  The search engines are not all the same, but there are several inner workings of each that are common. 

At the end of the day, this is what the Search Engines are looking at for ranking purposes:

  • - Content Type (and how much you have of it)
  • - Optimization Level (did you pay attention in SEO school?)
  • - PageRank (popularity - just like the high school days)

 

SEO:  Slow and Steady

In the old days of bumping up a sites PageRank (we're talking maybe a few years here), it was a common practice to spam links to essentially junk "farm" websites that hold tens of thousands of links creating what is known as "backlinks".  What these backlinks from these spammy sites did was create a false sense of importance of the website they were pointing.  The more unique sites having these links, the higher the search engine would rate the PageRank.

Don't SPAM backlinks to improve your SEO PageRank

Hold the Spam

According to Matt Cutts, Distinguished Google Engineer, he has stated that backlinks are safe... for now.  There is an internal effort going on at search engines like Google (and others) that has been reevaluating the value of backlinks.  Matt Cutts was quoted as saying:

"I think backlinks still have many, many years left in them," he said. "But inevitably what we're trying to do is figure out how an expert user would say this particular page matched their information needs. And sometimes backlinks matter for that."

In the interim, backlinks will still be viable, but be cautious of the type of backlinks you are creating trying to drive traffic to your website.  You should stay way from the "fly-by-night" link-building companies that may boost you for a few weeks or months, but search engines like Google are aware of these tactics and working towards a solution.  Matt Cutts continues onto saying:

"So I think, over time, back links will become a little less important," he said.

Quality over QuantityQuality over Quantity with SEO

 Google seems to be leading the charge when pioneering the way that websites are assigned their reputation for the website as a whole and/or individual pages.  They are taking the focus off of backlinks and putting it back on the quality of the content of the particular pages.

Wait, there's more...  pages written by experts and professionals in their particular field will be given more precedence and weight.  Page authority is going to become part of the new norm.  There is speculation to how Google will determine whether experts are "experts", but they are Google, and I'm sure they have something in the works.

 If you want to check out the video for the backlinks that was done by Google Webmasters, check it out below: