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  • Talk about yourself and drive more traffic.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    Why you should blog

    Blogging helps drive organic traffic to your website. There are a handful of ways that most dealers rely on to get potential customers to find their website:

    • Direct Traffic: This is your current audience. They know who you are and what you do. They may have your website bookmarked, or have your URL memorized, or they might enter your dealership name into a search engine.
    • Paid traffic: a.k.a. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or Pay-Per-Click (e.g., Google Adwords). SEM can be expensive. Competition for lucrative keywords can drive up per-click costs to $10 or more. At those rates, you could eat through your entire monthly budget in a matter of hours, and when you stop paying, your traffic stops, too.
    • Promotional traffic: Email blasts, remarketing, campaigns, traditional advertising, etc. Again, when you stop paying, your traffic stops.
    • Organic traffic: Traffic that comes to you because a customer searched for non-specific terms, like “Chicago Ford dealership” or “2013 Toyota Prius Scottsdale.” Organic traffic is where blogging can make a huge difference.


    The Basics: blogging, social media, and search engines

    How do you drive new “organic” traffic? Well, one way to do that is to keep content on your site fresh. This poses a challenge for dealers. Think about how many pages there are on your website. How often do you update your non-inventory pages? Chances are it’s not nearly often enough. A blog can help solve this problem.

    Every time you publish a new blog post, it's another indexed page on your website, and another indication to Google and other search engines that your website is active and they should be checking it frequently to see what new content you've published that they can serve to users. Every new indexed page is one more chance for you to show up in search engines, and drive traffic to your website through organic search.

    Blogging can significantly amplify your social media presence. With each blog post, you create content that people can share on social networks like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest, which helps introduce your business to more potential customers that might not know you yet. Google pays special attention to your social media presence, and uses that activity to determine how popular and relevant you are, compared to your competition.

    Staying on top of your various social media profiles can be a daunting task. Instead of struggling to come up with brand new content for each of your social media profiles, your blog can serve as your central content warehouse. By linking back to your blog on your Facebook wall, or in your Twitter feed, you will engage users across platforms and increase your social reach. You increase your social reach by posting distinctive and useful content that points new visitors directly to your website.

    A relevant blog will also help establish authority. The best dealership blogs answer common questions their customers have. They identify current issues and events in the automotive industry and address them. If you consistently create content that's helpful for your customer, it'll help to make you an authority in their eyes. This is a particularly handy tool for sales and service professionals.

    What not to do?

    • Don’t allow your blog to be a place to dump boring manufacturer press releases.
    • Don’t copy and paste someone else’s blog and pass it off as your own. It has to be uniquely yours.
    • Don’t engage in excessive or obvious self-promotion. Think before publishing. Would you read it? If the answer is no, don’t publish.
    • Don’t spam your followers’ feeds with your content. Less is more! It’s better to have published five solid articles last month than thirty regurgitated items.

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