Think blogging is a waste of time? Think again. When done regularly, quality blog posts introduce fresh content to websites. This entices search engines to crawl sites, which in turn helps to promote overall visibility, page rankings, keyword rankings, conversion rates – even backlinks.
Of course, it’s not all about key performance indicators (KPIs)… From a non-technical, standpoint, a good blog offers an outlet for dealers to connect with clients and present themselves as the subject matter experts whom to turn.
The key is to blog smart. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your and your consumers’ valuable time. Not to mention potentially doing more damage to your site and reputation than good.
To fully capitalize on your blogging efforts and make your online presence more potent, simply follow the 10 best practices below.
10 High-Octane Blogging Best Practices:
1.Keep it unique.
Duplicate content comes with potential legal implications. It can also have a seriously negative impact on rankings. In extreme site-wide cases, it can even lead to bans by search engines. This isn’t to say posts can’t be inspired by topics and breaking news – just that they should always represent your dealership’s take and be written in your words – not someone else’s.
Readers have an incredibly short attention span. If you don’t grab them with the title, they likely won’t read the article. Using an active voice can help.
3.Reflect & Engage.
Remember, every reader is a prospective customer. As such, it’s important to use a conversational tone that reflects the brand you’re selling (i.e., casual, sporty, powerful, sophisticated…) and speak directly to their strongest desires. Among the many things most all consumers want are greater comfort, knowledge, convenience and fun. Consider how your products, services, and late-breaking auto news fulfill these wants and position them as such.
4.Use external links with discretion.
External links (those that direct traffic off of your website) increase bounce rates. Instead, include links to other pages within your site. This will add credibility to your site and can help improve rankings.
Average post length should be approximately 250-300 words… You want to inform your readers, not bore them to death.
6.Follow the Rules.
Some OEMs have strict, nuanced compliance criteria regarding product and feature nomenclature, geographical references, and much more. To avoid penalties be sure you know what they are.
7.Include a source.
When incorporating a quote in a post, attribute it. This isn’t just the respectable thing to do; it’s professional.
8.Use relevant tags.
Tags are words and short key phrases (often proper nouns) that tell readers and, perhaps more importantly, search engines what a post is about. Using a targeted collection of tags will make your post easier to find. Focus on those that relate directly to the topic of your post and keep them all lower case. Do not use words or phrases you’ve already used as categories.
9.Stick to a routine.
As previously mentioned, regular posts flag search engines to crawl your site. This is critical, especially following three recent changes to Google’s Freshness update which have once again altered the way search results are prioritized, boosting the visibility of those that have been updated more recently. It’s also important to manage comments regularly. If you don’t, prospective buyers might deem you inattentive.
10.Cross promote your blog.
Drive consumers to your blog via your other marketing channels such as Facebook, Twitter, hardcopy marketing material, even word of mouth.
Yes, blogging does take time, creativity and strategy. But, if you follow the aforementioned best practices, you’ll reap the rewards. And remember, if you don’t have time to invest in blogging regularly and/or don’t want to risk damaging your brand, Dealer.com can blog for you. Then, all you have to do – and only if you want to – is add supplemental posts, at your leisure.
Emily Grier is a Search Engine Optimization Team Lead