For the most part, most dealers understand the importance of having content on their websites. They know that search engines love unique content and if they have any hope of ranking well for keywords other than their own name, they need content to help expand their reach.
Things have been changing a bit for the last year. A new type of content is rising in importance from both a search as well as a social perspective. The two go hand in hand; if you have good content that people are willing to share on social media, this helps the website in search as well thanks to the rise of social signals as a component of the Google and Bing ranking algorithms. The problem with nearly all dealer websites is this: none of your content is worth sharing.
People don’t share inventory listings, but we need them to rank well. People don’t share specials, but we want our website visitors to see them. This poses a new challenge for dealers – the content that we want to be found isn’t the type of content that people are willing to share on their social media profiles or through links that they create on their websites. Thankfully, Google and Bing both know this. It’s not a problem that is unique to the automotive industry. Their answer: build content that is made specifically to benefit the reader regardless of whether they’re buying your product at that very moment or not.
Engaging content is quickly becoming the most important content on dealer websites that are building them. The reason that they’re so important is that they’re unique. Every dealer website has inventory. Differentiating one inventory from another is challenging, particularly for brands like Dodge and General Motors that require their dealers to use the same inventory types across the board. Dealers that also build engaging content on their websites are able to do better in both search and social because they’re bringing value to their visitors in the eyes of Google and Bing.
Long story short – if you build content on your website that is engaging, it will help your other important pages like inventory, specials, and the homepage itself rank better in search. Check out this story about making the most of your CMS, then check out these four content types that would work well on your website.
- Educational Content – This is actually the easiest type of content to put on the site and also the most common used by a handful of dealers today. You’re the expert. Show it. Make a video about how to connect a smartphone MP3 player to the stereo system in a particular vehicle. Write the process up step by step (make it unique – don’t copy and paste!), post it with the video and perhaps some images, and you have a very shareable piece of educational content.
- Entertaining Content – You don’t have to be a comedian to entertain. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of focusing your automotive passions. Pictures of cars, videos from the local community, and write-ups about people doing amazing things with their vehicles all make for great entertaining content.
- Customer Experience Content – This is a tricky one but can have the dual-benefit of helping with your reputation while engaging with your customers. One great example I saw a while back was about a grandson who was helping his grandmother to find the perfect car for her, only to find out after the deal was complete that she was actually buying the car for him as a college present. Great pictures, heartwarming, and puts the dealership in a great light for playing along with the ruse until the end. With this type of content, you’ll always want to make sure you have permission from the subjects before proceeding.
- Community Focus Content – This is another tricky one, but it can be helpful for the dealership while helping a cause as well. In essence, you’re taking things that your dealership does from a charitable perspective and using the website to help spread the word. It’s important to be selfless in this case. Your benefit is from the content and promoting the cause, not from promoting the dealership itself.
There are other content types that are engaging, but these will give you a good starting spot as you get to building additional content. Remember, sometimes the best way to get people to the content you want them to see is to give them the content that they want to see first.