Google’s newest patent will prove to be both beneficial and terrifying to users, which is just about par for the course for the search engine juggernaut. It involves tracking you wherever you go and then collating and analyzing that data for personal identification trends. Creepy? For sure. Useful for Business SEO and social media? You betcha. (more…)
There are many lessons we can take from this Super Bowl this year. Important, crucial information like Beyonce has still got it, always pay your electricity bill before you have company over, and murderers can go on to do great things in life. Even more important though, are the lessons we can learn about Marketing with Twitter and Facebook. Let us here at Wikimotive share some of these with you.
Here at Wikimotive, we love Business SEO. We work at it all day, poring over analytics data and tweaking this or that to stay in Google’s good graces. Honestly, it never gets old. Just between you and me, when we lay our heads down at night, we have beautiful dreams of Matt Cutts.
Still though, we’re not going to argue that it’s the most exciting subject in the world. It has more than its fair share of minutia and tedium. As you’ve probably experienced, when you explain it to an outsider their eyes tend to glaze over and a fine string of drool slides down their chin. The unfortunate thing is that this happens even when you’re explaining it to a decision-maker who NEEDS the info.
Stumbleupon is one of the most interesting social media sites around, and by interesting, I mean it is a complete and total time-sink. Essentially, it’s a toolbar that has a “Stumble” button you can press that will bring you to a random page on the web based on your interests. You can also upvote and downvote pages, which is how Stumbleupon gets better at finding stuff that you’ll like. If something isn’t already ON Stumbleupon when you vote on it, you’ll be given the option to add it. This is what I’d like to talk about today, as it can be a great little social media addition for Business SEO.
The great part about digital marketing is that there is no shortage of advice to be found. No matter what corner of the web you land on, people are telling you how they have cracked the Google algorithm or how they can read pagerank in their Starbucks tea leaves. The only problem is that digital marketing advice, by its very nature, has a short half-life. It doesn’t sit pristine on the shelf; it decays. What works for your Business SEO or social media efforts one day could very well get you penalized the next.
It’s Billing’s Law: Educational content inherently degrades over time at a rate relative to changes in the industry.
Currently, the biggest problem with using Bing for SEM and Business SEO is the lack of search volume. Sure, they came in with roughly 20 percent of the total U.S. searches by the end of last year (depending on whose stats you read), but Google is still dominating them, essentially getting the rest of the market share (ignoring the relative pittance of Yahoo, AOL, and ASK.com). Optimizing for Bing hasn’t been on the top of many to do lists, it has simply made more sense to optimize for Google and then (maybe) perform a few small tweaks to appease Bing. That could all be changing though.
Not every blogger knows Search Engine Optimization (SEO); some people just simply want a platform to write on and to have readers. Yet, SEO plays a factor in gaining readers and therefore not knowing it can easily get you lost within the shuffle of all the other bloggers who just want to “write”.
You do not need to be an expert in SEO to have your site optimized, nor do you have to know a lot, just a little can help you form an audience and once you do, you will have readers who will most likely share (and from a social standpoint you know the ripple effects that can have.)
There are a few tips you should know when writing for your blog, one being that niche blogs (a blog that covers one Industry or topic) do better since their content is focused and related to each other, therefore you are using keywords that are relevant.
The social media marketing industry is always looking for the biggest and best way to promote themselves, their clients or impact the social media scene. While social and SEO is geared towards good content, there are certain rules that need to be addressed prior to launching your content; am I being to spammy? Why am I not ranking? My post was clever, why are people not linking or sharing?
Figures Lie, But Liars Didn’t Figure on Wikimotive!
I nearly didn’t write this. The “lazy” Tim on my shoulder said, “Now Tim, you know what happens when you call people out and stand on your soap box! People will call you a self-righteous blowhard! They’ll accuse you of pandering! Don’t do it!” But this one literally kept me up last night. So I got up at 6am this morning to write this because it needs to be said and people need to be called to task, because this isn’t just wrong….It borders on fraudulent. Hell, it’s downright criminal and I AM going to name names! A lot of companies have their fingers crossed right now hoping its not them. Seth Godin wrote a book entitled, “All marketers are liars.” Perhaps we could adapt this to automotive… That said, I am sure there are a number other names that could be mentioned here that I just haven’t stumbled across, but I am rambling and we need to begin…
Recently Wikimotive decided to revamp its automotive SEO reporting in an effort to provide more value and greater transparency to our clients. What I found was actually quite unexpected. While my expectations of our own service were right on, I discovered that some other companies out there are wasting their time and their clients’ money.
Let’s start with dealer.com. For the record, I think this is a wonderful website provider. Their technology is awesome and the ease of use of their products is without peer. But… they are LYING to their customers and this is unacceptable. As one might expect, a number of our SEO clients are also dealer.com clients. Recently, one of my dealer clients asked me to evaluate dealer.com’s dynamic SEO service and determine if they really needed both our SEO service and dealer.com’s SEO. To be clear, this wasn’t an us vs. them test. If I found that dealer.com was providing value he was going to pay for both services. He was merely seeking reassurance that he was getting or at least had the chance to get a return on investment.
After examining all of the keywords that dealer.com was reporting successful ranking on (16 pages of keywords) I found that nearly ALL of the keywords being tracked and touted as success had a whopping monthly search volume of… wait for it… ZERO. Let me say that again so it’s really clear to everyone. Dealer.com had successfully ranked this dealer for hundreds of keywords that NO ONE has ever searched for. I thought to myself, this must be a fluke. But after examining EVERY dealer.com client we work with, I found the same thing. PAGES UPON PAGES of keywords that no one has ever searched!
To be fair, dealer.com is not alone; in fact, I suspect there are hundreds of companies that should be standing in the corner of shame right along side them. The next offender is possibly even more shocking. Another client (also a dealer.com client) was thinking of cutting one of their services but wanted to be sure before they did and asked Wikimotive to do a review of their reporting. To be fair, I don’t think I even went in to this with the proper approach for my customers’ sake. I had met a few guys from CarMercial at the last Automotive Marketing Bootcamp this past spring and thought they had a good product. So I thought, sure! I’ll take a look and help those guys; the dealer probably can’t understand what they’re looking at.
Just so everyone knows what CarMercial is, they are a Video SEO company. Using YouTube and similar video platforms they obtain ranking in SERP for terms by optimizing the metadata of videos. When my client showed me the report, at first I was blown away. 585 keywords in one month! What a monumental task to take on 585 keywords and obtain page 1 rankings in a single month! But what did I find? 583 of those 585 keywords had NEVER been searched. ZERO MONTHLY SEARCH VOLUME.
THIS IS CRIMINAL! You are taking a dealer’s money and returning NO VALUE! How can you do that!?
At first I was just sort of stunned. I thought there had to be something wrong. A reporting error on my end. Why would a vendor waste their time on so many things that accomplished nothing? 583 keywords that couldn’t possibly create an ROI… It really gave a lot of credence to what Steve Staunning said about wanting to avoid the made up rewards these companies had received in his Dealers United launch for SEO providers. I mean, CarMercial is littered with awards on their website, but to see a PCG Digital Marketing AWA award on there really turned my stomach. I’ve known Brian Pasch for years now and just can’t believe something this blatant would be accepted as passable let alone purported as best of the best. This puts the entire AWA awards’ credibility in to question in my mind. Brian, time to inspect what you expect.
I wrote back in June, that perhaps car dealers aren’t the lazy ones many of us in the vendor world claim them to be when it comes to online marketing. This clearly confirms it. I guess it is easier to automate something and just run a business on the hype that abc product is something a dealer needs regardless of whether or not the end user receives any real value. Personally, I think it is shameful. So I am putting a no strings offer out there.
Any dealer who would like an honest, no strings attached evaluation of the SEO reporting that their SEO company is doing for them can contact me and we’ll pay real close attention to the man behind your curtain. Truly, no strings. Ask and ye shall receive.
Before I go, I would like to point out one hero in all of this. Maybe that is an overstatement. I guess doing things honestly and correctly now makes you a hero, but for the record, I’ve had… lets say a, rocky at times and adversarial at other times, relationship with TK Carsites (now KPA). I may not be the biggest fan of their website platform. I may not be the biggest fan of their customer service (at times). But their SEO is what they advertise it to be. I expected to find a lot of keywords in their reporting that had zero search volume, but it was NOT the case. All of the keywords were valuable honest to goodness searches that people in their dealers’ markets were searching for.
My recommendation for dealers going forward is to require the following 3 criteria from your SEO company’s monthly reporting:
– Keyword Positioning
-Search Volume for each ranking keyword
-Link to every page of content, press release, slideshare, and link that was built, etc.
Original article about terrible SEO practices posted on Wikimotive under the title Figures Lie, But Liars Didn’t Figure on Wikimotive
The “Daily Deals” model has been a rocky road of late for companies like Groupon and Living Social, but Dealers United has shown tremendous success in it’s “Deal of the Month” offerings to car dealers. This month’s deal, a website and SEO offer with KPA, is now in its final week.
This deal is exceptional in many ways. As car dealers become accustomed to challenges they face with their website vendors, having one with a proven track-record and measurable search engine success is at the top of mind for the most web-savvy and aggressive dealerships.
In the end, it comes down to 3 things:
Commitment (and no commitment)
When KPA purchased TK Carsites last year, one component that had been challenging to get used to was the long-term commitment that is inherent with most website offerings. The high-quality vendors all have one-year or longer contracts, while the low-quality website vendors hook dealers into ineffective website platforms with month-to-month offerings. As part of Dealers United’s charter, their deals must be month-to-month and must utilize the services of the company who has the best product on the market. This created a catch-22.
KPA demonstrated the commitment to quality necessary to win the Dealers United offer, then accepted the challenge of doing so without a long-term contract. This in itself is enough to compel dealers who really want to get ahead to switch providers to a true partner in their online marketing efforts. KPA is making the commitment to quality while not requiring Dealers United members to make a commitment in term. That alone makes the deal exceptional, but it goes further…
With 40% off the website platform and 53% off the optional SEO attached to the deal, Dealers United has delivered to their members something that has never and will never be offered again.
The Elite SEO product alone is normally priced at $2499 per month, but the Dealers United deal offers Elite SEO and a website for less than that. This is normally not possible; KPA Elite SEO is the highest level available from any vendor in the automotive industry and requires a tremendous amount of constant improvement to work effectively and keep ahead of changes in Google and Bing. The only reason it can be offered is because of the bargaining clout that Dealers United and its 4000 members hold in the industry.
The Connect Platform
KPA’s prowess in SEO is unquestioned – a Google search for “Automotive SEO” demonstrates who truly understands how to optimize websites in the industry.
Website platforms are much more subjective. Everyone claims to have the best. Everyone claims to have the best lead conversion, the easiest interface, and the most robust functionality. Who is correct? What is real?
KPA Connect was designed with search, social, and conversion as the cornerstones of the platform. It is one that is fluid – there’s no need to upgrade or replace it when improvements are made. The platform grows based upon changes in the industry, keeping dealers on the cutting edge of marketing in the automotive industry.
Flexibility is a key to any website platform and looking at Lebanon Ford, Holiday Automotive, and other KPA website clients shows how much flexibility the platform allows.
Between the month-to-month aspect, the tremendous discount, and the power of the KPA Connect platform, dealers who want the competitive advantage required for success in today’s competitive digital marketing environment must take advantage of this deal before it ends on August 31st. To do otherwise would be a mistake.