Everyone is on the quest to master the infinite search of all searches. In other words, we all want to find who has the best recipe for “perfect” search engine optimization. How do we crack a mastered algorithm that allows us to have the best site that is easy to find? In the hunt for being number one in your own backyard, solution providers are popping up everywhere, each claiming to have the best solution.
This brings us to Content Farms. Content Farms refer to companies that create massive quantities of new content every single day. Typically, these companies create articles that are designed to be very search-engine friendly and to generate lots of hits. They will be full of keywords fitting what you think you want, however may not be the story you need. The thing to remember with Content Farms is this: What is good for some is not necessarily good for all.
Have you ever searched for information online and pulled up a result that looked like it was exactly what you wanted? Next you click on the link and quickly realize it’s not relevant. You just wasted a click and now have to go back and continue guess-clicking. Nobody likes how that feels, right? Well, welcome to Content Farming in the automotive industry!
On one hand the idea of paying writers pennies to the word for filling up infinite internet space and building pages upon pages of content to be picked up from Google is ingenious. If you’re eHow.com or about.com and you want people to learn how to make a fantastic peanut butter sandwich or build a sand castle, it is perfect. In these cases, the content farm philosophy of generic content works how it should.
Then someone tried to apply it to dealerships.
If you are trying to build a loyal customer base of qualified car buyers, consider qualitative and relative content that delivers confidence in your business. Automated web pages that self-populate to give more and more content may sound good in theory and may even get people clicking. But think about the long-term relationship of your customer. Are we planting a trap, or growing a relationship? Is this content fluff or is it true content that represents your brand and the experience you want your customers to have?
Let’s look at the stats
Typically, at any given time, researchers state that 1-2% of the adult working population is in the “ready-to-buy” stage for vehicles. Of the “now” market, 90% will turn to the Internet to research vehicle options. Women are the majority influencers and buyers in the final purchase. Our combined “now” market spends approximately 8-10 hours researching before they decide the vehicle model or style they want and where they are going to physically look.
What does all this mean? It means people get their first impression of you online… well before they get an impression face-to-face. So what’s your online handshake? Is it coming from a Content Farm or is it true content that resembles your brand.
If you have automated pages filled with generic content about the vehicle’s manufacturer information, you’ve got to ask; How is this relative to what your customers want? How is your customer searching and what type of keywords are they searching with?
You’ll see demonstrations where a specific vehicle is typed in the search bar and amazingly, your new page arrives in the sweet spot – the top 3 results on Google. Exciting, right?
When you are looking for a used vehicle to purchase, at what stage of the shopping research would you specifically enter “2005 Toyota Camry in Boise”? And, next, if you are that confident and ready about a specific used vehicle, how enjoyable would it be to click on what looks like a reliable link, only to find out it’s a generic content page about the model and not specific purchasing information or at all relevant to what you need? Not too enjoyable, huh?
What type of backyard do you want?
Just ask yourself what type of backyard you want your dealership to have? A sturdy lawn takes time. You take care of it and keep adding to it. You think of creating new ways to make it look better and better, throwing whatever out there to see if it sticks or will fill it full of weeds. Yes, weeds are green and from afar even look lawn-ish. But when a smart, qualified researcher is looking closely, what will they learn about you and your brand?
A solid SEO/SEM campaign with social additives and monitoring takes 3-6 months of nurturing to see the results. But the results will be amazing, long term and solid. Be patient and don’t get too caught up on the buzzed “new thing” of the month. Before you know it, it will be dead and gone.
Stand strong, be true, and stay consistent to your dealership brand.