Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Buy One “Driver” Get One FREE

April 16, 2013

Supercharge Your Website Leads With Digital Retailing from Dealertrack

What is “digital retailing”? Simply put, it is a new way to let your website visitors perform more of the vehicle purchase process online — and it’s built right in to your Dealertrack website. We have two digital retailing components today, FinanceDriver and PaymentDriver, and will be rolling out TradeDriver this summer.

Blog-PostFinanceDriver

» Online Credit Pre-Qualification
» Improve the quality of your website leads

PaymentDriver
» Vehicle-Specific Payments and Offers
» Lender and manufacturer rebates and incentives

As a way to introduce this powerful new technology from Dealertrack, we’re offering a buy one get one free offer to all of our website customers.

The fine print: you have to have a Dealertrack website and you have to sign up for one of the “Drivers” by April 30, 2013. The regular price is $200/mo for each, but until the end of the month it’s $200/mo for both.

Even better, this offer is NOT just for a short trial-period… you’ll save $200/mo as long as you have your Dealertrack website and these 2 “Drivers”.

Pretty sweet deal! To learn more and sign up, call our sales team at (888) 336-7016  today. Remember, this deal is only available until April 30th.

The NADA 2012 Experience in Las Vegas

February 23, 2012

NADA 2012 was a huge success for the ClickMotive team. Automotive Dealers had an overall sense of optimism that the New Year would bring more sales opportunities and increased customer loyalty. That excitement brought hundreds of dealers into the ClickMotive booth asking us how we can help them attract more prospects and keep their existing customers coming back for more.

The buzzword in the ClickMotive booth this year was Digital Voice. We have spent the last 6 years developing a portfolio of digital marketing products for car dealers, and this year was the year to showcase the strategy behind our award winning dealer website solution.

The dealer community gave great feedback, and the Digital Voice strategy was well received as dealers were already looking at finding ways to take advantage of new channels in advertising like social media marketing and review monitoring.

Overall, this was the most successful NADA to date for ClickMotive. Thanks to everyone that came by to visit our team and we are excited to see where 2012 takes us!

Oh, and check out our NADA 2012 recap video if you have a chance.

ClickMotive Booth NADA 2012

Top SEO, SEM, Social & Analytics Happenings of 2011

January 16, 2012

2011 was a busy year for car dealers and other small businesses trying to keep up with what’s going on in search engine marketing. Here’s a quick list of what we feel were some of the most important happenings in 2011.

Google “not providing” organic keyword data for logged in Google users.
Back in October Google announced they would no longer pass organic keyword query data for logged in Google users performing searches. As a result in Google Analytics and other analytics applications will receive a value of “(not provided)” in place of the users query. While Google is approaching this as a security feature for users there is no personally identifiable information available to webmasters that would present a security or privacy issue. This is what has webmasters and site owners up in arms about the loss of information that will help build better experiences for users. For most of our car dealers the impact is relatively small. We’re seeing approximately 10% to 13% of dealer traffic being affected by this.
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/making-search-more-secure.html

Google’s “Panda” Algorithm Updates
This year Google released a series of algorithm updates that affect poorly written, copied or other content deemed poor quality. Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land referred to the initial shift as the “Farmer Update” because content farm type sites were primarily affected. Google later called the updates “Panda,” named after the engineer behind the formulas used to identify the content. Over the course of 2011 Google released additional iterations and tweaks of the algorithm with a variety of implications including: improved ranking placement for video content for some search queries and downgrading signals for sites/pages that aren’t offering relevant content in relationship to overall page content. Sites heavy on ads have been noticeably affected. Overall, very few automotive sites have been affected unless there were issues of poorly written content, content duplicated from other sites or content heavy on grammatical and spelling errors.
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html
http://searchengineland.com/minor-google-panda-update-on-november-18th-101891

Bing’s Stance on Meta Keywords
We’ve known for more than two years that Google doesn’t make use of the meta keywords tag but we’ve not known for sure what Bing’s position was. Leave it to Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land to get to the bottom of the story and learn that Bing does make use of the keywords meta tag, …. as a SPAM SIGNAL! Basically Duane Forrester of Bing confirmed that they see a high correlation between keyword stuffed pages and keyword stuffed meta tags – so they use that information accordingly.

While ClickMotive continues to make limited use of the meta keywords tag for non SEO purposes; we regularly see dealers and so called third party “SEO Experts” recommending changes to meta keywords tags. Hopefully this new information will serve to educate all concerned.

Google Expanded Site Links
For many brand specific queries Google introduced an expansion of sitelinks. Sitelinks normally appear below an initial listing with links to some deeper pages of the site that a user might be interested in. The expanded links for most brand searches now consume the area of the results page above the fold. For business owners this is a great feature that makes it easier for users to find relevant content but also pushes some review, directory and third party site content further down the page; a real plus from a reputation management perspective. The new format (shown below features larger links with urls and snippet text to help users. In some cases businesses can have up to 12 sitelinks in addition to the primary link for the homepage of the site. Most car dealerships are seeing up to 6 sitelinks.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/evolution-of-sitelinks-expanded-and.html
http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2011/08/googles-expanded-sitelinks.html

Google Places Updates
In the past two years Google has made numerous changes to how local business search results are displayed.  One of the biggest changes in 2011 was the expansion of information provided for queries for specific businesses or points of interest. Where Google feels certain that it knows the intent of the user they now display additional map, image, business details and review information to the right of the search results listing. This new information with the previously introduced expanded site links means that fewer users are likely to have to scroll down the page or refine their search queries to find exactly the information they are looking for. Notice how the sitelinks mentioned above also help fill a large portion of the page.

http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2011/10/new-way-to-get-information-about-real.html
http://searchengineland.com/google-raises-local-search-stakes-with-new-places-serp-99627

Google Places Reviews
This past year Google started using their own review information as the primary source for star ratings meaning that reviews submitted on DealerRater, Yelp and other third party sites were given less weight. As a result many dealers that had previously ignored Google in favor of third party sites may have seen star ratings plummet. While Google is still the biggest dog on the block and an obvious choice as a primary source of reviews we’re in favor of gathering reviews from wherever users are able to leave them.

Google Introduces Modified Broad Match Type in Adwords
In 2011 Google introduced a new keyword match type “Modified Broad Match” which gives PPC practitioners greater control over how Google matches on keywords. With this new match type we can specify that one or more keywords in an expression must appear in order for an ad to be triggered. In the past a broad match term like “Ford Dallas” could cause an ad to be triggered for a wide variety of terms where either of the individual words were used or even searches using similar words that might be unrelated.

Changes to Google AdWords Algorithms
Yes you read that correctly…. Google does make changes related to Adwords and in October they made an adjustment that affected landing page quality that had the potential to impact quality scores for AdWords advertisers. Fortunately our dealer clients’ sites didn’t suffer as a result of this change.
http://adwords.blogspot.com/2011/10/ads-quality-improvements-rolling-out.html

Google Analytics and a Year of Updates
Google Analytics introduced version 5 of the popular free analytics package and more changes in 2011 than in any previous years that we can think of. From an update of the interface and reports to a new version of the Analytics Help Center and tons of new ways to slice, diced and segment user activity on websites Google has really outdone themselves.
While there are more new features and updates to easily list here a complete list can be found at http://analytics.blogspot.com/search/label/New%20Google%20Analytics and check back here in the coming weeks for more details on how car dealers can make use of some of the most important features.

Basic Keyword Research for Car Dealers

January 5, 2012

Here at ClickMotive we make heavy use of the Google Keyword Tool for helping us choose keywords to target and determine which terms are more important. Several times a week we show car dealers how to make use of these best practices to ensure they’re familiar with the most important keywords for their market. We used this kind of keyword research to make sure that some of the most popular keyword combinations used by buyers are baked into our website platform. Here’s how dealers can use the Google Keyword Tool for keyword research.

1.      Go to the keyword tool at https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.
2.      Enter the keywords that you would like the research into the “Word or Phrase” box
3.      Check the filter that says “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms” under the “Word or Phrase” box and click search.
4.      After the search has completed, on the left side, under “Match Types” check “[Exact].” This will allow you to see how many people search using the exact keywords you’ve entered.
5.      Now you can download the all of the results into Excel to sort by search volume and make sure you’re prioritizing your keywords correctly.

car dealer keyword research basics
Google Keyword Tool

As you’re looking at the data that the keyword tool reports here are some points to consider:….

  • Make sure you’re looking at “Exact” match keywords. Many SEOs tell you that there are hundreds or thousands of searches for a particular term when in fact the exact match search volume the numbers are considerably smaller.
  • Look at terms using geographic modifiers associated with your city and area. Trying to rank for “MAKE dealer,” while valuable locally, won’t be nearly as valuable as “CITY MAKE dealer.”
  • “Local Monthly Searches” as shown in the Google keyword tool isn’t “local” for your area. It actually corresponds to the traffic for your location (USA) and language (English).
  • Search volumes reported as <10 or dashes (representing zero) don’t mean that there are no users searching for those terms but that the search volume is low (think one or two a month). With that in mind feel free to test keyword variations and keep those that bring you valuable traffic.
  • High rankings won’t always bring you the traffic and being on page 1 isn’t always enough. For the top terms like “CITY MAKE” and “CITY MAKE DEALER” Google is almost always going to put a dealer in the city at the top of the list. The further you are from the city being searched the less likely users are to click your result and buy from you.

.CN & .ASIA Domain Name Scams

June 16, 2011

Domain name scams are nearly as old as domains themselves and a popular one is making its rounds again via email.

The scam begins with an email to someone listed as the contact for your domain with a subject line of something similar to “Internet Domains dispute: your-doman.” In the email a representative of the “registration and solution center in China” announces that they’ve received an application from someone trying to register .cn, .com.cn, .net.cn, .org.cn, .hk, .com.hk, .in, .tw, .com.tw, and .asia versions of your primary domain.

Basically this company will ask you to contact them to dispute the purchase by the third party or ignore the message and they’ll release the domain to be sold. If you contact them to dispute the third party’s claim to the domain name they try to sell you the domain names to avoid them being purchased by other parties. In reality there’s actually no one trying to buy these domains – this company is trying to scam you into buying domains you don’t need at exorbitant prices.

The likely hood of someone in Asia actually purchasing your domain is pretty slim. We’ve seen cases where even two years after the initial email scam that the Asian versions of the domains are still available.  Site owners that still feel the need to register these domains can use sources like GoDaddy.com; or a web search for “.cn domain registrar” or “Asian domain registrar” should provide more than enough options.

You can find multiple references and additional details on this scam on Google:                                             http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=asian+domain+scams

Mobile Inventory Videos

May 25, 2011

Studies show that a striking 92% of adults in the United States own a smart phone.  Also, as consumers’ lives get busier and busier, more of them are resorting to using time during lunch or waiting in line at the bank to do things like research for their next automobile purchase.  Smart phones have made researching on-the-go possible for consumers by giving them the ability to carry an infinite amount of information wherever they go.

So how can dealerships use this fact to their advantage?

Because an increasing number of consumers are using their mobile phones for surfing the web and collecting information, the best way a dealer can take advantage of this is by spending more time and resources in enhancing their mobile websites.

Mobile websites typically produce a higher percentage of leads compared to visitors than any other form of advertising.  Think about it.  When a consumer is searching through your website and stumbles across your phone number, it is almost effortless to just tap the number and call right then and there as opposed to watching an ad on TV and scrambling to pick up a pen to write down the number, only to put off calling to a more “convenient” time.  Speaking of, does anyone still watch ads on TV?

What can dealers do to enhance their mobile websites?

On the surface, dealers should start with some basics such as having an app style website that is fast and easy to use or adding phone number and email links to every page to increase leads.

But more importantly, dealers should focus on engaging consumers with their mobile websites and what better way than with pictures and videos?

Having stunning graphics and interactive videos increases the likelihood of converting a visitor into a lead, especially in an industry where looks matter.

With that being said, go ahead and saturate your mobile website with more and more pictures.  Your customers will thank you for it.  But in this day and age, pictures can get boring fairly quickly and the consumer will most likely want to see the car in action before making the decision to actually stop by the dealership, and this is where videos come into play.

Having videos on your mobile website is a huge value-add, especially since many mobile web providers still do not have the capability to add video.  By making the decision to add videos to your mobile website, your dealership could be at a first-mover advantage versus the competition.  Videos have the ability to strongly engage customers because it makes it a whole lot easier to gain knowledge about a vehicle by watching a 30 second video on-the-go as opposed to navigating through the mobile website only to read the same information.

So what do you do when simply having a video on your mobile website isn’t enough?

Here’s a checklist of things you should make sure your video has in order to gain even more exposure to your dealership:

□        Does your video have stay-in-page technology?  Many of the mobile web providers who have the ability to place a video on your mobile website do not have the capability to make it play in-page.  This is important because without stay-in-page technology, your consumers will be directed to another window or video player in order to watch the video and will be directed away from your website.  Studies show that most consumers will not know how or will forget to go back to the page they were viewing on your website after being directed away to watch a video.

□        Does your video improve your SEO ranking?  Many videos found online do absolutely nothing to improve SEO.  Knowing that SEO plays a huge role in the amount of organic traffic your website gets, why wouldn’t you want all aspects of your website to help your SEO ranking?  Making sure that your videos are sent to Google and syndicated on third party websites that link back to your site will ensure that your video will have greater SEO value.

□        Does your video syndicate with YouTube, Facebook, or Cars.com?  Welcome to the new age of social media.  If your dealership is not currently utilizing social media websites such as Facebook or YouTube, then it will surely fall behind the competition.  Making sure that your videos automatically syndicate with YouTube or Facebook, allowing them to play on those sites, will help keep your social media websites up-to-date with zero effort from you.  By keeping these websites up-to-date, you will also reach a much larger community of car buyers who could potentially become your future customers.

Having an enhanced mobile website, with videos that include the above properties, is essential to making sure your dealership remains relevant and gains even more exposure.  ClickMotive’s mobile inventory videos offer everything you need to get started with your newly enhanced mobile website, positioned for even more customer engagement and greater potential for leads.  Contact our sales team at 888-518-5513 for more information.

Meta Keywords and Meta Description Don’t Help Your Google Rankings

May 24, 2011

Almost every week we receive requests from dealers to update their “meta tags” to help them rank better on Google. As it turns out Google doesn’t use the Meta Description or Meta Keywords tags to determine your ranking in web search results. While we don’t necessarily expect car dealers to know this information, it should be common knowledge to those working in the SEO space that Google places no value on these.

In September 2009 Matt Cutts of Google announced that Meta Keywords were not used as a ranking factor for web searches. In this same post they also announced that they don’t use the Meta Description for ranking purposes. Google and other search engines often (but not always) use the Description Meta tag as the text for the search results snippet, so it’s more important that the meta description be compelling rather than keyword stuffed. Ideally you want someone to click through to your page and not avoid your listing because it looks like keyword stuffed spam.

While Bing has been less vocal about the death of the Keywords Meta tag our own tests have shown that meta keywords isn’t likely a factor in rankings for them either.

We do however recommend that some keywords be used in the meta description because these terms, if they match the search query, will be bolded on the search results page and could draw the user’s eye to your listing.

One of the few cases where the keywords meta tag would still be valuable is with some site search tools that can be configured to utilize this information.

So, if you’re dealing with an SEO expert or firm that recommends updating your meta keywords tag or stuffing your meta description with every possible keyword combination, we suggest that you look for someone else to help you with your dealership’s SEO needs or ask one of our account executives or sales team members about our FUSION SEO packages.

Stop Google Analytics from Tracking Your Visits to Your Dealership Site

March 4, 2011

With recent issues of privacy concerns running amuck in the online world, Google is providing ways for users to opt out of being tracked in Google Analytics. While we don’t think the uptake on these browser add-ons will be substantial or affect user tracking on dealer websites in any major way; they can be valuable to site owners that wish to block their own traffic and movement within the site.

Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome users can download the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on (beta) at http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. Opera browser users don’t yet have access to this tool but a similar extension is available at https://addons.opera.com/addons/extensions/details/block-yourself-from-analytics/1.2.2/?display=en.

Use of these browser tools will help ensure that your own search and navigation tendencies don’t adversely affect decisions about how real users are finding and making use of your site.

Squashing Domain Squatters

March 2, 2011

Those familiar with the terms “Domain Squatter” or “Cybersquatter” will envision spammers using a company’s name with the intent of getting web traffic and stealing customers. In the car dealer space there are many vendor parties that may have legitimate reasons to register domains related to dealership names. But what happens to those domains when relationships end and what are the legal ramifications?

First, let’s look at how Wikipedia defines Cybersquatting

Cybersquatting (also known as domain squatting), according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price.

The first defense against cybersquatting is to trademark your business name. The process for trademarking a business name isn’t terribly difficult and most any lawyer can help or recommend someone they know that specializes in trademark registration. In addition there are a growing number of inexpensive services specializing in trademark registration that a dealer can utilize.

The second step is to purchase as many domain names relevant to your business name as possible, including domain names with dashes separating words. While you’re at it look for domain names including “I Hate,” “Stinks” and “Sucks” variations which could be damaging to your dealership’s online reputation if they end up in the hands of a disgruntled customer. We’ve even seen clients purchase misspelling variations on their primary domain name and point those to the default domain. The most important top level domains include .com, .net, .org and .mobi variations. However, you may want to consider expanding this to include some of the newer .co, .us, .info, .biz, .ws and other extensions. Fortunately, domain name registration has become relatively inexpensive, allowing dealers to purchase several domains at minimal cost.

When ClickMotive purchases domains for clients or at a client’s request, the client is subsequently billed for those related changes with the understanding that we are simply providing this as a service for them. Dealers maintain ownership of the domains afterwards for as long as they wish. While this is standard practice for us, and most of the other reputable service providers in the industry, there are plenty of others that don’t.

While this will help with limiting the domain squatting opportunities it won’t completely eliminate them. Any time you work with a vendor making domain name purchases make sure you’re the one footing the bill and, if necessary, have a portion of your contract or an addendum to the contract specifying that domain names purchased for your dealership or related projects are your property.

Now Dealerships Can Post Review Responses on Google Maps

August 5, 2010

Yesterday the Google Maps team announced that verified Google Places business owners can now publicly post responses to reviews written by Google Maps users. The post from Google even directs car dealers on how to respond to reviewers in a way that will be beneficial to prospective buyers whether the initial review was positive or negative. Example responses are even provided to use as a guideline. (more…)