If you have invested any amount of money into your website or Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then you really should have a blog. Since Google came out with its Hummingbird remake where it made its algorithm hungry for original, fresh content, blogs have been exponentially popular.
The world of blogging has expanded at a staggering rate. Four years ago, there were 156 million blogs in existence and today there are more than 180 million worldwide. Service departments are now getting in the blogging game in a big way and some have even created their own standalone websites to communicate directly with their audience. If you look at at a list of all of the largest dealership groups in the country right now, you will see that many of them are doing blogs, including AutoNation, Penske Automotive Group and Group 1 Automotive, to name a few. So, if you think blogs are just a craze that will quickly fade away, you're seriously mistaken.
So, why not stop looking for excuses to embrace this technology and start saying "yes" to a blog?
Fifteen years ago, consumers and businesses alike weren't really taking blogs seriously. They thought blogs were for haiku poets or cricket clubs back then, but those days seem like ancient history now. People are attracted to blogs because they feel as though they're getting exclusive, behind-the-scenes information from blogs.
We are living in the age of specialization and blogs are ideal for that. If you collect 1950 Studebakers or classic Fender guitars, for example, there are hundreds of blogs for you to choose from. So, we already know that people like reading blogs and will search out the best ones, so now the rest is up to you.
Why are blogs so invaluable to your service department and dealership overall? Excellent question. If you want people to find you via the internet, you need to create relevant content online. You can do that by making periodic changes to your website, but for weekly updates and ongoing news about your company, blogs are the best way to go.
Blogs can dramatically boost your SEO, because Google indexes blog articles literally every minute of the day. Their little search spiders go into your blog and look around to locate new content and then they gobble it up like skittles. After a while, you will see the results of your blogging as your name starts climbing up the list to page one and hopefully to position one over time.
I won't cost you an arm and a leg to create a blog and linking it to your website. In a busy service department, you will never run out of topics to blog about, including employee news, the holidays (food drives, Toys for Tots, etc.), new hires, new awards and certifications, for example. Once you begin brainstorming over good subjects for future blog articles, you’ll see that there are a ton of interesting things for you to write about.
Two final notes for fledgling bloggers: Make sure your content is original and not a cut and paste job from another site. When Google finds unoriginal content on your blog, they treat it like road kill and it can actually harm your SEO.
And if you start a blog, go the distance. Too many companies start a blog and create new content for it for a few months and then lose their interest and momentum. A blog that is outdated and does not get new content is like a ghost ship floating in a sea of fog. A dead blog that hasn't been updated since 2012 can actually hurt your SEO. So, if you're not in it to win it with your new blog, don't bother. Give your blog a chance by posting 3-5 blogs every month without exception and you will see positive results in six months and amazing results after one year. Count on it and don't fight it, because blogging is here to stay.
Ed has been a professional writer for more than 35 years and his specialties include B2B reporting, blogging, ad copywriting, public relations and general editorial.