Another dealership website analysis and digital marketing proposal went into the books yesterday. We looked at what a dealership was doing and made recommendations about what they should be doing in the near future. The response was similar to what we typically receive.

“Nobody’s ever recommended that we do it like that,” they told us.

Yes, we get that a lot.

When Arnold Palmer first hit the golfing stage, he received a ton of questions and quite a bit of criticism over his unorthodox swing. It was unlike anything that golf experts had seen at the time and that few (if any) have been able to duplicate since. Golf Channel might have categorized it best in their description of why it was a classic even if wasn’t orthodox.

As signatures go, Palmer’s swing is a classic. If you only saw it in silhouette, you would instantly know whose swing it was. Really, though, Palmer didn’t swing the club. He hit the ball. He smashed the ball with a blacksmith’s lash and that crouching corkscrew finish. The swing helped him win 62 PGA Tour titles and seven majors.

In many ways, Dealer Authority is like Arnold Palmer. His father gave him advice that lasted for his entire career: “Hit it, go find it, and hit it again.”

Breaking it down to its simplest form works for us and it definitely works for our clients.

It has nothing to do with trying to be different for the sake of being different. A dealership or group gives us their websites to analyze. We examine their properties, their market, the demographics within the area, and their competitors. We formulate a strategy based upon success we’ve seen in the recent past, what the trends are showing in the digital marketing world, and what we believe to be the most powerful individual strategy for the dealership or group within their budget.

There’s only one reason that we cling to this strategy and I’ll discuss that in a moment. First, I’d like to discuss the reasons that just about every other agency makes different recommendations than we do.

  • Normal Search Strategies are Hampered by Resource Limitations: In the worlds of automotive SEO and automotive PPC, vendors must work within resource limitations. We get that. Proper search engine optimization requires manpower, contacts with a ton of automotive websites, and a large number of social connections. That’s the reason why over half of our staff works on search alone. We have 9 search team members for every 1 sales team member.
  • Social Media Posting Must Scale: If you were to tell any of the large automotive social media firms that they had to post 100% unique content to every clients’ social media page, they would laugh. They would tell you it couldn’t be done. They would say it wouldn’t scale. That’s fine by us. We just hope that the people saying it’s impossible will get out of the way while we’re making it happen.
  • Standard Website Marketing Strategies Should Serve Multiple Dealerships: The only way to properly work for a dealership or group is to work for that dealership or that dealer group only. It amazes me that companies feel like they can work for two different Honda dealerships in the same market. To do it right, you can’t. Only one of them can be ranked #1 for their keywords. We offer exclusivity for this very reason.
  • Vendors Look at What Sells Before Looking at What Works: The entire automotive SEO world seems to be beating the drum about adding content to dealer websites. This amuses me greatly because the strategy worked great two years ago before everyone was doing it. Now, content alone is simply not enough for domination. Our focus on Domain Authority driving the content is completely unorthodox in the automotive industry and therefore doesn’t sell very well. Outside of our industry in other competitive segments, it’s generally accepted. Agency and marketing vendors seem to build their products based upon what the industry is buying, not what is actually working inside and outside of our industry. This is a shame.

The recommendations we make and the pricing we offer can be very confusing for most dealers. It’s one of the reasons that we do not have contracts; month-to-month agreements mean that we’re fighting for our life and we wouldn’t have it any other way. It gives our prospects the ability to take a shot at scoring an eagle rather than always going for birdies or par. With no commitment from the dealer, they can score the eagles that will separate them from their competitors.

We cling to these unorthodox strategies for one reason: they work wonders for our dealers. That’s why we have an incredible client retention rate without having contracts. When you’re scoring eagles like Arnold Palmer, nobody tells you that your swing isn’t working.