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Social Bookmarking for Car Dealers

I got this story idea from looking on Google analytics and seeing an unusually high number of people finding this blog through that keyword phrase. It’s funny — I work in automotive marketing but I never really thought car dealers would be looking for this yet. The social bookmarking for SEO phenomenon has only been around for about a year and a half — car dealers are usually 2-3 years behind the internet trends.

That’s a joke, so if you’re a car dealer reading this right now, don’t be offended. It’s a joke, but it is true. The automotive industry is one that, in general, has been reluctant to keep up with internet marketing trends. It isn’t that they don’t believe in them or think that they exist. The reluctance stems from a love/hate relationship within the automotive marketplace when it comes to the Internet.

Let’s face it. The Internet has caused car dealers to completely change the way they do business. They no longer have the control over the deal that they had pre-web. People have invoice pricing, trade evaluation, and quotes from dozens of dealers before they every hit the lot. It has cost the industry a lot of money, even shut down many dealerships over the last few years.

For that reason, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they are catching up and catching on. It has become a necessity, and I should be glad that they are getting involved.

First, the shameless pitch: if you want to know more about social bookmarking for car dealers, feel free to send me an email: jrucker (at) tkcarsites.com. Or, you can visit my website. There is a shell up there now, but there is some interesting information on it — Car Dealer Marketing. Can’t submit a lead as of November 10, but soon, you will be able to.

Now, for those who are interested in learning more about social bookmarking without having to pay me millions of dollars a month, here are some pointers:

1) Create single accounts on the social bookmarking sites. People new to the segment who do not understand it may feel that multiple accounts is the way to go. It isn’t. You will get caught, IP banned, links deleted, etc.

2) Avoid the social news and media websites like Digg, Reddit, Propeller, and Newsvine. This is contrary to what most will recommend, as they CAN be very useful in search engine optimization, but for car dealers, they are a waste of time. You have no news. There aren’t interesting stories or funny pictures or awesome videos on your website. Spamming them will get you banned. If you think “so what, it’s still worth a try,” be warned. I’ve seen some dealers face unnecessary retribution for spamming one of the sites listed. Without going into details, let’s just say that there was “inappropriate content” placed on a website by someone angry at a spammer who hacked in.

3) Vary your anchor text (submission title) and use good, descriptive keywords. There’s no need to make them interesting on bookmarking sites, so put in the terms that you want to move up on in the search engine results.

4) Don’t use programs. They save time, but they can also waste time and you often lose the benefits of A) knowing that your submission went through, and B) varying the anchor text. You can use the Web 2.0 Toolbar (article on it somewhere on this blog), but the “Submit to 200 SB sites in minutes” programs aren’t effective for car dealers.

5) Be active. Don’t just submit and run. Leave comments, add friends, join groups, etc. The goal is to create a link, but the loftier goal is to get more people to bookmark your website.

6) Check for nofollow attributes. On IE, View Source, then search for “nofollow”. See if it applies to the links of the bookmarks. If the site uses nofollow tags on the submission, it isn’t worth the time to create a profile and start submitting. At least not for car dealers.

7) Hire a pro. This may be obligatory shameless plug #2, but I was kidding when I said that I charge millions, just in case you didn’t know. Social bookmarking has so many benefits beyond the SEO benefits. It pays to pay someone who knows how to do it.

Social bookmarking is here to stay. There will be new variations, protocols, options, and strategies that will arise from now until the next big thing comes out and replaces the Internet altogether. Until then, learn what you can or hire someone who already knows.

Social Bookmarking for Car Dealers