WordPress has become a buzzword in the auto industry for the past year or so. So what is WordPress, why is it important and more importantly, how will it help dealerships sell more cars?

WordPress is a content management system. Simply put, the content that is displayed on a WordPress site is generated from a database. Every WordPress site has a database associated with it. This is one of the primary factors that makes WordPress so powerful. While the aesthetics/layout of a website (also called a theme) can change with a few buttons, the content stays the same. This allows non-coders the chance to explore with various designs and layouts which are usually free. The end result is a professional looking website that can be edited from anywhere, as opposed to a traditional site housed on a local server.

WordPress is powerful to car dealers because with little effort, dealers can either add WordPress to their existing dealership website or create a separate website. This additional workspace allows page creation and blogging, assisting dealerships in their inbound marketing efforts. Once set up, dealership personnel would be able to create a page highlighting a marketing event, vehicle walk-around, how-to video or new product launch, to name a few. Typically, if set up properly, the blogs or pages can and will be indexed in the search engines.

Consequently, when someone is inquiring in the search engines, the hope is they find one of your blog posts or pages in the search engine, thus clicking to the dealers’ website, converting into a lead and ultimately a sale. That’s all that really matters, right? So, the more pages and blogs you create, the better chance you have to be found. These leads tend to be more effective as prospects are finding you (pull marketing) as opposed to you finding them (push marketing).

Here’s how to get started:

1. Watch a video tutorial and learn more about how to set up WordPress. While it may seem challenging, it’s really not and many hosting companies now offer one-click installations. I strongly recommend Lynda.com as a great resource for tutorials on WordPress.

2. Find a theme you like. Don’t worry; you can change it later if you get bored with it. There are many themes available for free and others for a minimal amount. I am not biased toward any theme sites, so search away.

3. Upload a plug-in. What? The other great thing about WordPress is the ability to add very cool functions with a few clicks of your mouse. There are literally thousands of plug-ins including photo galleries, cache (will help with speed), SEO and so many more.

Here are the top three I use:

• 1. WordPress SEO by Yoast (if you are just getting started, All-in-one SEO on WordPress is easier)

• W3 Total Cache on WordPress for speed (created by Frederick Townes, CTO of Mashable)

• Backup Buddy by PluginBuddy for sending backups of the website to Amazon S3 cloud just in case your computer self destructs or your server goes down

4. Start writing. If your site isn’t perfect don’t worry about it. You need to get going. Create your first blog post (300 to 400 words with a picture or two and video), and make sure you label it something search-engine friendly!

5. Ensure before you post that the permalink (www.example.com/a-permalink) is set up properly so that a human would be able to read it as opposed to a string of numbers. Your SEO plug-in should take care of this for you. Then, add a category to your blog (should be on the right) and a tag. Rinse and repeat.

Happy blogging!

Vol. 8, Issue 6