Virginia's Checkered Flag Motor Car Co. says traffic to its website has been rising since it launched a blog several months ago.
The Checkered Blog offers an online venue for sharing information on a range of automotive and non-automotive topics.
Checkered Flag executives say it's quickly becoming a significant factor in attracting online visits for the dealer group, headquartered in Virginia Beach. It operates 10 auto franchises in southeastern Virginia.
“We started the Checkered Blog for two reasons,“ says Alex Snyder, director of e-commerce for Checkered Flag.
“First of all, we wanted to provide an online place for people in our market to talk about the fun of cars and the fun things that relate to cars. We feel this supports our company's overall brand image of providing positive, personalized experiences for customers.
“In addition, we felt it would help with search engine optimization of Checkered Flag's existing web site.“
Blog postings include automotive subjects such as upcoming vehicle models and “green driving,“ advice from Checkered Flag's service experts.
Road trips, road food, events around the region, and other locally oriented lifestyle topics are posted, too, as are profiles of Checkered Flag customers and staff members.
“The Checkered Blog is really for everyone,“ says Snyder. “For example, we don't restrict discussion to just the automotive brands we carry, although we naturally tend to focus on those rather than on ones we don't. But if someone wants to talk about products and services that we don't offer, that's fine.“
The Checkered Blog is accessible via Checkered Flag's company website, www.CheckeredFlag.com.
Snyder says the company's site receives about 30,000 visits a month and a “significant amount“ of visitors are clicking through to the Checkered Blog.
In addition, a noticeable number of visitors to Checkered Flag's website are getting there by first arriving at the Checkered Blog, an indication of its impact on search engine optimization, Snyder says.
Fresh content is posted daily Monday through Friday. Two staff members of Goldman & Associates Public Relations, a firm with automotive experience, assist Snyder in developing and publishing the content.
Putting sufficient manpower to the blog is a smart move by Checkered Flag, says Jeff Kershner, editor/publisher of DealerRefresh.com.
“An important key to success with a blog is posting fresh content on a regular basis,” he says. “Anyone who has ever started blogging quickly realizes that keeping a blog fresh takes a lot of commitment.”