Author Archive

Chris Burns

I am the owner and Chief Operations Officer of Drive Digital Group. My role is to oversee the operations of the company across all products & Services.

How to avoid buying a ruined domain

Keeping the integrity of your automotive SEO strategy in tact.

Looking to buy a new domain for your automotive website or any website in general? Check the SEO value of that domain first. It’s slim, but there is a chance that the domain you want to purchase has been removed from Google’s search index due to previous spam and abuse. For the integrity of your automotive SEO value, it might be a good idea to do a few quick searches.

Head of Google’s spam team Matt Cutts suggest that you first do a site: domain Google search first to see if you get any search index back. If you don’t….that is a BAD sign. This means that Google has possibly blacklisted this sites URL.

Next, just try doing a straight up search for the domain to see if there is any history at all you can piece together to view the reputation of this site. Still nothing?

Try going to and view any old pages of the site to see if it had any possible spam going on. Bad content, spammy SEO content, ect.

Overall, if you aren’t getting anything back on this domain quest…..that is not a good sign for your automotive SEO campaign you are trying to put together.

View exactly what Matt has to say below!


Why is duplicate content such a bad thing?

Automotive Websites & SEO

My team and I run scans and evaluations on our sites as well potential customers often looking for duplicate content. Many times we find that most automotive websites have the most duplicate content. Why is that? Well, many of the platforms that these automotive websites are built on automatically fill in title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, etc. They don’t put in the manpower to go through with a strategy and implement a process.

We find the most duplicate meta data when scanning through competitors inventory. We manage sites that have an inventory of 50 cars on lot, to up to 2,000 cars on lot. Keep in mind that each vehicle has a dedicated landing page. Imaging all of these pages having the same information in all the important places that search engines crawl. Most competitors do not dynamically change their automotive inventory data like we do. So the question is:

Why is duplicate content such a bad thing?

  • It’s SPAMMY! Google will only read your multiple duplicate data as spammy, keyword stuffed material.
  • New content might not get crawled! Do you want to read the same thing over and over? NO. And neither do search engine. Search engines may decide to stop crawling your automotive website once you have give 500 inventory pages of the same data.
  • Duplicate content can & will hurt your website total ranking.
  • Google can take your website completely out of their search engine results if they feel you are being manipulative.
There are some cases where duplicate content is a necessity. Disclaimers, policies, ect. Here is a segment from Matt Cutts addressing those situations.

Search engine optimization is a hands on process. SEO takes time and man hours. Make sure that you’re automotive SEO is being handled properly and that there is no duplicate content on your website.


6 Minute Pitch For Shark Tank Show

Yesterday our CEO Adam Rouff and our CIO Chris Burns attended a taped show in front of a live audience giving a six minute pitch to former Shark Tank judge Kevin Harrington. Take a look at some of our behind the scenes pictures of our event experience below.

bay news 9

The event was featured on the local Bay News Channel 9 this morning. You can see our leadership on the cover image and there is a linked video which includes some footage of Chris and Adam being interviewed by the news team about their pitch experience.

The event is part of the Bright House Regional Business Awards based out of Tampa Florida. You can learn more about the award in our previous post about Drive Digital Group’s involvement it the Award.

Chris and Adam arrived at the event around 2:00 PM yesterday at the Lowery Park Zoo in Tampa. They had plenty of time to tour the zoo and the event facility before the event rehearsal at 3:00 PM. They spent several hours backstage getting to meet the other four contestants and being prepped with make-up for the show. They spent their free time polishing their six minute pitch.

At 4:00PM the live audience was allowed into the studio seating and at 5:00 PM the show kicked off with a live DJ and a panel of four judges led by ex Shark Tank judge Kevin Harrington.

At 5:30 Drive Digital Group took the stage as the third presenter out of five contestants. Although there were some technical glitches with the Power Point, Chris and Adam managed to have a really strong presentation which was followed up by a question and answer session with the judges. The judges asked some great clarifying questions and our teams impression was that our answers to their questioning really helped the judges to fully appreciate our company’s value proposition. At one point Kevin Harrington smiled and looked at Chris & Adam nodding his head with the simple statement “I get it now”.

After the show there was an hour of mingling at the venue with Chris and Adam had a chance to personally speak with the judges and some of the other companies that attended the show. It was a great chance to make a last impression on the judges before the final decisions are made about who will win the start up category.

Next Thursday (February 27th) there will be an awards gala at the Hilton in downtown Tampa. The award ceremony will also be recorded to complete taping of the “Pitch 6” show which will be aired as a pilot show on one of the Bright House channels which has not been announced yet. Drive Digital Group is hoping to bring home the cash prize, the year of free advertising on the Bright House networks, and most importantly the title of the best start up business in the region!

We hope to report back next week that we won our category! If anyone is in the Tampa area we hope you stop by and see us if you plan to attend the show.


Posting videos on Instagram

Automotive Social Media

Have you ever been in a position where you want to post a video on Instagram but it zooms in pretty bad and your video gets cut off? It’s because videos, just like pictures are automatically portioned to post as 1×1 instead of 16:9. You want the entire video posted in 16:9 format even if it means sacrificing a little screen space right? Right. So here’s how you do it. Below is a link to an app called Squareready for Video. It automatically sized your video to zoom out and fit to 16:9. It has ads…but who cares..IT’S FREE!

Step one after download: Open App

Step 2:Select the album with the video you want to re-size in it

Step 3: Select video

Step 4:Boom. Done. It re-sized. Just click save and you’re on your way. You can even zoom it in a little or rotate the video if you’d like.

Hope this social media blog on posting videos on Instagram helped you out! Feel free to link your social post to it!

*We are a automotive digital marketing agency specializing in automotive Social Media, SEO, PPC, and Web Development.

automotive websites

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Google Keyword Planner Tips for Car Dealership Nerds

Car Dealer PPC | Automotive SEO Company

Want to know killer tips for finding new keywords to bid on in Adwords (and other tier 1 platforms)? How about knowing which keywords you should be bidding on VS the ones that throw your budget down the toilet? Then sit back, have yourself a cup of coffee, and take in these research tips to help you supercharge your PPC campaigns (and help with organic search tool!).

Let’s dive in shall we?

How to Identify Search Volume in GKP

What used to be the Google Keyword External Tool, is now the Google Keyword Planner (You internet marketing veterans know what I’m talking about). And yes, while it took quite a while to adapt from the previous legacy keyword tool, Google’s newest keyword research tool is more powerful than ever. How so? One reason is because it allows you to drill down into search queries at the geographic level. Let’s take a further look. automotive seo company

The first thing you’ll want to do (after signing into your account of course) is to select the ‘Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups’ row. Enter your keyword/s into the search box. Now, be very careful about match types here. They play a critical role in returning accurate results.

In case you’re unaware, there are 3 match types: broad, phrase, and exact (technically there are 4; modified broad match, but we’ll save that for another day). I like to enter exact match keywords here because broad is…well…broad. Using broad match when doing research is a bad idea in most cases. Why? Because the broad match version of that keyword will likely match out to highly irrelevant keywords (ex: different vehicles makes, models, etc) And what are you left with?

Unreliable data.

To avoid this, always use exact match to signify to Google that you want to know exactly how often this keyword is searched for on Google and its search partners. You’ll have a better indication of how much traffic volume there truly is for a given keyword. This brings me to my next point: search partners. What the heck are search partners? What’s Google referring to? Let’s clear this up in case you’re unaware. Adwords allows you to bid on keywords people are searching for on Google. What many fail to realize is that Google actually partners with other search providers and networks to increase search impressions and volume (and revenue for Google, duh). Even non-Google search sites.

So what is considered a ‘Google Search Partner’ you may ask?

Try Google Maps. Google Shopping. Google Images. Aol.

And the list goes on and on…

Unfortunately, there isn’t an official list. In fact, if you can prove me wrong, I’d be willing to give you $20. Knowing this information, it’s critical that you always select the radio option of ‘Google and search partners’. You’ll get more accurate results this way.

Finish uploading your keywords and click submit.

You’ll immediately see search volume data (amongst other juicy data) for the keywords you selected. You’ll also see another important tidbit of information: CPC.

Can’t think of any keywords?

Come up with about 5 seed keywords (make them short, not long tail. ex: ‘honda’). Head over to Uber Suggest and find keyword gold.


Drive Digital Group In Finals For Brighthouse Regional Business Awards

Automotive Digital Marketing Company

We are happy to announce that Drive Digital Group has made it through to the finals for the Bright House Regional Business awards!

brighthouse award

We are currently in the running in the start-up category. This means our company has been in business less than three years. Bright House is giving away over One Million dollars in prizes including:
  • Commercial TV Production
  • Air Time
  • Customer Newsletter
  • Feature News Story
  • Cash

Our category has already been through two cutting phases which we have passed. The final challenge will be a six minute pitch that will be taped in front of a live audience on February 18th at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida. The show will be hosted by Kevin Harrington (formerly of Shark Tank). We will not only be presenting for a recorded show in front of a live audience, but the audience will also get to pick the “Audience Choice Award” for the best presentation at the event! We are hoping to bring home first place at the award and also grab the Audience Choice Award as well.

The winner of the Start-up category will be announced at the Regional Business Awards Gala at the Hilton Tampa Downtown on February 27, 2014. If you are in the area you should join us for a wonderful evening that includes a celebration of our region, live music and the following guest speakers:

* Lovie Smith – the new Coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers * Tod Leiweke – CEO, Tampa Bay Lightning * Patrick Geraghty – CEO, Florida Blue and Florida Trend’s “2013 Floridian of the Year” * A video message by Governor Rick Scott

If you are in the area you should stop on by February 18th for the live taping or February 27th for the award ceremony. We’ll Keep you updated on how we do!