Service Providers

Content is king

Brad Smith 2011“If people are to be expected to put up with turning on a computer to read a screen, they must be rewarded with deep and extremely up-to-date information that they can explore at will.”

These words were uttered by Microsoft founder Bill Gates way back in 1996, when he coined the term “content is king.” Fast forward nearly two decades, and here we are writing a blog post about this very topic.

In fact, content rules the web. Whether it’s general website information, blog posts, social media conversations, or digital magazine articles, if your business goal is to drive more traffic to your website, you need content, period. It’s content that determines your organic search engine ranking.

Now, this content can’t be any old words on a page. Your goal needs to meet the needs of your customers, therefore it must be:

  1. Relevant
  2. Timely
  3. Valuable


Relevance means the information focuses on a topic of great interest for our customers. A perfect example would be web content — whether on your website, social media or blog posts — about a new OEM vehicle. Your customers are passionate enthusiasts who look forward to seeing the latest, greatest powersports has to offer; serve it up to them in an engaging fashion.


In order for this very same web content to be timely, you need to publish it when the vehicle hits the showroom floor, or sooner if you can get all of the specifications prior to product release. This strategy creates urgency, and it makes your content likely to go viral, if you can beat your competitors to the punch. Think about creative ways to work with your OEM rep(s) to make you first on the list when it comes to releasing new model information, so your content is newsworthy.


The value of content is providing information, opinions, or perspective that can’t be found elsewhere. As a dealer, you are viewed as the expert; therefore, your opinion on new vehicles is respected and trusted. Your customers are looking to buy the hottest machine out there, so if you give a particular vehicle the thumbs up, they are much more likely to make their way to your dealership to check it out.

Now, this becomes more complicated when you are not necessarily thrilled with a new OEM vehicle. As a dealer, you naturally don’t want to offend the OEM, but don’t you have a responsibility to tell the truth when it comes to quality, features and style? Your call, but the best of the best dealers get real with their customers. This is where social media conversations come into play. Social channels have changed the landscape of customer relationships because they are casual, allowing you to convey your real personality and opinions.

Relevant. Timely. Valuable. Remember these three words as you write your website and blog content and you are sure to become the king of the dealerships in your area as your search engine rankings continue to rise.


Brad Smith is ARI’s director of product. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage our website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff! Smith holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin and is an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran.

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  1. What business leaders used to pass off as content — marketing collateral, communications, advertising, white papers — is in light of the Internet useless. Most businesses pay tens of thousands of dollars for IT companies to build websites and when they discover the IT company doesn’t provide the website content, they give them content that’s been hanging around the office for years.

    Business leaders and IT companies need to recognize that content has equal if not more value than the code that surrounds it. Giving “developers” the same content you’ve been pushing for years so they have something to paste in between the code is akin to going into your businesses’ bank account and permanently deleting the credit side of your businesses’ balance sheet. – Sheila Carmody, Content Specialist for Guaranteed Press

  2. Thanks for your perspective Sheila. I agree we need to continually reinforce the SEO value of content, along with the important fact that you point out, which is separating “content” from “code.”

    In the primary industries we serve (powersports, tire & wheel, OPE, Marine, RV) we often find dealers work hard to post original content upon website launch, but then forget or don’t see the value in updating it on a quarterly basis.

    A few links of interest on this topic:
    Google Content Quality Guidelines:

    NEW (as of Aug 8th) Google Webspam Report in Webmaster Tools:

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