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The 6th Annual Digital Dealer Conference is now over and I'm exhausted. This was my first year at the event and it was a great opportunity to meet with other automotive professionals who wanted to learn and improve the visibility of their websites. The conference schedule was packed with a wide array of topics and the conference seminar participation was strong.
My seminar was in the last time slot on Monday and I was a little concerned about starting a seminar at 5:15 pm. My fears were laid to rest as the room filled up and the questions started to flow. When I started to discuss the importance of unique page Titles and META descriptions, you could tell that I hit a nerve in the audience. We looked at a few volunteer's websites and most websites had ineffective page titles and META descriptions.
One attendee asked "Why would car dealer platform providers put out websites with dozens of duplicate page titles and META tags when they just have to be corrected by someone else? "
I can't speak for the industry other than to say that good page titles and META description involve some research and then some simple editing. It would seem that either car dealers are not paying for an optimized website package or the platform provider does not understand what Google outlines in their SEO starter guide.
Since many car dealer platforms allow users to update these important SEO tags, I encouraged everyone to contact their provider and ask how they can eliminate these duplicate tags. Once you have the proper login to update page titles, simple changes can go a long way for improve organic search rankings.
Another hot question was posed "If content is so important for organic search rankings, why are most dealer platform created without a blogging module?"
Changes to dealer platforms with a large installed based don't turn on a dime. Changes that involve an addition like a blog module can be costly in both programming manpower and training. However, I would predict that within the next few months, providers will start to integrate blogging tools like Wordpress.
If car dealer website providers offered an integrated Wordpress blog, a number of organic marketing issues would be resolved. Then the next task would be to train car dealers how to write effectively to maximize a WordPress blog. These WordPress integrated pages could be used for Adwords landing pages, testimonials, car model feature pages, and the sky is the limit.
The quality of questions from the audience was excellent and we ending up staying another 30 minutes longer than was schedule. This was a benefit of having the last session of the day. If I offered up a happy hour at 6:30 I bet the crowd would have stayed another hour longer!
The good news is that many attendees made the effort and commitment to make their websites more effective for organic search results. I think that these types of forums provide the venue for dealers to know that they are not alone in their struggle to understand how Google works and how to make improvements. If you could not make the conference, I offer up my PowerPoint slideshow for your personal use.
You can download a copy of my presentation at: http://www.paschconsulting.com/PDF/pasch-ddc.pdf