I am introducing to DrivingSales.com members a new acronym in the field of Automotive SEO: POD Score.
POD stands for Page One Defense and the score can range from Zero to 100. A car dealer's POD Score is a direct reflection of their awareness and diligence to protect their brand from parasites and poachers.
The sad news is that over 95% of car dealers in the United States fail to have a POD score above 50%.
The most frequent search phrase that brings a consumer to a car dealer website is a search on their dealership name. If a dealer is also buying their name in Google Adwords, it will also be the number one search phrase that drives paid clicks to a dealers website.
Summary: Your dealership NAME is the #1 way that consumers find your website on the Internet.
With this in mind, I am raising awareness of what is happening on the search engines when a consumer searches a car dealership name. Creating the POD Scoring system will raise the awareness of car dealers that their brand name is under attack.
The #1 Search Phrase That Drives Traffic
Since the dealer's EXACT NAME is the #1 organic search phrase to drive traffic to their website, lead collectors as a group have targeted search optimization strategies on their name to drive traffic to their websites.
If you haven't noticed, Edmunds.com for example, has an optimized website page for every car dealer in the US. On that page is a form to get price quotes from your competitors.
I bet that as a group, the #1 free traffic that many lead collection website receive is traffic on dealership names.
Dealers spend thousands of dollars a month on radio, TV, print, billboards and local advertising. As a result of that brand awareness, consumers type in a dealer's name for directions, phone numbers, service, or to shop for a car.
What dealer's are not fully aware of is that people are lying in wait for these consumers to type in the dealer's name and redirect them to their own websites and marketing goals.
So what is your dealerships POD Score?
It is our opinion that the ideal score is a perfect 100 but many car dealers in the United States have a POD Scores of 40 or below. Here are some examples of dealers that have a POD Score of 20 and one that has a POD score of 80:
How Is The POD Score Calculated?
POD Scores give dealers 10 points for each organic listing that they control on Page One for an exact search on their dealership name. If a dealer controls all 10 of the organic listings on Page One, they receive a 100 point score.
The definition of "control" is simple; do you have the ability to control the content on the listing that shows on Page One for your dealership name. Some of the dealers can control that appear on Page One include:
Some of the things that dealers cannot control on Page One include:
Why is a POD Score of 100 Important
A POD Score of 100 means that third party lead collectors are not diverting your customers into their data capturing devices. It means that disgruntled employees, customers and competitors will have a harder time abusing review websites to hurt your brand. It means that customers who are driven to the web by your radio, TV and print advertising investments are not diverted from your website.
A POD Score of 100 will yield MORE direct leads. There will be more discussion and a few videos created on how dealers can achieve a score of 80, 90, or 100 points. Anything less than a score of 70 means that your brand is being drained of its equity and you have made it easy for this to occur.