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Dennis Galbraith

Dennis Galbraith Chief Marketing Officer

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A Broader Look at SEO

A great deal of SEO discussion goes on about the dealer's name. No doubt, when a shopper is looking for your website, they should be able to find it on page one. However, if a shopper is looking for your website, how much more value is there in have ten links to your site, your Facebook, your Twitter, etc. vs. only nine? Obviously, the benefit is not linear, it has diminishing returns. Yet there seems to be a growing fanaticism about a dealer's level of page-one domination for search terms including the name of the store.

 

The deeper SEO challenge is to get shoppers to your website who were not searching for it specifically.  Using the advanced filtering capabilities of Google Analytics, a dealership can know how many shoppers came to the site looking for a brand they sell but not looking for the store specifically. For example:

                Containing "Dodge"

                Excluding "Bob's Dodge"

 

These are shoppers that were under-impacted by the branding of Bob's Dodge and did not seek the store out specifically. There will always be some of those. How many of them are getting to your site?

 

If Bob's Dodge is the only Dodge dealer in City A, then we care about doing well on page one of a search for "Dodge City A." However, if Bob's Dodge is making an effort to draw traffic from City B, that will be a far tougher SEO challenge. The following advanced reports tell how the store is doing with this effort:

                Containing "City B"

                Excluding "City A"

 

                Containing "City B"

                Excluding "City A"

                Excluding "Bob's Dodge"

 

Aggressive SEO should do more than retain the shoppers looking for your store; it should help acquire shoppers who you wish were looking for your store but were not. Dealers need to measure the potential gain from going the last mile on the former with getting aggressive on the latter.

Brian Pasch
Dennis To address your comment: "Yet there seems to be a growing fanaticism about a dealer's level of page-one domination for search terms including the name of the store." Recently I have posted articles on the need for dealers to understand that their brand name is under attack. As part of these articles I have created a POD Score (0-100) to help dealers measure the amount of their brand equity that is being leaked to others or hurting their sales. The attack is coming from third parties because it's the top organic and paid search phrase that drives traffic to a dealer's website. It's high value traffic built from dealers investing thousands of dollars each month on radio, TV, print, and local advertising channels. Fixing a dealers POD Score (Page One Defense) is the low hanging fruit that many dealer's have ignored or have been unaware of but it has the most immediate impact. In fact, this one aspect of SEO, "brand defense", is what has been a bridge for dealer principals to understand why SEO is important. Another comment you make "However, if a shopper is looking for your website, how much more value is there in have ten links to your site, your Facebook, your Twitter, etc. vs. only nine" I again challenge you to consider the impact of having ONE review site in the third or fouth position for a dealership's name, that is a one star rating, that falsely accuses them of ripping them off, discriminating against minorities, or claiming they use bait and switch tactics. The dealer can have all 9 other spots and if you feel that this 10th listing is insignificant, then you have not studied the power of negative reviews. Allowing sites that have poor quality filters on Page One allows former employees, disgruntled customers, or competitors to fire bomb a dealer's most important asset. A dealer's POD Score however, is just part of a comprehensive Automotive SEO strategy. The examples you bring up under the category of "aggressive SEO" are the basic SEO 101 principles that I have been teaching for years. In fact, a number of writers on this forum have contributed to the fact that dealers need to show up for local GEO searches. Appearing for brand and town searches that surround your dealership at the basics of Automotive SEO. This is neither aggressive or impressive, just old news. A re-hash it seems to bash a real problem that dealers are truly under attack. What is important for writers is to demonstrate to dealers how to acccomplish those feats of appearing for searches around a dealership's PMA. I do that on a regular basis through my articles, workshops and seminar. It seems that you have now SEO muscles and have something to prove. You are just at the wroing bar at the wrong time to accuse me a being fanatical. In fact I'm teaching 100 car dealers for free in the http://www.automotiveseostudy.com how to accomplish the basic SEO tasks you outline and ones that are more advanced. In week three of the 16 week curriculum, we have already covered this suggestion. Just yesterday I showed a webinar group the power of press releases and content writing to achieve city based search by brand and model. In under 30 minutes, the dealer was on Google Page for the 2011 Chevy Aveo in their target city. The POD Score emphasis in the past week, in context, is part of a balanced SEO focus which I have been educating dealers on for years. Once you are done reading up on SEO Basics, you can some out my next Automotive SEO seminar and learn what aggressive SEO is all about.
Dave Erickson
@ Dennis I'm a little confused by your post myself. I don't think Brian ever said POD was the be all end all of a SEO strategy but rather it's an important component. I'm confused also as to why you don't see value in owning/controlling all the page 1 assets of your own name? If someone googles my competitors store name because they intend to schedule an oil change, but I have completely saturated their page 1 google and one such link is something like half off an oil change if they "check-in" on FB and I steal that business that would be not only the result of creative marketing but a weak POD of my competitor. Page One Defense is called, Defense to prevent other dealers, lead providers, etc. from stealing sales and ultimately Revenue.
Mitch Gallant
Nice rebut Brian, Dennis I think Brian is directly on point with his low hanging fruit analogy.
Timothy Martell
@ Dennis. It seems to me that you lack even a basic understanding of SEO as evidenced by some quick research. Wether or not Brian should feel attacked or not is of little interest to me. What is of interest however, is illustrating the difference between the talkers and the doer's. Because there are so many talkers out there, it makes it very difficult for dealers to tell the difference between someone who knows enough to be dangerous (knows enough buzz words to sound intelligent, but produces no result) and someone who is the genuine article. Case in point: Dennis operates a website called "Revenue Guru". Now any time you find someone using the self proclaimed title of GURU this should send up an immediate red flag. But I digress. Quick use of HubSpot's free website grading tool shows that SEO is in fact, the least of Dennis's concerns. He has not even been able to create a decent website as evidenced by his 53 score http://websitegrader.com/site/www.RevenueGuru.com Here you can see that his blog score is even more abysmal at 32/100, his articles are not being tweeted, and there are very few inbound links to the site in spite of the fact that it has been up for 4 years! Most of his internal pages are lacking meta descriptions and even the most basic website 101 building task (a 301 redirect) has not been properly implemented causing google to think his singular site is actually 2 distinct sites resulting in a significant loss of SEO value. Further investigation shows his twitter grade at a 77 and his traffic levels are s low that alexa cannot even rank it. By contrast My site wikimotive.net (which is only 2 months old) scores a 94. My Nissan site MarlboroNissan.com scores a 97. In fact, all of my websites score above a 90. Also, investigation shows that PCG's websites score in the 90+ range several even score a 99/100. The moral of the story is that as a dealer you must be very careful about that man standing on the soap box. Without doing the proper research you may not be able to tell the difference between the heretic and the prodigy...
Larry Bruce
Ok I will jump into this mosh pit, as it's been called by Brian with a little food for thought. 1. While I understand the POD (Page One Defense, nice acronym BTW Brian) I don't see any importance in putting any money, additional time or resources into it above what you would do from good basic SEO. Bottom-line if someone is looking for your store and typed in your name, then they are not going to click on other links that come up in addition to your name...Its not what they were looking for. The ones that do are for the most part poor traffic if they are that easily swayed away from what they intended to do in the first place and you don't want them. 2. Dennis what you are looking to do here is best accomplished in a paid search campaign. Paid search can be highly focused targeted traffic where you can do what you are talking about here getting to a visitor not looking for your dealership, which by the way is what most dealers think they are doing when they get them some of that SEO. So for dealers that might get to this post if you think SEO is somehow going to magically get you on page one of FORD Dealers, Your City… IT'S NOT look to: Universal Search - http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/universalsearch_20070516.html Google local business listings - http://www.google.com/local/add/analyticsSplashPage?&service=lbc&utm_campaign=en&utm_source=en-ha-na-us-skws&utm_medium=ha&utm_term=google+local+business&pli=1 (both a part of good basic SEO) If you’re a dealer looking at or doing paid search be ready to convert, that 3% to 8% your getting out of your main random access website won’t happen with paid search these people are ADD and will not take the time to dig through your site for what they want. You need to be prepared to deliver it up front and quick. All in all, everyone here keep your eye on the prize. It's not about page one or traffic. It's about customer service, ease of transaction and doing business and making connections that last do that with the traffic you have and you'll be way ahead of the game, keep dwelling on the 5% or so of flaky web surfers that jump to another link when they type in your name and you're just chasing shiny objects. Just my opinion, LB @pcmguy pcmguy

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