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Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. Each Friday, Tim breaks down ways dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.
Ever wondered who or what your site's worst enemy is?
You're probably thinking about the dealership across the street who outranks you on Google (or maybe Google itself), but you'd be wrong. Your site's worst enemy is your own dealership.
Now you're probably asking yourself, "How can our store be our site's worst enemy?" and ready to scroll down to the comments section to write an angry reply. I wouldn't blame you, but hear me out.
The reason is, your dealership is both your site's biggest enemy and biggest ally. In the same sense that you, as an individual, are your own worst enemy, your dealership has the ability to make or break its SEO.
"But how do I know if I'm helping or hurting my site's SEO?" is what you're thinking now. You can't just talk to your site and ask it if it's doing okay like you can subconsciously. If you don't know what to look for, you're left out in the cold.
So in this first Navigating SEO post, I'll dive into ways you can identify SEO mistakes that may be holding back your site's SEO.
Getting Complacent with Current Status
If your dealership's site is succeeding in search, you should feel good. Getting more organic traffic and conversions than your competition is the ultimate goal, so if you're already sitting pretty there's no shame in calling yourself #1.
The problem is, if you're not actively engaging in SEO, there's no guarantee that you'll be #1 tomorrow. Now, there's never a guarantee with search engine rankings, but Google, Bing, and Yahoo don't sleep. Your competition might be working on initiatives right now with the goal of claiming your #1 spot.
If you're not doing SEO, you're only helping your competitors.
Be proactive and don't take any of your SEO success for granted. This field is always changing and if you don't want to be left behind, you have to always have your finger on the pulse, and you can't ever be satisfied or think that you've improved enough.
Forgetting the Human Element
Your real target with SEO is not the search engine crawlers who index your site, or the algorithms that rank your pages. The real target is the person who's looking for a car dealership in your area.
Car buyers don't care about keywords or links; they care about relevancy, value, and usability.
Is your dealership's site providing that right now? Are you thinking about your site's design, load speed, navigation, and overall usability?
If not, why? These are issues that need to be tackled immediately because they affect everything from rankings to conversions. Make it a priority to get a website audit and have usability tests done to see where there's room for improvement.
Your conversion rate will thank you.
Thinking Results Will Happen Overnight
You can't buy more organic search traffic the same way you pay for targeted traffic through PPC.
To achieve growth from SEO, you need a plan, time, and consistent execution.
The most important thing to understand about SEO is that it's an investment. Just like advertising, you're investing a certain amount of money to reach an audience. With SEO, you're investing a certain amount of money to make it easier for an audience to reach you.
You need the right team in place, but if you're going to invest in SEO in the first place, you have to give that team time.
With this mindset, you're better equipped to understand how SEO works and how it can benefit your dealership.
Like this post? Read Nagivating SEO #2: How to Think About Keywords, Rankings, and Content in 2015