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Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. In this series, Tim breaks down ways dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.
"Deadly" might be overdoing it, but the items covered within this post are most certainly sins of automotive SEO. Over the years, I've worked with countless number of dealers and learned a lot about how they think when it comes to SEO.
Given that experience, I wanted to address a few issues that might be holding back your SEO results, or preventing the work from getting started. So whether you're looking for ways to improve your digital marketing or looking for reasons previous SEO campaigns failed, I'll offer wisdom to get you on the right track toward success.
Lust: It Leads to Poorly-Executed Shortcuts
I really can't blame any dealer for lusting after quick results. The problem is, this often leads to shortcuts being taken. Not a bad thing if you're on a long road trip, but the only thing that comes from shortcuts with SEO is trouble.
There are plenty of SEO companies that claim to provide rankings increases for incredibly affordable prices. You know when a deal is too good to be true, though, and this is almost always the case with companies that provide low-priced services with guaranteed results.
I'm opening up about this issue because the shortcuts taken by these types of SEO companies can seriously harm your site's ability to be found in search. That's not something to take lightly, either. Google has guidelines and active algorithm updates in place to thwart the type of behavior from sites that manipulate rankings, and they're not afraid to penalize you in order to make their point.
Envy: Wishing You Outranked All of Your Competitors
No matter what business you're in, you always want to outdo the competition. And I want this for every dealer, even if I don't work directly with you.
With SEO, however, this leads to envying the search rankings of your competitors. Again, I can't blame any dealer for wanting to rank #1 for every valuable keyword in their market. The only problem is, individual keyword rankings are an outdated focus, especially with the adoption of localized and personalized search. This means different users see different results.
I discussed this in detail in one of my most recent posts, but I want to reiterate: the focus of your SEO should ultimately be on overall organic traffic growth and leads generated from your website. Because at the end of the day, those metrics mean more sales over time.
Sloth: Thinking You Can Succeed Online without Hard Work
This industry is made up of some of the hardest working people in the U.S. We thrive on success and seeing our businesses grow. Most of all, we know that cars don't sell themselves.
In an industry that's becoming more and more dominated by digital, why do some dealers think they can succeed just by having a website? Come on! You can't just open your doors at a new dealership and start selling 300 cars a month. (Unless you have a lot of friends in the market for a car.)
So why is it that so many dealers think that way about their website? This isn't Field of Dreams, people. You have to build it (using current standards), optimize it (so it's more easily discoverable in search), and market it (using content and social media) in order for the people to come.
What is your dealership currently doing to increase organic traffic? Share your story in the comments below and let's get a discussion going!