Why your lack of knowledge sets you up for failure!
I see article after article talking about how automotive SEO vendors are screwing dealerships. I also see tons of articles on how not to get “screwed” and the right questions to ask. The problem I see with these articles are that they are extremely basic. It could be because the authors have minimal knowledge on the subject or because they are trying to cover their butts in some way or another.
This article is going to be simple enough for every dealership to understand. It will also be extremely transparent as I am a SEO myself. I must warn you, I might step on some toes. I don’t have all the answers but the most I can do it be as honest as possible. Lets get to it!
1. Know the questions to ask
As I read through other articles out there I find they are prompting consumers to ask the most basic questions in regards to their new SEO and his/hers strategy. Though questions like, “What about my H1 & H2 tags” may be important, there are much more in depth questions you should be asking.
- How long will the initial on-site optimization take?
- Will you only be doing on-site optimization?
- Are you following Googles basic optimization protocols?
- What exactly are you “optimizing” on my website?
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Header Tags
- Anchor Text
- What will you be doing about all the directory and non-relevant backlinks pointing to my site?
- What will you be doing to gain high authority, relevant backlinks?
- How will you choose the key words and geo locations we are targeting?
- Can you send me a search volume report on the keywords we are targeting so we can set expectations? We don’t want to give you the glory for ranking us for a keyword that only gets 40 search queries a month.
- Will you be sending me an initial “this is where we currently stand” report so we can compare progress from quarter to quarter?
- What type of content do you need from me?
- Will you be optimizing EVERY page of my website?
- Will you be submitting my sitemaps to all major search engines?
- How will you track the progression of my page rank?
- Can I have a login to view the progress whenever I choose?
- Are you adding content to my site that is duplicate? (You can easily use a tool like CopyScape to see if your SEO is taking articles from the web and adding them to your blog claiming they wrote unique content.)
2. Be proactive
What gets me going is when I execute a promising SEO strategy and send reports regularly showing increase in ranking and traffic and NEVER hear back from the dealer. It’s also frustrating when I need pieces of information and the dealer doesn’t get back to me. I constantly see dealers cut their vendors when they see something they don’t like or traffic has not increased drastically. You MUST communicate regularly with you automotive SEO vendor.
- Read your monthly or quarterly rankings report.
- View your analytics traffic reports and compare this months to previous months organic traffic. (Side note: Notice I said organic traffic. Watch out for the slight of hand your vendor may pull by sending you overall traffic reports and not segmenting the data. You may be running effective PPC campaigns that shot your overall traffic up for the month. Don’t let your SEO take credit for that by not reading your reports.
- Set up conference calls with your vendor to go over your strategy quarterly to make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Gather aggressive specials or articles that your SEO can put out in a PR or add valuable content to your website.
3. Hold your vendor accountable
I get it. You aren’t an SEO yourself and you don’t really know how to hold them accountable. It’s pretty simple.
- You put out a PR? Send me a link.
- You gained 6 high authority/relevant backlinks this month? Send me the links.
- CHECK YOUR SITE. Make sure they are updating your blog weekly by adding a library of relevant information. Not just your monthly car lease specials or your finance offers. I’m talking about full in-depth articles that could possibly lead a potential client to your website though search query.
- Hey, the month is over. Send me a rankings report.
I’ve worked in the automotive industry for over two years now. Though that may not be an eternity by any means, I have excelled in placing all of my clients on page one for the highly competitive keywords they wanted to rank for in their area and surrounding areas. I have also developed a passion for communication between dealer and provider through personal struggles of dealers ditching services because they didn’t communicate.
Dealers: You will never be competitive if you constantly switch vendors hoping to better your results and sales while being uneducated and refusing to work closely with your SEO. Every time you switch SEO vendors, you literally start over. You have no idea if your next SEO will destroy or improve your current rankings. It’s time to get educated instead of blowing up and firing your vendors. That being said, if you do everything listed in this article above and they cannot improve your efforts….FIRE THEM.
I didn’t write this article for you to hassle your vendors and get them worked up. I wrote this article in hopes of educating the automotive industry.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out! Give this article a share if it added value to your day!
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