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In this week’s Wednesday Workshop, we share a few simple truths about SEO. Things can get incredibly complicated, and it’s hard to keep the big picture in mind when you’re digging into specific strategies. This week’s video helps point out the important truths to keep in mind, so you’ll head down the right path with the right expectations.


Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn. Last month, I got to present an extended 2 hour session on Local SEO at Digital Dealer in Tampa…

Don’t worry, I’m not sharing the slides here – but if you’d like to see the presentation, you can catch an encore at the Digital Dealer Workshop in Chicago the first week of June…

But after going so much further in depth about SEO best practices and tactics, I’ve had a lot of dealers ask questions about the things I talked about. It seems like it’s pretty common for people to latch onto a single idea or tactic, and that’s not the right way to look at things…

So today, I want to share a few truths with you:

There’s no silver bullet. There’s no miracle pill. There’s no one-and-done. SEO is an ongoing process that never stops. While some signals are weighted more than others, there’s really no single signal or activity you can do that’s going to make a massive difference in your visibility.

Your site will get more visibility because of the cumulative effect over time of all of the signals you’re pushing out, not because you do one thing really well.

I always talk about how call tracking really wrecks your SEO signals – but that doesn’t mean that if you do call tracking, you’ll never rank well… It just means that you’ll have to be extra awesome at your other signals to make up for the fact that your citation info will be messy.

Yes, content is important, but SEO is not ONLY content. PLEASE – I can’t stress this enough – you have to realize that a vast majority of what happens with SEO is either “behind the scenes” on your site or not on your site at all.

Far too many dealers equate SEO to adding several pages a month to their site to target different phrases in different cities. It just doesn’t work that way.

Without link building and citations and social interactions and reviews, content by itself won’t do anything for you… Just like getting a bunch of crappy directory links doesn’t do anything for you.

Like I said in a past Wednesday Workshop video, SEO takes time – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Does that mean it always takes 6 to 8 months to see results? No – sometimes we can get great results in the first few months… But you shouldn’t assume you’ll get results quickly. Invest in SEO for the long haul, because it’s a long haul strategy.

And finally, don’t assume that you’ll get a certain amount of additional traffic. I talked to several dealers at Digital Dealer who were frustrated that they have been doing all the things I talked about, but they didn’t see 50% more organic traffic. One guy I talked to said he figured that since they got 15,000 organic visits before starting to use local SEO tactics, he assumed they’d get at least 10,000 more visits once they were “optimized”
I asked him where he got that number, and he said he just figured it was a realistic number.

There are only a certain amount of searches every month for the various phrases that matter to your dealership. If you’re in a larger metro, there will be significantly more monthly searches than if you’re out in the boonies.

If you have bad visibility, where you’re not on page one for anything but your dealership name, then SEO is going to – over time – give you more traffic. BUT, if you already have great visibility on most phrases, doing SEO isn’t going to magically increase the number of people searching for your money phrases.

For example, if you’re already ranking number one for almost everything, you don’t do SEO to get more traffic. You do SEO to maintain your position, because it’s king of the hill, and if you’re at the top, the only way to go is down. SEO might bright a bit of ancillary traffic in, and will definitely help squeeze more conversions out of the traffic you’re getting, but it’s not going to magically boost organic traffic by 50%.

You have to have the right expectations, or even if your SEO is wildly successful, you’ll be disappointed.

So that’s the end of this week’s soapbox rant. As always, if you’ve got any questions or comments, leave ‘em down below and we’ll get back with you shortly. Don’t forget to check back next week for another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

Author Greg Gifford

Greg Gifford is the Vice President of Search at DealerOn. He has over 16 years of online marketing and web design experience, and has specialized in automotive SEO for the last 8 years, helping hundreds of auto dealers thrive while the industry has struggled during the recession. Greg speaks internationally at both automotive and SEO conferences, teaching thousands of small business owners and marketers how to get their sites to show up higher in local search rankings. Greg also spends his spare time doing freelance website design and SEO for local businesses. He graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BA in Cinema and Communications, and has an obscure movie quote for just about any situation.

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