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Automotive SEO predictions for 2019

In our first Wednesday Workshop video of the new year, I share my predictions for Automotive SEO in 2019. Google has made a lot of changes recently, and I’ll walk you through where I think things are going this year. If you’re curious about what’s important for your dealership’s digital marketing plan in 2019, watch and learn!


Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop – the first Wednesday Workshop of 2019! We’ve been doing this video series since 2015, so thanks again for watching week after week as we share digital marketing tips.

It’s the beginning of the year, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and do a predictions video. For those of you who don’t keep up with the SEO world, it’s kinda become a “thing” to write a predictions blog post at the beginning of the year. Each expert shares where they think digital marketing is headed – some are more serious, like David Mihm’s post here at

Others take a more fun approach, like Andrew Shotland’s Simpsons-reference-laden post at

So this week, I’m sharing my 5 predictions for SEO in the automotive vertical for 2019. Here we go:

Number one – auto dealers will invest more in SEO in 2019. With all the changes Google continues to make in local and mobile search, dealers are finally realizing that SEO is an absolute necessity. As the OEM programs open up and add in more reputable options for SEO providers, more and more dealers will add SEO to their marketing mix in 2019.

Number two – dealers who work with SEO providers who do link building will continue to dominate. Google’s algorithm weights links pointed to your website as the most important ranking signal, yet most automotive SEO providers don’t include link building in their SEO packages. As SEO becomes more common, dealers will start to realize that all providers aren’t equal – instead of just checking the SEO box, they’ll seek out the providers who get better results.

Number three – Dealers and SEO providers will invest a lot more effort in Google My Business. As we’ve said in several past videos, your GMB profile is your new home page. It’s almost always your first impression on new customers, and optimizing your profile will be key to success in 2019. Google Posts and Q&A will be huge factors for successful dealers.

Number four – Another dealer group will get fined more than 4 million dollars for fake reviews. Google has publicly stated on many occasions that car dealers are the worst offenders for fake reviews. Every year, the FTC catches dealerships for fake reviews, and every year, the fines get bigger. Last spring, a dealer group in California was fined 3.6 million – I’m predicting that someone will get caught this year and fined more than 4 million.

And finally, number five – “voice search” will be a massive buzz at NADA, even though it doesn’t matter for dealers. We’ve talked about it before – no one’s going to buy a car from Alexa. It simply doesn’t matter for dealers, and tons of research proves it. But, that won’t stop a ton of speakers and vendors from talking about it in San Francisco in a few weeks…

So that’s it for my automotive SEO predictions for 2019. If you’ve got any of your own, please share them down below, we’d love to hear them! And, speaking of NADA – DealerOn will be there in full force! We’ll be at booth number 6039W, which is in the West Hall – so make sure you head west if you’re going to be out at the convention! And, you still have time to get a Golden Ticket – pre-register for your Golden Ticket demo, and then when you show up and do the demo, we’ll give you a hundred bucks! Make sure you stop by and say hi if you’re going to be out there!

Thanks again for watching, and don’t forget to come 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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