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Prove you need SEO with simple math

For this week’s Wednesday Workshop video, we’re sharing a simple tip for proving the necessity for SEO. We’ve shared the pizza delivery SEO example in a past video, but that only showed how Local SEO works. This time, the simple example shows exactly why SEO is important for your dealership. It’s a simple math equation, so even if someone doesn’t really understand how search engines work, they’ll still see why SEO is important.

Organic visitors are your largest source of website traffic and leads – unless you’re doing something wrong. Check out the video for a simple visualization that shows why your dealership absolutely needs SEO to stay visible to local customers.


Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop with DealerOn. This week, we’re talking about SEO and I’m going to teach you an awesome little tactic to help you get more buy-in for SEO at your dealership.

Every dealership needs SEO – the days of just having a website and being successful are long gone. Unless you’re doing something really wrong, your largest source of traffic and leads is organic visitors… yet so many dealership STILL aren’t investing in SEO.

Tons of dealers still don’t know that there are 2 kinds of SEO – when they’re talking about SEO, they’re talking about “traditional SEO” – where you’re optimizing signals both on and off a website to influence the relevancy of that site when a user searches certain keyword phrases.

Local SEO is a more complicated subset, where you’re optimizing signals both on and off a website to influence the relevancy of that site for searches in a particular geographic area. Check out our Wednesday Workshop video with the pizza delivery example – it shows how Google automatically returns local search results for certain business types, even when a city isn’t included in the search phrase.

So we know that Local SEO is incredibly important for your dealership – but you’ve got to get buy-in to either hire an employee to handle things, or hire a vendor to do it for you. You can use the pizza delivery example to show how local works, but that doesn’t help you get your GM or owner to jump on board.

The best way to demonstrate the need for Local SEO is to use a simple back-of-the-napkin math equation.

Let’s make the math easy and say that there are 5 franchise dealers in your town, and 15 independents. That’s a total of 20 dealers.

There are 10 possible spots on page one search results, plus 3 in the local pack. That’s 13 spots available for dealers.

BUT – if you look at your search results, there are a lot of spots taken by large 3rd party sites like AutoTrader, CarGurus and Craigslist. Let’s say that there are 5 organic spots are taken away, leaving 8 total spots for dealers.

With 20 dealerships fighting for 8 spots, that means 12 dealers won’t be on page one… and since there are only 10 spots on page 2, that’s 2 people pushed all the way back to page 3.

BOOM! There’s proof that you need to invest in SEO to ensure that you’re as visible as possible…

But let’s take it a little further. Most dealers are in larger metro areas. Let’s say that there are 6 cities in your area. Using the same numbers as your town, that’s 20 times 6, which is 120 dealers fighting for the first page in metro area searches.

But really, you’re just a suburb of the main city in the metro, which is obviously much bigger than the suburbs. For this example, let’s assume that the main city is 3 times bigger than the suburbs, so that’s 20 times 3, which is 60 dealers.

We’re now looking at 180 dealers in the metro area, all fighting for the 8 spots one page one results that give them the most visibility. That’s 172 dealers who are NOT on page one.

Even if your boss, or your boss’s boss, doesn’t understand how SEO works, this example shows them why it’s so important for your dealership. Use the knowledge well, young padawans.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them down below, and we’ll get back to you shortly. If this got your brain spinning and you’d like to chat about SEO in a bit more detail, let us know – we’ll get you on the phone with one of our SEO managers who can answer anything you might throw at them. Thanks 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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