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Ranking reports don’t show SEO success

This week’s Wednesday Workshop video shares some important info about SEO reports. At NADA a few weeks ago, we talked to a ton of dealers who still get super old-school ranking reports from their SEO providers. Ranking reports do NOT show yo how well you’re doing with SEO, and they don’t tie in to the bottom line of the dealership.

Watch this week’s video to learn more about why ranking reports don’t really show anything helpful anymore, and what you should be seeing in your monthly SEO reports.


Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop with DealerOn. This week we’re gonna chat a bit about SEO reports.

I talked to a TON of dealers about SEO when we were down in New Orleans. I was pretty amazed to hear how many dealers still get old-school SEO reports that just show a boatload of keyword rankings.

News Flash:

A report that shows how you rank for a bunch of keywords is NOT a metric for SEO success!

Seriously people – let’s put these to bed once and for all. Sure, tracking how you rank for high level keywords is a great way to get a general idea of how visible you are in important searches, but a giant ranking report doesn’t mean squat to your bottom line.

You’re spending a lot of money on SEO, and you want to know that your money is well spent. You need a report that ties your SEO efforts into the bottom line of your dealership. Does a report that shows how you rank for 500 keywords do that? Absolutely not!

Ranking reports don’t even reflect the reality of real-world local searches! Thanks to personalization and localization, every user will see different search results.

Google will adjust your search results based on the past search history on the device you’re using – either the browser on your computer or your phone. Google personalizes those results so that you’ll have a better search experience.

Google also knows where you’re located. If you’re on a computer, it knows your IP address, and if you’re on a phone, it either uses a GPS chip or cell signal triangulation. When you conduct a local search, your results will be adjusted to your physical location.

So if everyone is seeing different search results, that means that ranking report isn’t very accurate…

Really, you only need 2 things in your SEO report to tie it to your bottom line – you need to see how your organic traffic is improving over time, and you need to see how your leads that come from organic traffic are improving over time. That’s it!

And while it seems obvious, you should be getting your SEO reports on a monthly basis – so if you’re not, you probably ought to look for a new provider to work with.

That’s it for this week’s video. As always, if you’ve got any questions or comments, leave ‘em down below and we’ll get back to you shortly. Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you again 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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Join the discussion 4 Comments

  •' Emmerey Rose says:

    Interesting post Greg. Very well said. Keywords aren’t accurate metrics to measure seo success but don’t they still weigh big? I mean, don’t keywords affect seo?

    • Greg Gifford says:

      Well yeah – clearly they’re an important aspect of what we do… We’re just saying that tracking how you rank for a certain set of keywords isn’t an accurate metric of success with SEO. You could rank #1 for hundreds of phrases, but if they’re not phrases that any human ever searches, who cares? You get zero incremental traffic. SEO’s *REAL* goal is to increase traffic and get more/better leads…

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