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How to use Barnacle SEO to increase your visibility in organic searches


In this week’s Wednesday Workshop, we talk about using Barnacle SEO to help boost the visibility of your dealership in local searches. Sometimes, you just can’t beat the big powerful sites like Yelp… but you CAN use Barnacle SEO to latch on to those sites and gain more visibility through their authority. Watch the video to learn how…


Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn. I’m filling in for Greg today cause he’s on the way to Vegas for NADA – but don’t worry, I’ve got a great tip for you. Today we’re going to be talking a little bit about how car dealers can utilize Barnacle SEO.

The term “Barnacle SEO” was coined by Will Scott years ago and focuses on attaching your website to sites that rank well on Page 1. For car dealers, this is especially helpful for high-volume, generic service queries like “oil change” and “brake repairs”.
These types of queries serve up a local pack on Google that typically includes businesses that focus ONLY on oil changes or brake repairs.

Those businesses in the pack typically have one focus and entire websites dedicated to oil changes and brake repairs, so it takes a lot of SEO effort and time for individual dealerships to make their way on to Page 1.

We’ve conducted research in major metros across the US, and believe it or not, Yelp and even Yellow Pages Top-10 lists typically rank #1 for organic listings.

So, if you know that a Yelp list for the “10 Best Oil Change Stations in Chicago” is ranking #1 – and there aren’t any individual dealerships ranking on page 1 in a major metro, this is a perfect opportunity to attach your to dealership to the well-ranking site (like a barnacle).

Here’s what you need to do. At this point, you should have a claimed and verified Yelp listing. If you don’t, it’s super easy, just go to Yelp, add your business, and walk through their verification process. You should also search for your business on Yelp because you may have an unverified listing out there that you just need to claim and verify.

Once you’re claimed and verified, make sure you’ve included “Auto Repair” in your category list. After you add “Auto Repair”, you’ll get the option to specify exactly what services your dealership offers.

Then those services will display publicly on your Yelp page.

Adding these specific services helps Yelp and customers find you for these services.

Setting the category and services offered is only step 1 though. You need to start verbally encouraging your service customers to “Find you on Yelp” and give feedback about the services they received.
The more natural and positive reviews you get referencing oil changes or brake repairs, the better chance you have for moving up on to the Top-10 lists that Yelp generates.
Per Yelp guidelines, you can’t solicit reviews from any actionable feedback tool, you just need to verbally encourage customers to “Find you on Yelp”.

So – make sure your page is claimed and verified, make sure your categories include Auto Repair, make sure you select all your specific services, and start verbally encouraging customers to find you and leave a review about their experience. Then, you’re on your way to latching on to Yelp like a barnacle.

And, remember, just because Yelp lists are ranking #1 right now, it doesn’t mean they will forever. So, don’t neglect the content on your own site and make sure you’re highlighting all your core service offerings to maximize your visibility.

That does it for this week’s Wednesday Workshop. As always, leave your questions and comments down below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next week with 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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