Single post hero image

You’ve got to own your dealership’s backyard

In this week’s Wednesday Workshop video, we’re back to talking about SEO and local search results. Far too many dealers spend all of their effort trying to show up in searches in nearby (larger) cities or metros – while ignoring their own town.

It’s important to own your own backyard before you go after your neighbor’s. With the recent updates to Google, it’s exceedingly hard to rank well in a city where you’re not actually located. Before you put all your effort into showing up elsewhere, make sure you’re showing up as well as you possibly can in your own city.


Welcome to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn. Can you believe it’s almost the end of the year? We’ve still got a few awesome videos left for ya though…

This week’s video is more about Local SEO. Google has rolled out some pretty comprehensive updates to its local algorithm over the last few years. Local SEO is always changing, but the last few years have been pretty intense!

One of the most important ranking factors is now the proximity of the business to the physical location of the searcher. Google knows where you’re searching from, either by the IP address of your desktop or the cellular signal or GPS in your phone.

That proximity signal is something you can’t optimize for – unfortunately, it’s 100% based on the actual distance involved. Now, it happened about a year and a half ago, but the Pigeon update made it a lot harder to rank in a city that you’re not located in.

In other words, thanks to the update, if you’re not in a nearby city or metro area, it’s a LOT harder to show up in searches there than it used to be. Pair that with the recent updates that have upped the value of the proximity factor, and it’s really hard to rank in other cities.

It’s not impossible, but it’s a lot of work, and it takes a lot of time.

That’s why it’s important to own your own back yard – before you go after your neighbor’s. Far too many dealers try to target a nearby city or metro because it’s a bigger market, with more potential customers – but they ignore any effort to try to show up in their own town.

Before you aim at the bigger target that’s much further away and significantly harder to hit, put some effort into your own town. Maximize the signal strength for your physical address and the search engines will have a confident view of your locational relevancy.

If you forgo any local efforts to concentrate on the nearby target, and your local signals aren’t maximized, you could be missing out on a significant amount of traffic from local searches – where you should be absolutely dominating anything else local.

Once you’ve got your own back yard perfectly landscaped and set up, then you can start trying to hop the fence and steal attention from your neighbors – but you need to have a realistic expectation for potential results.

Go check out Greg’s video about Local Content Silos – it’s a long-term tactic, but if you dedicate enough time and effort, it can definitely help you show up in some of those nearby cities – but that tactic will only help you show up in standard organic results.

You’re only going to show up in the 3-pack results if you’re near the person doing the search, and to dominate those results, you’ve got to have your back yard in order. Awesome content, juicy local links, a clean citation profile, and great reviews.

As always, if you’ve got questions or comments, leave ‘em down below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. 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.

More posts by Greg Gifford

Leave a Reply

Call support
(877) 543-4200
Call Sales
(877) 543-6321