SEO – Not for Every Dealer: How to Spot & Stop SEO & SEM Waste & Fraud (PART 3)
TRANSCRIPT: All right. Now, let’s be clear. Not every dealer needs to spend on SEO. I want to say that again because your OEM will tell you differently, your website provider will tell you differently, and every SEO out there will tell you differently. Not every dealer needs to spend a dime on SEO. Most of today’s websites are built to be optimized for search out of the box. Isn’t that what they told you when they sold you your website, right? Didn’t they come in and tell you how search-friendly they were? Then why do they turn around with a $2,000 SEO package right after that, right, “Hey, now you gotta buy SEO”? Wait a minute. You told us you were search-friendly out of the box. You know what? They weren’t lying. They truly are. Nearly every website for dealers today is optimized for search right out of the box. Plus, Google wants you to be found if you’re the most relevant choice for the consumer, so we’re going to look at a couple of examples here.
Here’s the first one. We’re going to look at two dealers in two markets. First, let’s look at Gene Steffy Ford in Columbus, Nebraska. Now, I picked them at random. I’ve never done any business with Gene Steffy Ford. I just picked them at random. They’re about an hour away from their nearest Ford competitor. Now, what could outside ongoing SEO services do for them? Think about this. Google is not going to rank Gene Steffy Ford in the organic ranks at number one or number two for the term Ford dealer near Lincoln or Omaha, Nebraska. Okay? Buying that SEO to try to get to be ranked to number one or two, it’s just not going to happen. However, Google’s pretty smart. People living in or near their market near Gene Steffy Ford, they’re going to find them via searches like Ford dealer near me, without the need for Gene Steffy Ford to spend a dime on outside SEO services, provided, of course, that their website was set up correctly in the first place.
Now let’s look at another dealership, another Ford dealership. This is Fair Oaks Ford in Naperville, Illinois. Again, I picked them at random. Their nearest Ford competitor is eight miles away. I know a lot of you can attribute that to your market as well. You’re a Ford dealer, and you’ve got your closest competitor eight miles away. Most of you drive past your competitor to get to your own dealership, and that’s the way most markets are. Again, I’ve never done any business with them, but does Fair Oaks Ford need a little more than out-of-the-box SEO? Yes, of course, but are they getting it? Now, I have no idea. I’ve never dealt with them, so I’ll speak in general terms only. I’m not talking about Fair Oaks Ford now. I’m just talking in general.
First, let’s look at SEO reporting, the stuff that’s out there today. Google Analytics tells you nothing about your SEO effectiveness or search visibility. Even traffic counts are meaningless, I want to be clear, since your marketing and your market will have a bigger impact on your organic traffic. Plus, most dealers organic search traffic comes from name searches like Steve’s Ford or Steve’s Ford Dallas. I’m going to dive in on this report just to bring it over, and I want you to tell me if anybody can look at this report and you can tell me whether this dealer’s search visibility improved or declined their search visibility, how visible they are for relevant searches in their market. Did it improve or decline year over year? Can you tell me by looking at the report?
The point is no, you cannot because 98% of the organic keywords are not shared on most dealer sites. Why? Well, primarily because of things called data encryption and restrictions of secure websites. Again, this is not a Google Analytics class, so we don’t need to get down and dirty in that. Now, you can see some of this data using what’s called Google’s Search Console, but again, this is not a Google Analytics class. That’s not what we’re doing here.