Automotive Digital Marketing

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If you've been following the digital marketing blogosphere for the last week, by now you've probably concluded that SEO is dead because within 3 months there will be no more keyword data in Google Analytics. Right? Its the end of SEO. No more measuring. No more valuable data. Its Adwords or nothing.

Let's just stop the madness right now. This is a load of BS. Yes, as usual, Google has shaken the SEO world to its core. In case you haven't noticed, these major shake ups happen, at least, once a year. What does it mean? It means we evolve. Is this a frustration for marketers? Sure! No one likes change and with so many scam artists in the SEO industry, this will make it very difficult for shoddy SEO companies that provide pretty SEO reports that don't mean much to continue on the way they have... unless of course they're just going to completely fabricate reporting, which I suppose isn't out of the realm of possibilities given the loose ethics already being employed, but I digress... SEO isn't dead.

So why all the doom and gloom? You know the old saying in news media, "if it bleeds, it leads." Its an attention grabber and not to mislead you, this is an important change, but thats all it is -- a change. The way we measure will change. The depth at which SEO's will need to research and compile data will be more involved. Reporting valuable metrics will become more time consuming. But those of us providing a real SEO service are already well on our way to sorting this out -- AND IT HASN'T EVEN HAPPENED YET! So, you can take a deep breath and stop panicking.

Wondering about the solutions in the works? Rand Fishkin of Moz has already begun to trudge the path. You can see his suggestions in this short video.

Still not convinced? How many times have you heard SEO is dead before? You know what happens every time people write that SEO is dead? SEO company's website traffic spikes through the roof and leads pour in. Don't believe me? Here is our website traffic for the last 7 days. This is all a direct result of the pandemonium surrounding Google's latest shake up.

The real question is what to do as a business owner to make sure you're ready to compete in the new SEO landscape that is fast approaching. For one thing, call your SEO company. Ask how they are preparing for the shift ahead.

Look at the reporting you've been receiving. Is it solely keyword based? Are there metrics on specific landing pages? Do you get reports that show the actual content created by your SEO company? Does reporting connect the dots from keywords, to traffic, to landing pages, to leads, to conversion? Is your SEO company talking about shifting focus from high level metrics to conversion based metrics? If not, why not?

Here are some questions to ask yourself as a business owner. Is your SEO company, just an SEO company? SEO isn't a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy consists of many components of which SEO is one of them, but the should be part of a greater overall strategy and those components should all be tied together for the purpose of definable goals that can be measured and held accountable. If you're just "paying for SEO," then you're probably missing the boat.

OK. Crisis averted. Let's get back to business. Dealers, what are your challenges with SEO or your SEO company? Sound off! We're here to help!

Original article posted on Wikimotive's blog

Views: 1874

Tags: Google, SEO, Sky is Falling, Wikimotive


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Comment by Alexander Lau on September 27, 2013 at 10:45am

@ Tim, unfortunately SEO is an ugly word. I suppose I did a poor job at describing search content marketing as being part of SEO / SCM.

Comment by Timothy Martell on September 27, 2013 at 10:44am

Not sure I totally agree with anyone on this. Yes, a deep understanding of automotive retail is necessary to deliver the best service to a client. Not for technological best practice, but in order to understand the goal and how consumers respond to the methodology that works best to achieve those goals.

Content marketing is content marketing. Understanding the best content for the vertical IS what defines expertise. Either you can or can't. Having a real understanding of automotive retail is a tremendous edge. 

On the flip side, having a great understanding of auto retail and using shoddy digital marketing practices are far worse than having great digital practices and limited auto retail understanding.

Comment by David Addison on September 27, 2013 at 10:44am

@ Alexander.  I get it.  There are some things that are pretty darn specific about automotive. Notwithstanding, SEO best practices are not industry specific.

As for other areas of marketing. Yup. Totally different.

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 27, 2013 at 10:38am

@ David. I was in no way trying to be rude, but there are definitely different nuisances that exist in Automotive SEO. I stand corrected, if you've been in auto that long, because you probably know every single one of them. :-)

Comment by David Addison on September 27, 2013 at 10:35am

@ Alexander - We're not that far apart on our thinking.  Working with a rapidly changing inventory is a good example.  The best practice is just about the same in any industry with a rapidly changing inventory or page churn.  This is not unique to automotive.  Same for the Keyword Research, Link Dev, Architecture...  These are all common issues.  Many industries have their own schema.  The book industry has something called Onix.  Same thing, different industry.

Having expertise in other verticals is a good idea because ideas and concepts transcend industries.  You've been in auto for several years.  I'm sure you have tons of other vertical expertise that you bring to automotive.  That's good.  The same goes for most SEO folks in this forum. I'm not disparaging the auto industry. 

Hmmm. We attend the conferences. My group has been in auto since 83'.

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 27, 2013 at 10:25am
Comment by Alexander Lau on September 27, 2013 at 10:13am

Folly, it absolutely is different and every single peer should agree. For example, best practices in terms of understand how to handle a retailer's automotive inventory versus a ski shop's inventory is much different and in many ways. It's far more dynamic and there are plenty of nuisances that need to be applied.

There are plenty of fantastic services out there in the automotive digital marketing world and many of them were on show at AutoCon 2013. Where were you guys?

"They're not industry-independent." You're just saying that in an attempt to make money off as many verticals as possible, which dilutes your service offering and all educated automotive retailers will see through it.

Comment by David Addison on September 27, 2013 at 10:10am

Automotive SEO is no different than Ski industry or Health industry direct response SEO.  Sure, it takes a thorough understanding of the industry to do a great job.  That's true for all verticals.  Any client is going to be better suited using a firm who has vertical expertise.

Let's invite Danny Sullivan, Matt Cutts... to take a look under the hood.  Is our industry better or worse than other verticals?  I think they'd agree that automotive SEO, in aggregate, is not in good shape.  I'm sure that we're all making a difference.  But, we have a long way to go.

Best practices are "best practices".  They're not industry-dependent.

Comment by Timothy Martell on September 27, 2013 at 10:10am

Great to "meet" you Ryan Smith! Great contribution! Preach it! 

I am also a big fan of distilled and seer. Thanks for bringing a fresh perspective to us old car dogs!

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 27, 2013 at 9:26am

I'm glad you think it's funny, but actually it isn't and I'm sure many of my peers here will agree. Any automotive dealer that goes with a non-automotive marketing agency should have their heads examined. It's a matter of understanding every aspect and expectation of the end user and that takes plenty of years of experience. It's odd that you point fingers at Automotive SEO groups and yet post on this site, which frankly is only in order to engage automotive clients. Yet again, what's with the digression of this thread? I've seen no intelligent reply to the issue at hand. This is why a credible (not provided) report is so valuable at this point and why rank data is so much more valuable. Without rank data, it would be impossible to provide insight on (not provided).

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