Automotive Digital Marketing ProCom

Professional Community for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketers and Sales Managers

Loading... Be Patient!

The bad part about search engine optimization in the automotive industry is that there are so many companies that report on what they do for SEO rather than what they're accomplishing with their efforts. We've seen this hundreds of times when bringing on new clients and it's time to set the record straight.

It isn't hard to track the key performance metrics through which to hold your SEO or website vendor accountable. The most important thing to remember as the client is that you should have control over the data that you want to receive in reporting. That's the whole point. Letting them show you what they want you to see is not as effective as letting them know what you want to see.

There are plenty of things that go into SEO that a dealer could ask for in reporting, but I've broken it down to the three basic KPIs that should truly tell you whether you're getting a benefit out of their efforts or not.

1. Organic Search Traffic Year-Over-Year

There will be ups and downs in traffic to your website. Your advertising budget can go up or down and affect the amount of visitors to your website. The market can go up or down. Your inventory levels can go up or down. All of these things can affect the number of people that visit your website in any given month, but organic search traffic alone is less influenced by these factors.

If you're using Google Analytics, you can set your filters to show you organic search traffic and compare it to how you were doing the previous year. This is an indicator of progress, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you're getting results. For that, you'll want to watch...

2. Pre-Agreed Keyword Targets

Every good SEO company will show you the keywords that they want to get the most. Work with them and be sure to agree to target keywords right from the start. These keywords should be "strong" keywords, not necessarily really long-tail keywords that nobody searches.

For example, if you're a Honda dealer in Chicago, you would want to go after keywords like "Honda Chicago", "Honda Dealers Chicago", "2014 Honda Accord Chicago", and the like. Find out where you stand when you hire the company and the watch progress over time. There will be wins and losses. Nobody moves up for every keyword every time. However, you should be able to track some pretty strong advances that outweigh the setbacks. We go into more detail about this on our blog.

All of this is fine, but at the end of the day the most important factor is...

3. Leads and Sales from Organic Search

You have the ability to track the entry path of people who are landing on your website. By applying this tracking and goal setting, you'll be able to see how many people come on to your website through organic search and whether or not they're filling out leads. Once you know who's filling out leads and where they're coming from, you can see if you're getting more sales as a result.

Again, things go up and down. Your SEO company is not responsible for selling cars for you, but they can give you more opportunities to sell those cars. When all is said and done, isn't everything that you do from a marketing and advertising perspective supposed to help you increase business? SEO is no different and you should be able to see improvements if your SEO is strong enough.

Views: 163

Tags: Automotive SEO, SEO

Comment

Oops... You need to stop "Lurking" on ADM and become a more genuine Automotive Professional by completing your membership registration. As a registered ADM Member, you can post comments, publish your own articles (be a star!) and start Forum discussions. Stop being an online "Peeping Tom" and JOIN ADM RIGHT NOW!

Join Automotive Digital Marketing ProCom

Comment by Paul Accinno on July 26, 2014 at 1:06pm

Great points, Tim and Manny. It's definitely not an exact science and one thing I didn't make clear is that it should all be relative. Even with the ambiguity in the way that organic traffic is reported, dealers can still look at trend information on traffic, leads, and sales. In other words, if your SEO says that things are going great but leads and sales are continuously down, either the market is in bad shape at the time or the a marketing effort (possibly SEO, possibly something else) is underperforming.

This is why we're big proponents of looking at the whole picture and not relying on a single KPI. Even if the tracked leads/sales are steady or even down for a period, you can still look at the other two KPIs and make good decisions. If traffic is up, keywords are ranked higher, but lead volume is down, there's a good chance that it's not the SEO that's hurting. Time to look at another marketing challenge in that case.

Comment by Manny Luna on July 25, 2014 at 9:25pm

Tim,

I agree that 60% of direct traffic is misreported organic traffic. How much do you think is coming from dark social that that's also hard to track?

Comment by Timothy Martell on July 25, 2014 at 7:51pm

To add to point 2, when examining keywords, dealer should insist on keyword volume being included in the reporting. Also, the keyword volume associated should be for the local market of the dealer, not the default "local vol" in google which represents nation wide searches.

Point 3 is awfully fuzzy. Between "keyword not provided" and the fact that 60% of direct traffic is misreported organic traffic ( http://searchengineland.com/60-direct-traffic-actually-seo-195415 ) the likely hood of getting a true representation from these things alone is very small.

There are tools that actually use both referrer data and post sale e-mail opens to better attribute actual ROI and even this tends to only be about a 30% representation of what actually happened.

ADMPC is a Network for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing, Advertising and Management Pros sharing Digital Strategies and Execution Tactics.

Please Consider Automotive Marketing Professional Community Sponsors

ADM Badge

Loading…

Based On Your Interests...

Onsite/Offsite Combination ADM Consulting & Coaching
Select the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for

Automotive Marketing Tools

Get ADM Toolbar

Click here to take the ADM Member Survey

 

Google Automotive Network Targeted Placement Ads

Getting too many emails from ADM? Click mailbox below to control which types of alerts and updates you are sent......


Instagram

Top 5 Automotive Marketing Forum Discussions - 30 Days

2. QR Codes - Untapped Potential?

Posted by Heather Gallay on September 30, 2014

4. SEO vs. SEM - Are advertising companies taking advantage of dealerships?

Posted by Sarah Draley-Davis on August 13, 2008

5. Dealership Website SEO

Posted by Kim Essenmacher on February 15, 2014

Share the Best Content w/AutoMarketing Community

© 2014   Created by Ralph Paglia.

ADM Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service