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The Fluff-Free Guide to Writing Powerhouse SEO Content

We all know that when it comes to writing automotive SEO content, the quality of your content is what matters most.

If it wasn’t already clear, Google has made sure to hammer us over the head with update after update, enforcing increasingly rigorous standards around requiring fresh, relevant, and better quality content. But how do we go from writing trivial keyword-stuffed fluff to writing good content? More importantly, how do we go from good content to dynamite, thunderstruck, powerhouse content?

There are three keys to writing SEO content that will set your website apart from the masses:

  1. Language. Tone, word choice, and reader level are a key part of creating relevant content. Use language that your audience will not only grasp, but will identify with. Promote relevance and decrease bounce rates by writing in a way that attract visitors that are meant to be your readers. In the dealership, your daily conversations may be filed with industry slang, but filling your dealer website content with terms like “ups” and “be-backs” will alienate the average car-shopper. Keep the insider talk on the lot and opt for simple, user-friendly terms that appeal to those not immersed in the automotive retail world. If you adhere to this, you are going to create a loyal following of readers that return week after week (or day after day!), which Google absolutely loves. Getting return visits shows the inherent value of your website, and protects you from getting slammed by the Google Quality Police.

  2. Engagement. Quality content is a two-way street. Some writers get so wrapped up in their message and have so much wonderful information to give the world that they forget to entice their audience into writing a comment, sharing the article, liking the website, +1’ing, retweeting, etc. Never, ever give up an opportunity to create link bait (classic SEO jargon for viral, sharable content). If you’re pouring your heart and soul into a post, make sure the world knows! But do it with a little taste. Rather than overtly begging/telling/threatening them to share your content, covertly entice them into it by showing them just how they can boost their own authority.

  3. Spicing up your Internal Links. No, I don’t just mean linking every other word on the page to some random page deep in the pits of your website. Putting a link to your inventory search page is good and all, but try making it irresistible to the reader by adding special offers, discounts, coupons, etc.. Make it so that they won’t be able to live without knowing what’s behind that hyperlink. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about how content is the King of the SEO world, you won’t know what’s what until you read more on the Cobalt blog. Google is counting your pages viewed per visit and the time spent on each page and it is playing a direct role in SEO. Don’t take your content lightly, because your competition is surely not.

One easy way to accomplish this is to hint at the fact that your content is so new, or so innovative, or so flamboyantly interesting that they’d be silly not to share it. Not only does this keep your audience on your page(s) longer, but it also gets more comments, decreases bounce rates and, of course, creates valuable organic backlinks. Here’s an example: don’t just read all these invaluable SEO content writing techniques on the Cobalt blog, go forth and spread the word and become the new SEO guru on your block!

Now that you are armed with the basic guidelines for writing killer content, don’t underestimate the power of rewriting good content in a creative way that delivers to your target audience. Remember to keep reading the blog for more regular updates on how to stay up to date on your dealership SEO, and if you think I missed an important SEO issue for writing content, I dare you to leave me a comment.

By Quentin Dechery, Cobalt SEO Specialist

Download Free Content Management Guide for Car Dealers

Views: 413

Tags: Facebook, Google+, Posts, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Testing, Timing, Twitter, content marketing


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Comment by Alexander Lau on January 11, 2013 at 5:56am

Ralph, that's awesome.

I think for those that are interested in using TextBroker. Yes, it's a good resource. The trick is finding the writer or writing group (team) that works the best for your needs. Gets to know your demographic, writes in a professional tone (up to you really could be a friendly tone, but do what converts better), understands car dealerships or gets to understand (if possible) and is responsive to your needs. Yes Ralph, they use the CopyScape API in order to check the content in-site on the fly, which is reassuring and smart.

One slight negative, the usability aspect of their offering, it takes a little time to understand what's what and how to get what you need. Their tools aren't the most intuitively designed.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on January 10, 2013 at 2:22pm

To Alexander Lau's comment about writers for hire type of resources... I have used TextBroker for a couple of years now and have a "Group" of experienced automotive writers that have become very adept at creating content per my specifications and requests.  For a dealer, you would select and create a group of writers who specialize in your brands of vehicles and location.  I have tried a lot of different ways to get original copyrighted content on a scalable basis and TextBroker is my favorite so far... Mostly because of the ongoing continuous improvement that their article commissioning and author management software provides.  Plus, it is nice knowing that everything is plagiarism vetted and copyrights filed before you ever publish.

Comment by Alexander Lau on January 4, 2013 at 11:11am

Hi Ellen,

Thanks for your response. I don't mean to sound rude, but it is what it is, performance is performance.

I was using your basic (for some of the OEM-controlled child sites) and PowerSEO for a few less locked-down child sites and portal (I'm not so sure this is a new option, however, your PowerSEO offering has been around for over a year).

A particular issue with your service, your PowerSEO "experts" didn't understand our demographic. They were trying to get us ranked in areas that made no sense and spelling areas wrong as well. I ended up ripping out all of Cobalt's content and applying my own. I'd rather be honest about it. On the flip-side, your account specialist handling all web-related matters was excellent extraordinaire.

Thanks again for your response...


Comment by Ellen Jones on January 4, 2013 at 10:27am

Hi Alex,

We are sorry to hear about your experience at Cobalt.  In the past several months, we have made vast improvements in our website platform to continuously be in compliant with Google’s recommendations and keep up with industry SEO best practices.   Recently, we introduced a full service SEO solution, PowerSEO that will optimize your dealer group website, instead of our basic home page offering that your former dealer group utilized.  Here are just a few of very satisfied dealers:

  • Since we signed up for PowerSEO with Cobalt, my leads and page views have easily doubled month to month, consistently. This means that my sales have increased as well which is music to everyone's ear. . . .  – Victor Valenzuela, Sales Director, MINI of El Paso
  • I saw a significant upswing in our organic website traffic to all our profit centers.  We were getting high-quality leads, increased phone calls and they were serious car buyers.  This is a great SEO website solution that’s helping us meet our business goals. - Chap Morris, Dealer Principal, Wm L. Morris Chevrolet
  • Since I enrolled, I have seen a noticeable improvement in my organic traffic and growth in market share for my DMA.  Simply put, PowerSEO has helped sell more cars.  It’s definitely worth the minor investment. - Nathan Potratz,  General Sales Manager, Gordon Chevrolet


I understand that you now work for a digital marketing consulting firm.  If you were still working with the dealership group, we would welcome an opportunity to showcase our offerings and successes.  

Thank you for your comment and feel free to contact me at

Best Regards,

Ellen Jones

Comment by Alexander Lau on December 28, 2012 at 6:20am

The premise of your post is spot on and well-written SEO content is absolutely needed. It's a given for those of us paying attention to Google's algorithmic updates / original and informative content requirements. It's difficult for dealerships, most of them don't realize the importance of well-developed, informative and original content production and the weight search engines place on it. Too many dealers fail to recognize (or don’t want to spend the money; it seems to always be about saving it not investing it) the need for a dedicated resource, whether internal or 3rd party like what Cobalt offers in the SEO packages.

While working at a local, super-dealer group, I used 'The Cobalt Group' for SEO content. Take no offense, some of it worked very nicely, however, most of it failed to convert. Mind you,our content was intricately measured through a keyword conversion performance analysis process, assumptions weren't in play (most dealers probably have a tendency to assume their content is converting, when generally speaking, it doesn’t). Let me be polite about it and say it probably wasn't the best search engine friendly content (*this was post Panda and Penguin). There clearly was a lack of understanding of our demographic, which seemed to be the biggest issue. For our child sites, a lot of the content went against OEM compliance. The OEM inspectors just didn’t notice it (probably more concerned with home page imagery compliance), but I suppose it could have been a violation and it could have affected our co-op money. We tend to preach accountability and reputation management in the dealer community (reviews are everything), but my complaints to Cobalt tended to fall on deaf ears.

If you’re looking for reliable and affordable 3rd party content production resources check out TextBroker and iWriter, whom act as content brokers and contract with 3rd party seasoned writers. They act as crowd-sourced or user-generated content production mechanisms, that allow you to pluck the writers of your choice. Look for a writer that has automotive retail content production experience, they are out there. For those with a larger budget check SkyWord (fantastic process and well worth the money), they have an even granular process for search engine friendly content generation. If you're keen on developing content yourself, doing it through a blog such as WordPress, you'll love the Scribe plug-in, which researches and optimizes content for search engine friendly article production.


Comment by Jennifer Molyneux on December 28, 2012 at 6:14am

I believe I have aquired an internet position at the store I currently work at and am unaware of how to use SEO information and put it work for us.  Is there someone specific who may be able to enlighten me on what to look for and how to update?

Comment by Roosevelt Gist on December 27, 2012 at 5:15pm

usable tips.

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