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Steve Stauning, in his latest post on ADM representing Dealers United made this statement in regards to their selected SEO vendor to be announced on March 28th:
"In other words: they (Dealers United SEO Vendor) are physically doing the SEO work, and not busy trying to train your team on the ever-changing world of search engine optimization.
(While we value private dealer education above nearly all else, the realities of SEO and dealership turnover do not lend themselves to wasting a dealer’s money on SEO training for his/her team. As I’ve learned over the years, your team should be busy selling cars, not writing SEO content.)"
Here are two thoughts that come to mind after reading this post:
1. Vendor partners that train their clients on SEO are somehow distracted from being able to perform actual "physical" SEO for their clients.
This is an odd statement because most SEO vendors that I know including companies like TK Carsites, eXteres, Dealer.com, Cobalt, and WikiMotive offer SEO workshops and/or webinars for dealers. In fact, PCG and TK Carsites have probably done 20 SEO workshops and articles a year, dedicated to education on SEO for the last 4 years.
A company that cares enough to educate their clients should not be deemed a "weaker" company if they choose to multi-task with education.
2. Dealers should not train their staff on SEO because its a waste of money.
I guess this is the most prehistoric statement I've heard lately. In fact, I think it is insulting to the hundreds of dealers that I have trained who have commented that their SEO training has helped achieve their online visibility goals OR how to manage their vendors better.
Once they know how SEO works and how to do it right, if/when they decide to outsource SEO, SEM, Social Media, they can hold their partners accountable. Knowledge also allows dealers to create content that can react to fast market conditions and not wait on their SEO vendor.
I believe that the best client to have for SEO is one that understand what SEO is, what is involved, and how they can assist the vendor achieve local search goals. I can think of many examples where dealer's I have trained have become digital marketing "experts" in their own right.
The statement that "high" turnover is an excuse for not having an educated team on important topics like SEO, SEM, and Social Media is not an excuse for ignorance. I guess you could outsource your sales team as well if you used that logic.
In fact, last time I checked, dealers are "selling" alot of cars from SEO, SEM, and Social Media strategies that they learned from webinars, workshops, and conferences. Conferences like Digital Dealer and Automotive Boot Camp have rooms filled to the gills when SEO classes are offered.
So I guess in Steve Stauning's world all dealers who invest in learning more about their primary digital marketing tools (SEO, SEM, etc) are wasting their money. Do you agree?
In Steve's world it would be best for him to pick your SEO, SEM, and Social Media vendor and send you a bill and trust him that he has chosen the right partner.
Don't worry about what it is or how it works, he'll send you a report with the bill. Now, you won't know how to leverage the data listed on that SEO report or make educated changes to strategy, but that will be ok.
Get back on the lot and just sell more cars.
Is Steve Stauning's "experienced" view of dealers correct?
P.S. The 3rd Webinar in the Automotive SEO Study starts today at 2:00 pm EST.