Automotive Digital Marketing

Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders

Loading... Be Patient!

Training Dealers on SEO is A Waste Of Money

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,, 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. 

Views: 674

Tags: seo, seo education, steve stauning


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

Comment by Joe Webb on March 15, 2012 at 9:46am

While I understand that most dealers prefer to have most advertising/marketing tactics performed FOR them, I still believe that forward-thinking dealers are always looking for DIY solutions.  If training dealer staff on any topic so they can execute strategies themselves is a waste of money, I better look for other means of employment.

Comment by Aj Maida on March 15, 2012 at 9:43am

I said it before and I'll say it again....That Joey Abna is one smart SOB!!

Comment by Joey Abna on March 15, 2012 at 9:36am

For a dealership to truly get the most from search marketing they have to be educated. Without knowledge of SEO, SEM, ORM, Blogging, Social Media, Local Marketing and the never ending changes that Google brings to the table dealers are not in a position to get the most from online marketing strategies. Yes, you could hire a really talented firm to take care of all of this for you but do you know enough about the industry to really judge the effect they are having on your business? What happens if things go wrong and you need to switch firms? Do you control any of the assets? 

I have to cut this short to get ready for some SEO training shortly so let me just say there are a couple of sharp dealership employees in my market and if the dealers that don't have someone trained on staff just want to leave things up to a vendor...... insert evil laugh here.

Comment by Aj Maida on March 15, 2012 at 9:30am

Funny you should post this  . I just commented on the post on ADM that you mention talking about, to summarize, the value I got not only personally but for my Dealership from the Automotive SEO Study.

(Disclaimer: I am a former client of Brian Pasch and PCG who has taken most of his SEO efforts in-house.)

Comment by Ralph Paglia on March 15, 2012 at 9:28am

Brian, I posted the following comment to Stauning's post, which i believe does a great disservice to the auto industry and automotive digital marketing practices at the dealer level. I would LOVE to hear Dennis Galbraith's take on the idea that dealers who learn how to execute digital marketing are wasting their time!

The following statement is an insult to the thousands of dealer principals, general managers and automotive marketing professionals working in dealerships who have realized the importance of proper SEO offsite/onsite practices needed TO SELL MORE CARS:

"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."

Furthermore, leading off with that "above all else" statement is patronizing and hypocritical when viewed in context with the actual gist of the statement...

Let me go on record in stating that (in my opinion) the education of automotive marketing and sales professionals in core digital marketing principles, such as how good content published in the right places (such as customer reviews) can impact the overall SEO footprint of a dealership online, is highly valuable, generates tremendous ROI and is imperative in order for dealers and managers of dealerships to remain competitive in the marketplace.  I am angry that any so-called automotive industry proponent would even suggest that learning about basic marketing principles is above a dealer's capabilities or might even remotely be considered a waste of time.

Automotive Professional Network and Resource Exchange for Car Dealers, Managers, OEM and Marketing Practitioners seeking Best Practices.

ADM Sponsor

William B. Terry
Rated by Super Lawyers

loading ...

Please Consider Automotive Marketing Professional Community Sponsors

ADM Badge


Based On Your Interests...

ADM Consulting, LLC

Onsite/Offsite Combination ADM Consulting, LLC Professional Services
Select the maximum monthly investment you plan to make
Sign up for

Automotive Marketing Tools

Get ADM Toolbar

Click here to take the ADM Member Survey

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



ADM Professional Services
Phone Consultation
Topic or Issue:

Top Automotive Marketing Forum Discussions

1. BDC or Virtual BDC

Posted by Peter Stratton on February 26, 2020

Share the Best Content w/AutoMarketing Community

© 2020   Created by Ralph Paglia.   Powered by

ADM Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service