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Your Dealership Website Is Broken According To Google Webmaster Tools

By Brian Pasch

 

Today I saw a Tweet posted by my friend Volker Jaeckel which looked like this: 




I was intrigued to what these "five mistakes" were! Unfortunately, this was a silly article with nothing more than pedestrian tips. The article was designed for social media link bait.  

 

However, one of the five errors, number 5 to be exact,  reminded me of something I wanted to share with dealers:

 

"Not using webmaster resources and learning about how Google works and what SEO is about."

 

This made me think about an SEO audit that Matt O'Such from PCG Digital Marketing completed for a dealer over the weekend.  When I reviewed the report, I was disappointed with what I found; a major website platform was broken according to Google! 

If you are wondering how well your SEO strategy has been implemented by your vendor partner, I would suggest calling Mike Lizza to schedule a full digital audit.  Get the truth! 

 

Reason #5 was eluding to a free tool provided by Google called Webmaster Tools (WMT).  Have you ever looked at your WMT account health?

Do You Dare Look At Google Webmaster Tools

 

The point of this post is to drive more conversation on Google Webmaster Tools (WMT).  There are dozens of data points shared in WMT including SEO health.  

In particular, Webmaster Tools can tell you how many website pages have basic SEO errors which include duplicate Page Titles and META Descriptions.  

 

Are you ready to handle the truth?  Take a peek and tell me what you see!

 

The menu on the left, displays the many tools that Google provides in WMT to show the health of your dealership website.

 

For all dealers reading this article, I encourage you to go to the menu choice labeled "HTML Improvements".  

 

When you get the data, please sit down.

 

For this one dealer, it was reported that HUNDREDS of pages had Duplicate Page Titles.

 

HUNDREDS of pages had duplicate META descriptions.

 

This free software tool was SCREAMING that the basics for site SEO structure were ignored.  

 

The data reported by WMT requires an immediate FIX but for many dealers, they have never looked at the health of their website, as seen by Google.  (Error #5) 

 

 

 

Don't Panic Completely

 

There are reasonable causes for small numbers of pages with duplicate Page Title and META descriptions, but those occurrences should be under 10-20 for the website. 

 

If you see a high number of errors, you need to contact your website provider to discuss a plan to eliminate the majority of errors.  

 

Be prepared for some pushback.  No vendor wants to admit that their platform was rolled out with basic SEO architectural errors.  However, the reality is that it happens every day.  As a general rule, website programmers don't understand SEO. 

 

Only dealers have the klout and marketing dollars to push vendors into making their websites that are compliant with Google best practices.  Website that don't fail WMT testing. 

 

If you are brave, please share what you found when you went into this section of Webmaster Tools, with members of this community.  Let's see where we have community power to improve website platform structure for better Google search results. 

 

 

Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Consulting
732.672.2356
Google

Views: 288

Tags: google, html improvements, html suggestions, webmaster tools

Comment

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Comment by Timothy Martell on April 30, 2013 at 10:05am

Brian, my only other comment is that I wouldn't jump to be so dismissive of the 5 tips mentioned. The reason they are the top 5 tips is because they continue to be the most common problems found on websites today. While they are no brainers to you and me, our potential clients are likely making some or all of them... Or scarier even, their website providers are making them!

Comment by Timothy Martell on April 30, 2013 at 10:03am

This article is so well timed. I was just having a conversation with a client the other day about this exact issue. What is truly deplorable is that most often, these dealers are paying for an alleged "SEO package" provided by the website provider! 

My experience has been that not only will the providers refuse to correct the issue, but most often, don't know how to correct it properly. We have been correcting these issues for our clients. The best thing a dealer can do is not pay for the automated SEO services that automotive website providers sell. The very nature of these automated "SEO services" creates this issue!

Comment by Matthew O'Such on April 30, 2013 at 5:50am
Thanks for the mention! Our new one-month SEO audit service is getting really popular, really fast. Dealers, if you're unsure the website platform you use is doing all it can to get you higher in search, and your store is following best practices in lead handling... then you need this audit!

We've already caught so many websites in the automotive industry not optimized like a dealer asked it to be, its become the norm. Give my buddy Mike Lizza a call at PCG at 732-450-8200 to get started on an audit of your dealership marketing!
Comment by Brian Pasch on April 30, 2013 at 4:15am

VJ..I loved the tweet because it reminded me to write this post.  Even though the page was not very eye-opening it was a great trigger to write...so I thank you for the inspiration.

Comment by VJ on April 29, 2013 at 9:32pm

That I got link bait(ed) explains possibly that I will not try to go fishing anytime soon. But at least I could enable you Brian to see some value out of the one "tips", and inspire your mind to write this good article. I think I will convert to hunting from now on. ;)

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