Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers and their Managers
By Brian Pasch
Today I saw a Tweet posted by my friend Volker Jaeckel which looked like this:
— VJ (Volker Jaeckel) (@VJnator) April 30, 2013
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?
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)
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