I may ruffle a few feathers with what I’m about to say. Nobody needs a “yes” man or woman suggesting dealers aren’t getting sold a bill of goods every day. My team and I have had the opportunity to look at many dealer websites across the country. The truth is that over 80% are missing several essential pieces. For many reasons, dealers do not have the internal staff to do effective SEO (search engine optimization) and all the “other tasks” plus consistent, ongoing content production. There are so many moving parts to SEO, it is important to remember “You eat a elephant one piece at a time.”
The game has changed! Things have moved way beyond traditional SEO. We are in a paradigm shift of a highly refined branding strategy for your target market radius. I urge you to take your vision beyond just traditional SEO!
What is SED? It is search engine domination. This includes effective online branding, extensive and exclusive search results. With a well-built SED platform you also will have advanced reputation management, social media syndication, quality shopper information that all leads back to you. SED commitment achieves a stunning online competitive edge through natural organic exposure.
Let’s define the terms: SEO is essentially a technical term which refers to precursor activities that must occur to get a site ready to do well in its search competition. SEO comprises front and back-end elements. There are certain web standard coding activities that are absolutely essential for a site to do well. On the front end, the content and the words used to build that content (including video and image descriptions), are strategically important.
SED is new technical term, or “Glynnism,” which produces results. SED speaks to all of the other finely tuned, strategic Internet properties that you have built around your main web site(s). These fall into two areas which target the search patterns for the four types of consumer searches.
The first area is that every profit center (sales, service, parts, body shop and finance) benefits from you dominating pages with no lines of any search pertaining to your services. I suggest at least five, but strongly recommend 10 or more quality “captivating, humanizing and validating” additional websites.
The second area is controlling and moderating consumer ratings and reviews through your own reputation management platform. Over 87% of every car deal starts online. Out of this percentage over 73% are going to look at online reviews and ratings. Be aware that over 40% of negative reviews are from former employees or your competitors writing untrue things (Like I am sure that would never happen in your market), about your dealership in a ignorant attempt to get a delusional competitive edge. The cheaters are about to get decimated!
What happens currently with some very well-known third party dealer rating sites, is that not only do they show your reviews (positive and negative), but they also educate the consumer about all of your competitors within your market radius. They take market share away from the virtual market area (VMA) you are trying to protect. You have to control your own wall of defense.
SEO, and especially SED enhance social networking. Having a Facebook and Twitter page just because everyone else does is pointless if all you post are sales specials. The power of social media for a dealership is in pushing up moderated positive reviews from your customers. The way to do this is to get an Android ePad or iPad (with front facing cameras) and get instant, on the spot filtered video testimonials. If it’s a negative review, it goes to the GM who can resolve any concerns. When positive, then syndicate these out to your sites. Do it right, every time and watch your ad budget go down and profit statements soar.
SED also includes effectively putting yourself in front of the consumer, based on four types of current search patterns :
1. Traditional leads: TV, radio and print. Driving traffic directly to your web site.
2. Consumers researching: Continue to ask customers not just what ad source they are, but what words they used in their search to find us. (utilizing my ROR technique is very effective) Continue to build your library of your highest impact wording. As these consumers plug in like minded search terms, you need to have an effective underlying reputation and targeted content platform for not only your brand(s), but your dealership(s). This is where differentiation becomes more than just a word we use in training.
3. Consumer “Un-loyalty”: 80% of consumers defect from their original lead channel and tend to search locally. This is why it is critical to concentrate on geo-targeting. For example, you are a [brand] dealer. SED ensures you overwhelm them with evidence of being the right place to as I always say: “Buy the right thing and not pay too much!” Peers validating this online humanize versus stereotype your team.
4. Ready to buy: These are consumers who know what they want, are ready to purchase and SED will put your brand and dealership together and give you the first shot.
Bottom line: If you don’t take action you may find yourself on page four in just a few months. It’s no wonder that most of these principles and practices have co-op approval.
The car business just changed again. The ripple effect will pay many very well and cost the closed minded a lot of money.
But as I always say: “Some will, some won’t, so what?” It’s not cold-hearted, it’s reality. When not if you implement SED with your SEO, will you own your market as I’ve watched many dealers enjoy this year.