Is the one-stop-shop promised by dealer website providers too good to be true?
Dealership website providers have expanded to fill the demand for more digital marketing such as paid search and SEO, but does that truly benefit their clients? Many providers just added paid search and other digital marketing services because they knew a having a one-stop-shop for creating an online presence would appeal to dealers. However, many of the best search optimization practices conflict with providers’ rigid, dated systems and templates, and most providers don’t have the resources or expertise to deliver quality work and budget effectiveness on everything from paid search to paid social advertising. In their attempt to do it all, most commit crimes against your dealerships’ search engine optimization (SEO) and automotive paid search advertising. To help you make sure you aren’t wasting important ad dollars on ineffective marketing, we’ve listed the seven biggest issues we’ve found when dealer website providers are at the SEO wheel.
7 Dealer Website Provider Crimes Against Search Marketing
- Allow sold inventory pages to result in 404 errors. This not only impacts how well the search engine robot can crawl your website; it also wastes any inventory page backlinks your dealership may have. Even worse, website providers often do not have a custom 404 page in place, causing visitors to be directed to their browser’s 404 page and away from your website.
- Build websites with little written content and no place to add it. We have seen many website providers offer no space for written content on important page templates. Quality and unique content is the backbone of a great organic search presence.
- Automatically generate poor URL structures and page titles. This usually separates terrible dealer website companies from the acceptable ones. If they haven’t built an SEO-friendly structure for URLs and page titles, you can be sure they don’t know much about organic search.
- Pass off basic dynamic website elements as SEO and charge for it. We know of one company that adds a $500 “SEO” charge onto their monthly website bill. The “SEO” they are charging for is actually a generic report on overall website visits that they send to their clients each month. Yikes!
- Use the same ad copy for different clients in the same market for the same search. Not all of website providers do this, but the ones that do are hurting their clients. Essentially, they got lazy and began reusing ad copy from other clients, causing two dealerships to have less ad effectiveness in just one search.
- Set it and forget it. Fine tuning and auditing of PPC campaigns is crucial to ensuring successful paid search strategies. We’ve taken over paid search campaigns for clients after website providers had been providing that service, and in looking at the clients’ web analytics, it’s obvious that simple AdWords campaigns were copied from a template and rarely or never monitored.
- Only focus on on-site SEO. Website providers are good at focusing on their area of expertise: websites. But many don’t pay attention to other sources of SEO. A dynamic social media presence, backlink generation and consistent local citations are just some off-site aspects that factor into your dealership’s SEO, and if your website provider is running your SEO, they may be forgetting about these things.
Whether your website provider is also your SEO provider or you’ve been employing your own SEO strategy, L2TMedia can help. Contact our automotive digital marketing company today to receive a complete audit of your website’s search engine optimization at no cost.