Everyone wants to be number one when it comes to search engine results. Many dealers are fighting an uphill battle because they’re competing with not only their manufacturer but also massive third-party sites. This competition has the benefit of working on a single website that can use its authority to push dealerships out of relevant search terms. In essence, they’re just doing one thing: creating relevant content. It sounds simple because it is simple.

When dealers think “content,” most think about creating fresh new content. They overlook the vast amount of content that is already on their site. Every VDP on your website is a piece of content; as are any blog articles, model research pages, community pages, and videos.

Two of the most important factors for ranking are relevancy and authority. The more authoritative and relevant your content is, the higher your odds are to rank. In a basic description, when you type a query into Google, it compares your search against any content it deems relevant. It will then go through that list to find which sites have the most authority and lists them on the page. Of course, it’s a simplistic explanation as there are many factors, but that’s the gist. If you can nail those two factors, you can do well in SEO.

Google is looking for websites that make sense. When you want to create content, it should also make sense why you would want to read it. There’s no hidden trick to generating traffic. If you read a title to a content piece on your site and think “I want to know more,” then you are on the right track.

DCH Paramus Honda is an excellent example of how to build great content. On a Performance Review call, the dealer and I were discussing content ideas to generate traffic. We weren’t happy with a lot of the usual “blog-type” content that was being produced. You know the type; the “top 10 Honda vehicle trunk space”-articles that no one reads and doesn’t impact your traffic. We started asking, “What would I search and read if I needed help?”

After some keyword research, we found that one of the most common search terms in his area was about the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). You know, that light on your dashboard that looks like an exclamation point inside of a bucket. Most of the time, it prompts you to break out the manual to figure out what it means.  

We created a short article but kept it simple. We explain what the TPMS does, how to turn it off, and what to do when it won’t go away. We created a nice simple layout with images assisting our explanation and called it a day. Remember, we want to be as relevant to the search query as possible.

Unsurprisingly, the page took off.

Now, DCH Paramus is the top search result in the nation for “how to reset Honda TPMS.” No location modifier necessary. Google has even rewarded Paramus Honda with a rich snippet, which is commonly referred to as “position 0.” It virtually guarantees a searcher will explore their site first.

What does this look like in terms of traffic? Roughly about a 1027% increase. Yes, there’s no period in that number. One thousand twenty-seven percent. The page has built up an incredible amount of authority and hasn’t been dethroned in over a year.

Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 1.10.47 PM.png


Earlier, an argument was made to use your current content on your site rather than creating brand-new content. And then I just went and wrote about adding new content. For shame. But the next example will show you the power of using your current website content and how it can transform your organic presence.

Every time you add content to your site, you are running the risk of two pages competing for similar keywords. When that happens, Google will have to pick between the two when ranking, and it can often leave a search engine puzzled and go with a different result over yours. Search engines want to serve up a page that best matches the search term.

To avoid this “keyword cannibalization,” each page on your site should fulfill a unique purpose. You should create as few pages about your inventory, fixed-ops, financing, anything, as possible to increase the odds that a single page will rank well and build authority as a search engine’s go-to source for queries.

Almost every dealership that comes onto our platform has its models, service department, finance pages, and company pages already built out. However, they often leave them at a paltry two hundred to three hundred words on a page with sparse details. They’re often just a pencil banner and content. Not exactly the most exciting read.

Fixed ops is often the biggest loser in this category, with multiple pages serving the same purpose and none of them being comprehensive. We got to thinking — what if instead of adding several individual pages on a menu, we condensed it into one super-hub that served as a launch point for all the other, more specific, content pages.

It would contain links to your service team, collision center, tips and tricks, and where to schedule an appointment. It would be clean and dynamic, and funnel clients directly to the source of their query. Remember, we want to capture as many questions as possible for relevancy and doing so on one mega-page will help accumulate authority.

Unsurprisingly, the page, once again, took off.

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 3.02.54 PM.png

Paramus’s Service Center page grew a massive 86.15% in organic traffic and over 565% as a landing page (which means traffic straight from a search engine). It now maintains that large increase and grows roughly 4.5% each month. It was a hit.

It cannot be understated how important it is to refresh and re-use current content on your website. Search engines crawl thousands of pages on an average dealers site due to different inventory configurations. Most sites have around fifty existing pages without including inventory pages. They’re a gold mine for improving your organic presence. Too often we brush them aside in lieu of something new.

So be sure to ask your current SEO provider what their plans are for re-using and updating existing content on your sites just as often as you drum up ideas for new content. By mixing the two, you’re guaranteed to succeed.

Next Generation Tools Enable Dealers To Contact Customers In Under 6 Seconds, Converting Leads Into Sales
PACIFIC PALISADES, Calf., January 7, 2018 – fusionZONE Automotive, LLC, the automotive industry’s highest-performing dealer website solution, today announced the launch of two lead generation tools, FastRing and FastPrice. These tools enable dealers to instantly generate competitive pricing on a prospective customer’s screen and contact them in under 6 seconds, converting more leads into sales.


“Consumers spend more and more time shopping online for a vehicle and expect to get the information they want in real time,” said Brett Sutherlin, FusionZONE Founder. “The days of car dealers withholding prices from potential customers are in the past. When the consumer requests pricing online, they want that information FAST! Unfortunately, many potential customers will leave a dealership website because they had to wait too long, or never received the information at all and went elsewhere,” Sutherlin continued.


FastPrice gives customers a “no haggle” price in just two clicks. The customer chooses a vehicle, clicks the “get today’s best price button,” and fills out a simple contact form. Behind the scenes, FastPrice crunches the numbers according to the dealer’s pricing structure, displays the best price instantly on the screen, and sends the dealer the lead.


FastPrice can be customized and programmed to give additional options to the information the consumer requested. For example, many dealerships use FastPrice to display new car alternatives or even a Certified or Pre-Owned option in addition to the information and price requested.


Dealers using FastPrice see a lift in leads of 100 to 400 percent, which in turn results in more sales. Capital Toyota in Chattanooga, TN, went from averaging 60 leads per month to approximately 432 leads per month, and new and used vehicle sales soared from about 180 a month to over 250.


FastPrice and FastRing are highly effective stand-alone products but also work exceptionally well together to make a positive first impression, increase website conversion rates and stop shoppers in their tracks.


“We live in a world of fast; fast cars, fast food, faster checkout. Consumers don’t want to wait; they want everything now. In this new car buying era, internet shoppers are no different. You have to grab your customers before they leave your website or a third-party website that features your vehicles, and certainly before they get distracted by another crazy cat video,” said Sutherlin.


According to a recent MIT study, the average consumer leaves a website within 30-45 seconds after requesting more information. With FastPrice they get that information immediately. Then, with FastRing they can still be on the dealer’s website when the salesperson receives the lead and calls the customer — all within 6 seconds. FastRing instantly connects the dealership to the customer while they are still browsing the website, dramatically reducing the likelihood of them visiting a competitor site.


“With FastRing you are in contact with a lead before the customer has time to click away or even check their email. FastRing connects you with a lead instantly, faster than your competition could ever dream off. First impressions are ones that last and fast impressions are ones that sell,” Sutherlin added.


FastRing integrates with 3rd party applications creating instant connections from any lead source. It includes an extensive administration portal with 24/7 access to call data including call recordings and real-time statistics.


FastRing and FastPrice will are launching at the 2019 NADA show, January 25-27, 2019, at booth 7935W. For more information, view this video https://tinyurl.com/y7637fc9.


To schedule a booth visit, /or a demo, visit: https://www.fzautomotive.com/nada/


About fusionZONE Automotive, LLC


fusionZONE Automotive offers automotive dealers the nation’s fastest, most cutting-edge customized and responsive websites. With the sole objective of driving website conversions and leads, fusionZONE Automotive websites help dealers sell more cars.


fusionZONE also offers complete, progressive digital marketing solutions, streamlining the digital process for dealerships of all sizes.


fusionZONE Automotive websites are designed to not only garner as much traffic as possible for dealer clients, but also to actively convert that traffic into leads and sales.


fusionZONE is based in Pacific Palisades, CA Lakeland, FL and Seattle, WA.


Media Contact:

(424) 330-2356


Search engine optimization can be a confusing thing. As search engine algorithms frequently change, many find it hard to keep up with the latest trends and best-practices in order to maintain high website rankings.
Well, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is Google which, according to the 2018 Search Market Share report by SparkToro, commands 93.76 percent of all searches. This breaks down for all Google properties as follows: Google itself (69.3%), Google Images (21.03%), YouTube (2.9%) and Google Maps (.80%).
Sure, there are other search engines out there (and they shouldn’t necessarily be discounted completely). But, Google is, by the numbers, the single most important search engine in existence.
The problem is that many dealers don’t understand how to optimize their websites to improve rankings. As a result, many SEO efforts are falling short. But, luckily, it is not that hard to do better — you could greatly improve by simply knowing the “rules” and playing the game according to those rules.
To keep it simple, there are four key things every website should adhere to in order to stay in the good graces of Google and garner favorable consumer search result rankings. They are as follows:

  1. SSL Secured Sites –To ensure search engine results point to more secure websites, Google recently announced that it will start marking non-secure websites with a warning when searchers click on them.

 If you have an unsecure site, this should be cause for alarm. In addition, in July 2018, Google started looking further into secure vs. non-secure sites and takes this into account in search engine rankings. This now presents a two-fold problem: First, consumers may be afraid to click on your site if it presents them with a message that it is unsecure.  Second, this will affect search engine rankings.

  1. Mobile Friendly Sites – Today, an increasing number of consumers conduct searches on mobile devices. So, Google now looks at whether or not your website is mobile friendly and factors that into its search algorithms.

According to Google, 94% of smartphone owners search for information on their phones. With its focus on search relevance and customer experience, there’s no doubt that a mobile friendly site merits a higher ranking in their algorithm. It is vital to know if your website is mobile friendly (by Google’s definition) and make this a priority if it is not.

  1. Page speed – We’ve all been victims of slow-loading websites and know how frustrating that is. When online car shoppers encounter a website that takes too long to load, many simply find a new website that provides a faster experience.

While page speed is vital for mobile searches, that same consumer action (choosing a new site rather than waiting on the initial one to load) can just as easily happen on a desktop. Because of this, Google considers how fast a website page loads as one of the many factors that dictate search rankings for your webpage. Ensure that your websites load quickly, or you will be penalized in search rankings.

  1. Responsive Design – It’s one thing to have a mobile-friendly website, and quite another to have one that is responsive. What does responsive mean? It simply means that your website is automatically optimized to be user-friendly regardless of which device the consumer chooses to use.

In fact, responsive design is Google’s preferred design pattern, according to Search Engine Land. Google dictates which sites appear first in its search results and is (for the most part) tight-lipped about their algorithm. I therefore think it’s safe to assume that whenever Google provides “advice” on the features websites should have, they are providing clues about how to achieve better results in their rankings.
While things in the search engine optimization world can certainly change depending on Google’s mood at the time, if you do these four simple things to speed up your websites, you should have a considerable advantage over any competitor’s websites that don’t adhere to these rules.
Take some time to review your website and, if it falls short of any of these points, have a conversation with your web provider to get your website up to speed.  Otherwise you will see less website traffic and conversions, and nobody wants that!

Online Reviews-Reputation Management - Dealership Digital Marketing
Online reviews, and especially Google reviews, should be a huge priority for any business operating today. It takes some time and constant effort to properly execute a review management strategy, but it’s worth it: reviews provide the very foundation of your online reputation, and how you manage them can mean the difference between life and death for your dealership.
Trust-building and Brand Differentiation.
We live in an age where widespread internet access means that dealers don’t get to make the first impression when a customer walks onto their lot. With a vast majority of consumers conducting a vast majority of their research online before ever setting foot inside a dealership, dealers must be able to establish and build trust at the very outset of a prospective customer’s online journey. To this end, online reviews are critical to the initial establishment of trust for online shoppers. Research has shown that:
Online Reviews-Reputation-Management-Dealership-Digital-Marketing
These numbers speak volumes about the necessity of online reviews for today’s shopper, and why including them in your reputation management strategy is no longer merely an option. Review management, as one component of a greater rep man strategy, will continue to be critical for the foreseeable future.
Reviews are also necessary for brand differentiation. Consider that the automotive industry is an almost perfectly competitive market: a consumer can find the same or essentially the same products and features at any dealership within a given segment. As a result, we must find other ways to differentiate ourselves from our competitors. One way many dealers are doing this is by creating a unique and pleasant car-shopping experience. But even if you’ve formulated a slam-dunk customer experience, how will online shoppers know about it? You guessed it: by reading reviews on the internet. Given that 90% of consumers read online reviews before deciding to visit a local business, your reviews are what will make you stand out so that buyers want to visit your store rather than the one down the street.
Making Reviews Work for You.
Like social media, online reviews are not a one-and-done thing; making them work to your advantage requires incorporating them into your larger reputation management strategy, and growing and monitoring them on a regular basis. Three of the most important factors for effectively managing your online reviews are recency, quantity, and quality.
When an internet user enters a search query into Google, Google’s aim is to serve up content or businesses that are most relevant to the search terms. It follows, then, that recency increases relevance, and dealerships with the most recent content and reviews will fare better on search results pages.
Along with being a key search ranking factor, the recency of your online reviews has a direct impact on whether consumers decide to visit your website and, ultimately, your dealership. BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey revealed several key findings that go to the importance of recency:
Online Reviews-Car Dealership-Digital Marketing
To sum this up, you must be constantly seeking new reviews – every day, from every customer. Getting ten great reviews in two days in order to cover up one bad review is not a viable business practice; today’s customers are more savvy than ever, and they will quickly catch on, resulting in a degradation of your dealership’s credibility and perceived trustworthiness.
Constantly seeking new reviews isn’t important only for recency, either; it goes to quantity, too. Consumers look to see how many reviews have contributed to your dealership’s overall star-rating. Think about it from a consumer’s perspective: Are you more likely to trust a business with five stars and only 2 reviews, or one with 4.5 stars and 50 reviews? Common sense points to the latter.
The star-ratings and content of reviews is, as you can imagine, hugely important, both for SEO ranking as well as for building consumer trust. On its support site, Google has said that “Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.” Rating and content quality are important to prospective customers, too. According to Podium’s State of Online Reviews survey, 3.3 is the minimum star-rating a business must have for consumers to even consider engaging with it. And since 68% of consumers would pay more for the same product or service if assured they would have a better experience, it’s important that the substantive content of the reviews include an evaluation of the various aspects of each customer’s experience that led them to write a review.
There’s an important caveat here, though. Having a few negative reviews isn’t always a bad thing; the key is how you respond to and manage them. In fact, a large number of online car shoppers say that they’d trust a dealership that professionally and caringly responded to a negative review more than they’d trust a dealership that had no negative reviews whatsoever. If you manage them properly, one or two negative reviews can actually enable trust rather than hindering it.
The bottom line is that online reviews have a huge impact on your bottom line. If properly solicited, managed, and monitored, they can propel car shoppers to both your website and your brick-and-mortar dealership, and ultimately result in a significant lift in sales.

If your dealership doesn’t already have a dedicated YouTube channel, it’s time to get one. You may think that since you post videos on your website, there’s no need to post them on YouTube, but the opposite is true: If you post videos on your dealership’s website, you should absolutely have a corresponding YouTube channel where you post those same videos. Why? Three simple words: reach, visibility, and cost-effectiveness.
Many of us don’t think of YouTube as a search engine, but that’s exactly what it is. In fact, it’s the second-largest search engine in the world — second only, of course, to Google. Moreover, YouTube is the world’s third-most-visited website after Google and Facebook. It gets more than 30 million visitors per day, adding up to around 1.5 billion visitors each month. That’s a massive potential audience that dealers cannot afford to miss out on. And if you think people aren’t interested in watching car dealership videos, think again. According to David Mogensen, Head of YouTube Ads Products Marketing at Google, “views [on the platform] of test drives, features, options, and walk-throughs have doubled in the last year.” Even more telling is that 70% of people who watched YouTube during their car-buying journey say that it influenced their ultimate purchase decision. These are powerful statistics that illustrate a huge opportunity for dealers to grow their marketing reach and thereby expand their customer base.
Not only does having a YouTube channel expand your reach in a huge way, but it can drastically improve your dealership’s online visibility, as well. The three major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) have now started blending their search engine results pages (SERPs) to include mixed media like news, images, and video. This, in turn, has created yet another great SEO opportunity: When a user searches for a brand or model that you carry, a properly-optimized channel can create an additional link on SERPs, increasing your potential visibility to that user.
Having a dedicated dealership YouTube channel can also increase your SEO authority. According to Launch Digital Marketing, “Google’s job is to give searchers the best answer to any question, and their algorithm has started to rank YouTube results and web pages with video as the best (most helpful, useful, engaging) answer for many search queries — particularly tutorial-, how-to-, review-, and test drive-related queries.”
Cost Effectiveness
As a marketer, your job is to gain maximum exposure, traffic, and conversions while spending as little of your budget as possible. And let’s face it: this can be a tough feat in today’s ultra-competitive digital marketing world, especially for car dealerships. But not all marketing efforts require a massive chunk of ad spend. Take, for example (you guessed it!), YouTube. Creating a YouTube channel for your dealership is completely free! And considering the reach and visibility it offers, the wildly popular video platform can be one of the most cost-effective ways of advertising and promoting your inventory and dealership.
What to Post
Now that you’ve decided to create a YouTube channel for your store or dealer group, the question remains: Where do you start? What types of videos should you post, and how often? Stay tuned for the answers to these questions later this week.

Local mobile SEO only continues to grow in importance for today’s automotive dealerships. Use our Local Mobile SEO Checklist to improve your online presence for users searching locally on their mobile devices.
Local Mobile SEO - Infographic-fusionZONE-Automotive-Digital-Marketing-Blog

When you consider that almost half of mobile search traffic has local intent and over 85% of mobile engagement with brands is local, it becomes clear: local mobile search is here to stay, and it’s only growing in importance. Use this checklist to ensure your dealership’s online presence is properly optimized for local mobile SEO rankings.
Shorter Keywords
This goes against everything you learned in SEO 101. But while long-tail keywords are a well-known best practice for desktop SEO, the same is not true for mobile. Not surprisingly, people do a lot less typing on their mobile devices than they do on their desktop devices. So, it makes sense that they also enter shorter keywords and phrases when conducting searches on mobile.

Location, Location, Location

Keep it close to home, literally. To rank for local search, be sure to include your keyword and location in all of the following elements:

  • Title tag
  • Page title (h1 tag)
  • Within the page’s content itself
  • Image alt text

fusionZONE-Dealership-Marketing-Blog-Local Mobile SEOPaid Search & Promoted Pins
I just told you to prioritize shorter keywords when optimizing for local mobile SEO. But it’s harder to rank using shorter keywords and phrases, so boost your SERP rankings by utilizing paid search. You can also take advantage of Promoted Pins. This feature on Google Maps allows your dealership to stand out by displaying your custom logo directly on the map.
Mobile Ad Extensions
Ad extensions expand your ads to include additional information. According to Google, these extensions “typically increase your ad’s click-through rate by several percentage points” by providing greater visibility and conspicuousness on SERPs. Some ad extensions that can be particularly effective in terms of local mobile SEO include:

  • Location extensions
  • Sitelink extensions
  • Click-to-call buttons
  • Call extensions

The bottom line is that people doing local searches are looking for local results. Taking the time to optimize for local mobile SEO can put your dealership at the top of the heap and lead to a dramatic increase in both foot traffic and overall conversion rates.
fusionZONE-Dealership-Marketing-Blog-Local Mobile SEO

Website bounce rate directly correlates to site speed; it’s a hand-in-hand combination. Our research and tests have found that when a site takes longer than three seconds to load, bounce rate will increase by up to 150% per second. This fact, combined with the announcement by Google that, starting in July of this year, site speed will be a major ranking factor for mobile searches, means that a fast website will be a significant game-changer to your online storefront.
So, what does this mean for dealerships? In his presentation in April at the Digital Dealer 24 Conference and Expo, fusionZONE CEO Brett Sutherlin addressed exactly that. Click play to watch the presentation and learn how your site speed is affecting your business.

The purpose behind Google’s new Speed Update is to reward business whose websites cater to today’s consumer. Therefore, faster page speed will result in:

  1. Lower bounce rates
  2. Increased consumer engagement
  3. Higher rankings on SERPs

Google encourages you to check your own website speed using its official PageSpeed Insights tool. This will help you find out the average load time of every page on your website.  It provides simple visuals to help in analysis: between green, yellow, and red scores. You want to be in the green. If you’re not, you’ll want to ensure that you are meeting Google’s guidelines to avoid getting penalized in SEO performance when they crack down next month.
It’s just that easy!
Set your target for your site to load in less than 3 seconds. If you can decrease that to 2 seconds, you’ll notice an even greater increase in conversions. Why? Because your customers are finding your website before they are finding your competitors.
Contact fusionZONE Automotive today to double your website leads, guaranteed. Known for building the fastest websites in automotive, we’ll not only help you navigate the playing field – we’ll help you dominate it.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving, and keeping up with all the new developments and updates can be challenging, to say the least. While some SEO strategies may have worked very well a few years ago, the recent Panda, Possum, and Hummingbird algorithm updates have sharpened Google’s focus to discern between spammy content and quality content. Nowadays, Google’s algorithms can easily detect if your website is implementing SEO best practices, and will adjust your rankings accordingly.
In the automotive industry, the competition is fierce. If you’re not staying up-to-speed on the latest SEO best practices, you’re going to lose potential sales to your competitors. Listed below are the six most common dealership SEO mistakes that have negative effects on website traffic, along with suggested solutions to help increase visibility and leads.
Keyword-stuffing and over-optimization for locations. Keyword research and strategic placement of target keywords is a vital aspect of any SEO campaign. But one of the most common mistakes in SEO is attempting to include every possible keyword into the website content. This overuse of keywords is called “keyword-stuffing” — a practice by which someone attempts to “stuff” all possible keywords into the website content. Because search engines see keyword-stuffing as a spammy tactic, it can be harmful your website’s performance and keyword rankings.
As dealers, of course, we want to get leads from each and every city surrounding our dealership. So, many dealers include 10, 15, or even 20 nearby cities in their homepage content in order to “optimize” for all of those cities. This practice may have worked 10 years ago, but today, Google’s algorithms can detect unnatural keyword-stuffing practices. At the very least, keyword-stuffing could generate a dilution of each keyword’s relevance to Google, meaning that each keyword will have less power in influencing Google’s algorithm. But most keyword-stuffing can not only lead to significantly lower rankings for each of those cities, it could also result in lower rankings for ALL of the website’s target keywords. Try to include only a few cities in the content so Google does not flag the website as spammy. Furthermore, Google not only uses city names in order to provide better local rankings, but the search engine’s algorithm also takes into account local SEO factors.
Bottom Line: Don’t overuse your target keywords, especially city names.
Neglecting local SEO. Local SEO is becoming increasingly important. Google continues to show more 3-packs, or the top three Google Maps results, on its search engine result pages (SERPs). While Google definitely still draws on the city name keywords in the content, Google is beginning to rely more heavily on local factors and physical location.
The local SEO ecosystem is extremely vast and complex, and it all relies on having your business listed on all of the major local directories and search engines. As you can see from the diagram below, each local directory and search engine sends search signals to Google. These signals mean that Google’s algorithm takes into account the local directories and search engines when it ranks a particular business and determines its physical location.

Your dealership should not only be listed on all of these search engines and directories, but it also needs to display consistent information with completed listing profiles. This consistent information further informs Google’s local search algorithm, helping your business listing and website to rank better for local search queries.

Bottom Line: Claim your Google Business page, get your business listed on all relevant directories and search engines, and ensure your listing has consistent information.
Bad backlinks. Unfortunately, the SEO community is fraught with “black-hat SEOs”, which are people that employ spammy, unethical, and typically outdated tactics in order to try to increase rankings. The most infamous strategy consists of building a ton of spammy backlinks to a particular website. Quality backlinks are extremely important for ranking better on Google. But when someone builds a high quantity of low-quality links, this typically causes the website’s rankings to drop, and it could also result in a penalty or being completely banned from Google. The recovery process is extremely painstaking and can result in a massive loss of revenue. Don’t hire black-hat SEOs, and remember: relevant, quality backlinks are more important than the quantity of backlinks.
Bottom Line: Don’t hire an unknown, uncredited SEO company. If you already have, find a reputable SEO company to clean up those bad backlinks.
Neglecting backlinks. Backlinks are inbound links from outside websites that link to your website. When Toyota.com links to your dealership’s site, for example, that’s considered a backlink. The term “link-building” (attempting to generate more inbound links to your website) has received a bad reputation due to all of the black-hat SEO link-building tactics utilized over the years. Some SEOs have claimed that linkbuilding is dead, but this is certainly not the case. Backlinks are still one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. In fact, 99% of websites that rank on the first page for high-volume keywords have at least one external backlink to that website or webpage.
Most dealerships lose out on potential backlink opportunities by inputting incorrect information. The OEM website typically has at least one backlink to the dealership website, which is a highly authoritative and highly relevant backlink for a dealer. However, many dealers have changed domains or provided the incorrect URL, so that the link from the OEM website does not work. This is a huge missed opportunity! Changing this one backlink results in a significant ranking boost and should not be overlooked.
In addition, many dealership websites miss out on link-building opportunities. Dealers may sponsor local events, participate in the local chamber of commerce, and have local partnerships. These are all potentially important backlinks that dealers can acquire. Taking advantage of these opportunities can assist in getting one’s website to rank higher for local searches.
Bottom Line: Check your backlink profile and your partner websites for link opportunities. Hire a reputable SEO company to build strong backlinks.
Poor page speed. Mobile traffic accounts for 60% of all website traffic, and 63% of people use their smartphones to make vehicle purchases (Auto CB 2015/2016). In our increasingly mobile world, mobile optimization has become extremely important in the car-buying experience. First and foremost, a good mobile user experience starts with page speed. If a website takes too long to load, the potential customer will bounce off the website and go to the next competitor. With tools like Google Pagespeed Insights and Pingdom, you can analyze how fast your website loads, and determine what is slowing it down. These tools will even suggest solutions to improve your page loading time and, therefore, your overall user experience. More often than not, the decrease in page speed is due to third-party applications added to the websites. It is best to reach out to those third-party companies and ask them to provide a different code for your website. Inform them that you ran a site speed test and the code needs to be optimized.
Bottom Line: Page speed is important, and with the rise of mobile, it’s here to stay. Check your website’s page speed and fix the glaring issues.
Duplicate content. While we typically hear about the negative impact of intentional duplicate content, the majority of duplicate content is completely unintentional. Duplicate content usually results from an improper technical structure of the website and lack of using certain tags. With car dealer websites, there are thousands of pages of cars and information on each site, which can easily result in massive duplicate content issues. Tools like Screaming Frog and Moz can help determine if your website has duplicate content issues.
There are a few ways to fix duplicate content problems; however, each method depends on the website in question. Here are a few common solutions:

  • A no-index tag: Use this method to prevent Google from indexing many pages of the website. Make sure that the no-index tag is only on the pages that you do not want indexed, or it could be detrimental to your website.
  • Rel=canonical tags: Use these tags to tell Google which version of the page to index. If a website has multiple versions of the same page, placing a canonical tag with the preferred URL on each of those pages will help Google and Bing determine the preferred page. This method is a great way to eliminate duplicate content.
  • 301 redirects: When there are “duplicate” pages, it’s possible to set up a 301 redirect from the duplicate page to the correct page. This change will not only eliminate duplicate content issues, but it will also help your ranking potential for the correct page, as those multiple duplicate content pages will no longer be competing with one another.

Bottom Line: Check your website for duplicate content, and use one of the above 3 methods to fix any duplicate content issues.
These 6 common SEO pitfalls can result in significantly lower rankings or even harmful penalties. It’s extremely important to address these issues immediately. Fixing these SEO problems will help your auto dealer website’s SEO immensely, and these are key steps in moving your website’s ranking closer to the top of Google.com!

~ written by Parker Evensen, Director of SEO & SEM