Jumpstart your car dealership SEO efforts with internal buy-in

8 Jul 2020 | Digital Marketing

Once you have understood what SEO is and its importance in your car dealership business, the next thing that you would need to do is usually getting an internal buy-in, which will involve answering a wide range of questions — what SEO is and isn’t— and address their scepticism.

Our team at Flashlight have gone through this phase so many times with our clients, and we know it can be tough sometimes. So here we share some common questions — and objections — that you may face, so that you can convince them and get their support for SEO.

SEM is not SEO

These two may sound misleadingly similar, but their methods are the opposite of each other. The differentiating line between SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is: SEM uses advertisements in search engines for your webpages to get better visibility, whereas SEO utilizes everything else except ads.

Side note: SEM is also often called as ‘paid search’ or ‘pay-per-click’ (PPC; like the name suggests, this is the most common form of ads in search engines where you only pay when someone clicks the ads).

In technical-speak, SEO focuses on bringing organic traffic, and SEM is bringing ‘inorganic’ traffic. It is called inorganic for the fact that it involves a paid element that “forced” that page to appear on the top of a search engine result page (SERP), which in normal situations the SERP will list the search engine-optimized pages according to their page ranking.

In non-Marketing-speak, SEM is “bribing” search engines to show your advertisement on their SERP, and SEO is like “charming” search engines, where it shows your content to interested parties because it thinks that your content is great.

While the objective of SEM and SEO are the same—i.e. to improve your webpages visibility in search engines—SEO can give you high visibility on your prospects search without paying for advertisements to search engines.

SEO is not an instant solution

One of the hardest things to convince others about SEO is the time taken for it to take effect. Regardless of how beautiful your content is, or if it is signed by the President himself, no one could say for sure how many days for the results to take place, but we know for sure: ‘not so soon’.

Search Engine Journal claims that the effect of SEO could be seen in a few weeks, sometimes a few months, and it could even take a year (or even more). But fear not, when someone challenge you about this, all you need to do is enlighten them to these three factors:

  1. The sheer size of the world wide web: It easily takes days for new content to get indexed by search engines, and then weeks to reorganize the ranking, simply because there are hundreds of millions of websites out there.
  2. The sheer size of the world wide web: It easily takes days for new content to get indexed by search engines, and then weeks to reorganize the ranking, simply because there are hundreds of millions of websites out there.
  3. The sheer size of the world wide web: It easily takes days for new content to get indexed by search engines, and then weeks to reorganize the ranking, simply because there are hundreds of millions of websites out there.

How long does your car take to go from 0 to 100 km/h? That depends on your car and your driving skills. The same with SEO. If someone challenges you this way, remind them that we are dealing with complex technology here, not magic, and you are a marketer, not a wizard.

SEO is not entirely free and easy

SEO is free in a sense that you do not need to pay a search engine every time a random chap clicks on your advertisement, but it is not totally free because like any important things, SEO requires a resources commitment if you want to make something me.

First, if you want to do SEO properly, you would need to invest in monthly subscription SEO tools like SEMRush, Moz, or Alexa (not the virtual assistant who lives inside your Amazon Echo). Second, you probably would need to hire a new staff for the Marketing team to do the job properly. In some companies, SEO is a full time job by itself. Third, if you do not intend to do everything by yourself, the next best option usually involves engaging an agency (hint: they need money to buy groceries too).

We would be charged with first degree fraud if we tell you that being listed on the first page of SERP is easy. The journey of doing SEO Is long and tedious to put it mildly. SEO involves a broad range of activities—from following up trending topics to checking broken individual webpages—plus all the trials and errors that you need to do when you optimize your content. The reason why we are sharing so much in our insights blog is not because we have too much time at hand but because we want to share what it feels like to do SEO effectively (well, partially to show off our knowledge as well).

A good start for SEO in a car dealership business

Needless to say, with 95% of Irish population using Google, you need to put some serious SEO efforts on Google. This is especially true because your potential buyers read car-related information through Google, they are exposed to relevant advertisements when they are searching for their needs (SEM or PPC), and when they want to check for a car dealer in their area they checked Google Maps.

If you are in the car dealership business, and you want to start doing SEO more seriously, you should place your foothold on Google My Business. It will allow you to manage the information that your potential buyers are looking for when they search for your product or services on Google.

Your SEO efforts are also working when your potential buyer is using Google Maps. So when a potential buyer is searching for ‘best car dealer in Dublin’, Google will look into its listing of businesses that it has crawled and indexed beforehand, and present your business listing in accordance to your business ranking to Google. Again, if you have done your SEO homework, you would have more visibility in the results, without paying a single cent to Google for ads.