Well for starters, the results: During the 16-week Automotive SEO Study program, the number of inbound links to our website has more than doubled, our Google page one controlled assets have doubled from three to six, and we saw Google page ranking improvements for every single keyword except the five that we already had 1.1 positioning for.
We saw 52% of our targeted keywords going from page 4 or beyond to being page 1 ranked (the remaining percentage going from page 2 or 3 to page 1 and two keywords going from page 4 or beyond to page 2). Although our total number of Google impressions are down, the number of actions have increased 138%, with 125% more clicks for more info on Maps, 148% more clicks for driving directions, and 138% more clicks to our website.
I found the new tools, websites, and SEO-based tactics that were introduced to us to be incredibly intriguing and equally advantageous to utilize (as well as quite addicting). One of the valuable things that I learned was how to optimize anything posted on the Internet, such as blog posts, free press releases, videos, and more. Coming from a journalistic background, I always tried using creative headlines and copy, not knowing the detailed logistics of how SEO converted to search results.
It was different moving from catchy wording to something more direct like “2008 Lexus RX For Sale Detroit MI”, but the keyword ranking results that came from that move speak for themselves. Along similar lines of choosing the right words, another valuable lesson came from developing my understanding of optimized permalinks, page titles, and META descriptions (not only in Internet posts, but on our website pages as well)—and the importance of focusing on one simple keyword or phrase at a time.
Additionally, I found the method of being able to optimize our used car inventory via the short syntax provided to us quite fascinating and valuable as well. Our dealership has recently wanted to focus more on used car sales, so this syntax utilization couldn’t have come at a better time, while taking up hardly any time at all! It’s amazing to me what inserting two lines of code can result in.
And the fact that you can feature a car and still have that page doing optimization wonders for you even after that car sells is quite the worthwhile SEO tactic.
Yet another valuable lesson was how one post did not have to stop its reach with just that post. Being able to take one post and get more mileage out of it with additional backlinks through CarSaleNews.com, a press release, a PDF version on Slideshare, a sequence of representative jpeg images on video sites, and page creations with the info on CarDealerWiki and Squidoo (to name a few), makes one realize the effectiveness and efficiency that any compiled content can experience.
Hands down, I would recommend dealers participate in an SEO study of this nature if the opportunity ever presented itself again. This was the sort of information that one unfamiliar with SEO would have to do a great deal of research and testing, combined with frustration, before being able to achieve similar results as what we did during the first day of implementing action.
The study trainers had already done the research, testing, and grunt work for the study members, we simply had the luxury of following instructions and watching success unfold. A fantastic experience that not only drove results right now, but drove an enhanced understanding of the power of SEO as we continue moving into the future.
Thank you to Brian Pasch and all of the staff at PCG Digital Marketing.
Director of Marketing
Meade Lexus of Lakeside