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Mitch Gallant

Refresh Team
Apr 6, 2009
First Name
Is anyone doing a solid job with SEO in the automotive space? It's kinda like snake oil and there are lots of great pitches but not much that I've seen move the needle. Any needle movers out there?
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Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
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Moved all of this back in-house after trying many snake oils.
Now we just write good content, tailor the website to visitors, keep the source code clean, use Google Webmaster tools and submit the site to ever local classifieds directory - had great results with this formula.

The smarter Google's algorithm gets, the less the snake oil works.
Sep 20, 2016
First Name
I am just getting started on SEO too. I did a lot of research on tools. Semrush is the least expensive at $79 month of the big players. Seo Powersuite is the least expensive at $8 month for the updates and 299 for the main software. I like this one because it resides on a workstation so it has no limits to crawls, keywords etc which all the online have limits. It is a large company with a high retention rate too. If you want to take a look at my site, it focuses on used cars Fresno carwide.com. I am trying to develop a local option for the car dealerships in Fresno, Modesto, Stockton, Merced and Visalia.


Lot Lizard
Jul 15, 2013
First Name
@Mitch Gallant It is very difficult to find a good SEO provider that will show you the result that your company deserves. Most OEM are only in the game for the money and spend very little time on your account. (Some vendors even optimize each store with the same content).
This is why just like @craigh I have decided to do everything in house. I have been learning about SEO for about 3 years now, and still learning.

Here is what I would consider to be the main SEO factors:

- Get links for local sites (people you do business with or local newspaper etc...)
-Write good content that people will want to read. (This is the most difficult for me as I am a terrible writer lol)
& share your pages or article on social media. (Having a blog directly on your site helps but not all OEM provides this.)
-Do not over optimize your anchor text here is a good example to follow (50% brand link - 25% naked url - 20% general keywords such as "Click here" and only 5% of exact match keywords such as "Car dealer in city" )
-Include your city and state in your H1 of each page. (this is not proven but it seems to work)
-Clean up your local citations
- Use Google's product (youtube - Google my business - google + etc..)
-Get a twitter account. (Twitter is now a sign of content freshness in the eyes or google. So tweet away and link to your site)

I check my keywords ranking and do a weekly website analysis with SEMrush. it's not too expensive and works for me. There is a lot more than meets the eye with SEO and it is a constant steep learning curve, but with time and dedication, you can learn to do it yourself.

cheers and good luck! :cool:
Sep 26, 2016
First Name
Great points all! The "tricks" to boost SEO are a thing of the past. We used Ahrefs to track and improve SEO at the dealerships. It does just require a lot of work and good content to gain TRUE SEO.
Oct 28, 2012
First Name
Chris K
Content doesn't really do anything unless it goes somewhere. Meaning that if people aren't linking to it, it isn't doing much for you in the SEO space. I'm not saying content isn't good for the people who do visit your site. I'm just saying that content for keywords is a waste of time.

The only thing I see that really works and will increase rank for keywords is backlinks from quality sites. Sites with higher DA than yours. Write content for links is where it's at.

I would also suggest to anyone that hasn't spent some time cruising through http://backlinko.com/ go check it out..

Get links, cash checks.. That's my new motto.

Jeff Kershner

May 1, 2005
First Name
SEO has so many variables today. The basics of On Page optimization hasn't changed much, but not like it was years ago, when every other discussion here on DealerRefresh revolved around something related to SEO. I sorta miss those days of simplicity, white-hat/black-hat and finding a pot'o'gold in the gray-hat every now and then.

As a vendor, it's extremely difficult to scale SEO as a complete product/service to dealers while being effective enough to keep the dealer coming back for more, month after month.

As a dealer, if you find a company that is offering complete SEO services at a price that seems reasonable and affordable, good luck.

If and when a dealer does find a true SEO expert, they don't want to pay the price, long term. Instead an agency will get their foot in the door of a dealership with some other marketing services and then pitch some crap SEO service, and you get something like this -- http://www.drivemb.com/blogs/65/