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Tim Martell SLAMS Industry SEO Vendors

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by Jeff Kershner, Sep 7, 2012.

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How Much Do You Trust Your SEO Provider?

  1. 1 - Too many lies

    6 vote(s)
    31.6%
  2. 2 - They're on a tight lesh

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  3. 3 - Not Sure

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  4. 4 - A little trust but often question

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  5. 5 - Total trust

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
  1. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    I don't even remember how I can across this post by Tim Martells over on JD Rucker's SOSHABLE blog but WOW!


    Tim is going on a RANT and calling industry services OUT on their SEO reporting. Basically, sorta calling them liars and criminals.


    The Shocking Truth Behind Reporting In The Automotive Community


    I'm not sure of the validity behind his rant or if this is nothing more than an elaborate sales pitch on his end. Either way with words like some of the below quotes from the post, it's hard to ignore.


    " For the record, I think this is a wonderful website provider. Their technology is awesome and the ease of use of their products is without peer. But… they are LYING to their customers and this is unacceptable."

    "I found that nearly ALL of the keywords being tracked and touted as success had a whopping monthly search volume of… wait for it… ZERO"

    "What a monumental task to take on 585 keywords and obtain page 1 rankings in a single month! But what did I find? 583 of those 585 keywords had NEVER been searched. ZERO MONTHLY SEARCH VOLUME. THIS IS CRIMINAL! You are taking a dealer’s money and returning NO VALUE! How can you do that!?"


    Oh - and he called out the different industry awards as being full of BS.

    "I mean, CarMercial is littered with awards on their website (most which I guess were bought from AutoSuccess) but to see a PCG Digital Marketing AWA award on there really turned my stomach."


    Tim finishes his rant recommending that dealers require the following 3 criteria from their SEO company's monthly reporting..


    • Keyword Positioning
    • Search Volume for each ranking keyword
    • Link to every page of content, press release, slideshare, and link that was built, etc.


    Click here to read his full rant!


    I'm note sure if all of this justifies as criminal behavioral. But I do agree that SEO is an oversold and under performed service on our industry and rarely reported as it should be.


    Question and Poll for the DR Community.


    On a scale of 1-5 - How much do you trust your SEO provider and their provided reports?


    1 being I have NO trust
    5 being I have Complete trust
     
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    #1 Jeff Kershner, Sep 7, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
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  3. kevinfrye

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    Not sure if my previous reply posted...

    Whether you like Tim or not, I have to commend him for having the courage to take a public stand on this. I too question a lot of the efforts and reporting on the SEO side of the business. I am very hesitant to use any outside third party SEO provider unless I know exactly what they are doing, I am comfortable that what they are doing is within Google's guidelines, and that their reporting is legit. Problem is, most dealers do not fully understand the reporting or know how to verify what they are receiving. It appears that Tim has done the "grunt-work" to verify the reporting for several and it does not show value or add-up. He was also willing to call out some names - ouch.

    I would be a liar if I have not heard a lot from other vendors and dealers that the AWA Awards are perceived as "you must pay to play" and that preferred treatment is in place. I hope that is not the case as Brian is a good friend of mine...

    Sometimes I think we are all living in one big soap opera called "Days of our Automotive Lives"...
     
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  4. Chris Cachor

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    There needs to be more of this. This has got to be the only market that I've seen people tout "Video SEO". What is that?! I worked for a vendor that use to market some of their features as Web 3.0....:rofl:. Or "21 ways to get a lead" on a vehicle details page. It reminded me of that 6 minute abs vs. 7 minute abs scene from Something About Mary. What's worse, is some of the stuff they say, "No cookie cutter sites" are actually some of the most cookie cutter sites I've seen. From the search page, to the details page, to the rest of the inner pages -- identical. If the prices keep falling, then I get that, but just don't say they aren't cookie cutter if they really are. The same goes with the SEO "formulas". Decide what's part of the service and what's part of the product!!!
     
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  5. Tim Martell

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    I appreciate Jeff's caution. No sales pitch here. I found this yesterday after two of my clients asked me to review their reporting. Both ddc clients. One asked about ddc reporting, the other about carmercial reporting. It just never occurred to me that a businesses entire platform could be based on busywork that does nothing.


    With all of these BS awards out there, I'm thinking of taking a different approach and putting together something like Wikimotive's S-List. Like worst dressed on the red carpet. Point out pitfalls and snake oil to avoid and why. Seems like that would be more valuable then trying to figure out which awards are legit.


    I know I'm an acquired taste. I make no apologies for my brashness. I am what I am. But I love automotive retail. I grew up in this business. My father has been at the desk for... I think this is his 44th year now at the same store as COO. I'm just passionate. I'm a car guy! And I watched friends lose their franchises for no good reason (Chrysler). I've seen dealers who couldn't adapt cling to the belief that the internet was a fad go from dynasty's to dust. Even when I worked in retail (first 20 years of career) I would never want to see my competition go out of business. I wanted them to do well as long as we sold 1 more car than they did (OK 50 more but who's counting?).


    But living in that world through recessions and politicians and regulations and every other obstacle we ever faced, the margins have always been too small for all the grief dealers have to take. The last thing they need is a vendor who smiles at them, takes a check and gives 'em nothing back - just boils my blood.


    Dealers deserve better. My no strings offer is really that. Send me your report and I'll tell you what I find. Or I'll tell you exactly what I'll do. I'll just take their report and import it in to our reporting tool and compile a list of all the keywords you're being ranked for and turn it around with search volume attached.


    If you want to talk about hiring us after, great. Hey I'm here to make money too. But that is not the motivation for this offer. Dealers deserve to know what they're getting. Period!
     
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  6. joeyabna

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    I was struck with a few thoughts while reading Tim's post. One I couldn't help but wonder how many dealers have no idea how to use Google Analytics or if they had ever seen the data in Webmaster Tools for their own site. Then I thought about how our customers have more information about our products and services than ever before and use that information to shop for the best product/deal for themselves. Which led me to the thought that its time for more dealers get involved in the SEO community and practice of SEO.

    I don't mean that every dealer should necessarily become an SEO but every dealer should have trusted employees with a working knowledge of how search engines work, SEO best practices and how to analyze search data to make sound decisions. Digital Marketing is a fast moving target that dealers and vendors need to stay current with. Its not a set it and forget it, or I have a guy/vendor thing, its a process that requires talent and dedication.

    The good thing about Tim's post is that it will probably open the eyes of some dealers and some vendors as well.
     
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  7. ddavis

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    Joey, you have two types of people on DealerRefresh. You have some of the best and brightest and others trying to be. Most dealerships do not fall into either of these categories. SEO is going to be a far stretch for these folks.

    Tim, "brash" is accepted here. I am disappointed that this is your first post on here.
     
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  8. Tim Martell

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    Thanks All who commented. I knew I would take some heat for this article, but was a bit surprised that one of the forums who claim to be one of the biggest dealer advocates took it down because it "didn't meet their quality guidelines." Why aren't the quality guidelines 1) the truth and 2) does it help a dealer?

    Doug its not really my first post. I think its just my first post as a vendor. Used to post on here under my Marlboro Nissan e-mail address when I was in retail.
     
  9. Jennifer Schrader

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    THANK YOU TIM…….!! When I first read that article you provided I just about spit my Diet Coke all over my brand new computer but I like my computer. So after having to wash my hands from the sticky pop I spit in my hand I had to reread your article about I would say 5 times.

    Dealers are getting abused left and right by vendors or as I call them “BASEMENT VENDORS” that don’t know a lick of sh*t but walk around like they are the God’s of SEO….. Dealers want to learn but Vendors need to speak to them in their language for them to understand. EDUCATION…. NOT LIES!

    How many vendors with their “so-called SEO experts” sold a damn car? How many of their employees actually had their feet on the pavement flipping inventory or turning metal? Not many at all yet they claim to be the automotive industries best of the best…..! Get real!

    I clamor at the ridiculous efforts provided to the dealers however; dealers also need to take a step up to the plate and hire in team members that know what they are doing when it comes to SEO, E Commerce etc. Having those valid skills can save a dealer a lot of money & of course a lot of BS!

    Selling cars to being on the Website SEO Vendor side for the auto world, I am still setback for how these vendors are still to this day providing phony reports, lies & downright cheating the dealers of their money. It sickens me.

    Thank you Tim for stepping up on that soapbox and throwing the truth out there; Slam away my friend! It was going to happen sooner or later.... Let it be now!
     
  10. Tim Martell

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    Thanks Jen ;) As I said in my commentary, I hope the vendors get challenged by their clients and make change to deliver more value. Its just so frustrating to see stuff like this. As vendors we can do better.
     
  11. kcar

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    I Agree with Him.

    Automotive SEO is a joke, same as Local SEO "Experts/Businesses" they are also a Joke. It's amazing to see how many dealerships have no idea what real SEO even is, yet they buy it. I've talked with quite a few vendors about SEO, they all fail in my book, to this date there is not one SEO vendor in the auto industry I would hire.

    SEO works wonders when you have a person who really knows their stuff, but the problem is these dealers keep buying into garbage SEO from vendors.
     
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