In February 2012, PCG was presented with the “Top Rated SEO Provider” award from DrivingSales.com just prior to the NADA Convention. We are honored to be recognized by the dealer community with such a prestigious award.
This is the third year in a row that PCG has won the Dealer Satisfaction Award for SEO. Voting is tallied from actual dealership voters who use our products. We congratulate the other two winning SEO companies this year as well: Dealer eProcess and eXteres.
Our Roots in Automotive SEO
Since PCG is synonymous with Automotive SEO Strategies, we were invited to interview with Dealers United for their first group offering to car dealers. In their first dealership offering, a Groupon like model, Dealers United will offer car dealers a Website SEO Package at a discounted price for a limited window of time.
The concept behind Dealers United is that they will be able to negotiate a better deal for single point and multi-point stores that would normally be limited to “Mega” dealer groups. Dealers have to sign-up on their website to get access to the offer.
Dealers United collects the funds directly from the dealer and pays the vendor partner, as a broker of their service. With the promise of getting hundreds of dealers signed during a small period of time, would be attractive to any automotive vendor. It was for me.
The vendor interview process, conducted by Steve Stauning, allowed me to present our latest SEO offering. Our newest Automotive SEO package, internally code named “SSV”, was outlined to Steve. I wanted to be clear how SEO services have evolved to address the latest changes in Google’s search algorithm. Steve asked many great questions and the process was very engaging.
Getting On Page One Today
What has changed in Automotive SEO strategy?
The biggest change is that it takes new strategies to get sites ranked properly on Page One. There is more manual work involved and more competition. Dealers need more customized strategies and less cookie-cutter SEO templates. Dealers need fresh, original content and coordination of SEO strategies with their larger digital marketing goals.
Social media sites are also taking up key real estate on Google Page One and Google+ must be included in that list. Today, any SEO strategy that ignores the impact of social media and the Google +1 button is missing the boat. The old concepts of focusing only on META tags, links, and on-site content are not sufficient without new strategies for organic traffic generation.
Competition is also on the rise. Many dealers have hired SEO companies to optimize their websites. Large website providers like Cobalt and Dealer.com have created SEO packages as part of their core offerings. Three years ago, the landscape was far less competitive.
Offsite link building is still important for SEO. PCG has the strongest link building strategies in the industry, but that is not enough today. Fresh content, engaging original content, and social relevance are changing the strategies that SEO companies need to offer to deliver outstanding results.
What Is Working?
Today, traditional Automotive SEO strategies must be enhanced with tactical actions that amplify social relevance. Of course video engagement has to be part of the mix since YouTube is ranking very effectively for common automotive searches. Video marketing and optimization is now more important than ever and first to act is often rewarded with superior placement.
The reason why we code named our latest offering “SSV” because its stands for the latest pillars of SEO success:
Search Engine Optimization + Social Relevance + Video Engagement
This formula can be interpreted that traditional SEO techniques now have to be enhanced with a social relevance strategy and a video strategy. Video marketing can also have a significant impact to a dealers pay-per-click strategy as well.
PCG is also blessed by having hundreds of dealers participate in our Automotive SEO classes and the largest Automotive SEO Study for car dealers. These workshops and webinars has given our team greater insights on what is working in each local market across the United States. We apply that knowledge to refine our offerings.
PCG SEO Was Not Selected By Dealers United
We were informed this week that PCG Digital Marketing was not selected as the vendor that Dealers United would present in March as their recommended SEO partner. We wish their chosen SEO partner the best of success with this emerging business model. (I’m very interested to see who that company will be!)
After thinking about the “SEO Contest” results, I think that PCG Digital Marketing, has always attracted great dealers because:
- We don’t work for their direct competitors.
- We provide a high touch service and continuing education every month.
- Our strategies are content specific for the dealership and local market.
- We are often first to market with the latest changes in Google’s search strategy for dealers.
- We offer short term contracts that can meet any dealership contract requirements.
- We practice what we preach. Search “Automotive SEO” in Google.
The SEO Value Equation
It would have been interesting to see how we would handle 200-300 dealer sign-ups in a short period of time. Since that will not be happening, we will continue to focus on attracting progressive dealers who want a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that includes world-class SEO expertise. SEO is only part of the overall winning strategy for online marketing.
I like the fact that our model is to not work for every dealership, but just those that want the very best strategy and service. Price, is probably the least important factor when you consider that SEO vendors. It’s all about a company’s ability to achieve the dealer’s custom search marketing goals.
The amount of time any vendor of “labor intensive” services can deliver is directly related to price. Less is not always the winning formula. I wish the Dealers United members best of success with their search for great SEO at a competitive price that has a strong ROI.
If your dealership is looking to implement a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that include the latest SEO strategies, take a minute to setup a call to discuss your dealership’s needs. Schedule an appointment by calling 732.450.8200 or sending me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The winning formula with the best ROI is already here. It’s more than SEO but you can’t exclude it from the mix!
Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing