It is a little-known fact that more than 50% of Google searches are what as known as local searches. Quite simply, this means people look for products and services local to their address. This makes sense, as we all want to ensure we get the best service with the least effort.
When it comes to car dealerships, people want to buy locally so they know they can come back to you if there are problems, or for after-market accessories. As a car dealership, local business is your core. You need to be able to put across a reputation for quality service, and engender brand loyalty.
What follows is a case study of an online marketing campaign Webology devised and carried out for a Honda dealership in the Southern US. We set out to help this client increase their business in the face of local opposition, with the emphasis being on local!
The result was that we increased CALLS AND EMAIL INQUIRIES TO THE DEALERSHIP by 25.67% and site traffic by 6.41% compared to the previous 60 day period:
But that’s apples to oranges…
We all know that sales in April-May (tax season) will always be different from the summertime. So, what were the year over year results from our link-building? Let’s take a look:
And our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expertise added 39,000 impressions and 900 additional clicks compared to the previous 6 month period:
Below, we will tell you more about the campaign, and how a similar online marketing and SEO campaign can work for you. In fact, we’re offering a no-risk SEO package for qualifying automotive dealerships with a 100% money-back guarantee.
The dealership we worked with is a Honda dealership in the Southern US. In the face of increasingly competitive rival dealerships, and despite selling one of the top brands, they found they were not getting the results they expected from their advertising campaigns.
Webology set about devising an online campaign targeting two areas: improve their traffic, and help them rise up the Google rankings.
We began with an SEO audit.
The SEO Audit
Webology will begin any partnership by performing an audit of your SEO history. We look at how you have performed, and where you may be losing out.
One area where our SEO expertise comes to the fore is in understanding the Google algorithms. Where it was once the case that a website simply needed to have the most popular keywords or phrases intact, that’s not the case today.
Google – by far the dominant search engine – looks for quality, relevant content that is well-written and fresh combined with a ‘natural’ link profile that indicates your site is a trusted authority in the automotive world. For example, in May, 2018, Google updated its core algorithm, which caught a lot of companies off guard. Fortunately, this dealership had plenty of content already added to the site, so they were an ideal candidate for this lead generation service we’re offering.
Since Webology stays ahead of Google changes, we were able to help this Honda dealership in a sustainable way that will hold up to whatever Google rolls out next.
What we were not able to do in this case was access the website to make any changes to the dealership website at all. That’s often the case in the automotive space because web hosting platforms change frequently and hosting providers are always reluctant to work with a potential competitor.
Fortunately for us, we’re not just experts at on-page SEO. We’re also master link-builders who know how to deliver results without even having to consult with your webmaster at all. Not only are we able to increase traffic – guaranteed – within 90 days, but we don’t have to coordinate the work with any 3rd party to make it happen for you
Link Building for Automotive Dealerships
Following the audit, we knew where we needed to start: with some link-building! This is important to the search engines, and helps drive traffic. Our first step was to improve some failing SEO metrics related to links. The most important off-page metric to rank in Google is the number of referring domains, and this is easily tracked through the Ahrefs domain rating. AHREFS ranks your website against all others, and their rating is calculated in a specific way. Here’s the last 90 days of data from our Honda dealership:
and here’s another screenshot showing proof of work. You’ll notice a sharp spike in the number of referring domains immediately after we started building links:
What Approach Did We take for Link Building?
Our link building focused on quality over quantity. We have two primary goals here:
Since #1 is very important and is best started slowly by adding basic ‘foundational’ links, what better place to start than citations? #2 is very important for car dealerships and the primary ranking factor for Google My Business is, you guessed it, citations.
We created a list of 300 top general business directories and got to writing. Citations work better when you have unique, well-written descriptions and consistent NAP data. So, we sent about 30 unique descriptions to the dealership for compliance review. This was the one and only time we have to go through that process because we’ve reused a lot of their – already approved – social media content for other links. Again, our goal was to keep this project as headache free for the dealership’s internal marketing team as possible. Having no extensive compliance review requirements and no need to access the website was a must, if we were going to make this project a success in the automotive industry. We were able to meet those requirements, making this project a resounding success that we’re ready to bring to auto dealerships across the US.
- Improve organic rank
- Improve Google Maps positioning
Profile Links? Seriously???
SEOs may downplay profile links these days, but let’s be real about overall backlink profiles for just a minute. Does it look natural to have all your links coming from powerful sources? Of course not! That’s why we secured the brand profile on a modest number of authority sites.
Next we went niche! Following our plan to build up citations, we listed the site on as many automotive industry directories as we could possibly find. We created a branded property on Medium and started syndicating existing blog posts there as well. Not that it really matters, but Medium will automatically apply canonical tags when you set up a branded profile. It’s an easy place to syndicate your content and further diversify your anchor text ratios. This strategy falls in line with our philosophy of ‘don’t bug the dealership CMO with compliance reviews’. We’re able to take your existing content and give it legs by sharing it all over the Internet. If you don’t already blog though, we can provide a full service solution that won’t cause issues with your current website hosting provider.
Finally, it was time to build up some powerful links. We combined new guest posts that referenced existing pages on the dealership site with ‘niche edits’. Put simply, niche edits are where we ask other site owners to replace a broken link or possibly just a link to a lesser article with our improved content. It’s purely outreach driven like Google wants, and these are the links that really drive our results in organic ranking. We have data to prove these results and we know which link types really ‘move the needle’ with Google.
There have been several Google updates over the last few months focusing on a site’s quality and E-A-T (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness), and we’ve maintained our position within the SERPs despite these significant updates, and following the update in June we’ve seen an increase in organic visibility:
Why Automotive Dealers Should Work with Webology
Our sample Honda dealer found the benefits of working with Webology, and then our carefully implemented SEO management and online marketing campaign began very soon. We helped them with ongoing link building and organic traffic increases on a monthly basis.
The combination of quality links and other off-page SEO work helped to build traffic that was not coming to our dealership before.
We Work Alongside your Existing Marketing
One thing we should say is that if you sign up to work with Webology, you are free to continue working with any existing marketing agency you may have on board. We don’t need to access their information, as we are entirely independent of any other marketing strategy, and work solely on building links and our SEO expertise.
No Long-Term Contract
A further benefit of choosing Webology for your online marketing campaign is that we do not hold our clients to long-term contracts. You may be surprised to hear that we offer a minimum of a 90-day – Money Back Guaranteed – contract, so if you want to see how we work and take it from there, you are free to do so. Furthermore, Webology believe in value for money, and at the time of writing our monthly rate is just $1,250 a month for proven results in the automotive space. That’s less than the profit you’d make on a single additional new car sale each month, and we’ve already proven we can deliver those results in the data above.
Download the Full PDF
At Webology, we like our clients to be certain that we are the people to handle their online marketing and manage SEO campaigns, so we ask you to download the full PDF report here so you can see just how effective our work has been with this Honda dealership.
If you think we can help your auto dealership in a similar way – and we are sure we can – why not get in touch with Webology now, and one of our team members will be more than happy to discuss your requirements and answer any questions that you may have.