I've been pretty torn over the last few months. On one hand, I'm so pleased to see that dealers (and even some vendors) are really starting to embrace building content pages on their website. On the other hand, I'm concerned that many companies are starting to promote building these pages as their complete SEO strategy. What's worse is that many dealers are starting to believe them.
We came across this recently when a dealer wanted to find out whether our SEO services were having a positive effect on their traffic, leads, and sales, or if it was another company that was working on things simultaneously. The other company builds pages. That's it. They don't support these pages with other signals and they don't build the pages with increased sales in mind.
2012 was the last time I made the recommendation to dealers to build content on their website or two hire us to do it for them. All I asked for was two pages per month. It was a reasonable request in my humble opinion - not too much work and yet a nice minimum to have some effect. I don't recall posting about it since then because dealers and vendors in general didn't seem anxious to heed the advice. Today, that seems to be changing. More dealers and vendors are doing it, so it's finally time to make the next batch of recommendations.
This time, there are two important takeaways. First, If you build it, you must support it. For very easy keywords, building a page and letting it sit can be enough to rank. For any keyword that can actually drive traffic, you must support it with off-the-page signals such as inbound links and social shares.
Second, if you build it, there must be a valid reason. Back in 2007, I learned that just because you can send people to your website through a blog post doesn't mean that you're achieving your SEO goals. At the end, it's not about traffic. It's about bringing in the right traffic and taking them to the right pages. SEO should help to sell more cars, not just drive more traffic to pages that have no chance of converting.
If you or a vendor build pages regularly on your website, you're already doing better than most dealers. However, doing better is not necessarily doing everything that can be done. Since more dealers and vendors are building content, it's so important to utilize the other factors within the Google algorithm to pull ahead of the pack.
In the coming weeks, we will be unveiling Octane, our strategy and service that enhances your website and digital presence in a way that generates traffic, leads, and sales. In the meantime, check out a description of Full Spectrum SEO, one of the major components of our Octane strategy.