Why Car Dealers and Other Brick & Mortars Shouldn’t Pay A Monthly Fee For SEO

I’ve been hearing lately that some website vendors and agencies are charging car dealers between $800.00 and $3,200 a month for SEO Services.

This is out of control, and you will not get any return on that money spent. I used to do SEO back in the day when it was fun and measurable, and I’m still very well read on the matter.

The Graph Pitch

This graph spooked a GM into almost signing up for an SEO Package. The pitch was “look at how bad your SEO is”.

The graph is showing impressions from 5000 different keywords searched during this time period. Most of the keywords are 100% irrelevant to the website, and most are buried after page 2.

Here are just a few:

  • dita flight 007: 3,128
  • chrome hearts: 2,551
  • f****** videos: 2,147
  • isuzu npr: 805

The golden keywords will only show when locals search in your PMA, and sadly few people click them. Many will be on page two and below. Who goes to page 2?

Go ahead and look. Look at your impressions. clicks and CTRs. You will be very disappointed.

The Brand Filter

Of the 5,000 keywords, 54 of them were variations of the dealer’s brand. Misspellings, long tail etc…

The first thing I did was isolate the brand terms. This is my favorite thing to look at overall because it shows how often your brand is searched for. Radio, TV, Display and many others will have an impact on this.

So let’s think about this for a minute. Your brand searches have nothing to do with SEO. Even the poorest clunkiest of websites will rank on this. You’ll get the one or three pack, and an organic listing below the pagefold. If you’re doing brand paid search you’ll get that already. This is because the important keywords (including non brand) are location based.

On Page SEO?

I feel it’s your website vendor’s responsibility to have that in order, and there shouldn’t be a monthly fee for something that’s done once. If website vendors truly want to be the best, they should have this by default.

I’ve observed schema, strategic H1’s, keywords in the URL , blogs and other methods in place with no impact at all. Absolutely no impact……..not even a little bit.

So take that budget and use it for something else. By p̶i̶z̶z̶a̶ steak & lobster for your staff, try a new vendor.

The Google Data Studio Connector

The connector is available for free in Data Studio. I highly recommend you use it. It’ll be one less place you’ll have to log in to.

The Brand Toggle

If you want to save time and make the brand toggle, just create a new “Query” field, and use this CASE Statement:

WHEN REGEXP_MATCH(Query,".*adcommonbrandhere.*|.*mispellingbrandhere.*") THEN "Brand Queries"
WHEN NOT REGEXP_MATCH(Query,".*adcommonbrandhere.*|.*mispellingbrandhere.*") THEN "Other Queries"


Then you can add the filter on the top, it’ll look just like this:

You can toggle it on and off when reviewing.

You can create one for your ideal keywords as well.

Obviously this advice is not for non brick and mortars, or others who also sell/ship products and services online