Five Common and Costly SEO Mistakes Dealers Make And How to Avoid Them

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Let’s start with the good news: automotive dealers are embracing SEO as a legitimate marketing channel, allowing them to access millions of potential new customers. Now the bad news: many of these dealers are implementing outdated SEO strategies.

Over the last couple of years Google has made a big effort to eliminate spammy websites from their index. Most notably, Google rolled out the Panda and Penguin updates that punished low quality and overly-optimized websites.

SEO strategies are changing all the time, making it difficult for dealers to keep up. And because SEO is always changing, we’ve come up with a list of five common and costly mistakes automotive dealers make with their SEO campaigns and how to avoid them.

Not Consistently Producing Quality Content

If your current SEO strategy does not include content marketing, you do not have an SEO campaign. Great content helps your site rank for more keyword terms, educates your buyers, and naturally attracts inbound links to your website.

Using Black-Hat Techniques for Link Building

“Black Hat SEO” is defined as anything you do to your website intended to manipulate the search engines. Because getting lots of one-way back links pointing at your site is one of the fastest ways to improve rankings, black-hat link building remains a popular strategy among some SEO firms. Buying links from low-quality directories is an example of a black hat link building strategy. Quality link-building strategies include reaching out to local publications and business owners, giving them a reason to mention—and link to—your website. Make sure your agency does it right.

Expecting Overnight Results

Improving your organic search rankings takes time. There’s a ton of work that goes into legitimate SEO. Performing a technical and content audit, keyword research, keyword mapping, on-page optimization, and content creation all need to be completed. Even after all of this work is completed, it takes time for Google to find and index your website improvements before they can make changes to the search engine rankings.

Overly Optimizing Your Web Pages

Over optimizing your website includes things like repeating your keywords over and over again, stuffing keywords in your title tags and <H1> tags and overdoing the keywords in your image tags. The content on your website should sound very natural. If the content is difficult to read or does not make sense due to the repeated used of keywords, you’re probably over-optimizing your web pages.

Hiring a Cheap SEO Agency

Typically, cheap SEO means automation and shady practices. In order to get the work done cheaply, many SEO companies outsource their link building and content writing overseas. The combination of shady link-building practices and poor content is a sure-fire recipe for getting your website banned from the search engines.

The world of SEO is more complicated than ever before. Gone are the days where you could publish a single page website and obtain a top ranking. The fact is the tactics that used to work yesterday could actually get your website banned tomorrow.

Bill Parlaman is the vice president of digital marketing for Stream Companies, the leading full service integrated automotive advertising agency. Want even more information on SEO? Watch the Truth about SEO Webinar at:

Michael Bowen

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Alex Haris May 17, 2015

    Yeah, Very true! And the third point is absolutely correct: Expecting overnight results. This particular expectation makes people blindly build links after links, trying all possible methods to get on the top in just a few weeks. They actually don’t realize the harm they are doing to their website. I now understand the depth of the old saying, “Slow and steady wins the race”; it is very much true when it comes to SEO. It might take months of consistent effort to bring your website on to the top.


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