Do you remember back in grade school when your math teacher made you show your work? Do you remember why she did that? Simply, to make sure you didn’t take any shortcuts like using a calculator, or straight up cheat by looking for the answers in the back of the book or on your neighbor’s test. By showing your work, you proved to the teacher that you understood the problem and possessed the skills to solve it.
Dealers should be more “teacher-like” when reviewing the efforts of your marketing partners, especially those who can and should show you their work. When you purchase a billboard, it’s easy to verify that the work has been completed. You drive by, you see the billboard. Digital marketing can be a little trickier to monitor, which is why you must ask the right questions.
Search Engine Optimization is a lot like math. It’s not complicated as long as you understand the basics. Once you have that understanding and apply sound strategy and constant effort, results are easy to come by. The key to success is in the action, doing the work, day in and day out. Man-hours logged by real human strategists applying their knowledge, creativity and instincts are required. There is no algorithm that can replace a hands-on approach.
I want to challenge you to become more like your math teacher. Make your vendors show their work. What did they do last month to drive more traffic to your website? Don’t fall for the “proprietary secret sauce” lines. Any SEO provider who is doing it right will be thrilled to show you the work. Remaining highly relevant for product searches in your market requires continuous fresh content be generated on, and off, your website. Offsite link building is still the most important part of optimizing your website and very few in automotive provide that service. It simply isn’t scalable because it is incredibly labor-intensive. Big digital marketing mills lean towards easy, mass-produced, syndicated content.
Ask your provider to show you the pages they built last month, the off-site links, anything and everything that was done to help you sell cars. Is it automated? Duplicated? Did it even happen? How do you know unless they show you?
Finally, you should be able to clearly see the results of all your digital marketing efforts in Google Analytics. No other analytics should be accepted. There are a lot of good reporting tools out there, but they need to be supported by analytics data.
I am happy to talk with anyone who is struggling to get these answers. If you are with the right partner, you don’t even have to ask for it.