SEO, like any industry, has its mainstays. Like, if you’re going to write an article on SEO 101 in 2017, you’re probably going to tell your reader to ensure that their URLs are set up properly, to double check that they’re using H1s and H2s and giving titles to their pages. And you’re going to drive home the idea of unique content creation. You can’t rank if there’s nothing to rank for, right?
But not every industry has the flexibility to follow these rules. And today, we’re driving down the rabbit hole of one such industry – automotive. Car dealerships, specifically.
And I’m curious how you felt when I said car dealerships. Like, what was the gut reaction? I think for a lot of folks, in the US, anyways, car dealerships are on par with, maybe cable companies and the IRS maybe? in the list of people we look forward to interacting with. But like cable companies, and even the tax folks for that matter, the experience is a result of a pretty regulated, and complicated system that no unique employee, or even location manager, has much power to change. Car dealerships have to work within the system established by the manufacturers, and by government regulations, or else. There’s not a lot of room for creativity when you’re selling someone else’s highly regulated product.
So what’s an SEO to do? How can you get creative enough to be “different” without standing out so much that you’re probably going to piss someone off?
That’s where folks like Greg Gifford come in. Today’s guest may need no introduction if you’re a frequenter of SEO conferences. Greg is one of the most prominent speakers out there, and for good reason. He’s incredibly engaging – and we’ll touch on that a bit in this episode. But Greg’s focus, his engine, if you will, is focused on the automotive industry. With 9 years experience in SEO for car dealer websites, Greg comes to us with an inside look at optimizing websites within a highly standardized industry. When Mercedes doesn’t allow certain words, and Honda doesn’t allow certain information in their car descriptions, you have to find interesting ways to differentiate car dealers.
Greg and I will talk about his perspective on the auto industry, and how he and his team at DealerOn encourage their car dealer clients to build their online presence. We’ll also hear about Greg’s team’s current data project, which will give auto dealers even better insights into how Google sees, and ranks, websites in their industry.
And, just as a final note, I’d like to point to Google’s role in this episode for a second. Because, really, they’re the backdrop against which Greg’s advice is placed. Google had to look at the auto industry and say “okay, these folks are different from plumbers and doctors and, you know, bowling alleys. We’re going to have to treat search results in this area a bit differently. And that, in and of itself, is cool. Whether it’s the result of human programming or machine learning, the idea that information in different verticals is actually categorized differently based on the characteristics of that particular industry, I don’t know, maybe I’m being a total nerd right now, but I think that’s pretty cool.
So let’s jump in to my conversation with Greg.
Welcome to The Zip.