With so much information out there online about automotive SEO, it can be difficult to know what advice you should follow and what advice you should discard.
Most people, for example, labor under the misconception that if they just write the best possible content they can write, their websites will rank highly and they will not have to do anything else.
This just is not true.
Here are the ten automotive SEO myths it’s time to stop believing:
1. You need an XML sitemap.
This is one of the most common and probably most confusing SEO myths for most people, especially when they are starting out.
You likely had a website before you started trying to get an automotive SEO strategy is motion, which could make creating an XML sitemap an intimidating process, especially if you have devoted a separate page on your website to every car on your lot.
Luckily, if you look at a real list of ranking factors for dealership websites, you won’t actually find an XML sitemap anywhere on that list.
2. Meta tags are no longer relevant.
This is another myth that is just not true.
Every website needs meta data and what you put in that meta data is going to matter, especially because it is one of the ways that search engines determine whether or not your website is relevant to searchers.
3. You need a better domain if you want a good ranking.
Why do people believe this?
Because most marketers believe searchers are more likely to click on a website that is a .com or a .org, and are less likely to click on a website that is a .biz or even a .pizza (you can actually buy a .pizza domain, but it probably is not the right choice for a car dealership).
The truth is that Google does not really care about what kind of dot you have on your website.
4. You have to put keywords in your anchor text.
When building links outside of your website, those links need to contain your keyword, don’t they?
In fact, most search engines will classify this under “over optimization” and will not take kindly to it.
5. You can get top rankings on SEO by yourself.
There are plenty of dealerships that work really hard and rank their website by themselves, without the help from a professional.
If you do not have the time or the resources to devote that kind of attention to an automotive SEO campaign, it is time to call in some help.
SEO takes up a lot of time. It is not something you can work on an hour a week and expect to be successful.
It is going to need more help in order to get you where you need to go.
6. You don’t need to guest blog.
Some people heard that Google was cracking down on guest blogging and assumed that that meant that they just shouldn’t guest blog anymore.
What Google was actually cracking down on was guest blogging on totally irrelevant blogs, just to place a link on that site.
You do still need to guest blog, especially if it will help you reach a wider audience, who are likely to be interested in what you have to say and are likely to click through to your website.
7. You don’t need to research your keywords.
This is a trap that many dealerships fall into.
You think you already know what keywords your customers are going to be using, so you think you don’t actually need to look into those keywords.
This is akin to shooting yourself in the foot.
You cannot just assume that you know what potential buyers are going to be looking for when they log on to look for a dealership or information related vehicles.
You absolutely do still need to grade those keywords before you use them.
8. Google knows best.
Most people only analyze their SEO with the tools that Google gives them.
They also sit and wait and hope that Google will find their content and make it popular for them, not realizing that it is their job to market their content and that it is their job to find the most useful tools for monitoring and analyzing their progress.
Google may be the standard, but they do not always know best and you cannot just sit and wait for Google to find you.
You have to take the initiative and put in the time to make Google notice you.
9. You do SEO one time.
Automotive SEO is an ongoing process, one that should be worked on and attended to for as long as your dealership is open.
It is something that, once you start, you cannot stop.
If you do, you’ll start to see a slump. SEO is never going to just plateau.
If you are not improving your ranking or working on maintaining that ranking, your ranking is naturally going to be dropping.
It is not something that you do and eventually finish doing.
10. SEO takes a long time to be effective.
To be very effective, automotive search engine optimization is going to need some time.
But in order to be effective at all, you just need to start the ball rolling.
If done properly, especially if you have the help of a professional, you can see improvements in your ranking starting as early as the first week.
You just have to put in the time and the effort that SEO requires.