If you’ve spent any amount of time reading blogs dedicated to online marketing strategies, you’ve probably read at least one post that claims that SEO, on the whole, or automotive SEO, more specifically, is dead.
Most of the time, people claim this because they have seen a particular strategy that has worked well in the past no longer be effective.
The short answer is that automotive SEO is not dead.
It is still one of the best ways to make sure that you website shows up in relevant search results.
There are, however, some aspects of automotive SEO and SEO in general that are dead.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for proclaiming the death of SEO and why those claims are wrong:
Claim #1: SEO is the bane of the internet.
This is something that you’ll often hear from web designers, especially those who have started to see the budget that once was devoted entirely just to website design being split between design and content creation.
While it would be false to say that all website designers have an easy time ranking their website, especially in today’s day and age, when it is easier than ever to call yourself a website designer, even if you know very little about the tenets of design or how to code and create a website, many of these designers do not understand SEO fully and assume that the lengths that other people go to are actually harming the face of the internet, rather than helping the cream rise to the top.
Claim #2: SEO has never worked.
This is something that you might have believed yourself, especially if you have attempted to add keyword-rich content to your website and did not see the immediate spike in search rankings that some people promise.
There are lots of people that continue to claim, despite huge amounts of evidence to the contrary, that SEO is dead because it never actually worked in the first place.
Their success online is often due to inadvertent SEO.
Claim #3: The internet is so saturated with content, it doesn’t even matter anymore.
If you type a query into Google, it probably won’t take you very long or clicking on very many links in order to find a website that is clearly just trying to piggyback on the popularity of that keyword and its high search volume.
It’s easy to believe that there is so much garbage content out there on the internet that it will be impossible to defeat all of it and to get a high ranking.
This may lead to some people completely abandoning the idea of SEO, hoping that by ignoring it altogether, the quality of their content will someone draw people to their website.
While this attitude may be less prevalent in automotive SEO spheres, it still definitely exists.
Claim #4: SEO is akin to annoying telemarketers and spam emails.
It’s hard to see how you could equate SEO with spam emails, but some people still do it—probably those that have run into countless spam websites in their travels online.
If a keyword is popular, there are going to be people that try to get their irrelevant website to rank for that keyword, simply because they think it will send a lot of traffic to their websites.
What these people don’t realize, however, is that search engines have been cracking down on this sort of spam behavior for years now, streamlining the algorithm so that it is almost impossible to rank for a keyword if your website is not highly relevant.
A search engine’s goal is to provide the people using the very best possible answers to their questions, not just the fastest or most extensive list of links to click on.
Claim #5: Social media is more important than SEO.
This is something that you might hear frequently in the automotive marketing niche, especially if a dealership’s website is taking a long time to rank.
Here’s the truth: both social media and SEO are important.
While they might not be equally important to all involved, both search engine optimization and social media marketing are extremely important and they work together to generate buzz about a particular dealership.
This is something you are likely to be told by a social media guru who wants you to stop devoting so much money to your SEO campaign and to start devoting more of that money to a social media campaign.
Claim #6: SEO is dead, until I discovered this new secret tactic.
If you ever hear someone claiming that your SEO campaign is useless, but they have a special, secret tactic that they can sell to you for some sum of money, you need to turn tail and run.
There is nothing secret about search engine optimization.
Google might not make their algorithm and its whims public knowledge, but it does take the time to provide you with a set of best practices that should give any and all involved in SEO a pretty good idea of what is going to work and what is not going to work.
Despite this, there are still people out there that are going to sell you snake oil, claiming that they have discovered something big and secret about search engine optimization and in order to be granted access to their secret club, you need to pay them hundreds or even thousands of dollars. SEO is, at its core, pretty simple.
It might not be easy, but it is simple and what really works (and continues to work in the long run) is no secret.