Even in 2016, when we would think that there was very little misinformation out there about automotive search engine optimization, there are still rumors and myths swirling around that could make it difficult to get the pages of your dealership’s website to rank.
Some of these voices are very loud and they are spreading myths that might have been true back in the early days of SEO, but which are simply no longer relevant.
Here are some of the most common lies you’ll hear about SEO this year:
1. Mobile search is more important than desktop search.
Mobile search is very important.
Many users will reach for their cellphone, instead of sitting down at their computer when they want to search for something online.
It is not, however, more important than desktop search.
In fact, because mobile search is still so new, very little is known about how to rank, what will work, what won’t work, etc.
People who use their smartphone or tablet to search for something usually do it for different reasons than if when they are searching on their desktop.
The two mediums are fundamentally different, which means that maybe neither one is actually more important than the other.
2. Visitor volume is more important than the content on the page.
This is a very dangerous myth, one that has been perpetuated by the idea that as long as you have some content on the page and a mechanism for driving visitors to that page, search engines will not care whether or not the content is actually valuable.
In short, content is probably the most important aspect of any page.
It is what your organic visitors come for. If the content is not top notch, search engines are going to get wind of it and they are not going to give you a prime ranking.
3. Link building is the most important aspect of automotive SEO.
Building links is important, but there are many marketers out there who are saying that building links is more important than content on the webpage.
The truth is that the two things should go hand in hand. Great content begets great backlinks on high quality websites with good authority.
Spending so much time trying to build links, only to have those links divert users to pages that do not really contain quality content is not going to work.
Remember, good content on your website should be the basis of your automotive SEO campaign.
4. Content marketing is separate from SEO.
There is a lot of discussion of content marketing as a separate entity from SEO, when the truth is that the two work hand in hand.
All content that your produce for your website or blog should be primarily for the edification of those who read it and secondarily for bringing more people to your website.
Many people use the term content marketing but really mean “content publishing” or “content spamming.”
They are producing content just to produce it, not to actually provide anything valuable to the people who read it, which would then encourage them to actually come down to your dealership.
5. Plugins are all you need for good automotive SEO.
Plugins are definitely valuable.
They can help you make sure that the content you publish on your WordPress blog meets the basic requirements to be considered optimized for search engines.
But plugins are not people and they do not actually read your content and decide whether or not it is valuable for the target audience.
Don’t rely so much on the machines that you are not actually thinking about how to real humans reading your content are going to react to it.
You should not simply install plugins on your website and call that good.
6. All you need is high quality content.
Of course content is very important to automotive SEO.
It is, however, not the only aspect of SEO that is important.
There are many more, far more technical aspects of SEO that will affect your ranking in the search results just as much as whether or not your website actually has quality content.
There are literally hundreds of ranking factors.
Only a few of them have to do with whether or not your content is valuable for those reading it.
And while you do not necessarily need to spend your entire life fine-tuning your dealership’s website to make sure it is optimized for every single factor that search engines look for, there are some major ranking factors that you should be concerned about, including link building, optimization of meta data, etc., etc.
7. Domain authority matters to search engines.
In short, domain authority matters very little, if at all, to search engines.
Google does not really use it, Bing does not really use it.
This is one of the old holdovers from old automotive SEO that is still somehow holding on.
You do not need to worry about the authority of your domain.
8. The data is more important than the theory.
Looking at the raw data that your website tracking tools provide you is always a good idea.
But how are you going to know what that data means if you are not concerned with the theory that governs that data?
Analyzing your data is just as important as knowing what the data itself means.
If you just consider the data, you are going to have a nice pile of numbers to look at, but which won’t actually provide you with any useful information about whether or not your automotive SEO tactics are working.
You have to theorize about what does or does not work.