Last month, thousands of dealers, thought leaders and allied industry members met at the Driving Sales Executive Summit, Digital Dealer Conference and J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable in Las Vegas to discuss best practices and industry trends. Following up on the first two DealerADvantage recaps, which shared key takeaways related to the conversations on social media and “Big Data,” today’s post focuses on search.

In his keynote at DrivingSales, Rand Fishkin, CEO, gave a high-level overview of the current state of search and emphasized the importance having a long-term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Rather than trying to manipulate search algorithms, Fishkin encouraged dealers to implement basic SEO best practices and produce high-quality content.

“Multi-channel attribution is critical,” said Fishkin, a sentiment that was echoed by others including Jason Ezell of Dataium and Doug Frisbee of Facebook throughout the conferences. Because of the growth of mobile search and social networks, Fishkin argued that dealerships must integrate their brand’s story with relevant content across all consumer channels to be successful.

Fishkin closed by stressing the importance of setting key performance indicators (KPIs) in terms of months and years, not days and weeks. As he and others suggested, the tangible results of a sound search strategy take time to see.

Jared Hamilton, Brian Pasch, Jeff Kershner and David Kain weighed in on the discussion during the J.D. Power “Search and Social” Panel.

“Dealers need a content strategy to have a good SEO strategy,” said Hamilton “We need to have better content from OEMs that dealers can push through their channels.” Pasch added that with the recent changes in search, dealers may need to reassess their current strategies.

The panelists continued to focus on the future of search, citing the importance of integration between OEMs and dealerships in regard to reviews and shareable content. As search evolves, Hamilton suggested, “Let’s find ways to integrate more.”

Does your dealership have a formal search strategy? If so, what are some its core components?

Related articles:

#DSES, #JDPAAMR and #DD13 Recap Part 1: Social media a key focus at October industry conferences

#DSES, #JDPAAMR and #DD13 Recap Part 2: The importance of a “Big Data” mindset 

Study by Dataium LLC Evaluates Efficiency of Dealer Online Advertising Mix