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DEAR LITHIA MOTORS

It's recently come to my attention that your site is, well, poorly optimized. Not only that, but your individual dealer sites appear to suffer from many of the same problems. Apparently Dealer.com has done you wrong from an SEO perspective. Don't worry, it's not just you, there are many suffering from the same problem...think of the opportunity!

You see, it seems very odd to me that when searching for used cars in Portland, OR, none of your sites come up!


And it's not just Portland...


As an SEO, caring resident, and fellow business owner in the Rogue Valley, this pains me deeply. While I can't tell you everything that could be hurting you in this single letter, I can point out a few simple opportunities for you! 

Tip 1: Waste is a bad thing in many areas of life...
It's bad for SEO too. Most people who are linking to your site, probably aren't going to link to www.lithia.com/index.html. It's much more likely they'll just link to www.lithiamotors.com.

Looks like a good batch of your backlinks are running through a redirect. This lowers the value they have by an expected 10-15% minimum. When your link equity is diluted, it affects your ranking potential. Easy win!

Tip 2) Don't confuse the bot!

This canonical is used in a multitude of instances across the site incorrectly. A canonical tag is considered to be (basically) the same as a 301 redirect and essentially tells bots "The URL you're looking at is the same as the one over here.." This is confusing for bots that are smart, but not that smart. All signals connected to pages that you may want indexed are being transfered to a single page, AND, there may be gaps in inventory crawling on deeper pages. Bottom line, there are better ways to handle this :).

3) Think about your friends (your customers) and what they're seeing...

Result in this and this....

This may not seem like a huge problem, and really, it isn't. However, it IS a missed opportunity to put forth a title and description that grab users and help drive CTR (Click-through-rate), which is likely utilized by Google to understand how well a result matches a query. A big part of search is taking every advantage you can to set yourself apart!

In all seriousness Lithia, you have some good things going for you and a deep technical audit (I believe) would help you unlock more of your potential. These opportunities were spotted quickly in a 15-20 minute review of your main site www.lithia.com and through looking at a few of your specific locations (which could also benefit from specific local SEO efforts).

I'll leave you with just a single number: 4,400 - the estimated (combined) number of searches for "used cars" occuring monthly in the three cities I mentioned above. Let's get some! 

Sincerely,

Todd McDonald​


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