Search Engine Optimization Tips for Auto Dealers
As you know, not all car buyers are alike. Some are looking for a particular make and model, some want to buy a car from a local car dealer, and some want a particular type of service. But these buyers all have one thing in common: they rely on the Internet.
In this modern day and age, potential vehicle buyers use search engines to find the right dealer. The dealers they find are the ones who know how to use a search engine in their marketing. Are you one of those dealers?
Unlike print or TV advertising, in which you talk to a broad audience and hope someone is interested, search engine marketing is driven by consumers. If you don’t know how to talk about your dealership, your message won’t even reach prospective buyers. That’s why SEO, or search engine optimization, is so important for car dealers.
On this page, you’ll learn exactly what SEO is and why your car dealership should start using it. You’ll also get some tips on starting or improving your own SEO strategy.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of improving individual elements on your website to make it more likely to rank for the words and phrases that are most relevant to your business. The ultimate goal of SEO is to optimize all of these elements continuously so that you can eventually claim the first spot in search results, above all of your competitors.
Website owners have actually been engaged in search engine optimization for years. Back in the mid-1990s, websites would list random words just to show up in a variety of searches. It worked, but back then, there wasn’t much competition for eyeballs at that time. Now, there are millions of websites trying to attract more visitors, and search engine algorithms have improved, so this strategy doesn’t work anymore.
Like any strategy, successful SEO involves a combination of big-picture thinking and day-to-day task management. It takes a lot of time and hard work, but the success of your dealership depends on it.
Why is SEO for Car Dealers So Important?
People don’t have time to browse through endless websites to find what they want. They’ll look at two, maybe three, and ignore the rest. In fact, 60 percent of all search engine clicks go to the first three results.
That’s the main reason why SEO is so important for car dealers. Here are a few others:
SEO Gives You a Competitive Edge
When you rank higher than your competitors in search engine results, your website grabs more attention and generates more clicks. This often translates to more leads and higher sales—more than the competition can get when they rank lower.
SEO Provides More Targeted Leads
If you only add broad keywords to your website like “car dealerships,” you’ll barely crack the top 100 in any search. If, however, you also add keywords focused on your location and inventory, you start to rank higher among people searching locally, leading to more targeted traffic over time.
In addition, SEO targets people who are already searching for the products and services you provide, meaning that SEO traffic is highly targeted.
SEO Gives You Greater Authority
People tend to have a more favorable view of high-ranking websites. They see them as more respectable and authoritative. As your dealership’s site ranks higher, it takes on an air of authority, making it the go-to site for people searching for auto dealers.
SEO Increases Awareness of Your Dealership
You might be the best auto dealership in town, but if nobody knows that you exist, you won’t attract new customers or close sales.
SEO helps to ensure that your dealership appears in front of a relevant audience online. This will increase awareness of your brand and ensure that more people can find and contact your dealership.
What Are the First Steps to Car Dealer SEO?
SEO can seem like a big, complicated procedure if you’ve never done it before. It starts out that way, but it gets easier over time, especially if you work with a team that can walk you through the process.
Here are a few crucial first steps that can help you better optimize your website for searches and visitors.
Choose the Best Keywords
The first thing Internet users often do when looking for a product or service is to type relevant search terms into their search engine of choice. The only way your site will come up is if your content includes those search terms, too.
Think about what your dealership offers in terms of service, car models, and locations served. Try to incorporate all of those words and phrases into your content in a natural way—for example, in a few paragraphs on the homepage of your site, or by creating individual pages or even blog posts that focus on specific topics.
Create quality content
Both humans and search engines alike love fresh, quality content. And people will be more likely to want to find out more information about your dealership after coming across helpful content you published online.
You can start by creating a blog and posting interesting information about your industry and car buying tips. Blogging is a great way to interact with potential customers and answer questions they might have about your dealership or inventory. In addition, you can beef up your website with content about the cars on your lot and the services you provide.
Also, be sure to include key information, such as your contact info, hours, and locations, on your website so that visitors can easily find the information they need to take the next step.
Optimize Every Element
Of course, you’ll add keywords and phrases to your web copy, but SEO doesn’t stop there. In fact, using the same word too often can make for poor copy, which turns off visitors.
Instead of overusing keywords in your copy, add them in other places. This may include the alternate text of photos, URLs, title tags, and the meta descriptions associated with each page. These can both help you improve your rankings and increase the likelihood of someone clicking through to your page.
Don’t forget to include any blog posts or articles you write in this strategy, too! The more often your dealership is associated with your chosen keywords, the higher your site will rank. Just remember to make it natural, because search engines can pick up on unnatural content—and impact your rankings as a result.
Track and Monitor
You assume your chosen keywords are working, but are they? Have they increased website traffic and search engine rankings? More importantly, are they bringing in the kind of traffic you want?
Have a plan to track and monitor your SEO efforts. By knowing how well you’re already doing, you can create a plan to improve your efforts even more. And by knowing your weaknesses, you can focus your time on improving those areas to make your SEO strategy that much more robust.
Make it a Regular Task
SEO isn’t a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process in which you continually strive to boost search engine rankings, and it requires time and dedication to do it properly.
Once you start implementing SEO, don’t stop. Whether you work on optimizing your site every day or every week, it has to be a regular part of your marketing plan. Otherwise, SEO won’t help you reach your marketing goals or improve your visibility online.
SEO is a Necessity for Car Dealerships
The most successful auto dealers can be found at the top of search engine results, but they don’t appear there by accident. They work hard to make sure their websites, social media pages and blogs are optimized for the most targeted searches.
Your auto dealership needs to do the same, or at least get help from experts who understand SEO for car dealers. If you don’t think you can implement these SEO strategies on your own, get in touch with an Internet marketing agency like WebpageFX for help.
WebpageFX has been named the #1 SEO agency in the nation by Heardable.com, and it’s because we’ve helped our more than 500 clients find success with online marketing and search engine optimization. We offer custom strategies that are designed to increase your exposure naturally and over time, but with enormous gains to your revenue and reputation.
Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for you. We can’t wait to hear from you!
WebpageFX is a leading SEO company ready and willing to help you reach more customers online. Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to learn more.