Car dealerships can no longer rely on traditional advertising methods to gain foot traffic. You can’t rely on mailers and television ads to bring in business anymore. Instead, the focus must be on automotive SEO and digital marketing. The trouble is that many dealerships don’t know how to implement automotive SEO strategies, and might even violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
To help you avoidthis, we’ve put together ten top automotive SEO tips.
Tip #1: Make Your Website Important
There’s only onechance to make a good first impression. Your website must be of the utmostimportance when it comes to mapping out a marketing strategy. Here are sometips to follow when creating the website.
- Make sure your homepage has at least 400 words.
- Include your contact information on every page
- Use title tags, H1s, meta descriptions and image alt text with all ofyour content.
- Create an easy-to-use search bar.
- Implement social sharing buttons on every page.
Tip #2: Create Useful Content
Search engines wantto see fresh content regularly. Your digital marketing efforts must includerelevant content that your customers want to read. Of course, you are changingyour inventory often, but what about the other content? Does that remain staticand untouched?
Consider starting ablog or a news section that allows you to post information your customers arelooking for. You can talk to every department within the dealership to findideas for content. Create blog posts that are at least 300 words long, but thelonger, the better.
Just make sure it’seasy to read and broken up into digestible chunks. Then, share the content onyour social media channels.
When you createyour content, make sure you include some unique features that set you apartfrom the competition. OEM Style Video Ads are a great way toincrease engagement and capture more attention.
Tip #3: Create a Google My Business Page
If you haven’tstarted your Google My Business account, today is the day. It’s simple andprovides a fast way to showcase your dealership. To further enhance theautomotive SEO, make sure that the contact information with your Google MyBusiness page is the same as your website.
Tip #4: Include Schema Mark-up
Schema mark-upisn’t a new process, but not everyone uses it. Utilizing schema mark-up correctlyis one of the top dealer SEO best practices. It allows search engines tounderstand your website better. With the proper setup, you will help Googlenavigate your content, which only improves search rankings.
Tip #5: Use Citations
If you can get yourdealership name on other sites, it validates your credibility. Talk to thelocal chamber of commerce, business directories, Yelp and other websites to getstarted. You can also use an aggregator tool to get citations.
Tip #6: Get Other Organizations to Link Your Site
Having inboundlinks from other trusted websites improves your ranking. You must personallyreach out to local websites and establish a relationship to make this happen.You could also consider sponsoring a local event or partnering with organizationsin your community. These are great opportunities to get recognition on otherwebsites.
Furthermore, youcould offer to write a blog post for a non-competing industry’s website. Forexample, you can ask the local insurance agent if you could supply a post aboutcar maintenance in exchange for them linking to your company. Not everyone willagree, but it never hurts to ask.
Tip #7: Monitor Analytics
You might not likenumbers and statistics, but website analytics is vital to your dealershipgrowth. These factors show you the most popular content on your website, aswell as the top landing pages. You will also be able to view where your websitetraffic comes from and tailor a marketing plan with this data in mind. It’srecommended to review the website analytics every week, at a minimum.
Tip #8: Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
People have smartphonesin their pockets at all times, making it easier than ever to browse forinformation. If your site isn’t prepared to handle this mobile traffic, youwon’t get a second chance. Talk to your web team to make sure that the mobileuser has the experience they desire.
Tip #9: Boost Your Reputation
Your dealershipwon’t succeed with negative reviews. As part of your automotive SEO strategy,you must improve your online reviews. Start by capturing your existing customerbase and asking them to provide feedback. After each sale, you will want tosend an email asking if the customer was satisfied.
Make it simple forpeople to leave a review and share it on social media. If you face negativecomments, make sure you respond to each one promptly with a solution to theproblem.
Tip #10: Get Rid of Sliders
The time to usesliders and carousels on the home page has passed. Even Yoast recommends banningsliders from your site, and it is a leader in SEO optimization. Not only won’tpeople click on the sliders, but the content will slow down your website pagespeed, which is an annoyance many customers won’t stick around to deal with.
Getting Help With Automotive SEO
You may have a teamof SEO experts on your staff ready to help you now. Chances are, that’s not thecase. In these circumstances, it’s best to hire an automotive marketingprofessional that can guide you in the right direction.
You want toincrease your local dealership efforts to reach more people. While you canfocus on one tip at a time, it’s best to implement an entire SEO strategy andrevamp what you are doing entirely. Either way, you must remember that changingthe direction of your search engine optimization takes time. It won’t changeanything overnight.
By maintaining aconsistent plan, updating your outdated website and ensuring you are providingvaluable content, you will be on the pathway to success. Take one small steptoday to increase web traffic and the benefits will last far into the future.