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 avoid this, we’ve put together ten top automotive SEO tips.
Tip #1: Make Your Website Important
There’s only one chance to make a good first impression. Your website must be of the utmost importance when it comes to mapping out a marketing strategy. Here are some tips 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 of your content.
- Create an easy-to-use search bar.
- Implement social sharing buttons on every page.
Tip #2: Create Useful Content
Search engines want to see fresh content regularly. Your digital marketing efforts must include relevant content that your customers want to read. Of course, you are changing your inventory often, but what about the other content? Does that remain static and untouched?
Consider starting a blog or a news section that allows you to post information your customers are looking for. You can talk to every department within the dealership to find ideas for content. Create blog posts that are at least 300 words long, but the longer, the better.
Just make sure it’s easy to read and broken up into digestible chunks. Then, share the content on your social media channels.
When you create your content, make sure you include some unique features that set you apart from the competition. OEM Style Video Ads are a great way to increase engagement and capture more attention.
Tip #3: Create a Google My Business Page
If you haven’t started your Google My Business account, today is the day. It’s simple and provides a fast way to showcase your dealership. To further enhance the automotive SEO, make sure that the contact information with your Google My Business page is the same as your website.
Tip #4: Include Schema Mark-up
Schema mark-up isn’t a new process, but not everyone uses it. Utilizing schema mark-up correctly is one of the top dealer SEO best practices. It allows search engines to understand your website better. With the proper setup, you will help Google navigate your content, which only improves search rankings.
Tip #5: Use Citations
If you can get your dealership name on other sites, it validates your credibility. Talk to the local chamber of commerce, business directories, Yelp and other websites to get started. You can also use an aggregator tool to get citations.
Tip #6: Get Other Organizations to Link Your Site
Having inbound links from other trusted websites improves your ranking. You must personally reach out to local websites and establish a relationship to make this happen. You could also consider sponsoring a local event or partnering with organizations in your community. These are great opportunities to get recognition on other websites.
Furthermore, you could offer to write a blog post for a non-competing industry’s website. For example, you can ask the local insurance agent if you could supply a post about car maintenance in exchange for them linking to your company. Not everyone will agree, but it never hurts to ask.
Tip #7: Monitor Analytics
You might not like numbers and statistics, but website analytics is vital to your dealership growth. These factors show you the most popular content on your website, as well as the top landing pages. You will also be able to view where your website traffic comes from and tailor a marketing plan with this data in mind. It’s recommended to review the website analytics every week, at a minimum.
Tip #8: Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
People have smartphones in their pockets at all times, making it easier than ever to browse for information. If your site isn’t prepared to handle this mobile traffic, you won’t get a second chance. Talk to your web team to make sure that the mobile user has the experience they desire.
Tip #9: Boost Your Reputation
Your dealership won’t succeed with negative reviews. As part of your automotive SEO strategy, you must improve your online reviews. Start by capturing your existing customer base and asking them to provide feedback. After each sale, you will want to send an email asking if the customer was satisfied.
Make it simple for people to leave a review and share it on social media. If you face negative comments, make sure you respond to each one promptly with a solution to the problem.
Tip #10: Get Rid of Sliders
The time to use sliders and carousels on the home page has passed. Even Yoast recommends banning sliders from your site, and it is a leader in SEO optimization. Not only won’t people click on the sliders, but the content will slow down your website page speed, which is an annoyance many customers won’t stick around to deal with.
Getting Help With Automotive SEO
You may have a team of SEO experts on your staff ready to help you now. Chances are, that’s not the case. In these circumstances, it’s best to hire an automotive marketing professional that can guide you in the right direction.
You want to increase your local dealership efforts to reach more people. While you can focus on one tip at a time, it’s best to implement an entire SEO strategy and revamp what you are doing entirely. Either way, you must remember that changing the direction of your search engine optimization takes time. It won’t change anything overnight.
By maintaining a consistent plan, updating your outdated website and ensuring you are providing valuable content, you will be on the pathway to success. Take one small step today to increase web traffic and the benefits will last far into the future.