Getting your dealership’s website visible on Google is likely one of your primary priorities.
When someone in your area searches for dealerships, you want yours to, at the very least, show up in the list of links, so that they can find you and come down to your showroom to buy a car.
Fewer and fewer people are responding to marketing on television and radio and it is more important than ever before to ensure that you show up in the organic search results for your area.
But how do you make sure that your website’s link makes it into the top results?
Here are the ten most basic tips for you to start your automotive SEO journey:
1. Worry about your website’s first impression.
It can be difficult to be impartial when it comes to examining your own website and determining whether or not it is actually making the impression that you want it to make, so it might be time to have someone else look at that website and tell you whether or not the design and the content are making the impression that you are trying to make.
If it makes people want to stay on your website, it is succeeding, if it is difficult to find what people are looking for, it is failing.
2. Make your content useful.
You should want at least four hundred words on your homepage and this content should be as useful as it can possibly be.
Many dealership, especially smaller ones with limited resources, end up paying for cheap content that might include their keywords but doesn’t actually provide any relevant information to the people who read it.
Any piece of writing or images that you put on your website should have a very clear and informative purpose.
3. Make sure you have your Google Business page set up.
You might already have one, without even having to set it up yourself.
If you are already listed, claim your listing. If you don’t have one, make your listing.
It’s no surprise that Google plays favorites with the dealerships who actually use their listing service, so set up your listing and make sure all of the information posted there is as correct as it can possibly be.
4. Make sure your schema markup is being properly utilized.
Most of your competitors will not have even heard of a schema markup.
Your schema markup is a little bit of code that you add to your website in order to help site crawlers understand what that website is about and whether or not it would be relevant for the search results that crawler is putting together.
It doesn’t just provide data to a crawler, it actually explains that data so that search engines can quickly determine whether or not your website is relevant.
5. Get mentioned.
This is usually easier said than done, but if you have connections with other local businesses, this is a good chance to help build your credibility and increase your search ranking.
When you are mentioned on other websites, you become more trustworthy in the eyes of the search engines.
One of the best and easiest ways to build citations is to create or claim your listings on local directories.
6. Get linked.
There are probably blogs and websites that are dedicated to recommending businesses in your area, to talking about which ones their readers should do business with, or simply to making lists of local businesses.
You will perform much better in the search engines if you can get one of these locally-focused blogs or websites to include a link back to your dealership on a relevant post or page.
The key here is relevance—you do not just want them to stick a link to you on their website.
The content surrounding that link has to be relevant to your dealership.
7. Pay attention to your analytics.
When was the last time you actually took some time not to just look at your analytics but to actually consider how those numbers could help you improve your search ranking?
Analytics do not just exist to tell you whether or not your automotive SEO is successful—they also should tell you how you can improve your conversions, how you can decrease your bounce rate, and what content is actually bringing people to your website and how could can capitalize on that.
8. Ask for reviews from your satisfied customers.
If you know that you have had a good experience for a customer, it is worth your time to ask them to leave you a review, whether you have a place on your website where they can leave that review or whether they leave it on a local directory site.
Not only will this protect your reputation and help to cultivate it (and provide potential car buyers with the social proof they need to come buy a car from you), it is also crucial for SEO.
These reviews help build your authority and your digital footprint.
9. Make sure your website is compatible with mobile.
If you haven’t done this already, just do it.
Today’s consumer is a mobile consumer and you are much more likely to be sought out on a mobile device than you are on a desktop these days.
10. Get rid of homepage sliders.
Lots of dealerships use these sliders to showcase different deals or sales they are running, but most consumer simply find them annoying and don’t pay attention to more than just the first slide.
They are abysmal for your bounce rate.
There are better ways to advertise your sales and provide a range of valuable content on your homepage.