Just like your customers want to find the fastest, most technologically advanced cars your dealership has to offer, you should have a website outfitted with the fastest and easiest to maintain search engine optimization.
While there is no such thing as an automotive SEO campaign that doesn’t need maintenance (SEO and cars are alike in that way), there are some tips that are easier to implement and easier to maintain than others.
If you are looking for some of the best tips to make your SEO more robust, here’s what you need to do:
1. Focus on content and links.
It was Bill Gates, original technology mogul, who said that content is king. It was true when he said it more than twenty years ago and it is still true today.
It content is king, then links are that king’s princes.
As much as you need great content about your brand, about individual models, about car maintenance, and more, you need links to help support that content; both links going away from your content and links on outside website back to your content.
Content may be able to stand on its own, but it works much, much better if it has the support of links.
2. Every page should have a keyword in the title.
This is one of the easiest and best ways to get Google’s attention and all it requires is a little bit of planning.
Once you know what keywords you are going to worry about, all you have to do is make sure that you include one of these keywords in your page titles and in the titles of your blog content.
This is actually fairly easy to do, especially if you use the keyword-colon formula.
Essentially, all you have to do is use your keyword, a colon, followed by the actual title of your page. For example, “Philadelphia Kia Dealership: 5 New Features on 2016 Kia Vehicles.”
3. Freshen your content regularly.
On top of actually posting fresh content to your blog regularly, it is never a bad idea to review the content on your website and it make sure that it is still meeting the needs of your dealership and is still fresh enough that you aren’t getting killed on Google.
4. Make sure your design and SEO are on the same page.
This is why finding a design firm that is as concerned with content as they are with the design of your website is always a good idea: you’re more likely to get a design that takes your website’s content needs into consideration.
As your business grows, you will need a larger website—your design should accommodate for that growth, instead of stifling it.
5. Think phrases, not words.
Today’s internet searcher doesn’t just type in a single word into Google.
Even if they are searching for a Ford dealership in their exact location, they are not going to just type the word “Ford,” into their search engine.
People are more likely to search in phrases than they are in single words, so focus on phrases and long-tail keywords, over single words (unless that single word is very, very likely to work for you).
6. Delete anything on your website that uses Flash.
Ten years ago (maybe even five years ago), Flash was a great tool for making unique animations and images for your website.
Today, it’s not supported by the vast majority of web browsers, and even if it is supported, it is heavy, which slows down a page’s loading speed, which is never a good thing.
If you have any remaining Flash on your website or if you have been considering adding something to your website that runs on flash, take it off.
It’s just not the best way to put media on your website.
7. Think natural.
This is one of the easiest ways to help you pick which keywords you want to work with.
Unless you have a very compelling reason not to choose a keyword with natural phrasing, always choose keywords that can be naturally incorporated into your content over keywords that have very little chance of being incorporated into your content.
For example, if you have two keywords, one of them is “Philadelphia Ford dealership” and the other is “Ford dealership Philadelphia,” choose the first one.
It is much easier to incorporate into content naturally.
8. Test your website.
If it’s been a while since you have clicked around your website, take a lunch break and give your website an once-over.
You don’t have to read all of the content, but just spend some time pretending you are a shopper, trying to find out what your dealership has to offer.
Is information readily available?
Can you find a list of cars the dealership has quickly?
Is contact information obvious?
Site usability is extremely important to SEO, so be a stickler about it.
9. Make your call to action strong.
Even something as simple as “Call us today!” is better than having no call to action at all.
The best calls to action will be imperative sentences that express timeliness or scarcity.
For example, “Call for this exclusive offer, today only!” communicates that if the viewer wants to take advantage of a special your dealership is running, they only have today to do so.
10. Put captions on your images and videos.
A lot of the content on your website might be visual.
Don’t miss the opportunity to include keywords with this content by adding a short, keyword-rich caption below each image or video.