Having a functioning automotive SEO plan doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to be stressful.
If you are working with a web developer that is willing to handle your website’s search engine optimization, you may actually have very little involvement in your SEO campaign.
Other developers may assign you specific tasks that are designed to boost your search engine page rankings, and others may just offer you some guidelines to follow.
Whatever level of outside help you have obtained or are going to obtain, having these ten tips in your arsenal can ensure that your automotive SEO campaign is as effective as possible.
Here they are:
1. Local links are key.
One of the biggest advantages you have as a car dealership is not having to compete on the national or international arena.
The vast majority of your customers are local—they want to shop at local dealerships and so they come to you in their local area.
This means that local links are going to be your biggest boon.
A great way to build local links is to get involved in your community, to sponsor events and charities, and to make sure you claim your listings in local directories and registries.
2. Enter the social arena.
Do your customers want to connect with you on social media?
Most of them do.
People love connecting with their favorite businesses through social media, especially if those businesses know how to run an engaging and interactive social media campaign.
Even casual car owners will love getting information about how to maintain their vehicles through your social media accounts.
This venue is a great way to market the content you post on your blog and further improve the reach of your automotive SEO campaign.
3. Provide quality content.
This should be a no brainer, but it still bears repeating: only offer up content if it is high quality.
What constitutes high quality content? It is informative, engaging, and relevant.
That means it has provide information that your readers actually want to receive in a format that they are likely to actually read and use.
As a car dealership, you have lots of opportunities for providing this level of content to your readers.
4. Release content consistently.
Consistency is as important for your blog’s followers and regular readers as it is for search engines.
Fresh content is always good for Google and it will keep people coming back to your website again and again.
Why is that important?
Because when a customer starts thinking about buying a new car, you want to be very present in their mind.
You want your dealership to be the first one that pops into their heads.
5. Build a thriving local SEO campaign.
The majority of your SEO is going to be local just by the nature of your business.
Google will automatically present you higher in the list of dealerships to customers in your local area than dealerships that are farther away from their location.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t need to be vigilant about optimizing for local keywords. Keywords like “Kia dealership in New Jersey” are going to be just as important as just “Kia dealership.”
6. Make sure your website is technically sound.
Things like the rate at which your website loads, what type of media it includes, how that website looks, and how easy it is to navigate might not directly influence your SEO, but they do indirectly influence by making it difficult or easy for site visitors to find the information they need.
When that process is easy, they stick around and are more likely to become customers. When that process is difficult, they are much more likely to click away and find a different website to do business with.
7. Manager your reputation.
It’s important to look for negative reviews on local review websites and mentions of your dealership specifically in blog posts and on social media.
Because even one negative comment can drive people away.
Most buyers are already wary of care salesmen—you don’t want to see your online reputation take on that typical car salesmen vibe.
Be very conscious of how you respond to negative feedback and how you address those that disagree with you, and how you sound in advertisements and marketing communications.
8. Don’t use a template website.
It’s easy to get a template up and running.
That’s why so many dealerships use template websites.
Don’t do it.
Templates are boring and they rarely fit your exact needs as a dealership.
Site visitors will see nothing special about your website and therefore nothing special about you and will click away.
9. Use reviews you’ve already gotten and ask customers to leave you a review.
Social proof is one of the most important aspects of any buying decision.
As a customer is trying to decide where to buy, they will look for reviews or testimonials left by past customers.
While reviews might seem to do very little for automotive SEO, they actually strengthen legitimacy and authority signals, which are very important to your page rankings.
10. Don’t make your website into a greasy car salesman.
It can be tempting to just plaster “Buy Now!” and “Come on down!” all over your website.
This isn’t going to work on today’s consumer.
They hate feeling like they are being sold to.
Your goal should be to provide content that is very useful and engaging, so that when they visit your website, they see how valuable your business is and they then want to do business with you.