It’s not too late to make sure that your automotive SEO is as strong as it can be for the last quarter of the year.
Search engine optimization is always changing.
From year to year, it might change so much that the optimization strategies you have been using over the last year no longer work properly.
For example, in 2015, many websites might have lacked a serious strategy for optimizing for mobile devices.
In 2016, this has become extremely important—so much so that not having a mobile optimization strategy might actually harm your dealership’s ability to rank in all search results, mobile or otherwise.
Have you been paying attention to the trends in automotive SEO?
Here’s what you need to know about optimizing your dealership’s website in the last quarter of the year:
1. Focus on your social media page.
Does social media really influence your automotive SEO that much?
This year, it does. Social signals are becoming more and more important, with search engines putting more and more of an influence on how active your social media pages are and how strong your presence is, in addition to how many people visit your website via that social media page.
Many dealership will post links to their blog on their social media, as well as pictures and short captions about the cars that they sell and who they sell those cars to.
It is not enough simply to have these accounts—you have to be active on them in order to fully profit from their ability to help you automotive SEO.
2. Videos are still massively important.
Many optimizers will put a lot or even all of their focus on written content, as this is the content that actually contains the keywords that will hopefully bring people to your dealership’s website.
And while keyword-rich content has been and will continue to be extremely important to a functioning automotive SEO campaign, it is also very important to provide other types of content as well.
Videos, this year, have begun to perform particularly well.
Not only do they allow you to show up higher in the search results, they also provide your site visitors will valuable information that will help influence them to come down to your showroom and buy one of your vehicles.
Not sure what you can make videos about?
Try making a video introducing your sales staff.
What about videos detailing each of the new models that you have on the lot?
If you sell used cars on your lot, too, why not make videos introducing those cars so people can get a full tour of the vehicle before they show up to buy it?
3. Mobile optimization is key.
Mobile optimization has become to be more and more important over the last five years, as more and more people have started defecting from their laptops and desktops to mobile devices.
While most people still own both, the average person is more likely to run a search on their mobile device than they are on their laptop or desktop.
They are often easily within reach and most smartphones now have a feature that allows you to simply ask the phone a question, without having to even type anything into a search app.
It is very likely that someone who is already out shopping for a car is going to look up other dealerships they can visit.
They are going to do this on their smartphone or tablet.
If it is difficult to find your contact information or if your dealership’s website takes a long time to load, it is unlikely they are going to wait around for the information on your website.
Instead, they are just going to tap away and look for a different website.
4. Prepare yourself for voice search.
When you ask Siri, Cortana, or Android’s Google Now function, do you say, “Search car dealerships New Jersey?”
Or do you say, “Siri, where is the nearest Chevy dealership to me?”
When it comes to voice search, most people phrase their queries in the form of a complete question. While it might not be as concise, it is more natural.
Why does this matter?
Because the keywords that might have been effective last year when only a small fraction of people were using voice search are going to be very different from the keywords that are going to be effective this year, now that the majority of people use this function on their smartphones.
Voice search has brought us the rise of long tail keywords.
These are usually search phrases that are as long as entire sentences, instead of a two or three word phrase.
When typing, individuals are likely to try to be as concise as possible.
When using voice search, they are more likely to speak in full sentences.
As we transition into fewer typed queries and more spoken queries, there is going to be a shift in what is effective for SEO.
5. Put an emphasis on local automotive SEO.
Trying to optimize your website to be successful nationally is a fool’s errand.
Over the last year, Google has only made local SEO more and more important, especially for dealerships, who sell almost exclusively to local customers.
This means that Google will expect you to optimize your website for your local area.
If it isn’t, you probably won’t have your rightful place in local search results and you probably will not be attracting as much local traffic as you think you should be.
The Pigeon update has put a huge emphasis on local search, so you should make it the keystone of your automotive SEO strategy.