SEO offers no guarantees.
You can do everything that every article ever tells you to do and you might still not see that number one slot.
However, there are some things that you can do to make your automotive SEO strategy be as successful as it can possibly be.
Once you do all that you can do, your strategy is in the hands of the algorithm. Here are eight things you need to do to make sure your strategy is successful:
1. Make sure you have thoroughly researched your audience.
Researching your keywords, writing content, and creating an attractive website is going to mean nothing if you don’t know who you are trying to reach.
Picking the right keywords depends heavily on your buyer and what they are looking for when they purchase a car.
You won’t know who you are speaking to when you write content, which can lead you to writing content that your actual audience doesn’t find appealing or interesting.
If you are not speaking their language, you are not going to be able to pull them in and convince them to visit your dealership.
2. Pick better keywords.
The very best keywords are ones that have intention.
What does it mean for a keyword to have intention?
Look, for example, at these two keywords: “shoes” and “best shoes for running a marathon.”
The first keyword is extremely generic and is probably going to have a lot of competition.
The second keyword, however, shows that the person searching for this topic is first, ready to buy (because they are looking for shoes for a specific purpose) and second, looking for a specific type of shoe.
Optimizing for the second keyword would bring you much more qualified clicks on your website.
A good example in the automotive industry might be keywords like, “good car for camping,” or “best sedan for family.”
3. Test your keywords before implementing them.
If you want to get a glimpse of how well your chosen keywords are going to work for your website, you might want to consider plugging them into your PPC campaign, first.
You can test just how effective they are going to be by creating a campaign around those keywords.
Even if you do not want to actually implement that campaign, you should get far enough to see how many monthly searches there are, what the competition looks like, and what you would be asked to bid for those keywords (which is a good indicator of how valuable the keywords are).
- Keep mobile and voice search in your consideration.
One of the reasons that a long-tail keyword like “the best sedan for family” is a better keyword than just “sedan,” is that more and more people are using their digital assistants to run searches on their mobile devices.
When most people ask Siri, Google, or Cortana to search for something, they don’t just bark out a short keyword phrase, they usually ask the assistant a question.
While some people do try to shorten the phrase, the keyword is almost invariably going to be much longer and much more natural.
While you might not want to build your entire automotive SEO strategy around this fact, it is still something important to consider.
5. Put your contact information on every page.
With a business like a dealership, every person who is eventually going to buy a car from you has to come to your physical location.
Search engines care deeply about how easy that physical location is for your customers to find.
If you put your contact information on every single page, you are automatically much easier to find, no matter how that consumer found you.
Along with your address, you should include your phone number, just in case they have a question that they need to ask, before they come to dealership to look at the vehicles you have.
6. Make sure every page of your website is valuable.
There should be a purpose for every single page on your website.
You should not just add pages of your website to inflate its volume because you read somewhere that larger websites do better in search results.
Your dealership needs high quality content and descriptions for the vehicles you sell, all laid on top of a website that is attractive and easy to navigate.
Dealerships have some of the most notoriously difficult websites.
You want it to be streamlined, with the information your visitors are most likely to want at the forefront, so they never have to go digging for it.
7. Be consistent.
One of the biggest mistakes that many dealerships make is to start an automotive SEO strategy and then to keep up with only intermittently.
Functional SEO requires a great deal of consistency in order to be effective.
If you really want you strategy to be successful, you need to set aside time every single week to work on it.
If you do not have that kind of free time, you might consider hiring out your SEO to a company that is extremely familiar with how to make work for dealerships.
8. Don’t forget about content marketing.
While content marketing is often sectioned off into its own room of digital marketing, fresh, valuable content is an integral part of successful SEO.
It’s a great opportunity to optimize for keywords that might not have fit on any of the pages on your website or to prove your authority on topics related to your industry, both of which are important for a robust strategy.