Owning a dealership means that you are busy.
You have customers to attend to and employees to deal with, on top of keeping your business running. Optimizing your website for search engines might be at the bottom of your list.
The problem is that your competitors, the other dealerships in your area, are using search engine optimization on their own websites, which means that in search results, they are going to beat you every single time.
If you are not optimizing your website, you are letting them get an advantage over you.
In this digital age, having an advantage over you online is the worst kind of advantage they can have.
Here are nine easy tips to get you started with automotive SEO:
1. Choose a name that is SEO friendly.
When choosing a name for your website, choose something that is SEO friendly.
For example, your dealership might be called “John Doe Kia Dealership,” but your website will be better for search engine optimization if it is called “New Jersey Kia Dealership,” instead.
Using this title on your website, while keeping your actually brand name in your logo and branding materials, is a good way to get a leg up on your competitors.
2. Pick a domain name that contains a keyword.
If you already have a website, you might have already done this.
For example, you might already have the name of the brand of vehicles you sell in your domain name.
You might even have your location in that domain name.
A great domain name might be something like bostonfordealership.com.
If this sort of domain name is not available, you might want to look for different combinations that still include your brand of vehicle’s name and your locality.
3. Find a little bit of time for keyword research.
While the goal here is to get your automotive SEO campaign up and functioning as quickly as possible, there are some steps that you are going to have to invest a little more time into.
This is one of those steps. In order to be functional, you need to have great keywords and great keywords require research.
You cannot just brainstorm keywords and expect them to work.
A great keyword is one that has intent.
A good example of a long-tail keyword that shows intent might be, “where to buy ford fiesta in philadelphia.”
Individuals who search this keyword have the intent to buy right now.
Great keywords will also have high search volume but low competition.
4. Start creating content.
You might take on the task of creating the content yourself or you might hire a freelance writer to create your content.
No matter which avenue you choose, you want content that is keyword rich and of a very high quality.
This means focusing on creating content that is relevant to the people who are going to be reading it.
5. Make sure your website is compatible with mobile.
You want users to be able to access your website from their mobile devices.
One of the biggest mistakes many dealership owners make is assuming that people are only going to access their websites via a laptop or desktop, when in reality, the majority of people are going to find them on mobile devices.
Your potential customers are already out of their house and shopping for cars.
You need to provide them with a website that they can not only find, but also view on a mobile device.
6. Speed up your website.
If your website is more than a few years old, it is probably outdated and loading very slowly.
Search engines care about how quickly your website loads.
If it loads too slowly, users are probably just going to click away and go to one of your competitors.
If your website loads quickly, they will be immediately presented with the information they want to know and are more likely to want to visit your dealership and buy a car form you.
7. Get on social media.
Search engines also take your social signals into account when deciding where to rank your website.
If you do not have any social signals, now is the time to get some, but starting social media accounts and gathering followers.
Share the content you write on your blog over social media and engage with people who have bought cars from you or are looking to buy cars from you through these venues.
You can then drive more traffic to your website.
8. Work on building your backlinks.
Backlinks are of the utmost important to modern automotive SEO.
You need links on other website that lead back to your website.
A great way to do this is through the creation of valuable content on a blog, which should naturally accrue links around the internet.
Guest blogging is another good way to build these links.
A very common and easy way to start your backlink profile is to create or claim your listings on local directories and to make sure they include a link to your website.
9. Always be analyzing.
Once your automotive SEO campaign is up and running, it is time to analyze the work that you have done and the results that it has brought you.
There are lots of tools for doing this, but Google’s own analytics are usually the best place to start.
They will tell you what is working and what you need to improve on if you want to see your website climb in relevant search results.