If you are just now starting to consider building a website for your car dealership, you might have only the example of your competition to go off of when you are considering what types of content your website needs.
The content on your website is the foundation of automotive SEO—the right content here will make or break all of your search engine optimization efforts.
No matter what kind of cars you sell, whether you sell them new or used, who builds your dealership’s website, or what platform it’s hosted on, here are the eight types of content your automotive website absolutely needs:
1. Contact information.
If this sounds like a no-brainer, that’s because it is.
But it’s surprising how often this information is left off of a website, especially a dealership website.
Those that are the only Ford dealership in a small Pennsylvania town, for example, might think that everyone knows where they are—but if you really want people to be able to find you, having your street address, phone number, email address, and any other pertinent contact information at the ready is the best way to ensure someone can get in touch with you when they need to.
2. Homepage content.
Most people will find your homepage before they find any other page on your site.
This means that you need to have helpful, informative, keyword-rich content on that homepage. Many dealership owners forgo having a lot of text on the homepage in order to make way for pictures of the dealership and the cars they sell.
While there’s nothing wrong with that, if there is no text on the homepage, it will be very difficult for Google to index that page and rank it well in the search results.
Underneath or beside the visual content, you want to have text that talks about your dealership, the brand you sell, your used lot, your prices, etc.
3. About Us content.
One of the benefits of buying from a local dealership rather than buying from a big-box car store like CarMax is the local ownership.
While you might sell just Fords or just Hondas, your dealership is owned and run by real people.
I once purchased a Chevy instead of a Ford sedan because I knew the Chevy dealership was owned by racecar legend Al Unser and his family (in addition to being offered a better price at the Chevy dealership).
Putting information about these people and your dealership’s philosophy up on your webpage is a great opportunity for search engine optimization and for humanizing your business.
Most dealerships have a section of the website where a visitor can enter their contact information and get an email with information, deals, or offers on the specific vehicle or vehicles they are looking for.
This means that the visitor is going to entrust personal information into your care.
When crawling websites, Google looks for these types of policies on webpages and gives webpages with these policies a boost in ratings over those that do not.
5. A blog.
While most people who own a car probably know how to refill the tires with air or change a tire that’s gone flat, fewer people might know the finer details of maintaining an engine or cleaning the interior of their vehicle.
For that information, they take to a search engine.
If you have blog posts on your blog about relevant car-related information, you are more likely to bring traffic to your website, and all you had to do was write about topics you’re already well-versed in.
6. News section.
Often times, the news and blog sections are combined, but you can always benefit from adding another page, especially one that includes a newsfeed, even if that newsfeed is lifted directly from Google or from your brand’s own news webpage.
There are plenty of feed tools that allow you to post snippets of stories and links back to their source, and all you have to do is indicate what source you want to take the content from.
This is an easy way to build links and to incorporate a large number of relevant keywords without making your webpage look like spam.
7. Descriptions of the available cars on your lot.
While you might have hundreds of cars on your lot and you do not want to write unique descriptions for all of them, writing descriptions, at the very least, for the make and model categories to accompany the pictures you post of the vehicles online is a great way to incorporate automotive SEO and to discuss a particular model’s positive, negatives, and perks.
If you have a used lot attached to your dealership, pictures and text about the individual cars can be a great way to get those looking for used cars or a specific used car to your website and eventually to your lot.
While Google does not yet have the ability to crawl the spoken or written words in a video, the web crawler does give preference in search results to videos, even if they are posted on your webpage and not on its daughter company, YouTube. Posting a video of a tour of your dealership, introductions to your staff, or even, if you’re industrious, a tour of the individual cars on your lot, can be a great way to engage with site visitors and turn them into dealership customers.
When your dealership’s website has these eight types of content, it will be search engine optimized and ready to go!