One of the biggest misconceptions that exists about automotive SEO is that it is completely divorced from your other marketing efforts.
The truth is that not only is search engine optimization integral to supporting your other marketing efforts, it actually is a form of marketing itself.
If marketing is defined as any strategy that is designed to create buzz about and attract attention to your website, then SEO is a form of marketing.
The goal of any SEO campaign is generate more visitors for your website, with the overarching goal of bring more people to your dealership.
The reason SEO is so often set apart from other digital marketing tactics is because it is fundamentally different.
There is a big difference between starting a banner ad campaign and running a SEO strategy, even if the two things ultimately work together.
How does SEO fit into digital marketing?
Say, for example, that you pay for ad space for your dealership on a local paper’s website.
They pot your ad in the sidebar of articles, where it is likely going to be seen by people who would buy a car from you, if they knew about your dealership.
Some of those people, however, will not be looking to buy a vehicle right now, but they will still see your ad and hopefully it will make an impression on them.
In the future, when they have made the decision to buy a car, your dealership’s name will pop into their head and they will go to a search engine to look for you.
If your website has not been optimized for search results you are going to be difficult to find, especially if they type in just your brand and their local area.
Your website is going to be the landing site for all of your potential customers online.
If it is difficult to find, if it does not show up in relevant search results, you are not going to be making the most of all of your other digital marketing efforts.
While the goal of digital marketing is often to convince the viewer of an advertisement to click on that ad right away, another goal is to simply raise awareness about your brand, so that when it is time to make a purchasing decision, your brand name is already in the mind of the consumer.
If they cannot find you online, however, you look less legitimate and they will probably go with one of your competitors rather than choosing your brand, even if you would have been able to provide them with a better vehicle.
Do I really need automotive SEO?
One of the most common arguments against automotive SEO is that all car buying has to be done in person.
Unlike a lot of businesses that actually sell their goods and services online, if someone wants to buy a vehicle from you, they have to do it on your showroom floor.
What purpose, then, does a website really serve except to show people that you are a business that exists, if they happen to look online for you?
The problem is, of course, that without automotive SEO, your website will not be easy to find.
Keep in mind that your competitors might be optimizing for your brand name, meaning that they could supplant you in search results, even if someone is looking specifically for your dealership.
They certainly will show up in those search results below you, because they are related to your business.
SEO is a contributing factor to the success of businesses, even those that can only sell their goods to customers who actually come to their brick and mortar store.
Even if they are already aware of you and are planning on visiting your dealership, a potential customer might still get online and look for your website, just to see what vehicles you have to offer and what the overall atmosphere of your dealership feels like.
If you want to be findable, you need a website that is optimized for search engines.
How can I optimize my website?
You have essentially two options when it comes to optimizing your dealership’s website.
The first option is to optimize your entire website yourself.
There are lots of resources for learning about automotive SEO, including this blog, where you will find tips and tricks that are essential to making sure your website is easy to crawl and that when it is crawled, that it gives the impression you want it to give.
You can take classes, watch webinars, read whitepapers and books, and more.
All of these are great ways to learn what you need to know about search engine optimization.
It is important to note, however, that SEO takes time, energy, and resources.
Many people think that they can just add a few keywords to their content and be done with SEO, when the opposite is actually true.
The other option for optimizing your website is to hand it off to an automotive SEO firm.
This is a great way to get the optimization that you need and want and cut back on the amount of effort that you have to put in to that strategy.
If you want your strategy to be successful and you do not have time to give it the effort that it deserves and even requires in order to produce an uptick in visitors, farming the strategy out to a skilled professional is the best altnerative.