In the past, car shopping used to be a daunting process. Not only did you have to go around different dealerships to see the range of vehicles available, but also communicate with the dealers regarding prices and deals. However, today, the advent of the internet has revolutionized car shopping and your dealership’s automotive SEO campaign needs to follow suit. Gone are those days when the salesperson was the expert!

After all, with the incredible amount of information available on the internet, everyone has become their own ‘expert’. They don’t visit a dealership to shop for a car. In fact, most customers are nearing the end of their car-buying journey by the time they are on the lot. Therefore, it’s safe to say that your visitors already know what they are looking for and where they are going to get it. Closing the deal is what they are actually interested in.

It’s important to understand that your customers aren’t just searching for your dealership or your cars online – they are looking for answers. Rather than coming directly to you, they are turning towards the internet for answers to their questions so they can make a well-informed decision on their own.  In case you are wondering, NO this will not edge you out. It, though, gives you the opportunity to become a trusted source that answers all those questions.

However, how to make sure they find you?

Well, it’s simple.

You have to answer the questions of your audience with meaningful and purposeful content before they ask them and make sure the information can be found when searched for online.

Automotive SEO Is Not Just About Keywords, It’s Also about Content

If you search the internet for search engine optimization (SEO), you may still come across some old articles about outdated tactics such as keyword stuffing. Don’t waste your time on these as they all act against your search engine rankings.

Is keyword stuffing still a part of your strategy? If so, stop it NOW!  You need to catch up with the times. People use natural language to ask questions when searching on the internet, and search engines – such as Google – use natural language to answer those questions.

Google wants to connect users with the best quality and most relevant results possible, and nobody would like to use a search engine that doesn’t unearth any valuable information and only shows pages with the most keywords.

To prevent keyword cannibalization, search engines had to get a bit smarter and now reward natural-sounding content – with a few keywords sprinkled throughout the page – over black-hat automotive SEO tactics.

Therefore, if you are looking to improve on-page SEO, you need to focus on improving your visitor’s experience once they have arrived at your website. If you are able to do this, the rest will automatically follow.

So, Does This Mean Keywords Don’t Matter Anymore?

Of course they do. Keywords are still a crucial aspect of your automotive SEO strategy. Without keywords on your pages, there is no way for search engines to categorize your website so that users can find them.

The key is using keywords to produce valuable and great content. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should put every keyword you are looking to rank for on every page of your website.  Creating valuable content – lots of it – is the best way to improve your SEO.

Do you want car buyers to find you? Then, all you need to do is write content that answers questions your target audience has. The more content you are able to create, the more valuable it is to your audience and the higher you are going to rank for the keywords placed in your content.

How to Create Valuable Content for SEO?

When it comes to creating valuable content, first things first: you need to find the right keywords to focus on. By using tools like HubSpot SEO or Google Keyword Planner, you can research valuable keywords for your dealership.

For the best results, it’s highly recommended that you focus on keywords with lower difficulty and moderate to high search volume. Once you have identified the keywords you are going to use, determine your target audience and write content they would love to read.

Remember, each piece of content must have a specific audience, and you need to write your content with them in mind. You can diversify your content and keywords on your website by writing valuable, topic-specific information.

Doing so, not only will you be able to educate your audience, but also build awareness and trust about your dealership. When you create content that people would be interested to read, they will also end up sharing it to expand your audience and further improve your search ranking.

SEO Is an Ongoing Process

If you are able to do create great content that educates and informs people, you will be rewarded. It is, however, important to keep in mind that this is just the beginning. Your search engine optimization is an ongoing process.

While a great automotive SEO marketing plan takes a considerable amount of planning and time, here are a few components of SEO you should be focusing on if you want your dealership’s website to rank well in 2017:

Keywords

The first step to a successful automotive SEO strategy is keyword research. So, identify what your audience is searching for and then create content using the keywords they use to drive traffic to your website.

Content

Content is king, after all! Search engines like Google have stated time and time again that producing quality content on a regular basis is not only the best way to rank for keywords, but also build trust and create positive experiences among audiences.

Social Media

The emergence of social media has led to drastic changes in algorithms. Your dealership must establish a strong presence on popular social media channels such Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, among others, as they send signals of authority and influence to search engines.

Product Images

If you think images aren’t as important, you need to think again. Think about it – when users search for cars in the search engines, they are not only looking at the ‘Web’ results, but as well as the ‘Image’ results.