One of the biggest things you probably want to know if you are embarking or have been working on an automotive SEO campaign, is whether or not it is actually working.
If your current efforts are not working, you will want to adjust your strategy.
If they are working, you’ll want to continue to build on those strategies to make them even more effective.
And while increased traffic to your dealership’s website is a good way to know whether or not your SEO is working, it does not really tell you whether or not the money and time you are investing in search engine optimization is being returned to you because of those efforts.
Here are some ways to measure your return on investment and how to increase those returns:
A Rise in Organic Traffic
This is the main goal of any search engine optimization campaign, and for good reason.
A rise in your organic traffic means that your efforts to attract more traffic through search engines are paying off.
It’s important to remember that you are looking not just for more visitors, however, but more visitors who are finding you through organic search, and not through queries where they are looking specifically for you.
When someone types the name of your dealership specifically into a search engine, they are already aware of you and probably already planning to visit you.
If, on the other hand, they search for car dealerships in your area and click on your link, this is traffic that can be attributed specifically to your automotive SEO.
This type of traffic will tell you that the keywords that you are using are working for you, i.e. bringing more people to your website.
You can check how exactly certain visitors are finding you by looking at your Acquisition section of your Google Analytics dashboard.
Look specifically for the organic keywords area and filter the traffic to remove branded keywords.
While an increase in branded searches will indicate that your other marketing methods are working, it won’t tell you very much about search engine optimization.
More Inbound Links
Do you want a strong automotive SEO campaign?
If yes, strive to get as many inbound links as possible.
When a website outside of your own links to your website, that is a signal that Google takes very seriously.
It tells the search engine that you are a valuable part of the internet and that your website has information that was relevant enough that another website saw fir tot link to it.
The more inbound links you have, the better your SEO is going to be.
But inbound links are also simply indicative of great SEO return on investment.
If you are getting lots of inbound links, you are writing great content that is being linked elsewhere, so even more traffic is being sent to your website.
You can also learn a lot about the habits of your potential customers by looking at where they find your links and why they click on them.
While inbound links certainly aren’t the very best measure of ROI, they are a good way to see if the content you’re putting out is worth the time you are spending on it.
The Quality of Your Traffic
Traffic quality is measured by two metrics: relevancy to your dealership and the amount of time they spend on your website.
For example, you could be seeing huge traffic numbers from Portugal, but if your dealership is in New Jersey, you know that none of those people are ever actually going to come to your dealership and purchase a vehicle from you.
This makes that traffic highly irrelevant.
You also want your traffic to be willing to stick around.
The longer your traffic sticks around, the more likely they are to pay a visit to your showroom.
Google Analytics will tell you everything you need to know about the quality of your traffic: where it is coming from and how long it is sticking around.
When your traffic comes from your local area (your most likely demographic of customers), and when they stay and click around your website for a long time, that is very high quality traffic and tells you that the keywords you have chosen and the content you have written is working perfectly.
Your Revenue Is Increasing
The most important metric of return on investment?
An actual return on your investment.
If you started out investing $0 in automotive search engine optimization, you were seeing a $0 return on investment.
If you start investing $200 a month in SEO, and see only a $200 increase in sales from those efforts, you are not getting a great return on that investment.
However, if you invest $200 and see a $2000 or $20,000 increase in sales, that is a huge return and proves to you that your investment is improving your business.
It can be difficult to strictly attribute a jump in sales to a specific campaign, especially one like SEO, which seems so disconnected from the rest of your efforts.
This is why it is important to ask your customers how they heard about you.
If a majority of them tell you that they found you through an online search, you can attribute a lot of that increase in revenues to your search engine optimization efforts.
Remember that SEO will take some time to find a foothold and to actually start showing results.
That said, if you are patient and stick with the campaign, giving it the attention it deserves, you can guarantee that you will see an increase in revenues.