For those operating in the automotive sector, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a strategy that not many have sufficient knowledge or experience. Yes, dealers do realize that SEM and SEO are needed for boosting the likeability of their automotive website, but they don’t fully grasp how it should be executed. After all, you can’t go very far without proper implementation of Google’s guidelines. Matters get worse, when each “marketing guru” gives you their own “idea” on what SEO constitutes.
So, without further ado, look at this checklist below for optimizing your website in its most basic form.
Optimize Titles, Descriptions & Keywords
Also known as “Meta Data”, the keywords, titles, and descriptions are all essential components for grabbing the attention of prospective customers wanting to buy a vehicle or searching for an automotive service or agency.
When a search is performed on Google, you are presented with a list of sites that match your search. The keywords, titles, and descriptions are the first “visible” data displayed by search engines for persuading buyers into clicking your website link, as opposed to others.
Typically, you want your Meta Data to be PERFECT and optimized in a way that it screams, “Click on me! I’m the Best!” How can you make this possible? Look below!
Page Title Tags
Your page title tag is the most important piece of Meta Data. The main aim of this title is to garner interest by summarizing the content on the related page. Subsequently, the title should be to-the-point and easy-to-understand. Google demands the Title Tag to be of 50 to 60 characters.
Try your best to stick to this character count, while adding important keywords first. A loose sentence structure is usually preferred. This way, you can come up with a unique title tag for every page on your site. However, it is imperative that you avoid using automated software for producing titles.
A good example of a page title tag is “Allentown Kia Dealer, Expert Sales and Certified Service”.
Now that you have created attractive page title tags, it’s time you move onto the descriptions. This goes without saying, the sole purpose of your Meta Description is to SELL YOUR PAGE LINK. Think of it as a short marketing banner. It should be a sales message that uses strategically added keywords for better rankings on Google’s SERPs.
Most specialist SEOs will tell you to keep your description simple and maintain a good structure. However, none of that really matters. Forget about grammar. Forget about sentence structure. Just ensure that the description you’ve added is doing its job of SELLING the link. Bear in mind though that your Meta Description should be unique for each page.
Avoid duplicating descriptions from page to page and especially stay away from automated SEO platforms that promise on generating “dynamic” descriptions. Page titles and descriptions should always be PERSONALIZED.
A good example of a Meta Description is “INCREDIBLE SAVINGS! Don’t miss the opportunity to leverage exceptional deals on new, used, certified pre-owned, or first-owner vehicles today!”
For the last of your Meta Data, you have the keyword field. The main purpose of adding Keywords is to target your content to the appropriate audience. For instance, let’s suppose you are selling Kia Vehicles in Allentown.
In order to target customers from the specific area, you will add keywords like “New Kia’s in Allentown”. However, it is imperative that you don’t go overboard with keywords. Keep a limited number of keyword phrases (maximum 3).
Most importantly, keep these keywords short. Google’s experts recommend that keywords should be two or four words each. Bear in mind that if your content is stuffed with dozens of keywords or single words separated by commas, you will be penalized.
Keyword stuffing is no longer appreciated and considered a Black Hat SEO technique. The best way to benefit from improved rankings is to implement your keywords in a way that they appear and flow naturally.
Optimize Content on Your Page
There are many Automotive SEO providers in the marketplace who will tell you that 500 words on each page is a good rule of thumb. However, there is no need for you to add so much content. There are many pages with hardly one sentence that rank better than pages with 1,000 words.
Therefore, the focus should be on “QUALITY” and “ORIGINALITY”. As long as your content is unique, you can feel assured to rank better on Google. Duplicated content will result in penalization from Google. Yes, it does get difficult to come up with “unique” content for automotive websites. After all, how many different ways can you review a 2016 Honda Civic?
The key is to display your website as an EXPERT on the subject. Just like a car sales representative, the content of your site should be personable, relatable, and understandable. Most importantly, it should take into consideration your dealership philosophy, geographic region and demographics.
Since you are running an automotive website, it is rather expected for you to add plenty of car related images for your content. Once your individual pages have been linked and optimized correctly, begin managing the pictures on your site.
Bear in mind that all images should be UNIQUE and high in quality. Moreover, they should have an alt tag and title that describes or correlates with the image. For instance, if there is a picture showing the interior of a 2017 Kia Optima, add the appropriate tag “2017 Kia Optima Interior”.
Last, but not the least, optimizing your website also involves the proper organization and structure of your web pages. Plan the structure of your website beforehand and determine the pages and subpages you will include.
For instance, if there is a “service” page, you must create another page for individual services or products (i.e. “tires”). Similarly, your “tires” page will serve as a hub page to more specific pages describing the “types of tires”, “best brands for tires”, etc.
So, if you want to increase your website visibility on the SERPs of Google, make sure to follow the abovementioned tips on optimization.