Success with your automotive SEO requires dedication and patience.
There are lots of factors when it comes to being successful with your search engine optimization strategy, and there are also plenty of missteps that might divert your efforts and make it impossible for you to succeed if you continue on that path.
Here are some of the biggest ways you could fail with your SEO and how to avoid these situations:
1. You didn’t set any goals.
How can you know if you are progressing if you do not know where you started out or where you are trying to go?
This means that you have to start tracking your website even before you start implementing your SEO strategy and then carefully think about what you want to achieve with that strategy.
As with all goals, they should be specific and achievable.
For example, getting a million page views a month is probably not an achievable dream.
Getting a thousand page views, however, is, even if your website is only getting a dozen right now.
2. Not putting any time into keyword research.
Some people do not even bother to spend time thinking about what keywords they should be using.
And while keywords are not nearly as important as they used to be in automotive SEO, they are still extremely important, which means that they should be given the necessary time and attention that they deserve.
You might know your customers, their needs, and the car selling industry like no other dealership, but if you are not using the right keywords, then your strategy is not going to be successful.
3. Not worrying about website structure.
The underlying bones of your website are as important as the surface view of the website and the content on that website, particularly because a shoddily-built website is going to be difficult for search engines to crawl and index, and if your website is too difficult, the bot will just give up and your website won’t even be listed in the search results.
Having a well-built, attractive website is as important to automotive SEO as the content you actually post on that website.
4. You aren’t tracking anything.
You may look at your graph and see that you had a huge spike of activity last week.
Do you know what changes were made to your website last week (or, in more succinct terms: do you know what changes were made that caused that increase in activity?)
You do not just want to track your rank.
You want to track your rank in relation to the changes that you make to your website.
When you introduce a new navigation system, does your traffic increase or decrease?
When you update your content, are you seeing more visitors or fewer visitors?
This is all important information to know if you want to know how to actually improve your automotive SEO.
5. You do not test your changes.
An AB or split test is a very important part of making sure that you are actually making positive changes to your strategy.
If you do not test your changes, if you, instead, just implement them on every version of your website, you run the risk of making a change that causes your ranking to plummet.
And because you did not test the change, you might not even realize that it is that change that is causing your rankings to drop.
It is very important to test any and all changes you implement in a controlled environment, before they are released to the rest of the internet.
6. You only care about how many links you are earning.
Earning links is great and it’s a very important part of any automotive SEO campaign—but it’s also not the only important aspect and the number of links you are earning is not as good a metric of success as is the quality of the links that you are earning.
You need not just a lot of links, but links that are extremely relevant, authoritative, and trustworthy.
Google does not just care that you have a thousand links back to your webpages.
In fact, if those are low-quality links (links with no relevance, authority, or trust), you are only going to be hurting your website by having all of those links floating out there in cyber space.
7. You are not concerned with how mobile-friendly your website is.
Want a really fast way to see your rankings tank?
Make sure that your website is not mobile friendly.
Not only are you going to be seeing an increase in mobile traffic as more and more people start looking for dealerships on their mobile devices, you are also going to see an emphasis on the importance of mobile optimization in Google’s algorithm.
Google cares a lot about whether or not your website works properly on mobile devices, which means you should care a lot about it, too.
8. You have no idea what your competitors are doing.
You need to know what your competitors are doing.
Just as you cannot progress without knowing where you are and where you want to be, you cannot know where you stand in relation to your competitors if you do not know where they are and what they are doing.
If you want to get ahead of any competition you may have in your local area, you need to know what they are doing to try to get ahead of you—not so that you can copy it, but so that you can make sure your strategy goes above and beyond.