When you are trying to grow your automotive business, you need to focus on growing your customer base through successful digital marketing, which involves SEO, SMM, SEM, PPC, and video marketing. However, when most car dealerships start working on their digital marketing strategy, they often forget or fail to appreciate just how important local automotive SEO is for their marketing efforts. SEO with a local focus is crucial for attract more leads and conversions.

By working on your local automotive SEO, you can create an excellent car dealership website that is easy to navigate, offers clear descriptions of cars available, and has features in place for converting visitors into customers. This allows you to reach out to potential customers and car-enthusiasts in your local community to learn more about you. Depending the location of your dealership, the local market can be an entire state or within a 5-mile radius.

Latest Happenings in the Digital Marketing World

Times have changed a lot over the past few years. Traditional advertising via banners, radio, TV ads, and magazines no longer allow businesses, especially those operating in the automotive sector to attract customers. At the same time, digital marketing has grown and become more complicated. With Google becoming more intelligent and aware of black hat SEO techniques, businesses are required to work extra hard in keeping up with the latest changes.

For 2017, the big news is that Google has updated its search quality rating guidelines, placing a strong emphasis on local targeting and mobile optimization. There is also a de-emphasis on supplementary content, requiring businesses to focus more on “creativity”. In order to rank better, car dealerships need to go the extra mile with their Content Development strategy. Customers no longer want to read the same old, boring, redundant stuff they find everywhere.

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Local Goldmine requires you to be actively involved with the Automotive Industry. For improving your visibility online and gain more leads, you need to focus on positioning yourself as an “industry expert”. This way, you can dominate your local market and sell more cars as you receive a boost in traffic. Among the new changes of 2017, you must also increase the responsiveness of your site. Google believes in valuing the viewers time.

This requires you to improve your page speed, navigation, and response time. Google has been sending out notifications in Search Console for PageSpeed tips. Follow the tips provided, while updating your PageSpeed version. This will not only improve your speed, but also enhance security against malware, hacks, and viruses that could potentially harm your site.

3 Big Changes Car Dealers Must Be Aware Of Right Now

1.      Google Hummingbird Algorithm

Google has updated its Hummingbird Algorithm to become more intelligent with regards to analyzing content and ranking websites. If you want your car dealership to rank better, you must focus on providing the user value. Forget about writing for Search Engines and place strict emphasis on giving quality content to your visitors and prospects. Many OEM websites are doing a poor job on SEO and limiting the amount of keywords your dealership can rank in the local market.

To gain an edge over the competition, you need to write according to the latest guidelines of Hummingbird, which require you to be more creative, genuine, and unique than ever. This means, no longer can you pick a certain topic, search for related articles, and rephrase wordings to create your own material. You need to go the extra mile in researching. If you are a car review website, forget looking at other reviews. Portray yourself as an expert by creating videos of you talking about the car, describing its features, discussing possible comparisons/alternatives, etc.

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2.      Social Networking Is Essential

Google is now replacing its reliance on backlinks with social networking. This means, your car dealership must focus more on genuine and legit ways to raise awareness about products and services. Backlinks never did actually work for helping your site rank better. However, as social media is an integral part of your digital marketing strategy, it is bound to generate good results in the form of increased leads and conversions. Google has made it crystal clear that they want websites to focus on social relevance.

You need to be more active in your social networks. This doesn’t mean you just set up a Twitter account or Facebook Fan page and forget about it. In order to rank better, you need to communicate and interact with your prospects and followers. Display a personal side of your brand on social media to allow for fluid discussions with customers. Creating solid relationships with your followers and fans is what Google is now looking at.

3.      Building Online Social Communities

As social media continues to dominate every sector and industry, it has become crucial for businesses to create their own online social communities, which allow followers to interact with one another and discuss various topics. This especially goes true for car dealerships. The internet is all about communities. You need to create one for helping your followers engage. Building your own community will allow for photos to be shared, comments to be made, and videos to be uploaded.

All of this can result in an increased activity in your website. Google’s algorithms will certainly detect this change and begin indexing your site more often. If you are following the correct guidelines, you can feel assured to rank better. This will enable you to attract more leads and conversions. The cycle continues to repeat, as your website becomes more social and develops into a large and powerful community.

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Last, but not the least, focus on optimizing your website for voice search. With mobile apps like Cortana and Siri, voice search is becoming more popular day-by-day, as users are finding it easier to perform searches from their mobile devices. Leverage this to your advantage and work on your voice search optimization. If you fail to keep up with the newest trends, you may fall behind the competition and suffer a decrease in rankings on SERPs.