No automotive SEO strategy is going to be one hundred percent perfect all of the time.
When you have serious issues, you might not know where you can turn or what you can do to solve them.
Here are some tips for diagnosing and solving some of the most common and biggest problems that plague automotive SEO:
1. Moving to a new website
Maybe you’ve changed the name of your dealership or you are simply migrating the same brand name to a newly built website.
Either way, moving to a new website is tedious and you’ll probably see a serious drop in traffic if you don’t handle the transition properly.
You can hold on to a lot of that traffic (you’re going to see a little bit of a drop no matter what you do), by properly exporting the pages that get the most traffic.
You will also want to check your 301 redirects before the site goes live, just to make sure that you are not serving up redirects that don’t work.
2. Low organic traffic
You might be getting a lot of traffic from your advertisements, but if you are not seeing very much organic traffic or you have seen a serious drop in your rankings, despite making no changes to your website, it’s time to take a closer look at your analytics.
Look at your website before and after the drop.
There might be a change there that you didn’t notice before or a change that you previously did not associate with your traffic.
You might also want to check and see if Google updated their algorithm in a way that would affect your website.
3. Getting your mobile website off the ground
You probably have a responsive website, but if you are, for some reason, holding on to your old website that does not have a viable mobile version, you need to have a mobile website built for your dealership.
Whether or not your website can be easily searched for and accessed on mobile websites can affect your overall automotive search engine optimization.
This website, just like your desktop website, needs to be optimized, but it should be optimized for the mobile user.
That means a higher degree of emphasis on your contact details and making it very easy for a user to browse your stock.
4. Duplicate pages and content
You might have used the same content for every single model of a vehicle or to draw in traffic from different areas.
Google might be looking at this as duplicate content, being used to dupe their algorithm into giving you a higher ranking.
While you didn’t mean to duplicate your own content and weren’t trying to game the system, this is how the search engine sees this type of content.
There are a few changes you can make to solve this issue, including removing the content, rewriting each page to be unique, or adding canonical tags so that Google only indexes one of the pages or pieces of content.
5. Pages with not enough content
It’s hard to say what constitutes “enough content.”
There used to be very defined rules about how much content a page needed in order for search engines to pay any attention to it.
SEO has largely moved away from a single, unified word count that makes a page valuable or not valuable and has, instead, put an emphasis on writing enough words to cover the topic.
A page that is concise and clear is going to rank higher than a page that is filled with fluff just to reach a word count.
On the other hand, a page that is so summarized that it doesn’t provide any real information about a topic is going to rank much worse than a much longer piece of content that plumbs the depths of a topic.
Your content should be long enough to cover the topic—no shorter, no longer.
6. Not enough links
Links is one of the biggest and most controversial aspects of automotive SEO.
How do you know where it is alright to put links, where you should remove them from?
Do you need to link in between your own pages?
What about to your blog?
How do you get other websites to link to you?
In short, you do need to link between your own pages and your website and your blog.
Getting other websites to include a link to yours is a little bit trickier, but it starts with writing valuable content that would encourage someone to actually think your website is relevant and useful enough to their own readers.
7. Your website loads slowly
Does it really matter if your website loads slowly?
In the eyes of the search engines, it definitely does.
Page load speed has a very visible effect on rankings.
Most dealerships, even relatively small ones, can have massive websites with lots of pages and pictures to advertise the vehicles they have on their lots.
Your first step is to find what exactly is slowing your website down.
In many cases, your pictures are too large or they are being hosted incorrectly.
The best way to figure out what is holding you back is to use a tool that scans your website for its speed and then provides you with a list of issues that are causing it to be slow.
Fixing the issues it lists is the best way to solve this particular problem.