Starting and/or maintaining a successful automotive SEO campaign can feel like a big task.
Without understanding what the foundation of your campaign should be and why those elements are important, you might find yourself grasping at straws, unable to really put together a plan that works.
If you are just starting or are looking into restarting an automotive search engine optimization campaign, here are the basic components that it will need:
1. A well-build website
A website can make or break your dealership.
In today’s day and age, car buyers expect you to have a website, and it has to be easy to use and attractive.
Checking all of these boxes can feel impossible, especially if you are trying to just use a premade template on a drag-and-drop site building service.
A custom-built website is almost always a much better option for all businesses, but especially for dealerships, who will need lots of media and will want really clean code and design in order to support that media.
Having a great website is the foundation of any search engine optimization effort.
It is where all links, wherever they are placed on the web, will lead back to and it will contain the content and the keywords designed to draw people to your webpage.
Before you start any other aspect of your automotive SEO campaign, make sure that this component is in line.
2. Great images and media
When we talk about content, we are largely talking about written words on your website and blog.
Search engines can only use images and videos based on the captions and titles for those types of media.
That doesn’t make them unimportant (Google and it’s brothers in search engine arms actually prefer a website that has a wide variety of media to a website that has very little other than text to offer—as no searcher really just want to read page after page of text).
It simply means that along with your images and media that are relevant and engaging, you will want to have captions and titles that search engines will be able to scan.
3. Impeccable content
For a car dealership, it is extremely important to have a website that is filled with relevant, useful content.
In this context, content includes pictures of the cars on your lot and text about those cars, about your dealership, and about cars in general.
Your content should span the full spectrum, from text, to pictures, to video.
In making the decision of whether or not to come down and visit your lot, site visitors will want to see the actual cars online before they decide to step foot on your lot.
They will want to get to know your salespeople and will want to see what the atmosphere of your dealership is like.
All of your content, especially pictures, videos, and blog posts, can help first, get a searcher to click on your link and then direct that site visitor to actually come down and visit your dealership in person.
4. Use links
Links to established websites give you the ability to draw on the juice of established companies.
As a dealership, you might be affiliated with a specific brand of car manufacturer.
If you are, you are lucky!
You have a built-in popular, established, and authoritative website that you can draw juice from.
That said, you don’t just want to rely on your brand’s website.
Instead, find lots of different resources you can link to.
Don’t link to your competitors, but do link to websites and blogs that talk about car maintenance and news.
5. Fresh content
Yes, you will need content.
And then, you will need more content.
One of the basic components of a SEO campaign is consistently fresh content.
A blog is a great way to make sure that your website always check this box, as long as you actually update that blog.
A blog us no good if you don’t consistently post new content to it on a regular basis.
If you are having trouble coming up with content or you aren’t sure how often you need to post content, you will want to discuss your situation with your web developer or with a freelance writer.
6. Guest blogging
As a dealership, the goal of having an online presence should be to build authority for that dealership.
The more involved you become in your area’s online car community, the more name recognition you will have, and the better chance you have of encouraging someone to visit your dealership the next time they are thinking about purchasing a vehicle.
Guest blogging is an easy way to spread your name and it is one of the best ways to improve your page ranking.
Though often ignored in most standard SEO campaigns, this should really be part of the foundation of any and all search engine optimization plans.
7. A dedicated web developer and/or management company
What’s the point of paying someone to build your website and handle your marketing and/or search engine optimization?
Why is this one of the basic components of a successful automotive SEO campaign?
Because for most dealerships, there is very little free time for the staff to be building and working on a website and attending to customers who are actually physically on the lot.
A dedicated company who understand the needs of a dealership and its website is much more likely to be able to bring you the traffic that you want or need.