Setting up a website for your dealership and just expecting people to find it is like throwing a birthday party, not sending out an invitations or telling anyone about it, but still expecting people to show up.
You can see how ridiculous this expectation is, and yet, many people do exactly that.
They set up their website and then are confused why the see abysmal traffic numbers.
A huge portion of blogs and websites are more or less abandoned, with no traffic and no readers.
Most people blame this on the internet and the search engines, instead of on the website itself.
Simply setting up a website for your dealership is not enough to get traffic to that website.
You have to drive traffic to that website.
A blog is one of the best ways to do exactly that.
Your blog can be a search engine optimization powerhouse and can simultaneously help you build authority and encourage people to click on your website and come down to your dealership to buy a car.
While there are lots of different ways you can get people to visit your website (including a functional social media campaign, distribution through an email list, and paid advertisements), SEO is the most important.
Here’s how to turn your blog into the ultimate automotive SEO machine:
Install a SEO Plugin
If your blog is hosted on WordPress, you have a few different options, the best probably being Yoast.
This is a simple tool that makes it really easy to tell whether or not your post meets the minimum requirements for being search engine optimized.
You plug in the keyword that you are using and the tool will tell you whether or not it has been included enough times, whether or not it shows up in the title and headers, and whether or not it is present in the URL.
While this plugin cannot necessarily tell you how well your post will do when it comes to optimization, it does tell you whether or not you are on the right track.
And it gives you a red, yellow, or green rating for each post that you make.
If you have all green ratings on your posts, you are going to see much better results for your SEO strategy than if your posts are coming up red every week.
Yoast can tell you whether or not your post is keyword optimized but it is far from being enough to make sure that your blog is the automotive SEO machine you want it to be.
Choose Better Keywords
Before studying search engine optimization, most people choose their keywords by sitting down and brainstorming a few clauses that are relevant to their website and perhaps to their customers.
Here’s why this doesn’t work: what you think your customers are searching is unlikely to be what they are actually searching.
Secondly, even if you do hit on a keyword that people are searching, there is likely going to be a great deal of competition for that keyword.
Most keywords that are generated in this manner are far more generic than they should be.
Never assume that you can come up with relevant keywords just by writing down a few phrases on your own.
There are literally hundreds of online tools that are designed to help you develop a better keyword strategy.
First of all, as a dealership, you should be focusing on local keywords.
There is a big difference between “Kia dealership” and “NJ Kia dealership.”
While Google does filter results by location, you are wasting your time and your money if you are spending your resources optimizing for a keyword that is not local.
Almost all of your business is going to come from your immediate area.
You shouldn’t be trying to get someone in California to find your dealership if you are based in New York.
There are lots of ways to find better keywords for your dealership, the first of which being to sign up for a free AdWords account.
Even if you do not plan on starting an AdWords campaign, you will have access to all of the keyword research tools that come along with these campaigns.
They even have a metric for showing you what they think those keywords are worth and, therefore, how valuable they are to you.
If you do not want to do this, you can start by brainstorming your own keywords, but then plug them into Google.
What does Google Suggest come up with when you type that keyword into the search bar?
When you search for that keyword, what options does Google suggest when you scroll to the bottom of the first page of search results.
Use the Keyword Popularity Tool on Google to research those keywords and find out which ones are going to work best for your dealership.
Select Your Keyword and Then Stick with It
One of the biggest mistakes most dealerships make is trying to optimize for far too many keywords at the same time.
You can have two, maybe three keywords.
And only use one keyword per post.
Even if the keywords are related, too many keywords in one post will make it feel stuffed, no matter how adept you think you are at making your keywords sound natural.
Put your keyword in the permalink, title, and first sentence of your post, as long as you think you can work it in naturally, without it sounding like you have obviously written this post just to optimize for this specific keyword.