Car dealership marketing experts have had time to experiment with SEO, refine the process, and develop best practices to implement for their clients. It has become the golden standard for automotive marketing and exponentially increased leads for car dealerships across the United States.
Despite all the benefits of SEO, automotive marketing agencies still struggle to get some car dealerships to commit to a plan that utilizes it to its full potential. To someone who doesn’t understand how a search engine’s algorithm works, it’s a daunting proposition to shell out thousands of dollars for these kinds of services. This is precisely the reason agencies need to understand the ins and outs of SEO, while also being able to show car dealers how to interpret its results.
In this article, my goal is to ensure dealers and vendors understand what SEO is and all of the best practices that have been developed over the years by automotive marketing experts. I promise it’s not as complicated as it may initially seem.
What is Auto Dealer SEO? A Not So Smoke-and-Mirrors Approach To Automotive Marketing
If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say, “I don’t get it. It’s probably just another marketing gimmick.” I probably wouldn’t have to write blog posts anymore.
No, it’s not just a marketing gimmick. There’s a substantial amount of computer science, coding, and RND that functions as the backend for SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Think of it as a race, except there are a bunch of different cars, none of which are racing each other. These cars symbolize content, link building, technical SEO, social media, and keyword search. Instead of racing each other, they are working together to beat specified lap times (goal completions/conversions). Doing so will “win the race” or improve your search ranking on a search engine like Google. When one car starts gaining momentum, your ranking, and traffic increase. The momentum shift of the lead car can also cause the rest of your cars to speed up, improving your results.
In a nutshell: rankings + traffic = conversions. Higher ranked content and websites receive more traffic; resulting in more conversions.
Keywords For Car Dealer SEO
Keywords might be one of the most important aspects of SEO. They help the search engine’s algorithm determine relevant content to show the user while they browse the internet. These words should be related to the theme or content that you are posting on a specific landing page. If you are struggling to determine which keywords to use for your site, we advise consulting either your marketing agency or Google’s Keyword Planner. You could also do your research outside of these sources but your results may vary.
You should also consider implementing long-tail keywords. They provide a lot of value in that they’re very specific. An example of this could be “2021 Lincoln Navigator 4WD” or “2012 Ram 1500 rim replacement.”
A few words of caution: Do NOT cram a bunch of keywords onto the page that doesn’t provide any real value to the content. Google and other search engines reward websites with quality content over anything else. If you think they can’t tell, you’re wrong. The algorithm may lower your website ranking if it detects spam behaviors. Use the keywords effectively and bake them into the content that your audience loves to interact with.
Local Search Result Rankings For Your Car Dealership and Google My Business
A majority of your internet traffic will come from people within 30 miles of your physical location. 80% of customers will use some sort of locational term when trying to find local businesses; For example “Honda dealership near me” or “car service League City.” If you can capture and service the intent of the shopper, you’re going to appear exponentially higher on the page. As I mentioned before, make sure to include keywords in your content and landing pages.
Have you ever Googled something and had a drop-down of local results pop up? The companies that you see on this drop-down results menu use Google My Business. Over the last few years, it’s played a pivotal role in SEO management. Businesses that show up in Google’s “3-Pack” or the top three local results will always get the most traffic. To boost your rank, you need to make sure your store hours, address, and photos are up to date. It would also benefit you to have as many positive customer reviews as possible.
Utilize Alt Tags For Automotive SEO
Any kind of visual content is engaging to your online audience. Customers will click on photos, videos, and various kinds of multimedia as they browse your site. The amazing part about the multimedia that you have on your website is that it can be used for SEO. Alt Tags are text/keywords that are embedded into the HTML, describing the visual content in words. This is a little bit of extra work, but the payoff is huge (assuming you use this in conjunction with your other SEO strategies).
Relevant Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are the slivers of text that the user can see on a search results page. Its main purpose is to provide the user with a short description of the website or page that’s being visited. You want to be as compelling to the reader as possible to get them to click on the page. The user will determine if this is relevant to what they were searching for. Creating a meta description that accurately describes the intent of a web page will improve your search rankings while doing the opposite hurts it. The same could be said for duplicating meta descriptions across different landing pages on your site.
Final Thoughts For SEO For Used and New Car Dealerships
This is not an exhaustive list of ways that SEO will improve your dealership’s page view/lead counts. It should serve as a reminder to some that SEO is only ineffective when it’s misunderstood. There’s a lot to learn, but with time and partnering with industry SEO and dealership marketing experts, you’ll have it up and running in no time. For more information about SEO or the SEO services we offer at Market Doctors, please contact us at any of the information listed on this site.