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3 SEO Strategy Twists Dealerships Need to Account For in 2015

By now, most dealers know they need some type of SEO strategy to stay competitive online. But what exactly goes into that?

 

Website Optimization? Yes.

 

Linkbuilding? You betcha.

 

Content? Without a doubt!

 

While you've heard of these terms and how important they are, do you really know the details of what really makes them work for your dealership? If not, how are you going to hold your SEO or full-service digital marketing company accountable?

 

Here are the SEO strategy twists most digital marketing vendors don't want you to know.

 

Fresh, Quality, Purposeful Content is an Absolute Necessity

 

Your website provider or digital marketing company may say they're creating content for your dealership's website, but was that a one-time deal or are they staying consistent? If not, you can kiss any hope of ROI down the toilet.

 

The four most important things Google looks for in content are purpose, quality, freshness, and consistency.

 

  • Purpose: What problem does this content solve? Is the information beneficial to your site's users? If you can't answer either, you're dealing with content without a purpose. Consider that the web's "Rebel Without a Cause."
  • Quality: More than just good writing, quality content is about organization, depth, and overall presentation. This includes proper fact-checking, readability, and relevant imagery.
  • Freshness: Google loves to know that your website is keeping up with the times. By publishing content about recent industry news and other developments, you're establishing yourself as a valuable source of information.
  • Consistency: Quantity is not as important as it once was for content, but consistency still matters greatly. Going hand-in-hand with freshness, consistent content creation (accompanied by purpose and quality) is what helps drives more and more organic traffic to dealership websites.

 

Great content strategies also establishes purpose with already-purposeful and quality content. Tying together existing content on your dealership's site, relationships between different pages are built, allowing your dealership to gather more authority from search engines for the keywords car buyers in your area use to find dealerships.

 

Successful Linkbuilding Strategies Now Mimic Content Strategies

 

Like content, linkbuilding used to be all about quantity. The more links, the better. Forget source, context, or anything about the end user's experience, we just want to rank #1.

 

Of course, SEO has evolved to favor quality over quantity, as Google and other search engines made adjustments to encourage sites to consider user experience in their digital marketing efforts.

 

An effective linkbuilding strategy now focuses on targeting relevant sites with relevant content, and building links consistently over time instead of all at once. This means car dealers need to seek out authoritative sites related to the automotive industry, not random directories that accept any and every link.

 

Search engines understand the context of links and if you can earn relevant links on quality, trusted sites in your industry, they'll pass more authority to your site in return.

 

 

Website Optimization is More Than Just Design and Content Adjustments

 

Google wants to send its users to fast websites. If your dealership's site isn't fast enough for users, they'll click the back button and click through to one of your competitors.

 

Not only will that help them, as they gain another visit, it will eventually hurt your overall rankings. The more users click back to search results from your dealership's site, the more Google will associate your site with low-quality results. Soon enough, you'll be pushed out in favor of sites that are deemed more worthy of top ranks.

 

Hold your website vendor accountable in this situation by requesting an audit of your site's speed compared to your major competitors. And while you're at it, do one yourself using tools like Pingdom's Website Speed Test and Google's PageSpeed Insights.

 

They're likely not going to tell you that their competitors are building faster websites, and they're certainly not likely to spend the time and resources necessary to fix your site's issues, so for a non-biased audit of your website, and recommendations on the most innovation automotive website providers, contact Wikimotive. We're not a website provider, so we have no dog in the fight!

Written by Mark Frost, Director of Content at Wikimotive

Views: 534

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Comment by Carl Maeda on December 4, 2014 at 6:31pm

Hello Tim,

It sounds like we both have different definitions of SEO.  I define SEO as anything that will help increase your organic rankings in the search engines and in other places like Yelp.  Under my definition, Content Marketing would fall under SEO. So would On-Site SEO (such as Optimizing the Meta Description), Local SEO, Reputation, Social, etc.  And even inbound links.(part of Off-site SEO)

It is true that the larger,more popular the site, the less On-Site SEO matters but most dealership websites can't ignore good on-site SEO.

Comment by Timothy Martell on December 4, 2014 at 6:09pm

I think the bigger point here, Carl, is that this should not be the area of a dealer or SEO providers focus. These are things that should already be done correctly at the outset as a function of hiring a competent website provider. If you're looking to drive more traffic, increase rankings, CTR's etc then its about content marketing. What dealers have been taught is that "SEO" is a thing you pay your website provider $500/month for and they optimize your meta data. This is 2005 thinking and it needs to stop. It has no value and in most cases is hurting dealers and they're paying for it for added insult. SEO is dead. There are no valuable "tricks" to gaming search algorithms. This just leads to penalties and recovery processes. 

Content marketing is what SEO has become today. Its about connecting with consumers by serving a need and delivering value, thus driving traffic, leads and sales.


Influencer
Comment by Carl Maeda on December 4, 2014 at 6:02pm

Meta Keywords can hurt you... don't use them.  Google ignores it and Bing uses it as a spam gauge.

But having good Meta Descriptions can help you in a round about way.

Since Google Webmaster Tools shows you impressions and clicks, you can A/B test different Meta Descriptions and their effect on the Google Results Page.  You can essentially test the Click Through Rate(CTR) from Google to your dealership website with different Meta Descriptions.

Tweaking the meta description can help you achieve a higher CTR and help you get a little more traffic to your dealer website from Google Organic.

Try this, start your homepage Meta Description with the dealer name.  In most cases, (when google uses your meta description for the SERP description) your Clicks (and CTR) will increase. Just give it a few weeks.

Comment by Timothy Martell on December 4, 2014 at 7:35am

To put it more correctly, you cannot benefit from meta data. It can only hurt you. For example, if your website provider uses an automated system for generating meta data this can lead to many duplicate iterations across multiple pages - especially inventory. This can actually hurt your rankings.

Having unique and properly formatted meta data is table stakes. This isn't going to help you dominate.


Influencer
Comment by Mark Frost on December 2, 2014 at 5:11am

An additional note: Google does not use keyword or description metadata as a ranking factor. A good, unique meta title and description are important for user experience on every page, but they're not what make the difference in ranking and not ranking. Don't pay for a useless service!

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