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Is Your Dealership Embracing Social Signals? Here's Why It Needs To

Each year, the web becomes more and more dominated by social media. But with the rise of Facebook, Twitter, and the social web came a big question: Does social media affect search rankings?

The answer: Absolutely. If you've incorporated social media into your existing SEO strategy, you're likely seeing better results than a competitor who has yet to realize the potential of social media and its impact on car dealerships.

But why is that? What causes social media activity to influence search engines and add authority to pages?

An Introduction to Social Signals

Social signals is a term used to describe the effect a page's social media exposure has on its search engine rankings. When you share a link to your website on Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus, you're creating a social signal that tells Google and Bing "Hey, this content I just posted is interesting and/or informative. You should give it a little more authority in search results to make sure others get to see it too."

Think of social signals the same way you think about SEO: the more high-quality links, the better. Because each time someone shares a link to your site on Facebook or Twitter, search engines are picking up on the fact that your content is interesting and your overall search engine authority will increase.

Benefits of Applying Social Signals

Apart from the natural clicks you'll receive, and the rankings that come with increased social media exposure, social signals provide a number of other benefits to not only grow your site's authority, but drive business as well:

  • Lower Bounce Rates -- One of the metrics search engines use to rank an individual page is its bounce rate. A page's bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who land on a page and leave without viewing another page on the site. The reason this is important is because search engines want to send users to a page that's useful. If one of your landing pages is causing users to run for the hills the second they land on it, Google is going to catch on and that page won't rank well.
  • Increased Brand Visibility -- When it comes to business, especially local business, visibility is everything. If your business can't be found online, people will question its legitimacy. Social signals give your business another way to be discovered, and allows for customers to publically recommend you. And that leads to…
  • Higher Conversion Rates -- While search with intent is still the best way to ensure high conversion rates, social signals allow customers and followers to do the hard work for you. Because as your followers share your content and review your business, their followers can see that activity and are more likely to convert thanks to the recommendation.

In a way, social signals can be thought of as word of mouth. If one person is talking about something cool, it can spread quickly through word of mouth. It may not necessarily go "viral," but it will reach the people who are interested in what's being shared, and that's what is important.

How Dealerships Can Take Advantage of Social Signals

In order to properly incorporate social signals into your existing SEO strategy, you need to understand the mind of a social media user.

So ask yourself: How do I use social media?

If you're checking up on the latest from friends and family or looking for interesting content, such as news and pictures, you're right up there with the average Facebook user. If you're interested in sharing links and information, you're fitting in well with most Twitter users.

Now, in order for you to get the average Facebook or Twitter user to interact with your business and create a social signal, you have to post interesting content that's relevant to your product or services.

Car dealerships are a great example of businesses that can generate incredible return through social media, as they have the ability to quickly build a following by posting pictures and links relevant to their particular dealership.

Whether that be a Chevrolet or Hyundai dealership, you can target car lovers, local residents, and car buyers by posting quality content that will illicit a response.

Content Dealerships Can Utilize to Increase Social Signals

  • Blog Posts -- Every dealership needs an active blog. Because when applied correctly, a blog will not only help boost search rankings, it will help your business take advantage of social signals. Produce content that car buyers will find interesting. Discuss the aspects of car buying, such as acquiring the best loan or picking out the right car. If your content gets people talking about the car buying process, you have the opportunity to make a sale.
  • Inventory -- Your existing inventory can make for good content if you're taking the time to write unique stories for the cars you're looking to sell. By being informative and having fun with your social media strategy, users will interact with you on a more personal basis, allowing you to connect and pave the way for future business.

Social Media is Not Going Away

Car dealerships can no longer treat social media as the digital elephant in the room. It's not an option if you want to in build search engine authority and increase brand awareness, it's a must.

People spend more time than ever online using social media sites, and use it to not only interact with friends and family, but brands and local businesses as well. If you can take the time to craft a social media strategy to go along with your SEO strategy, you'll find that there's no limit to potential growth.

Watch Wikimotive's Erin and Amanda Ryan Discuss Social Signals

As part of the popular automotive podcast Auto Dealer Live, Wikimotive's Erin and Amanda Ryan have started a weekly social media segment to inform car dealers of the latest social media trends and offer advice to dealerships just breaking into social media.

In this first episode, the pair talk about social signals! So if you want a fun, condensed introduction to social signals and the benefits of social media, check out the video below!

And if you're interested in watching this week's episode of Auto Dealer Live, click here to head to the show's UStream.TV page.

 

Contact Wikimotive to learn more about automotive social media marketing and ways dealerships can utilize social media as part of an SEO strategy.

This post was originally published on Wikimotive.com under the title: "Why Your Dealership Needs Social Signals."

Views: 137

Tags: Signals, Social

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Comment by Alexander Lau on May 30, 2014 at 11:49am

I'll play devil's advocate here and go with this on your behalf.

We all know SEO is shifting and algorithms will keep changing.

We as SEO's like to say... 

“SEO is about the long-term process of enhancing both the brand's web presence asset and the opportunity for discoverability in search, social and mobile, throughout the prospect's buying cycle and across any device.”

Search and social reporting is also shifting. It's becoming less about the rank report and more about content engagement and performance metrics.

So it's not just about one metric. 

One of my favorite Matt Cutts' quotes from years ago is (totally paraphrasing) "social media and social networks are about relationships and relationships prove relevance and relevance is at the core of organic search".

If my social followers share a piece of content that I distribute into my social networks they are essentially saying "this is relevant to me and I want to share it with the people I have a relationship with." That's an engagement signal and may drive traffic to my web site (and convert). Someone in their network may also engage with the content and come to my site and so on. So Google may not be factoring a Facbook Like into their algorithm, but for the overall understanding if a piece of content is performing, they are valid metrics to the marketer. 

Watch for our Pinterest metrics coming soon as well as our Content Campaign Module (integrated with email) and our Content Performance Reporting. 

  1. What does Google want? They want relevant, real content on the internet that people want to read and tell other people about. If Google doesn’t bring you the most relevant content when you search, they aren’t doing their job. So by definition, even the word Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means to “game” the Google search engines (and others) to get your valuable content ranked higher than it would be if left alone to the forces of the Web. The bottom line is that all external SEO efforts are counterfeit other than one: Writing, designing, recording, or videoing real and relevant content that benefits those who search.
  2. SEO of any kind is pursued by gaming the system. There is nothing “natural” about any form of SEO. The fundamental concept of SEO is exploiting a flaw in a search engine’s ranking algorithm. The difference between white and black hat tactics is merely a function of where Google decides to draw a line, and this line is at least somewhat arbitrary. Google's goal is to confuse search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and to uncover aggressive SEO techniques through delaying, or obfuscating results from SEO changes being made.
Comment by Alexander Lau on May 29, 2014 at 6:01am

Here's a good resource on Social Media Strategies @ http://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing, with guides of all types. Well worth the money.

http://pages2.marketo.com/SI-Social-Marketing-Cheat-Sheet-May-2014....

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 29, 2014 at 5:35am

Hi Mark,

Yes, but that's from the mouth of Matt Cutt's, I'll take his word over an infographic from Quick Sprout, no offense man. If you listen to what he says in the later part of the video, he explains why it's impossible for them to take it into consideration. Cheers to most of the other points you've made. :-)

A

Comment by Mark Frost on May 29, 2014 at 5:16am

Hey Alexander,

So there's been a lot of flip-flopping on this issue from Google, but with the results Wikimotive and other companies have had, I'm on the side that believes they matter: http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/01/31/how-social-signals-impact-sea...

Even without people linking to your content after discovering it on social media, many have found that shares impact their rankings. Sometimes it can be temporary if you're not applying other strategies, but something is definitely there.

Glad you liked the post!

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 28, 2014 at 12:01pm

Agreed: Content Dealerships Can Utilize to Increase Social Signals

Comment by Alexander Lau on May 28, 2014 at 11:58am

I partially agree with your comments on Benefits of Applying Social Signals. Brand Visibility is the value.

Sorry to debunk your theory on search rankings, but this comes from the mouth of Matt Cutts himself.

Google’s Matt Cutts: We Don’t Use Twitter Or Facebook Social Signal...

http://searchengineland.com/googles-matt-cutts-facebook-twitter-pag...

Comment by Amanda Ryan on May 27, 2014 at 6:13pm
Nice! Hope this first segment of #GetYourSocialOn is helpful and fun!!
Comment by Erin Ryan on May 27, 2014 at 6:11pm
YES! The first segment of Get Your Social On was awesome. Looking forward to doing this every Thurs. On Auto Dealer LIVE.

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