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Google is constantly updating and revising its algorithms that affect search results. In fact, the only thing that stays the same is how critically important it is to your business to maintain a website that keeps up with the changes in search engine optimization.
One of the biggest changes in the past several years has been the increasing impact of off-site SEO. So, what is off-site SEO? How important is it in relation to on-site SEO? On-site SEO is the optimization that is done on your website, within your control. Off-site SEO is the result of incoming links, or backlinks, to your site from other sites. You can’t control off-site SEO directly as you can on-site SEO, but there is a lot that can be done to build your off-site SEO value.
While the algorithms for on-site SEO continue to change, the major factors that affect searches are the technical aspects of optimization, such as keywords, title tags, indexing and sitemaps, internal linking, and, then, most importantly, interesting and relevant content which is updated frequently.
Likewise, the concept for off-site SEO is straightforward. The more authoritative sites that link to your website, the better your position in the search world. Although you don’t have as much control over off-site, there are things that you can do to improve your status.
One of these is submitting your site to relevant web directories. Web directories are sites that list local businesses—major ones, such as Yahoo—and specialized directories, such as automotive classified listing sites.
Click-through rates from Google, Yelp, and other online review sites also help build your search relevance with Google, so good reviews help build that click-through rate, while poor reviews won’t bring consumers to your site. So, negative reviews hurt your dealership both directly and indirectly.
Social sharing can also improve your off-site SEO position. While there are many discussions about measurable ROI from social media efforts, it seems clear that social media activity has a positive impact on search engine results. Active participation in discussions on blogs, news sites and forums can drive links from relevant sites. Again, as with on-site SEO, quality content is what makes the difference.
When delivering search results, Google will favor local results over global results. Be sure that your dealership has correct local and web addresses in Google +. If Google recognizes local intent in the consumer’s search, Google+ Local results are higher in the list.
Both on-site and off-site SEO are fundamental to a successful SEO strategy—organic rankings that will drive relevant traffic to your dealership website.