Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
by Doug Antkowiak , Search Engine Optimization Specialist
The other day, one of the dealerships I work with asked me a question every
business owner should think about when it comes to SEO:
How do I create a link building strategy?
While it seems like a simple question, it has a complicated answer. In regards to
SEO, link building is the process of gaining a backlink from one webpage and
pointing it to another. Through the eyes of a search engine like Google, the amount
of links pointing to a webpage is one of the most important signals search engines
use to rank a webpage in search results.
The relationship between search engine optimization and link building
is complicated, but here's a quick rundown every dealership Internet Manager
Each link is like a vote of confidence, so try to build as many as you can from the
most reputable sources.
A link in a tweet typically isn't worth the same as a link from a newspaper or blog.
The more trustworthy the source, the more value the link can bring your website.
As I mentioned in my post about Penguin 2.0, links from foreign domains, or
websites that have anything to do with pills, poker, or porn won't help you.
If you're buying links from other websites – STOP! Purchasing links is a disservice
to your customers and your reputation. It violates the Google user agreement, and
if they catch you, you will have to pay someone a lot more than the price of a link
to fix your search engine penalty.
Now that you understand the general concept of link building, the first step to
creating a link building strategy is to understand your link building assets. There are
thousands of ways to earn links, but below are three strategies every car dealership
Do you know anyone with a website that can link
to your business? This can be any local business or
organization you work with, like a body shop,
parts supplier or even a local florist that delivers
flowers to your front desk.
Similarly, is there anyone that mentioned you
online that isn't linking to you yet? You can make
a quick search for mentions of your brand by
inserting the following search parameter into Google:"Brand Name" –
BrandURL.com. This will search mentions of your brand name, while leaving out
any results that reference the domain of your website.
Do you have anything on the website that will be link-worthy from a different site?
Typically, this is the driving force behind creating a blog, but you could have one-off
pages that share information like car maintenance tips or scholarships. In fact,
scholarships are one of the most efficient ways to build links to your website.
If a car dealership were to give away $500 to a local high school student with an
interest in cars, it could generate links from a variety of places like:
Not to mention, creating a scholarship is a great investment in the community and a fantastic
public relations strategy.
Every successful car dealership has a staff
of passionate experts chomping at the bit
to share their knowledge. Use their
experience in a guest posting opportunity.
Allow your head mechanic to talk about
winter car care to a local high school
reporter or ask your Dealer Principal to give
a speech at the local elementary about
running a car dealership.
Did you know that according to Seatcheck.org, 7 out of 10 kids in child safety seats
are not properly buckled in? Have someone on your staff certify your dealership as
a child car seat inspection station by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
As you can tell, earning a good link is hard, but press like this can earn
you attention and links for your website. Link building is one of the largest
oversights most websites face. Only the most agile and creative business owners
create a link building strategy, which helps their website see higher rankings, more
visits and ultimately, record-breaking conversions.
What other ways have you earned quality links for your site?