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Top 7 SEO Tips for Improving website traffic

Most business owners know that they need to implement a search engine optimization campaign to bring traffic to their websites.

However, many are unaware that there is a right way and a wrong way to start and execute a campaign.

The wrong way is to start indiscriminately building backlinks to your site. It is also a mistake to go to Google, search for SEO companies and randomly choose one to manage your campaign.

The right way to start is to spend some time formulating a strategy and learning SEO best practices.

With that said, here are seven things that you must do to establish a SEO campaign that delivers measurable results:

   

1) Identify Your Target Audience and Primary Keyword

Part of having a successful SEO campaign is targeting a primary keyword around which to build your campaign. In order to choose a main keyword, you need to pinpoint a specific audience for your products or services.

Identifying a target market and a primary keyword enables you to organize a coherent and more effective campaign that will lead to traffic and sales.

   

2) Perform Exhaustive Keyword Research

Performing exhaustive keyword research means two things: making a long list of phrases that contain your main keyword and making a list of keywords that are related but don’t contain your main keyword. The more relevant keywords that are included in your campaign, the more targeted traffic you’re going to bring to your website.

It’s very easy to grow a large list of relevant keywords. Assuming you know your business very well, you should be able to think of many related keywords that searchers may use in looking for the type of products or services that you offer.

   

3) Optimize Your Internal Linking

A well-optimized internal linking structure is one that has all related pages linked together. Connecting relevant pages to one another ensures that all pages will receive some level of traffic.

This is important if you want your website to be seen as an authority in the eyes of the search engines. The more authoritative your website appears to be, the better your rankings and traffic will be.

    

4) Establish a Social Media Presence

To establish a strong presence on the internet, small business owners must learn how to best utilize social media networks to market their websites. If you establish a large following on social media sites, and if you create content that visitors feel compelled to share through their social media accounts, you will continually receive a large number of potential customers.

Also, small business owners should look beyond the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Look for niche-specific social sites as well, and always keep your eyes open for the next hottest website so you can jump onboard and ride the wave as it grows.

   

5) Monitor Keywords Regularly

It doesn’t matter how successful your set of keywords may be in bringing you traffic. Search trends will always change, and the keywords that searchers use when looking for your type of products or services might also change slightly.

You always want to target fresh keywords so you can capture as much traffic as you can.

    

6) Regularly Create Fresh Original Content

There are a couple of reasons why small business owners should regularly update their sites with new original content.

First, Google loves websites that continually pump out fresh original content. This is one of the hundreds of criteria that Google uses to rank websites.

Second, creating new content widens your net so you can capture more potential customers from search engines.

   

7) Use Google Analytics

The SEO reports in Google Analytics provide important data on where your traffic comes from and what visitors do while on your site. You can use the data to identify good opportunities and to prioritize efforts to increase traffic.

Here is an article that Google has provided about the data contained within the reports and how it can serve you: 

support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1308626

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Google Excerpt shown below]

Using the SEO Reports

The SEO reports in Analytics provide Google Web Search performance data about the website that you have set up using Webmaster Tools. You can use this data to identify opportunities and prioritize efforts to increase the number of visitors to your site. This article describes the reports and how to use them. If you do not see any data in your SEO reports, read Enabling SEO data in Analytics. To understand how Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics work together, see About Search Engine Optimization.

The SEO Metrics

The Search Engine Optimization reports in Analytics use four metrics specific to Google Web Search data:

  • Impressions—the number of times any URL from your site appeared in search results viewed by a user, not including paid AdWords search impressions
  • Clicks—the number of clicks on your website URLs from a Google Search results page, not including clicks on paid AdWords search results
  • Average Position—the average ranking of your website URLs for the query or queries. For example, if your site's URL appeared at position 3 for one query and position 7 for another query, the average position would be 5 ((3+7)/2).
  • CTR—clickthrough rate, calculated as Clicks / Impressions * 100

The SEO Geographical Summary Report

The Geographical Summary report provides a general view of Impressions, Clicks, and CTR by country. At a glance, you can see which countries are generating the most search activity for your site on Google search. You can also select Google Propertyas a primary dimension to see a breakdown of search activity on Google search by the following:

  • Web search
  • Mobile search
  • Video search
  • Image search

The SEO Queries Report

The Queries report shows the Google search queries that generated the most impressions for your website URLs. You can sort by other columns—such as clicks—to order queries in descending/ascending rank by those metrics. By using this report, you can identify search queries for which your site has a good average position, but poor clickthrough rates. These are queries for which your pages get attention, so improved content could lead to more visitors.

Keep in mind that the most typical search queries return only a single URL from your site, and the average position for a search query is based on this single URL position. In the case where a query returns more than one URL from your site, the average position is based on the most prominent URL in the search results when only a low number of URLs from your site are displayed.

The SEO Landing Pages Report

The Landing Pages report shows the URLs to your website that have generated the most impressions in Google Web search results. With this report, you can identify landing pages on your site that have good click through rates (CTR), but have poor average positions in search results. These could be pages that people want to see, but have trouble finding.

In addition, a single URL is typically associated with many unique queries. For this reason, the average position ranking for a given page can be influenced by more generic queries, and if you are comparing the top landing pages to the top queries with respect to Average Position, you should keep this in mind. For example, for a website dedicated to classic automobiles, a query such as classic automobiles might return the URL for the home page only, whereas a query such as classic automobiles Fordmight return the URL for the home page as well as other pages in the site. In this case, the generic query improves the position ranking for the home page over the ranking of pages that are more specific in nature.

Tips for Using Webmaster Tools and Analytics SEO Reports

The following table identifies terms that are used in both Analytics reports and in the Webmaster Tools reports.

Term Analytics usage Webmaster Tools usage
Impressions Used for both AdWords impressions and Google Search impressions Used exclusively for Google Search impressions
Clicks Used for both AdWords clicks and Google Search clicks Used exclusively for Google Search clicks
Average Position Average ranking in Google Search results Average ranking in Google Search results
CTR Clickthrough rate. Clicks/Impressions for both AdWords and Google Search clicks. Clickthrough rate. Clicks/Impressions for Google Search clicks.
Keyword When used in paid search or AdWords reports, describes a paid keyword from a search engine results page. When used in the organic search reports, describes the actual query string entered by a user from a web search. Applies to the key terms used in the written content of the website pages. These terms are the most significant keywords and their variants Google found when crawling your site. When reviewed along with the Search queries report and your site's listing in actual search results for your targeted keywords, it provides insight into how Google is interpreting the content of your site.
Query Only used in the SEO reports. Applies to the actual query entered by a user in Google search. The actual query entered by a user in Google search.

Views: 621

Tags: Best Practices, Car Dealer, Google, SEO, SEO Tips, Search, Search Engine, Search Engine Optimization

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Comment by Alexander Lau on April 11, 2013 at 12:10pm

Furthermore, SEO Evolution: Sell, Discover, Deliver & Report on Highly Conve.... This is what you should be doing in order to entice and sell your SEO wares to dealerships.

Reporting on improvements in keyword position is pointless without applying keyword visits and conversion data.

Comment by Alexander Lau on April 11, 2013 at 7:04am

As mentioned, backlinks are still very important, but they are loosing their steam in comparison to Social Signal metrics. This is Google's ultimate goal and one reason they've created Google+, they can control their own wares better.

Comment by Tarry Shebesta on April 11, 2013 at 7:00am

Let me add 3a)

 

Backlinks or inbound links are critical for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

 

In layman's terms, there are two types of links: inbound and outbound. Outbound links start from your site and lead to an external site, while inbound links or backlinks, come from an external site to yours. This is also referred to as Link Popularity.

 

For example, our LeaseCompare.com website has thousands of backlinks from websites like Kiplinger, Bankrate, Consumerreports and other auto/finance related sites.

 

Search engines have the ability to determine the topic or theme of a webpage they are examining. They use that ability to judge the topical relationship of webpages that are linked together. The most valuable incoming links, and the only ones worth pursuing, come from sites that share topical themes.

 

Backlinks are among the main building blocks to good SEO and can account for the majority of its effectiveness.

Comment by Alexander Lau on April 11, 2013 at 6:26am

Additionally, you or your 3rd party should be using an SEO CRM or the like from groups like gShift (shown below) or SEOMoz. As you can see below, tools like this measure the effectiveness of Keywords (popularity / search volume, ranking and your conversion (based upon goals and conversion set-up), On-Site Page and Off-Site Page analysis, Social Signals, Backlinks (they absolutely still matter) and how your Competition compares according to the aforementioned, especially conversions for the same keywords.

Comment by Alexander Lau on April 11, 2013 at 6:19am

This is a repeat post of what I said three days ago in a Brian Pasch article.

Yes, SEO is alive, but it's going to drastically change (if it already hasn't). It should rather be termed Search Content Marketing.

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.

The more I hear the term "SEO expert"; the more I want to cringe and vomit.

Use best practices, especially the practices that you've mentioned: original, informative content, social media marketing and signals, localization strategy and quality inbound links.

Agreed with the point that you should find a group with Automotive SEO experience. The bottom line, your keywords should be measured to convert for your market. It's not necessarily about search volume per se (national or state based), but more about the terms that convert for your local demographic.

Using Google Analytics for anything outside of search data and potentially goals / conversion set-ups, is somewhat of a risky move. It is, by far, not the best analytics tool out there. It's just free, so dealers think it's fantastic.

Comment by Todd Reinbolt on April 10, 2013 at 11:34am

Very helpful article, thank you!

Comment by Nora Nesbitt on February 26, 2013 at 9:24am
Thank you Brad!
Comment by Brad Hampton on February 25, 2013 at 6:47pm

Completely agree.

Nice write up.

Comment by Nora Nesbitt on February 25, 2013 at 6:44pm

You should def research whatever company you are going to go with!!

Comment by Brad Hampton on February 25, 2013 at 6:38pm

"It is also a mistake to go to Google, search for SEO companies and randomly choose one to manage your campaign."

Search for "Automotive SEO" and see who comes up first! :)

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