The Dealer’s Guide to a Long-Term SEO Strategy
So, you’ve decided to hire an SEO company or you’ve finally taken the plunge and started optimizing your own site. Don’t get overwhelmed, developing a long term SEO strategy for your dealership is easier than you may think. Conquering the local search results is within reach, if you know where to start.
The steps below will shed some light on what your SEO strategy will consist of and what you need to be aware of to obtain your goal of great rankings and search result exposure.
Step 1: Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools
To properly track and measure your SEO efforts, you’ll need the help of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools. You should be monitoring things like organic traffic, conversions, page visits, keywords, and crawl errors on a weekly basic to ensure that everything is tracking correctly.
Step 2: Open Your Eyes
Sit down and look at your site. Now un-bias yourself and look at it again. If you were a consumer, what would you think? Is it easy to find your contact information? Do your forms work to contact the dealership or schedule a test drive? Are you struggling to navigate through to the page you’re looking for? Is the load time for each page quick enough that you won’t lose interest and wander to your local competitor’s site?
These things are crucial and more important than you may think. Assess the basics and begin working on what you can change to provide the viewer with an overall aesthetically pleasing and simple on-site visit.
If dealing with your site is simple, they’ll assume dealing with your dealership with be exactly the same way.
Step 3: Assess Your Competition
So you had a 25% increase in conversions and sold 15 more new cars than last month that’s great. But, it doesn’t matter if Billy Bob’s Ford down the street had a 28% increase and sold 25 more new cars. Find your local competitors, check out what they’re doing, and do it better.
Start with the low hanging fruit, whether it’s keyword rankings, or on-page content and go from there. Create more strictly focused content and hone in on the keywords that will crush your competition, whether it be specials, geo-targeted areas, or the release of a new 2015 model.
Step 4: Stop Harming Your Own Efforts
Do you have duplicate content on site? Do you have canonicalization errors? If so, stop self-imposing search engine related harm on your website, choose the strongest version of your URL, and be sure that your pages are redirecting where they should be.
Step 5: Building Those Links
Google needs to establish that your website is trustworthy andthat all content on-site is factual. Once Google has realized this, your overall page authority and domain link authority can begin to grow.
Ways to help Google learn the ins and outs of your website is through quality inbound links from other websites. Building links from strong, reputable sites is one of the top ranking factors for organic ranking in search engines.
Step 6: Keywords
Keywords are one of the most important parts of SEO. Try to imagine you’re a consumer surfing the web for a new car. Would you search “2014 Acura TSX?” or would you search “New Acura TSX?” Keep these things in mind when targeting keywords on-site.
Adding keywords with search volume across all pages will help you rapidly jump in the search results. Be sure to add keywords to proper landing pages to ensure the most optimization. For example, add New Acura Inventory to a 2014 Acura model review landing page.
Step 6: King of SEO—Content
Your website needs to be fresh, relevant and appealing to viewers. Even if your site is lacking quality content, but you’re attracting viewers, your bounce rate is going to soar. Start achieving a fresh site by adding valuable content that is targeting your primary keywords.
Try content like new vehicle reviews, geo-targeted pages, and vehicle comparisons. If you’d like to also add a blog to house any lifestyle or off topic content, blogs are a great way to start driving additional traffic and targeting a fresh set of keywords.
Step 6: Optimize Meta Data
Check your site for duplicate metadata and be sure that all your descriptions and titles are under or around the approximate count for prime optimization. Be sure that your metadata always contains the keywords that you are targeting for that specific landing page.
Think of metadata as an introduction to your site, since this is the first piece of information viewers will see when browsing through search results. Metadata can quite possibly make or break whether a viewer chooses to visit your site, so always be sure to check your title and description lengths and focus on relevant keywords.
If you follow the steps above and actively monitor your site, you will see SEO working its magic across your newly optimized site. But remember, don’t take the easy way out; Google penalizes websites for thin or lacking content, as well as spammy back linking. Always take the safest, highest road when performing your SEO efforts and it will pay off in the long run.
Are you ready to take your dealership’s SEO efforts to the next level? Click here to request your complimentary automotive SEO consultation and analysis.
All the best,
Danielle Bartholomew is an SEO Consultant at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.