A dealership’s website is its online portal and its primary internet hub for customers. Can customers or consumers looking for a new or used car find the dealership’s website easily?
If website traffic is at a lull and dealerships aren’t seeing new visitors, there could be an optimization issue. Here’s how dealerships can get optimized to increase their online visibility and their search engine rankings, too.
Dealer Inspire explains different focus points that dealerships could consider to maximize optimization. However, for many dealerships these five main audit points can be useful when reviewing their website for SEO (most were mentioned by Dealer Inspire):
- On-page content keywords
- Area-specific keywords
- Google Business Profile information
- Content quality (and relevancy)
- Webpage info consistency
- Black-hat issues
The Purpose of Content Keywords
Typically, keywords help drive ranking and visibility via search engines like Google. Dealerships can research the most relevant keywords for the industry and weave them into content or make them the subject of their content.
Dealer Inspire explains that dealerships should make sure that these keywords also are included in meta description and meta title information. This helps search engines better identify content and file it accordingly.
Keywords can be integrated into on-page website content and blog articles, too. Dealerships should make sure keywords don’t jump out within the content. Keywords should flow naturally into copy and shouldn’t be distracting to readers.
Incorporate Area-Specific Keywords
Dealerships might focus on keywords related to their industry, brand or the vehicles they are selling. However, Dealer Inspire explains that dealerships can increase their visibility by optimizing for their area, too.
For example, include blog articles about the best places to dine in the area or include a top 10 list focused on area keywords. Not only do these topics help add a bit of fun into blog copy, but they can draw customers onto the site that might not even be looking for a vehicle.
Dealerships shouldn’t be afraid to add unique area-focused articles into their editorial calendars.
Manage the Google Business Profile
Dealer Insight also emphasizes the importance of the Google Business Profile. This profile looks like a featured snippet for the dealership. When someone searches for the dealership, the Google Profile should be the first thing they see.
If the dealership hasn’t claimed their profile, they need to do this. In addition, Dealer Inspire recommends that dealerships use the profile fully. The profile includes reviews and other details; don’t be afraid to ask customers to leave reviews.
Dealer Inspire also recommends that dealerships add other content to their profile, too. Explore all the possibilities and expand what customers can view about the business.
Is the Content Top-Quality?
Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and updating. No one really knows what these algorithms entail. However, Google search results place emphasis on content.
While keywords could help bump a page up in the search results, if the content isn’t quality, those keywords might not matter. If dealerships are looking at falling page views, low rankings or other diminished online visibility, check out the content.
Is the copy on website pages well-written and informative? For the blog articles, does the dealership include links to relevant sources to ensure that customers have the background they want and need? Is the content written clearly and does it answer the question related to those keywords?
Those who are searching for a topic via Google or any search engine want a page that actually helps them find the relevant information. They probably don’t want an article veiled as a sales pitch that never gives them any answers.
Review the content to better understand the message the dealership is delivering to website visitors.
Check for Website Information Consistency
Dealer Inspire also touched on the issue of consistency as it relates to the dealership business. Social media accounts, the dealership website, Google Business Profile and any other pages affiliated with the dealership should include the same exact information as it relates to:
- Dealership name
- Business hours
- Phone number
Google will review this basic information and it needs to remain consistent across all sites. Dealerships should audit all this basic information as it relates to their business to ensure that it’s consistent across the internet.
Are There Black-Hat Issues?
Hopefully, the dealership hasn’t been penalized for any black-hat SEO techniques. Black-hat techniques try to manipulate search results and the search engine queries; these techniques violate the guidelines of search engines.
SEO experts who use black-hat techniques can face Google’s wrath. Black-hat SEO can result in penalties; the website could drop low in rankings or it might be removed from search queries. If a site is suspected of black-hat SEO, there will be a notification via Google Search Console.
For dealerships unsure about what constitutes black-hat SEO, unamo has a list of examples. One well-known black-hat trick is keyword stuffing. This is when writers use a keyword over and over again throughout content; sometimes the use could be irrelevant, but often it’s just distracting and annoying for readers.
Yes, keywords can be crucial. However, dealerships shouldn’t stuff them into content. Just use keywords organically to enhance content not to dominate it.
Helpful SEO Tips for Dealerships
Some dealerships might wonder how else they could boost their rankings and visibility online. While Google’s algorithms remain a mystery, creating unique and insightful content can always be helpful.
Dealerships can map out their content ideas using an editorial calendar. This document can be created via an online spreadsheet or even just on a piece of paper. The goal is to plan out content ideals monthly.
Dealerships can plan content via an editorial calendar for their blog and their social media sites, too. Planning out content can help dealerships understand what messages they want to send out to potential customers or site visitors.
For blog content, dealerships can consider content based around expert tips. Think about stories related to vehicle maintenance or even articles about the most popular vehicles.
Use the blog to highlight the sales team or introduce customers to the owner. Create stories around holiday content, and dealerships also should consider content that focuses on local angles, too.
While content is an important consideration for boosting visibility, other online tools can draw in customers, too. Dealerships could include interactive photos or even an augmented reality tool that lets customers preview a vehicle in their home or environment.
For example, spin photos encourage users to interact and engage with imagery. These images can be fully rotated to view a vehicle from any angle. A panorama interior photo gives viewers a look inside the car; they can use a fingertip to look up at a moonroof or sunroof.
Falling in the Rankings? Audit the Site and Optimize
For dealerships that are reviewing their page rankings, page views and other details, there could be an issue with low performance on search engines. To better understand why rankings or page views are falling, dealerships might need to do an SEO audit.
There are a number of reasons why content could be receiving fewer visits and views. Dealerships can review the content quality, but they also might look at other online sources, too. Is the Google Business Profile claimed and updated? Is the business information consistent across the internet?
Dealerships who use black-hat SEO techniques also could be falling as a result of penalties. These techniques go against the guidelines of the engines, and they will never benefit a business. Instead, stay on the light side of SEO; focus on quality and use keywords organically and with purpose. Give customers great information that’s well researched and helpful.
Sometimes dealerships might discover that Google updates could have impacted their results, too. In this case, it just might be time to create new content and rework what isn’t working. While SEO experts will never fully decipher the algorithms, focusing on original well-written content and quality information might be the best way to maintain visibility and preserve rankings.