SEO Explained: Why You Need to Use it at Your Dealership

SEO Explained: Why You Need to Use it at Your Dealership

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization, often referred to as SEO is the act of using specific marketing strategies to increase organic web traffic to your website. If you can consistently focus on the practices required to improve SEO, you will see an increase in organic traffic to your website. Organic web traffic comes from people using a search engine like Google, Bing or Yahoo to find information. When you search “best-used car to buy” on Google, you’ll see a few paid ads at the top of the search results, and everything below is there organically. It should be your goal to be one of the top search result listings for all things automotive, so anyone seeking information about buying a vehicle will see your website in the search results. SEO focuses on the search queries people are using on Google, and if used correctly, you can make sure you’re at the top of all the desired search results pages that pertain to your dealership. In order for your dealership to successfully use SEO, you’ll need to focus on keyword research, metadata, creating new web pages, website performance, website crawlability, content and many other things. 

The Difference Between On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO

There are two different types of SEO, on-page SEO and off-page SEO. To put it simply, on-page SEO is the content that is visible to the customers visiting your website and off-page SEO is the information/data that customers can’t see. Think of off-page SEO as one of the blueprints for your website. Google decides what content will be at the top of the search results based on a number of factors and off-site SEO plays a huge part. Google needs to be able to “crawl” your website and see the backend information to understand the content. For example, if you have an image of a woman driving a truck on your website, you’re going to want to include alt text of that image reading something like “woman driving blue truck”. This helps Google better understand the content on your website and decide where you should rank in the search results. Another example of off-page SEO is having links from other websites directed to your website and internal links. If plenty of credible websites link to a particular page on your website, this tells Google that the content on that page is valuable and should be ranked highly in the search engines. 

On-page SEO is about the content on your website, the keywords you use, the speed of your website and the organization/ease of use. When your focusing on keywords, it’s important to use words that are highly searched in Google but are still relevant to your offerings as a dealership. You could put in all of the top search keywords on your website but if it has nothing to do with the services your offering, nobody will ever see it in Google search results. It’s also important to ensure that you’re not doing what’s known as keyword stuffing where you focus more on getting keywords than writing a well structured sentence. Content is everything, if you don’t have great, informative content, you will struggle to get on the first page of a search results page. With this, you also need to ensure that your website is not only easy to navigate, but responsive. If Google crawls your website and sees slow loading times (more than three seconds), it’s unlikely that you’ll rank highly in search engines. 

How SEO Will Help Your Dealership

While there are plenty of different marketing strategies you can use to bring customers into your dealership, SEO needs to be one you put a focus on. With the amount of people using online resources to do their research on buying a car, if you focus on SEO, you should be able to steer many of those customers in your direction. Not only should you have information on the vehicles you have but also information on the car buying process and important things customers need to know. This is a great way to turn a customer looking to gain knowledge on the car buying process into a lead. This way, you’re showing the customer that your a great source of information and also showing that you have vehicles that could meet their needs. Since car buying has continually evolved into a more digital process, SEO needs to be a focus for your dealership if you want to stand out from your competition. 

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