Car dealerships are quickly coming to the realization their websites are their best marketing tool. In order to bring consumers to the website, however, SEO for car dealerships must be a top priority. Many dealers don’t understand search engine optimization or how it works, and this makes moving up in the search engines difficult. To get the most from the website, a dealer must ensure it is seen, preferably in the top three automotive SEO results of the major search engines. How does one go about achieving this goal? What steps need to be taken?
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
Every dealer must understand what search engine optimization is to improve in this area. This process involves moving a website up in the free, or organic, search engine results. Companies don’t pay to rank in these results, unlike paid search engine results seen at the top of the page. To determine where a page should rank on the search engine, many factors are taken into consideration. The major search engines crawl the Internet looking for references to a page, and this information is then stored for later use. Once all information has been gathered, the search engine must determine the relevance and popularity of a site.
Popularity And Relevance
To rank high in the search engines, a site must be relevant to what the consumer is looking for and popular with those who view this site. When the Internet first became available to the general public, sites would rank based on keywords. Times have changed, and this is only one factor that is now taken into account. Search engines also consider the popularity of the site, operating on the assumption popular sites contain what consumers want and need. In addition, the search engines look at links from other sites, the quality of the content on the site, social media, and more.
Taking It To Another Level
Creating great content and finding reputable sites to link to doesn’t sound overly difficult. It’s a matter of finding the appropriate person to take on these tasks, right? Actually, there is a great deal more involved in optimizing a site for the search engines. The structure of the site is taken into consideration, as no user wants to have to weed through a site to find the information they desire. The site must be easy to navigate for the average user or the search engine will decrease this site’s ranking. In addition, HTML code must be set up in a way that the search engines can easily find the information they are seeking. This requires modifying the title tag, the meta description tag, and more.
Trust And Authority
When it comes to retailers and their websites, certain names come to mind, such as Amazon, Walmart, and eBay. Their popularity plays a large role in their success, yet the search engines look much deeper than this. These sites are recognized leaders in their particular field, and the search engines give them more weight when ranking sites. Visitors tend to engage with these sites, spending more time looking at the different pages. When a website isn’t deemed to be trustworthy or an authority in their area, the user may choose to return to the search page and try another result. This is referred to as bouncing, and a site’s bounce rate is of great importance when it is being ranked.
When a site is mentioned or shared on a social network, this is referred to as a social signal, and search engines are now taking these signals into account. They do so as they believe these signals are a way for consumers to vote on their favorite sites, but dealers need to understand they don’t view all signals equally. They look for references from a social account that has a number of quality followers and a good reputation. It’s easy for a dealer to make numerous social media accounts to look better in the eyes of the search engine, but these search engines will catch on and penalize any dealer who does so when the fraudulent activity is detected. In addition, reputation management now factors in search engine optimization. Companies need to know what is being said about them by consumers and react accordingly. If they fail to do so, they may find they are dropping in the search engine rankings quickly.
As mentioned earlier, many companies assume it is easy to build links. If they fail in this endeavor, they may opt to buy links to increase their search engine ranking. Search engines have caught on to this tactic and now penalize these sites using this technique. The key is to develop quality links, ones to reputable sites. Although quantity was of great importance in this area in the past, search engines now focus on the quality of the links much more than the quantity. For this reason, companies want to link to reputable sites in their industry. For a dealer, this may be NADA, Kelley Blue Book, or some other site that is well known and considered an authority figure in the niche.
Never discount the importance of SEO for car dealerships. Consumers don’t want to waste their time navigating through websites, as their time is precious to them. By moving up in the search engines, a dealer will find they bring in new leads, generate buzz about their business, and boost their sales. Now is the time to make search engine optimization a top priority, and the above steps are a good place to start. If more help is needed, don’t hesitate to call in a professional, however. This is one area where a dealer cannot afford to lag behind the competition. SEO is simply too important in the modern world.