Is SEO dead?
It wasn’t too many years ago that marketers were asking “Is email dead?” as other marketing forms like social media or SMS rose to prominence.
But just like email is still an essential way to stay connected with your customers, search optimization remains a crucial part of your dealership marketing.
No matter how wonderfully designed your dealership website is, if you’re not bringing people from the search results page to your website, no one will ever see it.
Having a website that is optimized for search (SEO, or search engine optimization to use the marketing buzz term) is the most important first step to your digital marketing.
The next obvious question: How do I optimize my dealership website for search?
At VehiclesNetwork, we start with a great design.
Mobile-friendly Website Design
Search engines like Google “reward” websites that are optimized for mobile, and “penalize” websites that are not mobile friendly.
We call these mobile-friendly designs Responsive Designs, because the design will remain the same, but elements will "respond" to the screen size by reshaping. The content, like images and fonts, will remain the same size relevant to the overall size of the screen. This is the ideal design for modern websites, and based on the HTML5 framework that Google prefers.
What makes a website mobile-friendly?
To optimize your dealership website for mobile, follow these simple best practices:
1. Check and optimize your loading speed.
2. Properly size your images to fit on the page.
3. Choose the correct font size.
4. Use enough space to make the site easy to read and click.
I dedicated an entire article to optimizing your dealership website for mobile. If you’d like more details, you can read that here
If your website complies with these standards, it will help your ranking in search results.
Create a good User Experience
A good user experience is important to keep visitors on your dealership website, and help them find what they’re looking for. This increases your conversion rate, or how many visitors you’re turning into leads on your website.
But a good user experience is also essential to your search optimization.
Search engines like Google have started including user experience as part of their ranking. Things like content shifting can detrimentally affect your page ranking because it affects users on your page.
Content shifting is when different things on the page load at different times, and causes things (like buttons or links) to shift around.
Creating a great experience for your users will impact how long they stay on your site, which in turn can affect your rankings. Not to mention, the longer people stay on your site, the more likely they are to turn into a lead!
Meta Data is the behind-the-scenes data embedded in your site that tells the search engines how to read the information on your website pages.
This is obviously important, since it is your change to “tell” the search engines why your content is valuable to users, and the search engines will then share that information with potential visitors.
There are three types of data we focus most on: Title tags, Description tags, and Keyword tags.
Google will often downplay the importance of these tags, but we’ve found a strong meta data strategy will still have a major impact on your ranking.
A tip from VehiclesNetwork CEO Chris Jackson, an expert on SEO: “Make sure your website has sufficient pages and associated copy to back up what’s in the description and keywords... Google will always crawl for the matching content and if it isn’t matching, they will demerit you.”
If you look at the example below, our client Northside Auto ranks at the top of local search results. This means they'll appear on the first page of Google when customers are looking for cars in their area.
Voice and Local Search
Voice search has changed search optimization because people search differently using voice search than they do with typing their searches.
People tend to search in complete sentences, asking questions that give more information about what exactly they are looking for. Content that answers these questions is often preferred by the search engines.
Optimizing your site for local searches is crucial to bringing your relevant traffic. If your dealership is located in California, you don’t want a car buyer from Maine coming across your website.
Get more complete information on how voice and local search are reshaping how you need to optimize your dealership website in this quick Auto Dealer SEO Guide
by CEO Chris Jackson.
Looking for help getting your website ranked at the top of search results? We have done it for hundreds of clients, and we can do it for you. Just give us a few minutes of your time and we can show you. Request your free SEO review here.