What is Automotive SEO?
Automotive SEO (search engine optimization) is the method of enhancing the quality and volume of dealership website traffic by boosting the visibility of a website or a web page in search engine results. SEO pertains to the improvement of non-paid organic results and excludes direct traffic/visitors and the purchase of paid placement.
Let’s cut straight to the chase. The answer is yes. Automotive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not only important for your dealership; it is essential. There are dozens of marketing strategies you could choose for your dealership, but having the best SEO practices will give your business a boost that can make a massive difference.
Exploring the different aspects of SEO and how it can affect your business will allow you to make marketing decisions that fit your dealership’s needs. As technology has developed, SEO tactics have changed rapidly. Many practices that were in place just a few years ago are out of date, with new best practices emerging constantly. We will address in this article which practices you should prioritize for your business and which practices are best left behind. SEO is always changing, but it is here to stay; this means your marketing strategies must evolve as SEO tactics change. Everyone wants to make the most of their marketing and SEO tactics, and at FIXED OPS DIGITAL we want to bring you the most advanced digital marketing tactics.
True or False: Dealerships Should Invest in SEO
The answer is 100% true. Investing in SEO is crucial for your dealership. Your website is a key factor in providing customers with the information they need to choose your dealership over hundreds of other options. You include details about the cars you sell, the services you offer, pricing, sales, locations, and dozens of other things that are essential for buyers to know. Once they get to your website, your job is straightforward: convince them why your dealership is the right fit for their car-buying process, parts or accessories purchase or vehicle maintenance and repair service.
But what if they never make it to your website? All of this information is useless until it reaches potential buyers. Advanced SEO tactics make it possible to reach customers reliably so you can do your job well and create more sales. Search engines are an incredible resource for customers to find many car dealerships in their buying journey. However, search engines are complex: while they give your business a chance to be made known to customers, they do the same for every other dealership. Your business may stand out to your customers for its quality, customer service, and pricing. Optimizing your website for search algorithms is a way to make your business stand out to search engines so customers can find the dealership they deserve.
SEO Changes Constantly
Unfortunately, investing in SEO once does not mean you are set for life. Advanced SEO tactics are changing constantly, and because of this, you have to adjust your own strategies frequently. As strategists continue to analyze the many variables in SEO, they refine the ways you can optimize your content. This can include anything from analysis of user intent to adjustment to the changing algorithms in search engines.
Our team of professionals at FIXED OPS DIGITAL can work with you to develop SEO strategies that serve your dealership best in the midst of constant change. We use advanced technology and analysis to bring more customers to your website, allowing you to focus on communicating what your dealership has to offer.
As you invest in SEO for your dealership, it is important to understand which tactics need to be left behind and what new options are available for you to optimize your website for evolving search engine algorithms.
It’s Time to Say Goodbye to These SEO Practices
There are many SEO tactics that were essential for some period of time but are now less effective or even obsolete. This is a result of changed search engine algorithms and more effective analysis of user intent and practices. It may be time for you to change the SEO strategies for your dealership if you are using these older SEO tactics.
In the early days of SEO, the quantity of keywords played a large part in drawing customers to your website. As algorithms have grown more complex, however, keywords fall fairly low on the scale of important SEO factors. Depending too highly on keywords can result in content that is redundant, sounding artificial and failing to serve your customers well. When you repeat the same word too many times in your copy, it no longer helps with SEO and leaves your customers with a negative impression.
Exact Domain Matching
Exact domain matching is the practice of creating domain names that match the keywords customers are likely to use in their searches. An example of this could be something like buyusedcars.com. While this type of domain name was useful at first, it presents many negative effects with little to no advantage at this point in the development of search engine algorithms.
Exact-match domains do nothing to promote your business name, are unmemorable, and seem unreliable to potential customers. They are no more likely to show up in searches than more specific domain names, and provide no useful benefits to the business.
Including links on your website is not a bad thing to do, but it is not as useful as you might think. Building pages exclusively for links to other websites was at one point seen as a useful way to make your website more recognizable to search engine algorithms. As algorithms have developed, however, this type of content has been considered useless to customers and is therefore not prioritized in by search engine algorithms. The best way to use links on your website is by supplying links to other websites that are useful for your customers.
Flat URL Architecture
Default URLs make it difficult for search engines to direct users to the correct page on your website. URLs should clearly reflect your website architecture, making your site easy to understand for search engines and users alike. Changing the default, flat URLs on your website to URLs with nested topics is easy to do, but many businesses do not realize that it needs to be done in the first place. Ensuring that your URLs match your website hierarchy will give your primary pages more authority and make it easier for customers to end up in the right place on your site.
SEO Strategies That Will Keep Your Dealership Winning
While the SEO tactics above have become less than useful, many more advanced strategies have developed. Search engines have been refined to recognize the amount of time spent on websites, the quality, and usefulness of the content, and the frequency of updates. When it comes down to it, it is becoming more and more important to prioritize quality over quantity and to put your website visitors first.
Quality Over Quantity
In early efforts to improve SEO, many website builders prioritized the volume of keywords, links, and content over quality. Search engines were not advanced enough to take quality into account, and these tactics were a way to have websites show up more reliably in search engine algorithms. More recently, though, algorithms have been developed to see past excessive keywords and links and use other means to rate websites. This means that too many keywords or links can sometimes even be flagged for spam likelihood, poor quality, or uselessness to customers.
The good news is that it is becoming easier to prioritize the quality of your content without compromising your SEO. Good copy, useful information, and consistency are being recognized by search engines, which means you can prioritize quality over quantity on your website.
Consistent and Creative Content
Regularly creating unique content for your website is a great way to optimize for search engine algorithms. Both website visitors and search engines take regular content updates as a sign of a vibrant and improving business. Developing new content is a way to prioritize your website visitors by keeping them engaged while also giving search engines new information to catalog and recognize.
New content tells people that your business has a lot to contribute and as a result will make customers want to come back for more. Remember that quality is still more important than quantity, but regularly creating content that is both consistent and creative will go a long way towards building your SEO.
Prioritize User Intent
While exact-match keywords are no longer very useful for SEO, keyword research is still crucial for understanding user intent. The ability for search engines to identify the intent behind the specific keywords users use to search has drastically changed the purpose of keywords in SEO. Users could use the same keywords for multiple different intents. As an example, let’s consider the keywords “happy dogs.” The user intent behind this search could be anything from the desire to see cute dog photos, to trying to find the right pet, to learning about animal cruelty. If your website has to do with one of those topics, it is important to use keywords that address user intent more than the exact keywords users might use.
Choose Links Wisely
Although overusing links is not a useful way to increase SEO, carefully selecting both internal and external links can be very helpful. Well-designed internal links, which lead to another page on the same website, make it easier for users to navigate your website and find the information they need.
This increases the time they spend on your website and their comfort coming back to your website multiple times, both of which are good news for SEO. External links, which direct users to a different website, are highly useful for being recognized by search engines. It is crucial, however, that external links are relevant to your users, lead to a trustworthy website, and are clearly related to your content. Otherwise, they may be flagged as untrustworthy links solely for the sake of SEO, and this is not what you want.
Search Engines are Here to Stay
It’s hard to imagine navigating the internet without search engines. The ability to find just about any information you need by searching for a few keywords is an incredible thing. Search engine algorithms may be developing at a rapid pace, but the fact is that search engines are here to stay. As they continue to develop, digital marketing strategies will evolve as well. It can be overwhelming to keep up with the developments, but it is well worth it for your dealership.
Older marketing strategies are becoming obsolete, including paper brochures, tag lines, and prioritizing quantity over quality. As this change in priority continues to evolve and search engines become smarter, staying up to date with SEO is a way to plan for the future and keep your dealership at the forefront of potential buyers’ minds. It will become more and more crucial to invest in SEO research for dealerships as ECommerce continues to increase in popularity and technology develops more rapidly.
Making a Change
Now is the time to put old marketing strategies and SEO tactics behind you and invest in advanced SEO practices. If you are still using the SEO tactics listed above for your dealership, consider taking the time to implement more recent tactics. This will increase traffic to your website and give you the opportunity to reach more customers.
Employing the most cutting-edge tactics in automotive SEO is a priority for Fixed Ops Digital. This includes sales of automobiles, parts, and repairs. Our systematic approach prioritizes making customers aware of what your dealership has to offer. Our methods are versatile and compatible with your needs. We get to know the audience you are trying to reach, and cater our SEO tactics to reach both returning and new customers.
We are eager to help your dealership thrive by optimizing your website for search engine algorithms. Contact us to learn about our products and a la carte pricing or request a free demo to find the right fit for your dealership!