In no particular order, here are the top 10 organic ranking factors that just about all automotive SEO experts agree on and a good place to start for a beginner or do it yourself dealership.
Name, address and place. This also includes your car website’s logo. A number of dealer SEO experts do not give much credence to this factor yet, it’s a fact that people feel a lot more comfortable when they know how to get in touch with your showroom or physical office. Leaving citations in press releases and other online mediums without even including a back link is proven to help your website rank locally on organic Google searches.
This should be eye catching but not too loud and explains to the visitors why they are on your page. This is one of the many factors that can help decrease your bounce rate. A bounce is classified as when someone lands on a page and then exits without clicking through to another inner page. This happens when a user finds your content is not relevant to their search or because the architecture of the site is confusing or too busy. By having a clear headline on your pages you will quickly and easily be able to hook potential customers when they realize they have found exactly what they were searching for.
Relevant articles or postings. Nothing fancy here. As much as possible straight forward pertinent facts, details and descriptions (is any) is what should prevail. The layout should be easy to understand as well with all that the visitors’ needs addressed such as clear links, menus, FAQs, blogs, search bar, comment area, etc. You don’t want to overkill the visitor with too much information on one page as they will quickly leave. If you have a lot of information to share break it up into easily navigated pages. This will keep the visitor engaged and looking at more pages of your website. Make sure to leave them plenty of ways to contact you through forms, chat and other methods embedded or very prominently displayed with the content.
4. Singular themed
It’s not advisable to mix up your latest models of cars with your used cars. Instead of compressing everything into one website, create specific ones for various categories or interests. We call this micro sites or landing pages. Yes your main website should house everything under one roof, but we have found that if you can narrowly focus the theme of the website with the domain name, the content, and the calls to action.. visitors are far more likely to convert into a qualified sales lead for your dealership. Don’t skimp on your main dealer website, but do actively create and promote smaller more targeted websites that will have a more narrow focus.
5. Meta tags and keywords
These are primarily designed for search engine bots or spiders as it provides a variety of data as well as directions. Be sure to use them wisely. They are valuable real estate and should not be spammed with useless keywords. Use keywords relevant to each individual page and make sure they are human readable and don’t repeat keywords in them.
6. Google places
Another great feature of Google, Google places and Google maps are very effective tools to get targeted visitors to locate you. Make sure you have a Google places page and make sure you ask your customers to leave you a rating and review on your Google Places page. Services like automotive reputation management can make sure you fully utilize your Google Places page.
Some claim that this is the one of the most crucial, if not THE most important element, in and search engine optimization stint. These are the “traffic lanes” of your sites targeted visitors and each back link counts as a vote for your dealer website’s reputation online. There is an entire science behind back linking. Google has over 400+ factors that evaluate primarily the strength and worth of the links pointing to your website. You can do endless amounts of research online about how to properly build links to your dealership or you can employ professionals that stay on top of ever changing search trends to handle your automotive SEO for you.
Don’t neglect this point as it is a very important part of your organic ranking strategy.
8. Internal links
Aside from the fact that visitors will appreciate the conveniences offered by the internal links, these have to be clear on where they go within your website. It won’t do to have an unlinked webpage since you have to have them indexed by search engine spiders or bots so the ycan be shown on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
What you want to do is make your inventory easily accessible as well as ways for the customer to reach you such as financing forms, service appointment forms, parts order forms, etc. Don’t just think because they are in your main menu, that customers will be able to easily find them. You must link to these pages in the content of your website as well. It doesn’t hurt to have additional important links in the footer or sometimes in a sidebar of your website as well. Your internal linking architecture can help Google determine what pages of your site are the most important.
Submitting your site to specifically categorized directories insures that your traffic are predominantly people who intend to do something with cars and not some mere web surfer. Only submit your dealer website to directories that focus on automotive so that real people can find you there. Don’t think of directories as places to get back links, rather another outlet for users to find your website online.
Since this is organic searching, customer visits should be turned into some form of profit whenever possible. Doing that requires some sort of “ incentive’s” of the visitors through special deals, coupons, and other forms of promotions. in reality honesty and professionalism should be at the forefront your car dealership website. In essence, your landing pages have to be uncluttered, informational, quick loading, and easy to navigate while telling the customer why they should shop with you.
There are many more factors involved that affect organic ranking on your car website and there are some that are not listed above that are regarded as being indispensible by many other SEO experts and groups so really, this is highly subjective since every single expert has his or her own unique system in getting the desired organic ranking your car website deserves.
Drive Digital Group offers a free no obligation SEO analysis on your site and where you stack up compared with your local competition in your market. It’s free, take advantage of it!