Optimize your website for SEO
How To Optimize Your Dealership Website For SEO
[7 Minute Read] ┃ Author: Zak┃ October 26, 2022
Every day, millions of car buyers use search engines to look for used cars.
According to Ahrefs, there are 503,000 monthly searches for the keyword “used cars near me” alone. Other variations such as “dealerships near me” and “used cars for sale near me” bring in another 325,000 and 154,000 monthly searches respectively.
This is not to mention those who search for specific makes and models.
The Ford F-150, being the best-selling vehicle in the United States for the past 30+ years, registers a staggering 18,000 monthly searches for the keyword “ford f150 for sale”.
Some of these shoppers are looking to learn more about the vehicle to know its ins and outs, while others are ready to buy right now and are looking for a used car dealership near them.
You want to appear on the first pages of both searches.
“Search is the most commonly used source in the car-buying process.” – Think With Google
If you want to get these buyers through your dealership doors, then you must optimize your website for SEO. This will ensure they find you online when they’re looking for a car you may have in your inventory.
How do you do this? That’s what we’ll be covering in today’s article!
What is SEO?
Simply put, SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of optimizing your website to receive more organic traffic.
Optimizing your website for SEO may include changing its design, layout, content, structure, host and more. This is done so that your website would perform better on search engines and appear higher on search results pages when people look for keywords your website is ranking for.
The benefit of SEO is that, unlike paid ads, your website will start to receive high-quality traffic for free.
Although seeing real SEO results usually takes time (a minimum of 6 months), investing your time and effort in it will be one of your dealership’s most impactful marketing strategies.
Now that we’ve got the definition of SEO out of the way, it’s time we explained what needs to be done to increase your dealership’s organic traffic.
Step 1: Technical SEO
Technical SEO ensures that search engines can find your website. It may or may not have an impact on how your website looks and feels, but search engines count on it to find you online.
Mobile-Friendliness & Site Speed
SEO is all about user experience.
If people find your website hard to use and can’t easily find what they came looking for, they will leave.
Google can tell how many people visited your website and left either because they found it hard to navigate, or because they couldn’t find what they initially clicked on your website for.
To make sure you are rewarded for user experience and are not penalized, you need to make sure your website loads faster and that it is easy to navigate on mobile devices.
Most of your traffic will be coming from mobile. If your website is mobile-friendly, then those visitors will stay for longer.
To appear higher on search results, search engines need to be able to read your content the same way your visitors do.
This means that you should organize your content in a meaningful way!
First, every page on your website must only include a single H1 tag. This is important because Google will know that that’s the headline and most important sentence on your website page.
All other headings must range from H2 to H6 based on importance.
They must also make sense and be in the right order. If you have to use all headers, they should be used in the following order:
H1 > H2 > H3 > H4 > H5 > H6
Step 2: Keywords & Content
For people to find you on Google, your website must include some of the keywords shoppers use to make the search.
But how do you find these keywords?
As mentioned above, the longtail keyword “dealerships near me” brings in 325,000 searches per month.
Another example is “used car dealerships in atlanta”. This keyword may be bringing fewer searches and fewer clicks, but it is easier to rank for and dominate.
In this case, you want your website pages to be mentioning this keyword enough times that Google indexes your website for it.
One thing you need to do is avoid keyword stuffing. This is when you intentionally use the exact same keyword in every single paragraph and again at the end of the page.
To avoid these keyword issues, try using a synonym or two of your keyword and only mention them organically. This means that you should only mention your keywords as they appear naturally in your sentences and paragraphs.
Once you’ve got your keywords figured out, it’s time you planned your content strategy!
Content is King
You need to invest in quality content.
Car buyers spend an average of 13 hours researching the vehicles they’re looking to buy.
This is where your content strategy comes in.
Create good content that is helpful and that answers your prospects’ questions. You can start writing blog articles about the best types of vehicles to buy, the best financing plans, how to inspect a vehicle before buying and more.
A local shopper who is looking to learn more about financing and finds that your website is providing clear, informative guides on the topic will come back to your dealership once they’re ready to buy.
Even more so, people spending more time on your website is a clear indicator that they found what they were looking for, thus Google will reward you by pushing your website to the top of the results page.
Step 3: Backlinks
Whenever a 3rd party website links to your website, that’s a backlink.
Backlinks are essentially an endorsement from other websites saying they found your website a reliable source for this topic.
Google takes backlinks very seriously and they can basically make or break your SEO strategy.
Here’s an example!
Let’s say there is your website and that of a competitor of yours, both of you have great on-site SEO and great content overall. Only one of you will be the first result for any search query, so which of you will it be?
Google will then look at your backlinks profile and see how many websites are linking to yours, plus who these websites are.
Your competitor has 100 low-quality websites linking to it. While you have only 10 websites linking to you, they are high-quality and Google sees them as authority websites.
You can rest assured that the first result position is yours.
Step 4: Google Business Profile & Other Directories
If you want to optimize your website for local SEO, then Google Business Profile (GBP) is your best bet.
Thanks to GBP, your dealership will appear in local searches whenever someone looks for a nearby dealership or nearby used cars.
Your Google Business Profile will also appear in searches in Google Maps, directing people straight to your doors.
A GBP account consists of the following:
- – Dealership full name
- – Phone number
- – Opening Hours
- – Website link
- – Customer reviews
- – Dealership pictures
You can also periodically publish updates on your business profile, much like how other social media platforms work.
Google Business Profile is powerful, but the best thing about it is that it’s completely free.
The more information your GBP has, the better your chances of appearing on search results are. This is why it’s crucial you keep your account updated at all times.
It doesn’t stop here!
Being listed on more than one directory is always a good thing and will drastically improve your local visibility.
Our Local Dominance feature ensures that you get as much local visibility as possible. We do this by gradually listing your dealership on 100s of different directories.
These directories usually have great SEO and your listing with them will perform better than most if not all of your competitors’ websites.
You can track in real time how many directories have accepted your listing and you can view your listing with them with the simple click of a button.
Many dealers using Local Dominance have their Google Business Profile listing show up as the first result in their area.
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