With car dealerships seemingly on every corner, you’ve got to make sure you’re leaning into every competitive advantage. This includes making sure your dealership’s offerings are visible and being found by the right people. Attracting customers looking for the services your dealership offers is a must.
Optimizing your digital dealership for online search with best SEO practices is key to securing and retaining new customers. In this modern age where businesses and their consumers are “always online,” having “page one” visibility is vital to keeping your dealership top of mind for new and future customers alike.
SEO has many moving parts, and it takes more than just using the right keywords to get an influx of the right customers to your dealership’s website. Understanding how these moving parts work together is important to get the most out of your SEO efforts.
How SEO Can Elevate Your Dealership Visibility Where it Counts
SEO is now an absolute necessity when it comes to increasing your dealership’s digital presence as an accessible resource. The many moving parts mentioned before all work in tandem to optimize your online approach. These include:
- Organic Search Engine Optimization
- Google My Business
- NAP or "Citations"
- Social Media Optimization
- On-Site Web Page Optimization
- Google Ads Optimization
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What is SEO, and is it essential to your dealership?
Automotive SEO refers to the optimization process that will help to improve your dealership website’s ability to rank on popular search engines and search engine result pages (also known as SERPs). You can look forward to increased organic site traffic, higher online conversion rates, and improved sales, thanks to proper optimization.
SEO offers immense benefits for your business.
Here are some points to consider:
- SEO service for your car dealership will give you a competitive edge, ranking your web pages above your local competitors.
- SEO for your car dealership will increase organic search traffic and bring more clicks to your website.
- SEO for car dealers will bring in more targeted and qualified leads
- It increases your brand’s awareness and boosts footfalls.
- It’s the most cost-effective service you can provide for your dealership. Every competitor in your primary market is doing some form of SEO. It’s a matter of IF they are doing it correctly or not?
For you to enjoy the actual benefits of proper SEO, brand awareness, improved rankings and higher authority, more traffic, leads, and a competitive edge, you need an SEO service provider with comprehensive experience in the field. Here are a few things to look for when considering a new SEO provider:
- Technical SEO
- On-page SEO
- Content optimization
- Blogger outreach
- Local SEO
Regardless of your reasons for implementing SEO, seeking out and finding a trusted provider can make all the difference in being seen by even more in-market shoppers for the service you provide, both sales and fixed operations.
Google My Business
Having a verified and optimized Google My Business (GMB) listing can contribute dramatically to local SEO and will help to increase your dealership’s ability ranking. It assists with the following:
- Effectively appear in Google Maps
- Can increase your dealership's Google search results
- Dealership photos become more visible to searchers
- Enables shoppers to read and leave reviews about your dealership
- Provides additional company insights with weekly Google posts
- Acts as an easy-to-use local landing page that helps you stand out to local in-market shoppers
- It’s free!
Dealers that keep their GMB listing up-to-date with accurate company information can expect to see, on average, a 29% increase regarding shopper engagement on your dealership’s website. These engagements include:
- Phone calls
- Website clicks
- Directions requests
According to Brightlocal’s Google My Business insight study from 2019: “The average business is found in 1,009 searches, with 85% of these coming from Discovery Searches. Moreover, 49% of businesses receive more than 1,000 Views on Search per month. Car dealerships receive the highest number of calls and website visits from GMB, while hotels have the highest views on Search and Maps. 5% of Google My Business listing views result in a website click, call, or direct request.”
NAP or "Citations"
So, what does NAP mean?
NAP is a local online listing that includes the Name, Address, and Phone Number of a local business. NAP or “Citations” can appear on local business directories, websites, apps, and social platforms. Citations help shoppers discover local businesses and can impact local search rankings.
Why is this important for your dealership? There are hundreds of local citation listings that can be claimed and optimized to increase opportunities to be seen by thousands of shoppers in your primary market.
Examples of a Citation listing:
- Major Data Platforms: Google, Facebook, and Yelp
- GEO/Industry Specific: Chamber of Commerce and the BBB
- The Wider/Web: Hot Frog, Yellow Pages, Mapquest, City Data, and more!
Why do local citations matter?
According to Moz.com: “local citations either positively or negatively impact consumers and their decision to communicate with your dealership. Accurate citations help people discover your business, resulting in web, phone, and foot traffic, culminating in transactions. Inaccurate citations, however, can misdirect customers, leading to loss of reputation and revenue.”
Social Media Optimization
This practice of social media optimization encourages dealerships to analyze, audit, and make adjustments to their organic content, resulting in a more substantial local presence.
So, why bother? Simply put, top-performing social media accounts don’t ignore the fine details of optimization. Social media optimization serves to help:
- Increase visibility and reach of your dealership’s content, resulting in higher engagement (leads, traffic, clicks)
- Evaluate the overall ROI and outcomes of your social media marketing (sales and brand awareness)
- Develop a process for creating content that is primed to perform well
These days, marketers are being held even more accountable when it comes to social media performance. Through cost-effective optimization and a hands-on approach, you’ll likely increase the chances of hitting your KPIs and make things easier by establishing a process for fine-tuning both your organic content and paid campaigns.
On-Site Webpage Optimization
Who is your dealership’s best salesperson?
Arguably, it’s your website!
It’s available to shoppers 24/7, 365 days a year. Regular maintenance and adding relevant website content is key to helping your dealership’s On-site SEO/Webpage Optimization.
On-site SEO is the practice of optimizing particular elements on a website (as opposed to links elsewhere on the Internet and other external signals collectively known as "off-site SEO") to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic from search engines. On-site SEO refers to optimizing both the content and HTML source code of a page. Source: MOZ.
Beyond helping search engines interpret page content, proper on-site SEO also helps users quickly understand what a page is about and whether it addresses their search query. Good on-site SEO helps search engines understand what a shopper would see and what value the visitor would get. This allows them to serve up high-quality content about a particular search query reliably.
The ultimate goal of on-site SEO should be to make it as easy as possible for search engines and their users to:
- Understand what a webpage is about
- Identify pages as relevant to specific search queries (i.e., a particular keyword or set of keywords)
- Find pages worthy of high ranking on a search engine results page (SERP)
All of these elements tie back to the same basic idea: creating an excellent user experience. The more usable a webpage is (from both a technical and non-technical perspective), the better that page's optimization.
Google Ads Optimization
Like with all SEM/PPC campaign management, Google Ad Optimization ensures you're consciously targeting the right shopper at the right time with suitable vehicles and services provided by your dealership; new, used, automotive repair, body shop, and parts for sale. Not only does this increase your chances of making a sale, but it also ensures that you're doing it for the least amount of spending possible, all the while helping to strengthen your organic search presence.
Google Ads Optimization can seem like a giant mountain to climb, even for the most experienced of marketers. However, if you start with essential Google Ads optimization hacks as a foundation, you can slowly but surely build results by streamlining your Google Ads marketing strategy.
Consider the following:
- Choice of Keywords
- Quality Ad Copy
- Target Audience
- User Intent
- Responsive Ads
Is your Google Ads campaign effective and providing an above-average ROI? Measuring the Click-through rate (CTR) will determine the number of clicks your Google Ads have received compared to the number of impressions. A high CTR indicates that your Google Ad campaign is working well. Conversely, a lower CTR suggests that the ads may need to be optimized.
Also, remember these critical factors when optimizing your Google Ads:
- Your AdWords CTR
- Keyword selection
- Ad copy
- Audience selection
- a good quality score of 7 or higher for the keywords tracking, including branded, low-intent, and high-intent.
Doing this will protect your primary market. You should own the customers in your backyard!
Understanding how to strategically locate and identify customers in your PMA can boost quality website traffic and lead count that you might not traditionally find outside your PMA.
If you’re looking for a more significant ROI in your Google Ad spend, and desire a higher level of reporting and back-end KPIs, having a strategic and well-planned blueprint can help optimize your Google Ad campaigns!
Get Best-in-Class SEO through ActivEngage
As you can see, great SEO is a Swiss army knife for dealerships to enhance their digital presence and accessibility to curious consumers near them. Whether it’s for sales or service (AKA fixed ops), an optimized SEO strategy keeps you at the top of the results page — and minds — of potential future customers.
ActivEngage is partnered with some of the best SEO experts in the business to help equip your dealership with the most up-to-date, laser-focused SEO practices. ActivEngage also has a host of industry-leading products that boost visibility and add lots of value to your digital dealership, such as:
- Managed messaging powered by people.
- AcceleRater for reputation management.
- Integration with Facebook Messenger for increased social media visibility.
- ActivTarget behavioral advertising.
- And so much more!
Ready to put your dealership in the digital spotlight? Let’s chat about how our SEO partners can help you get to the top of the results page!