Will Automotive SEO Still be Important for my Car Dealership in 2019?
Automotive SEO is the automotive marketing technique, art and science of using proven SEO strategies to increase organic traffic and targeted conversions on an auto dealer's website.
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Why You Need Real Automotive SEO?
The reason automotive SEO is such a crucial part of your car dealership’s digital marketing strategy is because it provides a competitive advantage over the competition. While you could buy up more and more air time and ad space compared to other auto dealers, all you’re doing is reaching out to the public in hopes of finding people in the market for a car. And we all know how people feel about traditional advertising, as well as how easy it is to ignore. Whats more, the overwhelming majority of car dealer websites out there still fail to execute anything remotely resembling an automotive seo strategy. Many go a step further and implement practices that directly violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines!
SEO designed specifically for car dealers increases the likelihood that your dealership will be found by consumers who are in the market for a new or used car by targeting the keywords used throughout the research and buying process. You’ll be best served focusing on the exact brand of vehicle you sell first, as buyers who are searching for a specific type of dealership are typically further into the buying process than someone simply looking for “car dealerships.”
The reason this is so important is because only one dealer can show up for the #1 spot for any specific query on Google and other search engines. That spot will receive the bulk of the traffic from consumers, and thus more sales when compared to the competition. And with over 200 ranking factors in 2018 its important to work with a company that understands more than just today’s short-cuts or quick fixes.
What are the Basics of an Automotive SEO Strategy?
Every auto SEO strategy has to begin with a target in mind. This doesn’t necessarily mean the goal of ranking #1 for a set of keywords, either. What separates one automotive SEO company from another is often begins by simply knowing which keywords are the most valuable, and how to maximize the client’s growth potential.
At Wikimotive, each client receives a custom set of target keywords based on intense (local) market research. We don’t just pick any set of keywords to target; we pick the absolute best – believe me! Huge! lol. These keywords are intent-based and volume-based to ensure that our work is focused on driving targeted traffic made up of ready-to-buy customers. To quote President Trump, “They know keywords! Wikimotive knows the best keywords!”
Many companies simply use a generic keyword list for all clients, then work in a little page optimization and call it a day. Or worse, they use automated coding to create generic metadata often creating duplicate or completely irrelevant keyword optimization. When they send you a report, you see all of these wonderful rankings, but no explanation of the overall value.
The truth they’re not telling you? Those keywords don’t receive traffic. That’s right. It’s likely your hard-earned money is being spent on optimization for keywords that generate little to no search in any given month. (As a company that prides itself on high-quality SEO for car dealers, this hurts us too because it damages the reputation of our industry as a whole.)
After finalizing keyword targets, Wikimotive creates content to build authority around those target keywords. We don’t just mention them on a page over and over in hopes Google will associate your site with them, though. Our content is crafted to be valuable to your potential customers; creating content specifically for search engines is just not a viable strategy. It also happens to be something Google is able to detect; its algorithm continually evolves to better catch spam and “useless” or “redundant” content. This is why we only use white-hat SEO techniques outlined in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
SEO vs. Traditional Marketing
When we’re asked to explain the difference between SEO and traditional marketing, our eyes light up. You see, there’s nothing wrong with traditional marketing. It’s a piece of the large marketing puzzle surrounding your dealership, as is SEO. The problem is, one makes you hunt down the customer while the other makes it easier for the customer to find you.
Want to Guess Which One SEO Does?
SEO makes it really, really easy for the customer to find you. No sales pitch necessary. Our automotive-focused SEO work allows your business to rise above the competition in order to attract more and more customers that are already in the market. Why spend more and more money trying to drive people in when you can sit back and enjoy more high-converting leads than you’ve ever received for a fraction of the price?
How Does Content Marketing Affect SEO?
Content Marketing is a term that is thrown around a lot, but its meaning is often confused with other terms used in modern digital marketing, including SEO. While the two can (and should) be used together, SEO and content marketing are truly separate services with completely different focuses.
SEO works to make a website more search-engine friendly, through optimization, content, link-building and other efforts. These are not necessarily targeted at the end user, but at search engines instead. Content Marketing, on the other hand, is all about creating content and context for a target audience in order to create a connection between the individual consumer and the products or services your business provides. This content can be video, imagery, or written content based upon the audience and budget.
One of the most successful examples of content marketing is Dollar Shave Club, a subscription-based razor business that created a funny video promoting its service. It was short, sweet, high-quality, and extremely entertaining. Within days of its release, it had gone viral, receiving millions of views. Three years after its released, the video has been viewed nearly 20 million times, and Dollar Shave Club is valued at over $615 million after receiving $75 million in a recent round of funding. And while its service is outstanding, the company’s content marketing helped propel it into the mainstream, allowing the company to grow at a rate that would have otherwise been impossible.
That’s amazing for Dollar Shave Club, but you’re probably wondering how you can do the same for your dealership, right? Well, the viral video approach is one you can try, but success is never guaranteed and the budget necessary to create a truly memorable and marketable video means it’s not a safe investment for most dealerships. However, Wikimotive’s approach to content marketing, which enhances our already powerful automotive search engine optimization service, works like a charm.
Through our social media services, we promote brand-focused content to users in your dealership’s local area to people who are specifically interested in buying your brand. We utilize advanced targeting on Facebook, and even re-market to your customers in order to build more interest in your inventory through quality, entertaining content. Users love the content because it’s not trying to sell them anything in a direct way; it’s simply showing them of what your brand’s vehicles have to offer and entertaining or informing them through a variety of topics.
In many ways, this is promotion in disguise. Users get to enjoy great content related to your vehicles, but they’re also doing so through your business’s Facebook page. The connection we build helps facilitate increased sales and brand loyalty thanks to the reach this content receives.
Linkbuilding for SEO
If you want to expand your dealership’s SEO, linkbuilding is a great way to cover all of your bases and add more and more authority to your site. In a nutshell, linkbuilding is the art of acquiring high-quality links to your site in order to receive a better reputation in the eyes of Google and other search engines. Each one uses links as a signal of quality, reputation, and authority in order to best rank sites. It’s one of the original signals that search engines were able to use in advanced ranking algorithms.
While you should be wary of how many (automotive SEO companies) practice linkbuilding, Wikimotive only targets relevant, authoritative sites with content related to the auto industry. This ensures your dealership’s site is not getting mixed in with spam, but that we’re helping to create advanced relevancy between your site and the site that links to you. Because all links are not created equal. Google is able to tell when a link does not belong, and may disregard it altogether. This also leaves your site open to penalties that specifically target irrelevant, artificially-created links.
How do we know we’re right? Google says so!
True SEO professionals have long theorized that content and links were the most important factors when thinking about SEO. But recently and for the first time ever, Google has confirmed what has long been suspected. On March 23, 2016 during a Q & A with Google, Google’s own Andrey Lipattsev defined the most important ranking factors: “I can tell you what they (most important factors) are. Its content. And its links pointing to your site.” Number 3 on that list refers to Google’s machine learning algorithm, RankBrain, which is part of the larger Hummingbird algorithm. You can watch the complete Q & A below.
The Importance of Local (and mobile) SEO
In the past few years, Google has placed more importance on local-focused results. Most of this work is on displaying quick, verified information about local businesses for the billions of searches made each year regarding local businesses. This helps users quickly retrieve information they need, and allows verified, reputable local businesses to gain more customers.
Google verifies businesses through pages from its Google My Business service, but also looks for mentions of businesses on directory and review sites, such as YellowPages, Edmunds.com, Dealerrater.com and many others. This helps the search engine serve businesses that have been established to ensure its users have the best experience possible. And if you use their guidelines and hints as a blueprint, they’ll help you secure more customers through local search. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
Wikimotive’s local SEO services are all part of what we do in order to help dealers suffering from lack of rankings in map-pack results on Google or low clickthroughs on their pages based on data provided by Google My Business. We’ll audit your business’s presence on the web and create a plan of action to edit existing listings to bring them up to date or create new listings to increase the overall authority your business commands in the local space.
Why Choose Wikimotive?
Founded by Timothy Martell, a 21-year dealership sales, management, fixed-ops and marketing veteran, Wikimotive was built with the goal of creating a line of advanced digital marketing services that don’t just promise results but one that actually delivers results — tangible results that can be measured in dollars (not just ideas and concepts pushed by others in the auto SEO industry).
Nothing speaks louder than results, and that’s how we like it. Forget the false promises, too good to be true ideas, and lets get back to reality. Digital marketing is not easy. There’s a reason you won’t find the same quality product or service in other companies. The ideas may be similar in theory, but only the best can execute their services in a way that actually benefits a car dealer’s SEO and grow their leads and sales in the process. Don’t take our word for it. Just ask Keith McCluskey about how Wikimotive helped McCluskey Chevrolet move from 1,174 cars sold/year (2008) to 7,294 cars sold/year (2018).
Always exclusive. You just hired an awesome new vendor only to find out that before the ink was dry on your contract they walked right down the street to your competitor and signed them up too! Doesn’t that just grind your gears? Not at Wikimotive! We were the first automotive vendor to include exclusivity as part of every deal! We draw a radius around every dealership and refuse to work with your competitors there. But we don’t stop there. We know that different markets can’t always conform to a radius and sometimes your biggest real competitor lies just outside that radius, thats why we even let you pick specific dealerships beyond your radius to create a list guaranteed to keep your competitors out in the cold!
Also, don’t forget the fact that SEO is always changing. That’s not just a selling point or an excuse for poor results. Google changes the rules of the game quite often (daily, in fact). Those who take risks with their client’s business will eventually get caught and punished; Wikimotive is known for approaching SEO aggressively, while still putting ethics first. We never use tactics that could be considered “black hat.” When you follow Google’s best practices, the results are forthcoming.
Our automotive SEO product is always being refined to provide clients with the absolute best service in the automotive industry. We don’t take short cuts, though. Our product follows Google’s guidelines and adapts in order to better serve our clients, not to circumvent any new algorithm updates released by search engines.
In the end, we realize that your success is our success! We love working hard to see you grow. Contact us today and let’s start working on a plan for you to get ahead of, and stay ahead of, your competition online.
A word about retention
Of the dealer’s who have given us that chance, only two have canceled! (In our 11 year history). In the toughest cases it can take a year to generate big ROI numbers, but our minimum benchmark is to deliver 500% ROI to our clients.
We realize that everyone promises the moon while few deliver on their pie in the sky promises. So, don’t just take our word for it. We’re so confident in our results and our client’s experience such consistent performance that we’re happy to put references right where all the world can see. If you would like to talk to some of our clients to find out what it’s really like to work with us, I encourage you to reach out to Keith or contact us for a complete list of our raving fans:
Keith McCluskey – Dealer Principal, McCluskey Chevrolet / McCluskey Automotive (Client of 10+ years. From 95 to 607 cars/month!)
Last Update: January 23, 2019
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