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Link Building

Strategic link building on your website can drive more qualified leads to your virtual showroom and amplify your dealership’s visibility and relevance in the competitive digital landscape. This is a core part of any good search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. But what exactly makes link building important? How does it work? What is the best way to plan and execute a linking strategy that actually works? Those are the questions we are going to look at today. At your car dealership, SEO–link building, specifically–is essential. So, let’s get into the whats and the whys to help you move toward online success.

Link Building’s Impact on Car Dealership SEO

The car dealership market is tough in general, but especially online. When you’re fighting for a spot on the search engine results page (SERP), you’re not only battling with your local competitors but also with big-brand online car sales sites. This makes building enough authority to earn a high spot on the SERP for any given topic especially challenging. However, by implementing a meaningful internal linking strategy, you can make a massive impact.

A link from one page to another is recognized as an endorsement by search engines. Whether this is a backlink from another site or an internal link, the connection from one page to another helps build authority for the latter. This authority then leads to Google seeing a page as more qualified to answer queries and, therefore, ranks it higher on related SERPs.

The Two Types of Linking

There are two types of linking you’ll most often hear about when discussing SEO: internal links and backlinks. Both play a role in building authority for your website. Internal linking is the act of adding links from one page on your site to another. This can not only make your site easily crawlable and help search engine crawlers best understand your site, but it can also encourage your customers to move toward conversion. 

Backlinks are those you earn from other websites. This could be a local directory, an OEM site, or an automotive blog. When an outside source links to a page on your site, that connection is viewed as that other site supporting or backing what you have to say, which makes your page more valuable in the eyes of search engines. In all, both of these link types are important items in your SEO toolbox––let’s look at how to get the most use out of each.

Crafting Tailored Internal Linking Strategies

Internal links are those that you have the most control over. You decide where to place links and where the signals are sent. There are many different ways to go about this on your dealership’s website, but there are some general ideas that you should think about when strategizing and implementing your links.

The Signals Links Send

Much of internal linking is about the signals you’re sending, so it’s important to keep that in the forefront of your mind. A good example of using the strength of a link is when you’re already ranking well for something but want to improve your spot on the SERP. Say you’re a Ford dealer in Florence, KY, and you want to rank well for “Ford dealer” when searched from Cincinnati. You already have a “Ford dealer” landing page on your site, and it’s ranking #11 for that search. Your first instinct might be to create another landing page focused on Cincinnati and hope that the more focused page ranks even better.

You would be on the right track in this scenario, but not quite there. While creating a “Ford dealer near Cincinnati” page will help, it’s better to use that page to endorse the one that is already ranking rather than competing with it. So, you would add a Cincinnati-focused page and link it to the “Ford dealer” page, giving it an endorsement for the Cincinnati area. Using signals this way can be more effective and make your automotive SEO efforts work faster.

Anchor Text Matters

A smaller but still important piece to internal linking is anchor text, the excerpt in which you embed your link. Keep in mind that you’ll want this excerpt to flow naturally within your content. This means that you shouldn’t stuff keywords awkwardly into sentences in order to have optimized anchor text. Instead, find meaningful places within your content to add links. Additionally, the link and anchor text should be relevant to one another. “Chevy Silverado for sale” should link to a Silverado-specific page, not a contact form, for example. Having optimized and relevant anchor text will provide extra information to search engines regarding the purpose of the link and will be more helpful to users looking to continue through your site.

Remember Your Audience

Finally, remembering your audience and your goals for that audience is essential when link building effectively. Links should lead users through a funnel that makes sense; they should bring users toward conversion in a meaningful way. While much of link building is about enhancing page authority and increasing your rankings, it’s also about conversion rate optimization and helping the visitors on your site. 

As you’re implementing links on your site, keep in mind that these links send signals and that the anchor text matters, and don’t forget about your customers.

Backlink Acquisition Tactics

The process for executing an internal linking strategy on your website is simple; you add the links where it makes sense to do so. However, when you want to secure links from external sites, known as backlinks, you will need to put in a little extra work. Since you don’t have access to every site on the internet, you’ll need to build relationships with authoritative and relevant figures in order to secure links on their website that lead to yours. 

Earn Links By Being a Reliable Online Source

The first and most rewarding way to earn backlinks is to be a reliable online source for others. By providing information that other people can reference on their site, you’re opening yourself up to connections and endorsements. This comes from high-quality content marketing and relationship-building through and through. And if you ever come across a place where your content or business as a whole is referenced but not linked to, make an effort to reach out and ask. It never hurts to ask.

Never Pay for Backlinks

With that said, asking a business to add a link to content they are already referencing you in is one thing, but you should never pay for backlinks. Remember that if something seems like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Buying backlinks isn’t ethical and is against Google Search Essentials (previously Webmaster Guidelines). You can, and likely will, be penalized for doing this. So, in short, don’t purchase backlinks; earn them. 

Content Marketing & Link Building Integration

When you’re building a sitewide strategy, the content on your site and links should follow the same funnel system. For example, an interest-piece blog post about Silverado capabilities could link to an informational “Chevy Silverado for sale” landing page. Not only is this giving the landing page more authority, improving its rankability, but it is also giving a user who was first interested in the model’s capabilities a chance to learn more about the truck. Bringing the same scope to content marketing as you are to linking strategies provides an informational funnel for users, allowing them to make the most informed decisions.

Craft Linking Strategies With Wikimotive

Advanced link building strategies play a critical role in bringing traffic to your dealership’s website. Both internal links and backlinks can help build page authority, help search engines easily navigate your site and understand the relationship among pages, and encourage visitors to move toward conversion pages on your site. The power is truly in the links when it comes to online success. 

Now, it’s important to remember that adding links to your website willy-nilly isn’t going to lead to automatic success. And buying backlinks from people who claim to “hold the power” isn’t going to do anything other than have your site flagged as spam. There are methods to the madness, which is why we here at Wikimotive are here to help you navigate the world of links and craft meaningful linking strategies that drive traffic to your site. 

Want to learn more? Set up a free website audit with our team today! Our team will walk through your site with you and go over areas in which you could grow. We hope to hear from you soon.