As easy as it may seem to ignore the fact that you are losing market share, it is important to get ahead of the issue immediately. Too often, car dealers sit back and wait for their sales numbers to turn around on their own. Still, the only way to permanently get ahead of your local and online competition is via SEO (search engine optimization). At Wikimotive, we offer SEO for car dealers and provide everything from content marketing to technical optimization. So whether you have seen a decline in sales or simply want to take advantage of the distinct growth opportunities out there, we can help. Read on to learn more about how SEO can grow your dealership beyond the imaginable.
What is SEO in the Automotive Space?
SEO is a group of actions that can help your website rank above others on the SERP (search engine results page); however, this does not look the same across all industries. Automotive SEO is something unique in itself as there are two very different levels of search that could lead consumers to your site aside from those going there directly: research and transactional. While these categories of search queries exist in other industries, the extent of those research levels is not quite near what they are in automotive.
Unlike many other types of purchases, car shopping usually begins with in-depth research. Drivers want to know what size, make, and model vehicle is going to suit their needs. They may be looking for a vehicle that will fit their large family or for something sleek and sporty. With that in mind, you will want to write content and optimize your site so that you can rank for searches like “What is the best family-friendly vehicle?” and “Most fuel-efficient cars for commuters.”
The other level of search to optimize for as a car dealer is for those who already know what they want. Anyone who has already done the research, or happens to know exactly what vehicle they want, is going to perform searches like “Ford dealer near me” or “Chevy Silverado for sale” because they want to get straight to the place that will give them what they need.
Each of these levels of research stands as an opportunity for your website to show up in a search. In fact, you will want to focus on both to show up more and become the go-to resource for your community. The more trust and authority you build with them, the more likely they are to visit your dealership and ultimately purchase from you rather than one of your local competitors. In all, it is evident that ranking for these terms is essential, but how exactly can SEO help you rank well for them?
How to Rank Well for Vehicle Search Terms
In order to rank well for a specific vehicle search term, you need to build content that supports said keyword, phrase, or query. When writing this content, you need to think about what the potential customer is looking to gain by performing the search and then answering it in the best way possible. Google’s algorithm is only getting better at recognizing content that answers a searcher’s query, so doing your best to optimize for those users will, in turn, increase your rankings.
For example, if you want to rank for the question “What is the best family-friendly vehicle?”, you will want to give an answer that someone doing research may find useful. You can go over what features a family may want in their next car (space, entertainment, etc.) and even give a few examples of vehicles that would provide said values. In fact, if you have those example cars in stock, you can link to your inventory right from that page. This encourages conversion, which we will get to in a bit.
When you are looking to rank for transactional queries like “Chevy Silverado for sale,” you, similarly, want to give the user what they are actually looking for in their search. This could mean creating a new page for Silverado-specific content with specifications and details, but it could also mean optimizing your pre-existing inventory page to include the specific search term you are hoping to rank.
Whether you are working toward ranking for research or transactional keywords, content marketing is key. But there are other parts of SEO that will help as well. On top of the content itself, you will want to optimize the page’s meta title to include the keyword, add descriptive alt text for your images, and ensure you have quality internal links leading to the page from elsewhere on your site. Each of these actions will help Google understand what the page is and ultimately give it more ranking authority in search.
Ways to Encourage Conversion On Your Dealer Site
So you have written content, optimized the page, and linked to the page from others on the site. You are now ranking in the #1 spot, seeing a decent increase in clicks, and inevitably grabbing hold of the market share in your area. Great! But that does not necessarily mean you are increasing your conversions; conversion optimization is a whole other piece of the puzzle.
One of the best ways to encourage conversions is to gain visitors’ trust with accurate, useful answers to their queries. Meaningful content will build trustworthy relationships with your online visitors, which will lead to revisits and potential conversions. If you give someone the answer they were looking for once, they may come back to you when they have another question.
There is another pertinent piece when trying to increase traffic from your ranking pages to your online forms and vehicle display pages (VDPs): internal linking. On your page about family-friendly vehicles, you can link out to model-specific pages for those who are interested in learning more based on the snippet you have given them on that page. On the model-specific page, which should detail specs, details, and features of the vehicle, you can then link to the inventory that you have on your lot. This is called funneling and helps users navigate through the research stage and into the transactional step.
Once a person views your inventory, it becomes increasingly likely that they will purchase a vehicle from your lot. But even from the VDP, you have opportunities to continue leading potential buyers to make a purchase. You can add tools like a monthly payment calculator to the page, allowing users to become more informed and confident in their vehicle choice. You can also add contact forms and test drive schedulers right on the page so they can get in touch once the interest is there.
There are many ways to encourage conversions on your website. Through quality content, internal linking, trustworthy information, and easily-accessible forms and tools, you can lead your users to the places they need to be, the places you want them to be. However, this is a lot easier said than done, making a partner like Wikimotive essential.
Rank Well & Increase Conversions with Wikimotive
If you want to rank well and increase conversions on your website, you need SEO. Here at Wikimotive, we are dedicated to providing the best SEO services for car dealerships. From the services themselves to teaching you about what we did and why, our commitment to helping you outrank your competitors goes unmatched.
Ready to learn more about automotive SEO and how it can enhance your share of the local market? Contact us today to set up a free audit. We cannot wait to help you crush your competition!