Do you feel like you’re getting nowhere with SEO? It’s tough to pinpoint the exact reason you’re not seeing results, but there are ways you can improve your process to push through and start seeing green numbers.
Keyword research is one of the smallest things you can improve upon; however, it can make the difference between successful and unsuccessful car dealer SEO campaigns.
In this week’s Navigating SEO column, I’ll provide three tips to help you improve your dealership’s keyword research using proven methods used by Wikimotive to boost our automotive clients’ SEO.
Check What’s Ranking for Your Target Terms
You can tell a lot about a keyword just by looking at it and its available data in the Adwords Keyword Planner. But in 2016, you need to understand more about a keyword–apart from what’s available at face value–before you think about targeting it.
This is because not all keywords are the same. Google treats them all differently and you can’t expect to throw the same tactics at each one and experience the same result. At Wikimotive, we go deeper with our research to figure out what pages are already ranking for terms we target for our dealer clients, and why they’re ranking.
Using this information, we can determine the type of content Google wants to see when ranking pages for a particular keyword set. This can save us from wasting time on campaigns that might prove little to no results, allowing us to maximize our SEO efforts for clients.
Think about a keyword you’d like to rank for right now and do a search.
- What comes up?
- Are you on page one?
- Do you notice anything strange?
Click on the first search result and take a good look at their site.
- Is it their homepage that ranks or a content page?
- Is the title tag optimized for the keyword?
- Does the page have a short, well-written description?
- Is there a lot of content?
- Is the content on the page related to the keyword?
- What’s the Page Authority of the page and the Domain Authority of the website?
- Does the page have a lot of inbound links?
You could ask yourself a million other questions when doing keyword research, but SEO isn’t extremely complicated. There are some hard-to-explain situations; however, nailing the absolute basics usually ends up making the difference between a high-ranking page and a low-ranking page.
Go After Low-Hanging Fruit
There’s a massive misconception amongst car dealers that high-volume keywords should be the only thing targeted and low-volume keywords should be completely forgotten.
In terms of traditional marketing logic, that’s the right approach. Why spend the same amount of time and money targeting a smaller audience? Well, SEO is not like traditional marketing; you could spend thousands of dollars trying to rank for one keyword and fail. Meanwhile, you could have targeted five low-volume keywords for the same amount of time and money and seen the best results possible.
Some results are better than no results, right?
Now, don’t take that the wrong way. You should never accept, “But that’s too hard,” as a response from your SEO company or in-house marketing staff. The idea behind targeting low-hanging fruit is to simply work on getting results that are waiting for someone to take advantage of, with minimal effort required.
This allows you to acquire small wins as you work your way up to larger and larger wins that ultimately make the biggest difference in increasing traffic, leads, and sales.
Target Keyword Sets Instead of Individual Keywords
One keyword isn’t the end all, be all of your dealership. In fact, you may find that when you focus efforts on just one keyword, you end up losing traction for others. This is a serious problem, and something many car dealers only realize once they’ve been overtaken by the competition in their area.
What are keyword sets?
There are multiple ways to say just about everything. Keywords are no different. You might search for Ford dealers in your area by typing “Ford dealers NH” into Google. Another person might come along and type “Ford dealers in NH.” Again, someone else might think “NH Ford dealers” is the best keyword.
Together, these three keywords represent a semantic keyword set. They’re a list of individual keywords that all basically lead to the same results. They might occasionally serve varied results, but ultimately these users all want to receive the same results.
When creating semantic keyword sets, you should always strive to focus on the highest-volume term, using the others to simply supplement the main term and spread the love.
Google does not want to see the same keyword over and over again within your content or metadata; it wants to see you creating content that actually provides value to users. But if you can accomplish this while also naturally optimizing for high-value keywords, you’ll see a ton of success with SEO.
Keyword research is easily one of the most important parts of a solid SEO strategy. Just like any tool at your disposal, though, it’s all about how you use it. Hopefully you’ve learned something from this post and can use it to better succeed in your market!