Like all businesses, modern car dealerships rely heavily on the internet to reach prospective customers and increase sales; given the competitive nature of the automotive industry, it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the best ways for you to accomplish this goal.
Through a variety of techniques, SEO works to optimize your website and online presence, allowing your site to rank higher in search engine results. When approaching SEO for car dealers in particular, those same core principles are harnessed to generate traffic to your sales, service, and financing departments—both online and in person.
The Importance of SEO for Car Dealerships
The number one benefit of optimizing your website is increased visibility. By understanding how Google’s search algorithms work and structuring your site to meet those standards, you can rank higher in search results, making it easier for potential customers to find you online. A well-optimized website also provides a better user experience for customers once they’re on your site. Online consumers are used to lightning-fast load times and the ability to navigate easily around a site—missing the mark on either of these can cause a visitor to leave your site in seconds. A straightforward and responsive site design keeps users engaged, which can lead to higher conversion rates.
Ultimately, combining the results of increased visibility and a good user experience will also lead to a rise in your dealership’s credibility. Customers are more likely to click through to a business that appears at the top of search results. When that site also delivers the information they are looking for, the result is an increased perception of trustworthiness—and trustworthy businesses get the sale.
Key Components of SEO for Car Dealers
An effective SEO strategy produces results that are valuable and tangible. Achieving those results involves several key components, each working alongside the others to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. This is the powerful synergy of SEO. Below are a few of these building blocks—and some tips to help you get started today.
The foundation of an effective SEO strategy is content marketing. Having informative content on your site provides a vehicle for the technical SEO work that will happen behind the scenes. For car dealerships, this can include blog posts about the latest vehicle models, industry news, or tips for car buyers. By creating and sharing content that answers the questions your customers are searching for, you increase the traffic on your website and can guide customers to your service and inventory pages.
TIP: Get to know your target keywords. Research topics related to your dealership and the vehicles you sell, and be sure to include these keywords in your onsite content and meta tags.
Designing your site for the best user experience (UX) is, perhaps, the most visible element of your SEO strategy. In order to provide value to customers AND to search engines, your site needs to be well-arranged, fast-loading, and easy to navigate. Stuffing your site full of pop-ups, chat features that interrupt the use of your site, or overcrowded menus makes it frustrating for users to find the information they are looking for. Customers know that they have options, and they’re likely to go elsewhere for their research and purchases if they don’t like the way a site is laid out.
TIP: Google’s Core Web Vitals (CWV) tool can help you understand your site’s user experience by quantifying key indicators like cumulative layout shift and first input delay. Utilize these metrics to identify concrete changes that can improve your UX.
Whereas a digital marketing company like Wikimotive may have customers all over the country, most of a dealership’s business will come from within a 30-minute driving radius. In order to get those customers to come to you, you have to ensure that Google understands where you’re located. Local SEO is the practice of targeting your local audience by including your location (city or town) in the content, meta titles, alt text, and keywords across your site.
TIP: To capitalize on potential customers in your area, be sure to optimize your Google Business Profile listing with accurate and consistent information about your dealership and obtain positive reviews from customers.
The Bottom Line
While what we covered here are just a few examples, it’s clear that SEO is crucial for car dealerships when it comes to increasing your online visibility, attracting more customers, and driving more sales. By focusing on the areas we discussed and implementing well-developed strategies, you can improve your online presence and reach a larger audience of potential car buyers. Reach out to Wikimotive today with any questions, and we’ll get you started on the right track!