December was a special month for SEO Climb with Dave Estey. Not only did two of the regularly scheduled episodes air, but a special edition of the video series was released. The first two weeks followed the regular format as Dave covered content marketing, touching base on over-optimization and the necessity of blogs. The third week, a Holiday Special, was slightly different as it included a special guest and covered how to set up your dealership for success during the holiday season. Without a doubt, there was a lot to be talked about in the month of December, so keep reading to catch up and stay informed.
Is it Possible to Over-Optimize Content?
The first segment of December, SEO Climb with Dave Estey Episode 9, dug deep into something not everyone realizes: it is possible to over-optimize content. While 20 years ago, SEO included the practice of keyword stuffing, but let’s be honest, it often didn’t read correctly in the content. Overfilling with keywords leads to non-human-friendly content, which Google actually looks down upon in this day and age. As we have grilled into your brains time and time again, to rank well, you need to have content that is written with the human user in mind. Keyword stuffing is quite the opposite.
So, using the same keyword over and over in your content is bad. But that isn’t the only outdated SEO practice Dave talks about in this segment. This one may be a surprising hard hitter, but the content on your blog should only cover topics related to your dealership. Say what? You shouldn’t be writing a blog post about the best places to go swimming in your town? Really, you shouldn’t.
Not only does this content bring people to your site who are just going to leave after they find the closest pond to their house, but it can also hinder your ability to gain authority on the topics you are actually an expert on. Using your content marketing efforts to write about irrelevant topics can hurt you by sending mixed signals to Google about your website’s purpose. We certainly do not want that.
With that all said, stay on brand with your topics, and don’t stuff keywords into your content. Stick to topics you are the expert on; stick to automotive. Nothing beats quality, human-focused content when it comes to ranking well on Google, which brings us to the topic of the 10th SEO Climb episode: blogs.
Are Blogs Necessary? What Makes a Good One?
Writing and publishing blog content may seem like a waste of time, but if you watched the first 20 seconds of SEO Climb with Dave Estey Episode 10, you know that is not the case. Blogs are necessary. Content, and good content at that, is what helps you rank on Google for the specific search terms for which you are aiming.
Do you have a lot of Subaru Imprezas on your lot that you just can’t seem to sell, seemingly because you are not anywhere near the top of the search engine results page? Quality content that focuses on that keyword has the potential to bring you all the way to the number one spot. This content starts with a blog post. Why? Because, as Dave stated, blogs are the easiest way to create and curate up-to-date content in an organized fashion.
Don’t get it twisted, landing pages are just as important, but they cannot be the only content on your website. A blogroll provides your visitors with the opportunity to scroll through and read about the topics that interest or help them. Plus, with a good internal linking structure, you can lead users from your blog to other important landing pages and navigational pages that will ultimately lead them to purchase a vehicle at your dealership.
Of course, just simply having a blog is not going to be enough. You need a good blog. But what makes a good one? As with many other things we have touched upon in the series: it begins with having content that answers the questions your potential readers are asking. How do you know what they’re asking? Well, we covered that in-depth in SEO Climb with Dave Estey Episode 8. But the simple answer is: through data collection and research.
But there are other pieces to the puzzle when you are trying to have a successful blog. One of the best ways to garner traffic to your automotive blog is, you guessed it, social media. Whether through social media or search alone, blogs play a significant role in building traffic to your dealership’s website and are the best and easiest way to offer unique and current content to customers.
How Do I Set My Dealership Up for the Holidays?
The first-ever SEO Climb with Dave Estey Holiday Special explains the importance of and how to set up your dealership for holiday success. Dave and special guest Josh Billings, Wikimotive’s Support and Special Projects Manager, go over updating both your service scheduler and your local listings to reflect when you are open during the holiday season. Unfortunately, putting a handwritten sign on the door of your business just doesn’t cut it these days.
Change Your Service Center Scheduler Hours
First things first, the service scheduler. The days dealerships, or any business for that matter, are closed around the holidays is not cut and dry. Some are open on Christmas Eve, some are closed for the entire Christmas week. Dave learned this the hard way when he scheduled an appointment at his local dealer, got the confirmation, and then was called and told they were closed. How do you avoid having to make these awkward phone calls? Easy, when there is a day your service center is going to be closed, mark that in your scheduler’s calendar to block people from making appointments.
Update Your Google Business Profile
There are places aside from the service scheduler that you will need to update with your holiday hours, though. Plenty of people will be looking to purchase cars during their time off and will likely swing by the dealership if you appear to be open online. This means updating your GBP (Google Business Profile) hours to reflect when you are closed for the holidays.
Face it, if you were a customer who Googled a dealership, it said it was open, you went there and found all the doors locked, you would be pretty frustrated. The likelihood of returning on another day? Low. It is so easy to prevent this by going into your Google Business Profile account and setting your business to “closed” on the days you are not going to be operational. Here’s the step-by-step guide Dave provided:
- Go to business.google.com
- Navigate to your Google Business Profile dashboard
- Find the listing you’re looking to update
- Click the Pencil icon to edit the information
- Scroll down to Holiday Hours and either (i) find the holiday you’re looking for or (ii) click ‘Add Date.’
- Update hours or click ‘Closed’ if applicable
- Don’t forget to click ‘Save!’
That part is simple and can really make a difference. But if you really want to make sure potential customers on Google know when you are closed, make a GBP post with the announcement. Again, here is a step-by-step guide from Dave:
- Go to business.google.com
- Navigate to your Google Business profile dashboard
- Find the listing you’re looking to update
- Click the ‘Add Update’ icon
- Add a description, image, and/or CTA button with a link
- Click ‘Post’
Any possible way to let customers and potential customers know when you are open or closed during the holiday season, do it. Even share your holiday hours on social media. Avoid the frustration and potential loss in sales: update your hours!
Wrap Up SEO Climb with Us in January 2023
Making sure the content on your dealership’s website is optimized, but not too optimized, keeping a consistent and relevant blogroll, and staying on top of your listings during the holiday season are all essential to online success. But there are even more parts to this success. So, stay tuned to learn more next month as we wrap up the SEO Climb with Dave Estey series. [Don’t worry – a new series will be coming soon!]
Until then, if you have questions about what you learned from December’s content or aren’t sure if you are making the most of your online presence, contact us at Wikimotive. We can answer any questions and give you a free audit of your website. We can’t wait to help you crush your competition!