We are now two months into our SEO Climb video series, where Dave Estey, Wikimotive’s search engine optimization expert, teaches you the ins and outs of all things SEO. Last month, he went over what SEO is, why it is valuable, and how you can rank well on Google. This month, the videos narrowed in on more in-depth topics, including featured snippets, Google Business Profiles, backlinks, and how to find topics for your dealership’s content. Read on to learn more about these pertinent SEO subjects.
What Is a Featured Snippet and How Do I Earn One?
SEO Climb with Dave Estey Episode 4 kicked off the month of November with an important topic: featured snippets. Featured snippets are pieces of content that show up at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) in what Google defines as “Position 0.” This excerpt is placed in that position in order to quickly answer the searcher’s query. Earning that “Position 0” can certainly be worth the effort. Not only does grabbing hold of that featured snippet give you more space on the SERP, but it also presents your dealership’s website as the go-to authoritative, trustworthy source for all things automotive in the eyes of the user.
Of course, though, it is important to recognize that having a featured snippet does not necessarily mean your website is going to garner more traffic. If your snippet answers the searcher’s question too well, they may not feel the need to click through to your website. So while getting a featured snippet can be beneficial in the way of getting your dealership more space on the SERP and becoming the authoritative voice in your market, you should never put all of your technical SEO effort toward obtaining one.
With that all said, how exactly do you get a featured snippet? First and foremost, you will need quality content that answers the query for which you are attempting to rank. In order to earn the snippet, Google needs to see your answer as the best and most accurate. However, useful content is typically not the only thing you will need. While we have seen an increase in Passage Indexing (Google ranking individual passages on the SERP rather than an entire page), in most cases, you will need a schema to earn a featured snippet. Schema is structured data that you implement into your website’s code and gives search engines more context and a better understanding of what your site is and the information it provides to users. If Google gets this comprehensive knowledge of your site and your page effectively answers a user’s query, you may just end up landing yourself a featured snippet.
How Do I Optimize My Google Business Profile?
Another opportunity to take space on the SERP from your competition, which in turn helps you grab and hold onto market share, is via your Google Business Profile (GBP). This is because it is yet another place on the SERP for your dealership to get visibility. As covered in SEO Climb with Dave Estey Episode 5, you should be splitting your Sales, Parts, and Service departments into their own profiles. If you have a Body Shop or any other type of major department, that should have an individual listing as well. Doing so will help your business reach a wider range of queries.
If someone is looking for vehicle service, your Sales profile may not show up, but it is likely that your service-specific one will. With that in mind, each individual profile should have department-specific information that will be useful to potential customers. Like the content on your website, your GBP should serve as a place to answer questions a user may have. The various platform features, such as the Description section and the Business Category section, serve as places for optimization. In general, you want to have a GBP that is filled out with accurate, helpful information.
How much time you should spend on your GBP will vary from dealership to dealership, though. The best way to see how much you need to be doing on your profile is to look at what your competition is doing. As stated by Dave, “The important thing is to be aware of what’s going on within your market, understanding how your efforts measure up against those of your competitors. Most importantly, that you’re not only matching them – but exceeding them.” With your GBP being another opportunity to show up on the SERP, you should not ignore it. Whether you are doing it yourself or relying on a third-party local SEO provider, keeping your contact information, hours of operation, and all other fields up-to-date is essential.
What Are Backlinks? Should I Buy Them?
In SEO Climb with Dave Estey Episode 6, Dave answered the question, “what are backlinks?” In plain and simple terms, a backlink is an outside website linking to yours. These are actually a pertinent part of SEO strategy. A backlink tells Google that people find your website to be reputable and that it provides answers or context to whatever the anchor text (keyword that the link is attached to) is. Dave said it best when explaining the importance of backlinks, “If we’re looking at the internet as a democracy, every vote for you counts! If you have other well-respected websites identifying your website as the one that has the answer, that’s worth something to Google, which makes it a ranking factor.” Overall, backlinks are yet another factor that helps your website rank better on Google. But how do you get these? Should you buy them?
The best way to get backlinks is to earn them by being an informative and useful source on a topic. Of course, you are never guaranteed that other sites will link to your content, but you are more likely to receive a backlink when you are providing quality answers to queries. This takes time and dedication, which may lead you to search for other ways to get backlinks, such as purchasing them. If you think that is a good idea, then you need to check out SEO Climb with Dave Estey Episode 7. Yes, it takes time to build your backlink profile organically, but purchasing backlinks will ultimately lead your website to be taken off Google. That’s right! You will no longer show up on the SERP at all if you buy backlinks, as it is against Google’s guidelines. Backlinks are important, and earning them organically is the only way to do it right.
How Do I Know Which Topics to Write About?
In the final installment of November, SEO Climb with Dave Estey Episode 8, the questions many of you have been asking are answered: How do I know which topics to write about? How do I find keywords for my content? How do I know what people are asking? In the SEO Climb October installments, Dave hammered home on the importance of good, quality content marketing. But knowing where to start is not always easy. So this month, he explained exactly how to begin.
The easiest way to know what topics to write about on your website is to learn what your actual customers are asking when they visit. Those who work on the vehicle sales floor vet questions day in and day out; what are they being asked? If someone posed a question while at the dealership, it is almost guaranteed that other people are asking the same question online. If you aren’t sure how you want to approach the topic or what other questions may come along with that exact query, you can use some online tools to do a little research.
The People Also Ask (PAA) box right on the SERP will show you popular searches that go along with yours. If someone were to ask what the horsepower of a Chevrolet Camaro is, the PAA box would have related questions like: “What has more horsepower, the Camaro or Corvette?” and “What is the most powerful Chevy Camaro?” These other questions can help you build content that answers a variety of queries that users interested in a vehicle or service may have.
Of course, there are also tools like SEMRush, Mangools, and Keyword Planner that will help you determine what you are ranking for, what your competitors are ranking for, and what keywords or queries are popularly searched in your area. If you know what people are asking in your showroom, you will be able to build content off of that. Know your customers and you will know exactly what topics to write about.
Keep Up With SEO Climb – December Videos on Their Way!
There are so many factors when it comes to your dealership website performing the best it can online. If you want to learn more about how to succeed, keep up with the weekly SEO Climb with Dave Estey videos. December content is coming soon and will cover topics like how to optimize your content and how long it really takes to see SEO results. Have more questions or want to know how your website could be improved? Contact us today for a free audit. We look forward to speaking with you!