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You could have the most high-demand cars on the lot, the best sales team, and the most competitive pricing; but most of time, what it comes down to is how effectively you can drive traffic to your website – specifically your vehicle details pages.
Now more than ever, majority of prospective new car buyers begin their car buying process online; viewing dealership’s inventory, comparing prices and getting an overall understanding of the quality of various local dealerships.
Unfortunately, even the most up-to-date, well designed vehicle details pages aren’t getting the traffic they need to convert prospects into quality leads - most likely loosing those prospects to competitors.
So to help you learn how to gain a competitive edge over your competitors here are the top four SEO strategies to dramatically increase VDP views.
1. Create an effective link building campaign and make sure you link to the VDP pages on your dealer’s website.
A “link building” campaign is a digital marketing campaign whose goal is to connect with a business similar to yours in order to exchange links and thus move up both in natural search as well as in pay-per-click campaigns.
Be sure to only create reciprocal links with sites that have a solid proven background and reputation, complement your brand and attract a relevant target audience.
In order to find out if a business has a solid reputation in the digital space, you can use a tool called, SEO Status PageRank/Alexa Toolbar for use with the Firefox Browser, which will show you a website’s ‘Page Rank’.
So what are some ways to receive legitimate links back to your VDP pages?
One of the best ways to do this is by creating links on specific car models with links back to those specific car VDP. You can do this by reaching out to popular bloggers or local magazines writing similar content and see if your product reviews can be featured in the magazine or blog.
If accepted, make sure to include a link back to the specific VDP for each vehicle. For example: if the article is about the Ford Fiesta, make sure that the link goes back to the Ford Fiesta VDP. Another type of article that the digital papers love to publish are ‘how to’ or educational articles that help your potential customers during the car buying process.
2) Coupon Curating
Coupon curating is another great way to get people to stop into your dealership. This is when you create an exclusive coupon that’s enticing enough to get people’s attention and to stop in to the dealership. And with local coupon sites emerging like retailmenot.com, Groupon, Livingsocial, SpinSaver, ScoutMob, SavvyCircle, there’s many opportunities to connect with local buyers and drive traffic back to your VDP.
3) Image SEO
The way in which people search is currently changing to a much more visual medium. Google is also embracing this and altering the ways in which they are showing information in the search results.
More and more users are searching on their computers and mobile devices using the image search function. In order to make sure you are listed here, you will want to optimize your images that are on your VDP pages. Make sure that your images have descriptive alt text, a descriptive filename, are in .jpg format and have surrounding text that refers to the image or describes the image in some way. Additionally, image titles and alt tags should include items like color, type, model, make, as well as list any specific items to the car.
Having an understanding of the industry and how people search will help to make sure your images are fully optimized – this is when it comes incredibly important to hire an SEO consultant familiar with automotive.
4) Optimized URL Structure
Another way to get more views to your VDP is to make sure that your inventory is optimized for the ways in which people search. Inventory feeds make it more difficult to change the url structure, so this is an item we see time and time again on automotive sites.
For example, here is a link that is optimized appropriately for search: http://brucebennettnissan.com/Danbury-CT/For-Sale/New/Nissan/Rogue/2014-SL-Red-SUV/26502481/. This inventory links contains the various methods people will search including location, for-sale, new vs. used, make, model, and then type, i.e, red SUV. By having all the items that people will search for included in the URL, and as concise as possible, you’ll find you will rank much higher for your inventory pages and bring in additional views to your VDP.
These are just my top four ways to increase views to your VDP. How do you move the VDP traffic needle?