Search Engine Optimization. It's equal parts science and art. Hours of keyword research combined with a healthy dose of experience and intuition. It's this “soft side” of SEO that's difficult for data guys like myself to wrap our collective heads around. I've often said that great SEO includes just a little bit of witchcraft – which is why you want to be working with the best witches.
Case in Point:
Your keyword research “data” may be leading you towards building content about the “BMW 3-Series” because the keyword “BMW 3-Series” receives 74,000 monthly searches, and you want some of that action! But the experience and intuition of a competent SEO will tell you that no matter how good that content is – the chance that your website will outrank bmwusa.com, or MotorTrend.com, or caranddriver.com or even kbb, autotrader, or cars.com is very, very…. very small.
On the opposite side of that strategy is keyword “data” telling you there is almost no competition for searches about “Things To Do In <CITY NAME>” and as a result, we’ll be the highest ranked content for all searches people are making when they are looking for “Something to do in <CITY NAME>” ! This “data” would indicate that we should probably create new content about “Things To Do In <CITY NAME>” instead of the “BMW 3-Series” if we want to see measurable increases in organic traffic to our website – except that NONE of these searchers are looking for the things that we want to sell.
So instead of solely following “the data” which is recommending that we either create content that gets tons of searches, (but is too competitive to rank for) OR create content that is easy to rank for, (but doesn’t result in attracting quality prospects) – maybe we incorporate some of that experience and intuition to uncover a “Goldilocks” solution – one that is neither “too hot” nor “too cold” and is “just right” for the goals we have for our website.
A "Goldilocks" Solution:
One strategy we have used successfully with group website in particular, (but it can be effective on individual dealership sites as well) is to create content that looks to answer common questions like “What is the most fuel-efficient SUV” – a query which gets about 12,000 searches monthly. That’s not quite the 74,000 that “BMW 3-Series” receives, but with less competition it’s certainly something we can rank for locally AND it will bring SUV Shoppers to our website – not people looking to spend the afternoon at the Art Museum.
Want to attract used car shoppers to your website instead? How about content answering questions about the “Best Used Cars” or “Best Used Cars to Buy” – these two searches combine for 34,000 searches monthly – searches that are also being made by people who are looking for the things that we sell. People who may not be aware of our dealership at all. Notice they aren’t searching for “Ford of Anytown Used Cars” they are searching for “Best Used Cars to Buy” – but because your website has content that helps them answer their question, this shopper is now on your website instead of a competitor’s site.
What should that content include? Competitive Comparisons, a Ranking List, images of each vehicle you are comparing and a short paragraph explaining what about that vehicle earned them a spot on your list. (Would I also recommend that you have a healthy supply of every vehicle on your list? Absolutely!) Finally, provide easy paths to your inventory (“Click here to view all our Used BMW 3-Series”). It doesn’t matter which vehicle ultimately excites any particular buyer, because you sell ALL of them.
5 Easy Steps to Start Attracting Website Traffic that Matters:
Pro Tip: Complimentary Paid Search Campaigns
Create a remarketing campaign specific to this landing page, with a specific message reminding them to return.
Visitors will rarely submit a lead when they are this high up in the funnel, so keep your name and specifically your “Best Used Cars” message in front of them for at least another 45 days, so they have an easy path to return to your website and continue shopping. It’s a strategy that's good enough for Amazon, so it should be good enough for you. ;)