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Google’s recent Freshness Update is designed to give more weight to “fresh” website content on certain queries. Google has always rewarded fresh content, but last month’s update has given freshness even more emphasis in its ranking algorithm.
Google has been pretty clear about which searches will rely heavily on fresh content. For example:
Did that last one get your attention? This has huge implications for the auto industry. In their own blog posts explaining the way their Freshness Update has changed their search results, they’re using an example from the auto industry. Every year, new cars models are released, and brands are constantly receiving reviews online.
So you’re thinking that having a car dealer website gives you a leg up – your inventory will change monthly, so your site will always have fresh content. Which is correct… but your competition up the street has the same “freshness” benefit. You’ve got to concentrate on your entire website, not just your inventory pages.
Most dealers will set up their dealer website and never change any of the pages other than their inventory. Most of the pages have only a few sentences referencing the fact that they offer financing and a few warranty options.
Forget Google for just a minute – pull up your dealer website and look at it like you’re a potential customer. Click through your website and see if it’s useful and relevant. Can you find information on financing rates or options? Can you read about the warranty packages and what’s covered? Is there any information about the dealership other than the location?
If potential customers don’t find value and relevance, the search engines won’t either. We talk to dealers all the time who don’t understand why they’re not showing up for "used cars City" – but they don’t have the actual phrase anywhere on their website (check back to our post Used vs. Pre-owned for more on this).
It depends where you’re located too. It’s a lot easier to rank high for "used cars Clarksville" than it is to rank high for "used cars San Diego." Bigger cities and metro areas will have more auto dealers, so there’s more competition. You’ve got to have useful, relevant content on your website in order to rank higher than the other dealers, and you’ve got to keep that content updated.
SEO isn’t a new concept, it’s been around for years – and you can bet that your competitors are doing it. The days are gone when you could just throw up a website and list your inventory and win. The competition is fierce, and if you’re not showing up on the first page or two of Google, you’re virtually invisible to your potential customers.
True Search Engine Optimization isn’t “built-in” or “automatic.” Sure, there are some technical elements that can be automated by your website provider, but actual competitive SEO requires ongoing work. SEO is not a one-time task, and it never ends.
For more information about our auto dealer SEO services, please feel free to call us at 888-311-7386. We’ll gladly answer any questions you might have about your site or SEO in general. If you’d like to learn more about SEO, click here to read all of our blog posts on the subject. Also, make sure you subscribe to our blog, we post regular updates about SEO and its importance in the auto industry.