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Links! Everyone wants them, yet not many know how to get them or what the heck they really mean. A link occurs when one website mentions another website. Essentially, they give their readers an option to click and view your website. Search engines see these more as votes, so to speak. For dealership websites, getting a large amount of links is easy. Getting a large quantity of quality links is very difficult. There is a lot that goes into what makes one link more powerful than another. As far as votes go, they are not all created equal and quantity doesn’t trump quality. We are going to tell you a little about links in general, why they matter, and how Google ranks the power of links to your dealership website.
What Are Links & Why Are They Important to Dealership Websites
As we alluded to above, a link is essentially when one website mentions another. Of course that is perhaps a oversimplification but honestly at its root, that’s what it is. As a dealership, there is one important thing you should learn about when it comes to links and that is anchor text. Anchor text is very important in linking and with many of your links, you will be able to request what it is. Anchor text is what the link actually says. Many we see say things like “click here” and then when you click on it, it takes you to a website. That’s anchor text.
The reason it is important is because what a link says helps determine what the vote is saying, and having it descriptive is much better than saying “click here”. In simplified terms it is like having an anonymous vote changed to a targeted registered one. Google and other search engines prefer this greatly. If you have a Chevy dealership in Chicago, great anchor text would be something like “Chicago Chevy Dealership.” That lets the search engine spiders know what is on the other side of the link and they always favor sites that make it easy on them.
Dealership Website Links: Quality Trumps Quantity
Now here is where things get a little tricky. Google and other search engines do not rate all links the same. The quantity is meaningless if they are all from terrible, spammy websites. The idea is that you get links from only high quality websites. (For the most part.) Think of it this way, the more quality people endorse your product, the more quality people assume it has. That’s the whole reason spokesmen make so much money. They are staking their reputation on a product, for better or worse. Website links work the same way. Having a high quality website linking to yours, or on other words endorsing it, has far more power than just any old website. A good spokesmen, or in this case a quality website linking or endorsing yours, is very powerful.
Google and other search engines are going to promote dealership websites higher that have higher quality sites linking to them. This is the whole premise behind “link juice,” the idea that high quality sites have a certain amount of equity to pass on to sites they link to. The more “link juice” your site can gather, the more of it’s own “link juice" it has. To get off the juice metaphor, having more authoritative websites voting for you increases your own site's authority. (Which also gets into Google Page Rank, but we will save that for another post.) The idea is when you are out there getting links for your website, make sure you are searching for only the highest quality websites to get links from.
How Can I Know if A Website is Quality or Not
Well there is a variety of things we look at, but one quick easy way is to download the Google toolbar and check out the websites page rank. Google assigns pages a rank and the higher your rank, the higher quality Google sees the site. It works on a 0-10 scale. In our opinion anything over a 3 is a pretty decent site, but there are exceptions to every rule. You want to avoid having you link buried on the site or on a page with 100 other outbound links, such as a “our sponsors” page. Links from these pages are better than nothing, but if you are able to get better placement ask for it.
Avoid sites with tons of ads, especially if you are paying for the link, and seek out high quality local directories as well as national ones. Finding quality links isn’t an easy task even for us, but the main takeaways should be to, when possible, get good anchor text and look for links from relevant sites. A link from a car site to a dealership website will hold more value than a link from a poker site. For the most part, as far as links to your dealership website go, quality will trump quantity and always seek out the best opportunities to get links. Remember if you are putting your dealership name anywhere online, make sure you ask for a link. Most people will be happy to do it, and over time you will accumulate a huge amount of links to your dealership website.
SEO For Dealers