Drawing traffic to your dealerhip's website can seem like a forbidding task, considering the infinite number of websites you are competing against.
And not all are playing fair. Google, the nation’s leading search engine, even penalizes those websites that use shady practices to get clicks.
So where do you start?
With a simple twist in perspective. Think like a customer, not a website editor. What kinds of fresh, up-to-date website content would you want if you were sitting on the other side of the screen?
As far back as 1996, Bill Gates saw the future of the Internet when he coined the phrase, “Content is King,” in an interview on his Microsoft website.
“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting,” Gates said.
Needless to say, he was right in his prediction. Fast forward 21 years, and content is what drives the Internet as we know it today.
Imagine the internet as a huge public library and search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing as the card catalog. The search engines will provide results that they believe are most relevant to the search terms.
These results are based off indexing and scraping of websites, as well as taking into consideration a user’s geographic location and previous searches.
So how will potential customers find your “book” in that vast library? Give them high-quality web content in these five areas.
Include articles or blog entries related to the types of vehicles you sell and services you offer, tying both into the local marketplace by using city names, zip codes, etc.
Utilize correct page names and meta descriptions and have text on each page related to the page name and descriptions. Detailed HTML and XML sitemaps are also extremely powerful because this is how search engines crawl your website.
Ever done a Google image search? Leverage the power of images by having good-looking photos with detailed alt descriptions on all your vehicles, and link these images to appropriate content pages on your site or other websites. Use slideshow offers, logos and images that spark emotion.
However, make sure the images are compressed in size, so they do not slow down your dealer website’s load times, especially on your homepage.
People love videos and so do the search engines! If possible, feature video walkarounds for every vehicle offered on your website. If you host the videos on YouTube, you can write content in the title and description that relates to that vehicle and the local search area.
In addition, include a page on your website that has all your current and past TV commercials. With each video, include a title and text description, along with dates.
That slideshow on your dealership website is there for one thing and one thing only: special offers. Don’t just throw an image of a car in that space. Create slides with a call to action that will help you convert more customers.
When creating advertisements, include descriptions for each offer and a landing page where customers can arrive. Make sure those landing pages have relevant content on them along with contact forms to collect leads.
To boost vehicle-specific traffic, feature custom comments on vehicle detail pages and provide links to vehicle-specific articles. These comments should contain tech specs, MPG data, and equipment lists.
For example, if you provide the towing capacities on all your full-size trucks, a customer who types “trucks that can tow a 7,500-pound boat” will be linked to your website.
In the long run, updating and adding website content doesn’t require you to be an expert; you simply have to do it.
By the way, those same experts say that adding just a page or article every two weeks is a great way to stay ahead of your competitors. And you will – as long as you put your customers first.