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With thousands of dealership sites competing for those coveted top spots in Google, you want to make sure you are not making common SEO mistakes that can leave your site on the dreaded second page of Google (where clicks are as rare as a 1961 Ferrari 250GT Spyder!).
To help you avoid these common pitfalls that can negatively impact your website’s ranking, we’ve identified these common SEO mistakes as well as the solutions to overcome them.
1. Duplicate Content
The first, most common mistake: duplicate content.
This commonly overlooked mistake is a HUGE issue as it confuses Google when it’s trying to associate the content with an originator. If you have content on your site that’s identical to another dealership’s, you’re hindering your SEO efforts without knowing it!
Where duplicate content is typically discovered is within the pages that can be known to house more generic content. Luckily, this is an easy problem to solve. By replacing the generic content found on pages such as your department pages, homepage or your about us page, you will make sure your website’s content is unique in the eyes of Google.
With unique content, your site will no longer be competing for authorship with the 100+ other website that it appears on – therefore, allowing you to rank better in the search engines.
2. Fresh Content
Another common content mistake dealerships make is not routinely publishing fresh content to their site. Google loves fresh content, and considers it when analyzing the ranking value of a site.
You want to be visible in the search engines for the vehicles you carry, right? Well, you won’t get there with a static website. The solution: counter this by adding vehicle reviews for all new models you carry. This will help keep your website fresh in Google’s eyes, and also help expand the net of keywords your website is generating impressions for.
Consistently creating unique, original content can be challenging – if you feel stuck or are having issues coming up with content topics, we suggest reading our blog post on 4 Tips for the Auto Dealership Blogg.
3. Missing Images
The main goal of the website is to generate more leads for your dealership. Visitors want to see the cars that are on your lot while doing their car shopping online. Having missing images in the inventory section of your site will not help when it comes to lead generation.
Think about it, if you were shopping for a pair of shoes online, would you buy them without seeing what they look like first? Probably not. Having missing images will deter customers away from requesting more information on those vehicles.
Make sure each vehicle on your website has a picture accompanying it. We suggest using images taken at the dealership to provide site visitors a detailed and honest look at the exact cars they’re interested in.
Another common mistake is not optimizing the metadata of their site. Metadata helps the search engines crawling the site decipher what the page is about. Metadata should be unique to each page – not uniform and certainly not missing completely.
You will want to consult an SEO professional to audit the existing metadata of your website and diagnosis URLs whose metadata needs to be further optimized.
It is best to write catchy, engaging Title Tags and Meta Description tags, as they’re displayed in Google’s search results for potential customers to see – the more intriguing and relevant, the higher the chance a potential customer will click through to your website.
5. Not Claiming/Optimizing Citations or Handling Online Reputation
Neglecting to claim the listings and citations your automotive dealership has across the web is not only detrimental to your SEO, but also your online reputation and your prospects’ ability to find your website or even the location of your dealership.
Listings like Google Places & Google+, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp and others, should be claimed and managed by someone at your dealership or by your current SEO vendor.
It is important to ensure the address, phone number and URL listed on the citation is uniform across all other online citations. This ensures the association Google has with the location and contact information of your dealership, and positively influences the value your site has in local search engine rankings.