We all know that just having a website, no matter how great, is not enough to make sales in the automotive industry. LEARN MORE
Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. Each Friday, Tim breaks down ways dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.
January was a great start for car sales in 2015, making it a great time to be in this business! But while consumers are in the market and ready to buy, they first have to find your dealership.
Now, every dealership gets foot traffic. You've got a giant lot full of cars after all, and you're hard to miss, unless you're in a poor location. The problem is, most car buyers aren't taking notes of the dealers close to them anymore and visiting them one by one to check out inventory. That entire process is online and can be done quickly and efficiently.
This means that being one of the first results car buyers see for high-volume keywords on Google, Bing, and Yahoo is a really important component to a successful dealership.
You can have great advertising and a great staff, but by not investing in your web presence you're only making it harder for ready-to-buy customers to find you. On top of this, you're simply making it easier for your competition to secure more and more leads from organic traffic, which are known to convert at the absolute best rates.
So what do you do if your website is underperforming while the market is growing?
Let's talk about that and then take action!
Your Website Provider/SEO Sucks
Not all website providers are equal, and most of you know that. But if your site is currently experiencing a dip in organic traffic, and I mean the type of dip that doesn't come up for air, you need to have a good, long discussion with your website provider and SEO vendor (if you currently have one).
Because while there are natural dips in organic search traffic throughout the year, there's no reason for a dip to last more than a month.
What that should be telling you is that you're losing your position in search results, and fast.
If your website provider and SEO company are giving you the runaround, start looking elsewhere.
Take some time to explore your options for website providers first. Whether that means asking in an industry Facebook group, in the comments of this posts, or checking out your competitors' sites, the first step is to identify a provider with a great reputation.
You Don't Have an SEO Strategy in Place
You all know what SEO is, but there's a lot of mystery behind it that makes a lot of dealers skeptical of the overall value.
Think of it this way:
SEO is advertising to search engines. In the same way you advertise your dealership on TV to build authority as a local brand, SEO is the way to show search engines that your site is an authority in your industry.
Without a strategy in place, however, you're not giving search engines a reason to give you authority. You need an optimized website, high-quality and relevant content, inbound links, and citations to set yourself apart from your competition to earn that valuable search engine authority.
You Lack Relevant, Quality Content
No matter what the situation is with your website provider or SEO strategy, content is essential.
Without content, search engines can't build strong associations between your site, high-volume keywords, and other unique queries that are semantically related to your business.
Think of Google like a shopper. If a shopper see two stores next to each other in a shopping mall, one with a sign that's inviting and gives an idea of what they sell and one with a vague sign that's not inviting or descriptive, which do you think the shopper would choose?
You need to produce the content necessary to help you build your own metaphorical inviting, descriptive sign for shoppers!
Have questions about dealership websites, SEO, or content? Let's get a discussion going in the comments!
Be sure to check out last week's post: How to Think About Keywords, Rankings, and Content in 2015