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Navigating SEO is a DrivingSales.com exclusive series by Timothy Martell, CEO of Wikimotive. In this series, Tim breaks down ways dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.
Creating original content is one of the best things you can do for your website's SEO. It's also one of the best ways to attract more visitors from social media and build a large following of local users.
But how do you combine the two?
In this post, I'll show you how you can create content that's not only beneficial to your website's search engine authority, but its social media presence as well!
Forget Everything You Know About Content
In order to have SEO and social success with your content, you need to forget everything you know about content. I say this because you need to have your mind completely open to ideas that may contradict other ideas about content that you've heard over the years.
Wait, why are these ideas different? Are you saying everyone else is wrong?
No, I'm not saying everything you've heard from other sources is wrong. The ideas in this post are different because we're not using content to generate sales like we would with content marketing, and we're not simply doing it for the SEO value.
We're creating content that will rank, attract links, build valuable authority to your website, and break through the noise on social media to drive more targeted traffic to your website.
How This is Different from Traditional Content
Traditional content is boring. Landing pages, model content pages, service-related pages, and keyword-focused blog posts are examples of content that serves a great purpose but often fail to engage users.
This type of content can be found on almost every single dealership website on the planet because it's basic content made specifically for search engines.
Content made for both search engines and users, when applied with a traditional content strategy, will take your results to the next level.
This content is unique, informative, entertaining, and serves a specific purpose. It's not just created to mention a keyword used by search engine users in your area.
The goal of this content is to truly engage the user. It makes them want to share it just based on its overall quality.
The difference from traditional content is that this content is not meant to rank for a high-value keyword. Instead, it works to provide a secondary rankings boost to your existing traditional content.
Steal This Example
Let's pretend you're a Chevy dealer and your goal for the month is to rank for the Corvette-related terms that local buyers are searching. You've got your traditional model content page in place, but it's not ranking as well as it should be compared to other dealers.
To supplement this page and give it a secondary rankings boost, you need to create content related to the Corvette that follows the principles I mentioned above. It doesn't have to mention your dealership, or even pitch the reader on a new Corvette, it just has to be unique and entertaining.
What if you published a post about the history and overall evolution of the Corvette? Go into extreme detail, include high-quality images, and draw people into the Corvette's long and interesting history. You'll find that through context, this type of content will rank for all sorts of longtail keywords. It will also engage readers who visit from social media, and get plenty of shares from enthusiasts who are passionate about the Corvette.
From there, you could even contact Chevy and Corvette-specific fan websites to let them know you created this content. These sites are always on the lookout for great content and will happily link to it if they think it's worthy of their audience. And if you go the extra mile, that won't be an issue.
Become Obsessed with Social
I feel strange asking car guys to become obsessed with social media. Many of you likely have kids that are glued to their phones and social media sites, but what good would that do you as a manager or marketer?
It helps you better understand social.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not asking you to start ignoring family at dinnertime to check out the latest updates on Twitter. What I want you to do is start analyzing content that's related to the industry that you see on popular social media sites.
Here's how you start.
By no means is this the absolute best way to generate ideas, but it's a simple way to get started if you feel completely out of your element.
Always Do Your Keyword Research
Now that you've got the right mindset for creating social-friendly/shareable content, it's time to think about the SEO side.
Years ago, SEO-friendly content was not social-friendly content, but with the evolution of Google's search algorithm with updates like Hummingbird, it's less reliant on keywords to rank content appropriately.
Does this mean I can ignore keywords and just write? No, because keywords still matter. You don't want to stuff keywords into your content or use exact match phrases in a way that's not grammatically correct, but you do want to insert relevant keywords where it's appropriate.
How to Research and Insert Keywords
If you wanted to write the ultimate resource to the new Ford GT, and wanted to include a section dedicated to the price of the upcoming supercar, how would you research and insert a keyword?
First, start with Google's Keyword Planner Tool. This will allow you to see the number of monthly searches for a specific keyword (based on any location), which will let you know whether or not a keyword or topic is worth perusing.
Using the Keyword Planner Tool, I can see that the keyword "2017 Ford GT Pricing" currently receives 70 unique searches each month in the U.S. Not a lot, but we're looking to target longtail keywords that have less overall competition than another related keyword like "Ford GT Price."
If I were writing this resource piece on the new Ford GT, I would actually name the section "2017 Ford GT Pricing: How Much Will it Cost?"
This text would likely be wrapped in an H2 tag, a heading tag used to organize content and help search engines understand the structure of your content. By having the keyword wrapped in an H2 tag, you're also helping establish more authority for your page with that specific keyword.
Make it Relevant to Your Brand
Above, I've used the example of the Ford GT. I think it goes without saying that, if you run a Chevy dealership, you're not likely to want to use this idea on your dealership's blog, right?
Whatever brands you represent, make sure your content is as relevant as possible to those brands. As I've said countless times before in posts on DrivingSales, the ultimate goal is build authority through this content, and you want that authority to be tied to the brands your dealership represents.
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