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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.
When most of you think of content, you're likely thinking about the written word that's related to the page title, right?
Don't worry, you're not wrong about that. But when it comes to automotive SEO, content tends to get a little more complicated. Google is looking at ton of factors when it's determining the quality of your site, and the written "main" content is just one piece of the puzzle.
In this post, I'll introduce you to another piece of that puzzle, supplementary content, let you know how it affects your dealership's SEO, and give examples of things you can add to your site to give it a quality boost:
What is Supplementary Content?
While main content is meant to host the information tied to the page's metadata (title and description), supplementary content is any information that adds to or assists in the user's experience on the site. This includes your header, navigation, sidebar, and even things like comment sections, forms, and contact info.
Google looks for supplementary content that adds to the user's experience and looks down upon useless and distracting content. For dealerships, this would probably include pop-up ads, chat windows, auto-play videos, and other forms of content that don't positively affect the user's experience but are there to help you sell more cars. (That's not a bad thing, but you'll be moving far less inventory if Google decides your site sucks.)
How it Can Affect on SEO
Supplementary content can go two ways: it can help your site or it can help your site. Here's an example of how it could negatively affect your SEO:
When users land on a specific page on your site, they came in with purpose. But when you bombard them with ads, pop-ups, and other distractions, you're not helping their experience. While those serve a purpose, it's more than likely not what they were after when they clicked on your site from Google.
This makes it extremely likely that a percentage of your visitors are clicking the back button once the experience begins to go south.
Think about it this way: what if you walked into a shopping mall with the intention of going to the toy shop to pick up a gift for your child, but as soon as you walked in you were being asked to chat with a sales rep, offered discounts, and heard loud ads over a PA system? Would you stay? Probably not.
When a user quickly exits your site, Google takes notice. It affects your site's overall time on site and bounce rate, which may hurt your rankings if Google thinks your site isn't providing users with the best information and experience.
Now let's talk about how you can turn this all around…
Types of Supplementary Content to Add to Your Content Pages
Helpful, Embedded Tools
Before I even mention an example, I have to warn you: don't overuse embedded tools on your site's pages. Only embed them on pages that they'd be useful for the target audience.
For instance, a payment calculator is perfect on VDPs, content pages that focus on budgets, and loan application pages. But you don't want to start including that tool just because you think it will be helpful. A trade-in value tool is perfect for VDPs as well, but added to your "About Our Dealership" page would a little out of place, don't you think?
Think of tools that would help create a better experience for your users and work with your website provider to get those integrated as soon as possible.
Whether we're talking about your blog, or just a random page on the site, including links to internal content related to the current page is helpful for users looking for additional information. This is also a great way to increase pageviews, lower your bounce rate, and keep users on your site for longer than they normally would (which increases the likelihood of conversion).
There are some great website providers out there that have begun embedding a preview inventory when a page's content is specifically related to one of the dealer's new models. This is a great example of supplementary content that could benefit the user who lands on that page in search of inventory while also contributing to your goal of selling more cars.
There are plenty of other great examples of supplementary content, so if you find one that you know is good, start experimenting! And be sure to share them with the community in the comments below.