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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 that car dealers can improve their SEO and offers insight into how it will benefit business.
One of the problems most dealership websites suffer from is a lack of truly unique content. I don't just mean the words on the page, though. I'm talking about the things that really sell people on your dealership, its service, and your product line.
Unfortunately, most website providers come with cookie-cutter designs, content, and page formatting. So how do you improve upon that and make your pages stand out to visitors? In this post, I'll show you five ways you can take a page from zero to hero in 30 minutes or less.
It sounds like such an obvious answer, but images and video can be crucial components when creating content.
For instance, if you're looking to improve your service department's page, adding a few high-quality images from the shop is a nice way to add a personal touch. A video, with a quick walkthrough of your services, a chat with the service manager, and a few testimonials will not only keep visitors on your site longer, but help sell the department as well.
You don't want to overdo images or video because not every page requires a video or a gallery of images. Experiment with different layouts and see what works and what doesn't for your site's visitors.
Be sure to keep an eye on traffic, time on site, bounce rate, and conversion metrics after you make these changes! (I recommend keeping track of these in a spreadsheet and updating it each month with new data.)
I can already hear it: "But what does it mean, Tim?!"
I know, I know. I don't want to be one of those guys who uses buzzwords without any explanation.
Engaging content is the stuff that really gets people interested. It's helpful, entertaining, and informative all at the same time. For example, someone visiting your service department page may be looking for reasons why they should visit your shop over others. Why not tell them and get them interested (maybe even excited) about doing business with you?
Another issue I often see with dealer content is a lack of depth. Don't just list your services in a boring bullet list! You don't have to give them a step-by-step description of your process, but add a little detail about those services and how your dealership's is superior compared to the competition.
While keywords may not be the end-all, be-all of SEO that they once were, their importance can't be understated. By simply using the Adwords Keyword Planner Tool to identify relevant terms, you can give your content a quick boost that may help it gain the traction it needs to outrank your competition.
Just be sure you're not overdoing it. You want your content to read naturally. This means that if you read it out loud to yourself and you start to sound robotic, you're doing it wrong! (E.g."Our auto repair service is the best in town. Other auto repair shops bow down before our technicians' masterful auto repair work.")
A good internal linking strategy is another small touch that will not only improve user experience, but provide an SEO benefit as well.
Like keywords, though, they should not be over-used. You don't want links popping up every other sentence. Only when a relevant topic comes up, and users would gain from clicking through to learn more, should you link to another page on your site.
Sticking with our service department example, you might have a small section that lists your services. From here, let's assume you have a separate page dedicated to oil change information. If I'm a visitor who's landed on your service department page, that oil change page might interest me, so let me know it exists by linking to it!
If there's one thing that car guys know, it's that you can't always leave someone to their own devices to make a decision. If your salespeople aren't approaching buyers on the lot, some may wander in for help, but a lot of them are just going to leave.
It's no different with content. If you don't give users an action to take, they'll probably just bounce. Getting them to stay and take action is actually pretty simple, though.
For a service department page, the natural place to send visitors to next is a service scheduling page. So at the bottom of the page, create a button that says "Schedule Service" and link it to the scheduling page.
Some pages may call for multiple buttons (e.g. new and used car listings), dedicated lead forms, or custom elements to properly supply users with the right call to action. Have fun and experiment with these to see what works and what doesn't for different types of visitors!
Like what you see? Read last week's post: 5 Things Dealers Need to Understand About SEO