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Timothy Martell

Timothy Martell CEO

Exclusive Blog Posts

How SEO Impacts the Service Department

How SEO Impacts the Service Department

Digital marketing in the dealership often is viewed and conducted solely from a sales perspective. But the service department, often called the "backb…

What 89% of salespeople are failing to do...

What 89% of salespeople are failing to do...

  According to Dale Carnegie only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. We all know how valuable referrals are but when it comes time to ask for a …

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

Why Your Online Shoppers Don’t Take the Bait

You think you’re dangling an enticing lure in front of your customers’ eyes. You plan to set the hook and reel them in. But what you don&rs…

Click-to-Call [Infographic]

Click-to-Call [Infographic]

  Most dealers understand the importance of making it easy for customers and prospects to find contact information. Websites often have prominent &…

Quick Tips for Improving Dealership Culture

Quick Tips for Improving Dealership Culture

Car dealers have a terrible reputation. It's such a negative experience for so many that people are electing to make a major purchase like a vehicle fr…

Navigating SEO: How to Make Your Content Stand Out from the Competition

How to Make Your Content Stand Out from the Competition

Navigating SEO is a 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.


I have no doubt that the goal of most business owners is to stand out from the crowd and beat the competition while building/maintaining profit. Most of you can probably think of ways to successful market offline, but how do you stand out online in order to win over more customers?


The absolute essential, and one of the most executable, ways is through content. Not only is content the foundation of any killer SEO strategy, it's also the face of your company online. And because most people start the car buying process online, it can mean the difference between gaining or losing a customer.


Here are a few of the actionable ways you can start creating content to help your site stand out from the competition:


See What Your Competitors Have Published


In order to make your content stand out, you've got to know what others are publishing. Don't go into this with the mindset of a dealer researching the competition, though. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer.


If you're looking at a service department page, what would you want to know from that dealership? Is their content answering all of your questions? If not, make a note to ensure your service department page doesn't make those same mistakes.


You should also take notes on positive things you see from the competition's content. You not only want to capitalize on their failures, but emulate their success as well. 


Get to Know Your Audience


One of the most important aspects of creating content is understanding your audience? Who am writing for? What do they want to know? What's the purpose of this content? If you can't answer those three questions for every single page on your site, something's wrong.


As car dealers, you interact with customers every single day and probably know more about them than you might think. Ask your sales staff to tell you a few of the questions and comments people have about specific models. Ask the service department about concerns most people have with regular maintenance and repairs. And finally, ask the financing team to help you better understand your customers' situations when they're having trouble getting approved for a loan.


By getting to know who your customers are, what they want from you, and the problems they face, you'll be able to address them better through your content. This will not only lead to better content, but will allow you to build connections with potential customers before they even start the car buying process.


Write Longer, More In-Depth Content


With content, most dealers seem to do the bare minimum. It's almost like they hit 300 words and say "Well, that's good enough," and then move on to the next page. There's no word count limit with content, and you certainly shouldn't think that there is.


In fact, longform content ranks better on average and attracts more links, as well as social engagement when compared to shortform content.


Content Length and Rankings

Don't get caught up in thinking that it's the word count itself that makes content great, though. The reason longform content tends to do better is because it attracts more links and better overall user engagement (lower bounce rates and high time on site).


But that doesn't mean that you can just cram 1000 or more words on a page without thinking about the quality and still see success. The content not only has to be relevant to the original topic of the page, but it has to align with the intent of the user.


For example, let's say you want to increase your rankings for bad credit keywords, but don't currently have any targeted content on your site. Here's a quick guide to help you target the right keywords, but how to plan and execute the best content for those keywords:


  • Start with the Adwords Keyword Planner - What do you want to start with? Let's go with financing as an example. You want to create a page that really captures your dealership's bad credit service. But in order to create the best content, we need to know what specific keywords people are searching to return bad credit terms. This is where the Adwords Keyword Planner comes in. In the "your product or service" field, type "bad credit car loans [INSERT CITY, METRO, or STATE]." Change your targeting to your city, metro, state, or any area you want to target and click "Get ideas." You want to include the location at the end because many of the unmodified terms will show more generic results. This way you also get an idea of how many people are searching for lenders specifically in your neck of the woods.


  • Create a List of High-Volume, Semantic Keywords to Target - Once you start digging through the results, you'll want to put together a list of keywords that are both high volume and semantically similar. This means they're contextually relevant and essentially interchangeable. For example, "bad credit auto loans NH" and "bad credit car loans NH" are so similar that they should display the same exact search results. (They don't, though.)


  • Find Longtail Keywords to Integrate - Once you've got a list of high volume keywords, stay in the Keyword Planner and start hunting for longtail keywords. These are typically extremely specific phrases with 4 or more words and lower than average search volume. The reason these are so important is there's generally less competition, making it easier to achieve rankings and a steady stream of extremely targeted traffic. For our example topic, "car dealerships in NH for bad credit" is one of the local terms that stood out in my research. Your local users may word phrases differently, but you'll be able to find plenty of longtail keywords to integrate into your upcoming content.


  • Create a List of Questions to Answer - To make sure you're providing the best possible information, it's a good idea to list out questions beforehand that should be easily answered by later reading your content. This way you can be confident that potential customers are informed and ready to make a decision without leaving your site to find more information or think things over.


  • Make Sure Your Intent is Consistent - When creating content based around transactions, such as a car purchase, you want to stick with that purpose instead of trying to inform them of every little detail involved. While you still need to be informative, you don't want to switch back and forth from advice to a sales pitch throughout the page. Keep your message consistent!


Experiment and Learn from Failure


While there is a lot of data and science involved in a successful SEO strategy, you're not going to find some magic formula and be able to replicate results over and over again.


This means you'll need to experiment with content for a variety of keyword sets and have multiple strategies ready to test. Give the data time to settle to see what's working and what's clearly not. As I've said many times throughout this series, SEO rarely provides fast results and is not meant to be rushed over, only to be abandoned after a short period of time.


If you really want to maintain steady growth online, you have to commit to SEO, work hard, diversify your efforts, and be patient. These are musts in order to see success!


Have any questions or concerns about getting your dealership's SEO off the ground? Let's talk in the comments below!

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