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Timothy Martell

Timothy Martell CEO

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Why Dealers Need Content to Succeed with SEO

Dealers Need SEO

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.


As multifaceted as SEO is, there's a crucial part of success that most car dealers don't seem to take seriously: content. A few pages written here and there is one thing, but you won't consistently increase organic traffic or win over customers without a solid content strategy in place.


To help you understand why content is so important to the success of your dealership's SEO, here's a look at many of the ways content affects your website, rankings, sales, and overall authority online:


Content Creates Authority


While we'll be looking at a number of reasons why content is a crucial SEO element, the biggest reason is that it creates authority. That's not just amongst search engines, though; it's amongst users and the marketplace in general.


With a stream of new, quality content relevant to your products and services, Google will start to better associate you as a resource as well as a business. You'll not only see traffic increases, but conversion increases as well. Users will appreciate the depth of information and are more than likely to do business with you based on the help you've provided through your site's content.


Content Builds Trust


As car dealers, you know how important trust is when it comes to building a customer base. If they don't feel they can trust you to provide them with the best prices or quality service, they'll go somewhere else.


Using content, you can build trust with customers before they even step foot on your lot. You can convince them that you're the best dealer to do business with, and that choosing a different dealership would be a life-altering choice. (You don't have to go that far, but you can leave car buyers with the impression that you are the absolute best dealership in the area.)


But how do you do that with content?


Here are a few ways you can build trust by simply changing how you think about content on your site:


  • Have a Thorough "About Us" Page - Many of Wikimotive's clients have long, exciting histories in the automotive industry. They detail their stories on these pages, providing readers with more insight into their dealership, as well as ways to connect with them as people instead of just businesses. Think of ways you can add new and interesting information to your About Us page, as well as on other pages that detail your dealership's services and other offerings.


  • Go Above and Beyond to Explain Services - It's typical for a dealership's website to have pages for the service department, financing, and likely the new and used car business. The problem with your average dealer's site is that the content is minimal at best. Most have cookie-cutter content, poor imagery, and provide no incentive for customers to visit over any other dealership in town. Think of what makes your dealership special and convey that to the customer through your content. People want to be confident in the fact that they're choosing the best of the best today thanks to internet, and if you're not helping them make a decision, another store will.


  • Design is Extremely Important - Not only does design affect how users interact with your site, which ultimate affects conversions, it also affects their opinion of your business. Car buyers are visiting multiple dealer websites before ever visiting a business in person, so your website is essentially the face of your company. Do you want it to stand out in their mind, or blend in with the crowd? With a unique and modern design, customers can trust that your dealership is the real deal.


Content Aligns with Social


At this point, most car dealers have adopted at least one social media site to connect with local users and potential customers. For most of you out there, I'm sure that site is Facebook, as it provides not only the largest pool of active users, but the best tools for businesses to better target and reach local users.


The biggest problem most dealers have with Facebook is a fundamental misunderstanding of how to use it to reach car buyers. Now, I'm not going to derail the topic of content and SEO to detail a full social media strategy, so I'll just say this: start sharing website content on Facebook!


I'm sure most of you use Facebook to make announcements about specials, show off happy customers, and occasionally post links to new inventory. But are you posting website content regularly? Well you should start, and here's why:


Facebook users don't like seeing content that's clearly marketing something. They want to see content that's interesting or entertaining. The more you provide them with that, the more you'll see positive engagement, natural shares, and an increase in page likes over time.


Below is a screenshot from a Wikimotive client's Facebook page. This was promoted through a paid campaign, but that only puts the content in front on people. Their engagement with the content is purely organic, including the 27 shares this particular post received. The reason the shares are so important is that you don't pay for that exposure. Users are telling their friends: "This piece of content is awesome, and you need to read it!"


Wikimotive - Facebook Marketing Example



Content Attracts the Best Links


There are plenty of SEO companies that provide link building services. Like any business, some are good and some are not. But what separates the good from the bad is how they actually acquire links from authoritative websites in order to give your site a boost in rankings.


A bad link building service disregards content, and likely focusing on paying for links in order to achieve quick results. Not only is this practice immoral from a business standpoint, but it's completely against Google's Webmaster Guidelines, and could have extreme negative consequences for your website, and business as a whole.


In contrast, a good link building service is based around achieving link placement based on the merit of content on your website. This means creating content that will not only add value to your site and its current users, but be worthy of links from relevant, high-authority sites.


With Google cracking down on unnatural and paid links, it's more important than ever before to concentrate your efforts on quality content and effective outreach to build links instead of risky shortcuts.


Here are a few ideas to get you started:


  • Leave the Sales Mentality at Home - You're not trying to gain customers directly through this content. This is meant to be informative, interesting, and entertaining in order to attract links from automotive and other related sites.


  • You Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel - While originality is important to help your content stand out, it doesn't make or break a link building campaign. By taking a topic and creating content that's more informative or entertaining than anything else out there, you're able to work around a proven, successful concept and stand out at the same time.


  • Put Yourself in the Shoes of a Site Editor or Publisher - Creating content that attracts links is all about thinking like a site editor or publisher. Ask yourself: "Is this something I'd want to see on my site if I were this person?" Be honest with yourself in this situation. No amount of outreach is going to make up for poor content, so start thinking of ways you can create content that these types of people will fall in love with at first sight.



Content Generates Sales


After telling you to leave your sales-driven mentality at home, now all of a sudden I'm telling you content generates sales?


Yes, and here's how you can make that happen:


  • Target "Transactional" Keywords - A transactional keyword is one focused on making a purchase rather than finding information. For example, "2016 Chevy Camaro" and "2016 Chevy Camaro Miami" have two completely different types of intent. A user searching just 2016 Chevy Camaro could have a variety of intentions, but is more than likely searching for information. Someone searching that same keyword with "Miami" at the end, however, clearly wants to know where they can find a 2016 Camaro in Miami. By targeting keywords that have transactional intent, you'll be able to drive traffic with higher conversions than ever before.


  • Create and Supplement Sales-Focused Content - Once you've got a few targets in mind, you'll need content that's tailored to rank for these keywords. Remember to keep the intent of the keyword in mind when creating this content, as that will not only affect conversions, but rankings as well. After this content is live, you'll want to supplement it by creating informative pages/blog posts related to the target topic and linking to the original sales-focused page. For instance, if you create a page targeting "2016 Chevy Camaro Miami," you could write a comparison of the 2015 and 2016 Camaro, or even create an in-depth list of facts about the new model. The goal of the supplementary content is to be sharable and less-focused on sales in order to pass authority to our main content.


  • Format Content to Better Capture Leads - With the ultimate goal of capturing leads, formatting pages for maximum conversions is not just important, but mandatory. Work with your SEO vendor or website provider to create unique designs or page templates that can be used for pages like this. Make sure you have a solid call-to-action integrated so that none of your traffic goes to waste.



Content is the single most important part of a solid SEO strategy in 2015. Search engines are pushing for sites to take less shortcuts to rank, create better quality content, and provide users with a simple browsing experience.


By following the advice on this page, you'll not only be on track to increasing organic site leads, but you'll also begin laying the foundation for the future.


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