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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.
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:
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!"
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:
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:
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.