What is SEO for car dealership? Why is it important for car dealerships to know and give attention to it? All of these we’ll explain here.
At BitChip Digital, we have worked with several car dealerships over the years. But one specific thing we noticed is that most dealerships give more attention to traditional methods of advertising (Television, radio, newspaper and magazines).
We’re not against automotive businesses using these traditional channels. We’re only trying to make you understand that your potential buyers are changing the way they shop for cars.
SEO can help your car dealership business grow revenue and client-wise. It can increase your online visibility and help you build a good reputation online.
We’re going to show you how SEO can benefit your car dealership business and SEO strategies for your automotive business. If you need help with SEO for your car dealership business, BitChip Digital is here for you.
However, if you wish to learn more about automotive SEO and probably try your hands in SEO, continue reading.
How Beneficial Is SEO For Car Dealerships?
Over 2 billion people shop online, and experts believe this figure will only grow. So, people are looking for car dealerships every day. It’s just unfortunate that they can’t find your business.
SEO is an important marketing tool, and can help grow your car dealership business. It will make your website visible online, making it easier for potential buyers to find you.
It will interest you to know that over 95% of car buyers search for information about cars they want to buy online. Most people get more information about cars of interest online, so they can make informed decisions when they get to the dealership.
Now, imagine having pictures of the various cars you sell professionally displayed on your site. And then, you provide the specifications of each car, alongside the images.
When you provide information about cars on your website, you’re not only helping potential buyers find the right information. You’re also improving your business reputation.
When potential car buyers start viewing you as an authority in the automotive industry, they will feel confident to do business with you.
Alright, here’s a breakdown of the benefits SEO offers your car dealership business:
- SEO will help your car dealership website rank higher than your competitors, giving you a competitive edge.
- Search engine optimization will help increase organic traffic to your car dealership business. You’ll also enjoy a higher click through rate.
- Proper optimization of your website will increase foot traffic to your business. More people will learn about your business, location, and probably visit your physical location to do business.
- SEO will help increase awareness of your dealership business. Customers from different parts of the country, and world will learn about your business.
So you can see the massive benefits SEO can offer your car dealership business. It will bring your dealership business more targeted and qualified leads.
What SEO For A Car Dealership Business Is
Automotive SEO is another word for car dealership SEO. The word “SEO” means search engine optimization. So, car dealership or automotive SEO is a digital marketing effort deployed to help car dealership websites acquire higher organic traffic, ranking and revenue.
Search engine optimization is different from paid adverts. And automotive SEO techniques include On-page and Off-page SEO. The former refers to the optimization moves made on the site, while the latter refers to optimization moves done outside the site.
Examples of On-page SEO are keyword optimization, title tags, Meta description, Alt text, and website structure.
The other one is Off-page SEO. Examples include social media mentions, E-A-T, backlinks and pay-per-click (PPC).
8 SEO Strategies For Your Car Dealership Business
What can you do to make your automobile business start getting more sales? The answer is to optimize your website online. You can run paid ads if you have the finances. But even while running paid ads, we always advise our clients to still consider SEO.
The long-term benefits search engine optimization gives is massive and you don’t want to miss out on that. SEO allows you to compete with large and established car dealerships.
Now, let me show you something. There are approximately 17,600 car dealership businesses in the United States of America alone. You can see that in the image displayed below.
This data shows the competition in the automobile industry is massive. Of course, the customers are massive too, but only dealerships that put themselves in the right position will get the lion share.
How can you position your dealership business to attract buyers online and continue doing so for the long-term? One of the effective strategies is SEO.
Now, here are some SEO strategies you can deploy to enable your dealership business to attract more clients, increase revenue and reputation.
1: Put your website together:
Do you have a website for your car dealership business or you don’t think it’s necessary to have one? Well, here is our humble opinion: get a website for your business.
If you already have a website, kudos to you! The next thing you should consider is how the website is performing. What position are you occupying on search engine result pages (SERPs)?
Here’s what you should know.
The first five results that pop up on a search page receive 67.60% of the clicks. Then the next five results receive approximately 3.73% of clicks, and it keeps reducing from there.
This means 71.33% of the clicks for a search query go to page one. Thus, if you’re not in the first page, you’ll miss out on tons of customers.
So, if you have a website, ensure it’s at the first page of the search query for the targeted keyword.
A Handy Tip: Your website should be professional-looking. But don’t make it too feature-rich and noisy. It should look simple, yet classy and professional.
Car dealership businesses deal with a lot of visual materials, and less text. You have to display images of the huge collection of cars you have for sale, accompanied by a few text.
Showcase your car collection in the most attractive form. You can check out other car dealership websites to have an idea of how yours should look like. You don’t have to copy those websites verbatim. Just get ideas from them and you can request expert suggestions from your web developer.
First impression matters in online business. Potential customers should feel you’re an authentic car dealership when they land on your website.
2: Offer valuable content:
Internet users (your potential buyers) and search engines love fresh content. In addition, your dealership website can benefit from it.
When we say “content,” we’re not referring to regular inventory changes or updates of new arrivals. If these are what you’re doing on your website, you may struggle to outperform and outrank your competitors.
So, what steps should you take?
Firstly, create a blog or news section on your website. This is where you’ll publish your blog posts.
As a car dealer, you have a massive experience and knowledge of various cars. So, share your expertise with potential buyers. You can discuss various car brands, or provide expert tips on car maintenance.
Write on subjects that will help your potential customers to make informed decisions on car purchases. People should feel equipped with knowledge after reading your posts.
How often should you post? This depends entirely on you. You can decide to post once a week or twice a week. The choice is yours to make.
A Handy Tip: Include unique videos and pictures of cars in your articles. And don’t forget to include a Google My Business map to your homepage or blog posts.
3: Take advantage of online citations:
Online reviews and mentions are important for your business. They help to validate your credibility, plus give potential customers and Google a good reason to trust you.
You can get mentions on diverse platforms, such as Yelp, Facebook and other credible business directories. Just ensure your details are accurate when providing them online.
If you change your business location, don’t forget to indicate the new address in the various platforms they’re mentioned in.
These online mentions can have a massive positive impact on your business. They can help your site’s ranking improve on search engines such as Google.
The easiest way to acquire mentions is by using an aggregator tool. Examples include Yext and Moz local. What these tools do is ensure your business details get published in a wide range of inventories. And it ensures your details are published consistently.
You’ll have your business address, phone number and name listed on these platforms. With this, potential customers won’t struggle to locate your business online.
A Handy Tip: Online reviews can make or mar a business. Positive reviews can help instill confidence in potential customers, while negative ones will do the reverse.
Make sure you deliver top-quality customer support and cars. Offer quality services that will inspire your customers to offer you positive reviews.
When potential customers see positive reviews about your business online, they can make buying decisions from it. So, ensure you deliver quality services so that customers can rate you higher.
In addition, getting your business listed in local directories can have a massive impact. It will enable those within your domain to know about your business.
4: A mobile-friendly website is everything:
Making your car dealership website mobile-friendly is a wise move. Google adores mobile-friendly websites, and it’s a top ranking factor too.
What does it mean for a website to be mobile-friendly? It means potential customers can access your website with ease and navigate from one page to another without any hassle.
It means your website displays the same way across all devices. A website that displays all its contents on desktop and displays half its content on a mobile device isn’t mobile friendly. Potential customers shouldn’t have to zoom in and zoom out to read your content or click your links on a mobile device.
How can you tell if your dealership website is mobile-friendly? Here are tips you can use:
- Use Google’s mobile-friendly test:
You can determine if your website is mobile-friendly or not using the “Google mobile-friendly test tool.” Just enter your URL and click “Test URL” to run the site you wish to test.
The result of the test will pop up, and it will show you if the site is mobile-friendly or not.
Other tools for testing a site’s mobile-friendliness exist. Check them out below.
- Using your browser:
Another way to determine if a site is mobile-friendly is to utilize your browser. You can either use Google Chrome or Firefox for this.
- Using your mobile phone:
You can check if your site is mobile-friendly by using your mobile device. Just open your browser and type the site’s URL.
If any portion of the content is cut off, or if you have to scroll right or left to view some section of the content, then the site is obviously not mobile-friendly.
- Deploy Chrome Devtools:
The Devtools, referring to a set of website development tools built into Chrome browser can help you check if your website is mobile-friendly or not.
- Google PageSpeed Insight:
As the name implies, Google PageSpeed Insight is a free tool from Google. This tool will not only help you determine if your site is mobile-friendly or not. It will enable you to determine how mobile-friendly your site is.
In other words, PageSpeed Insight will provide you with other important data about your site’s performance, so you can make the best decision.
A Handy Tip: What should a website owner do if a site is not mobile-friendly? You have to make it mobile-friendly. An expert can fix the problem.
You can also redesign your website, so everything becomes new, fresh and adorable. Just make your site mobile-friendly, and you’ll feel the impact SEO-wise.
According to a report provided by Hitwise, over 60% of all online searches are carried out using mobile devices. And it varies by sectors, with some sectors hitting 72%.
5: Fix your website page load time:
Does your car dealership website load fast? Or, do potential customers have to wait for several seconds before the site’s content displays? Now, this is very important.
Your site speed is an important factor to consider if you want to enjoy success online. Sites that take several seconds to load are traffic killers. It lowers conversion rate.
What’s a good page load time? A 2019 study Portent conducted gave a massive insight on page load time. The conclusion was that page load time of 0 to 4 seconds is the ideal page load time to get the best conversion rate.
At Google, the aim is for websites to load in half a second. That’s like blinking one’s eye. However, we all know car dealership sites can have loads of visual content (video and images), in addition to texts.
What impact can a page load time have on your car dealership business?
It would have a massive impact. You can publish all the high quality content in the world or have tons of positive reviews. If your page takes several seconds to load, you’ll lose some, if not all your potential customers.
People have short attention spans. And in fact, there’s a myth that the human attention span is shorter than a gold fish’s attention span.
So, your visitors won’t sit there waiting for your website to load. They want it to load quickly so they will spend less time online and move to other things.
If a page takes several seconds to load, expect your visitors to lose their patients and move to your competitors. And when this happens, you’ll lose many potential customers unless you identify the problem and fix it.
Alright, I made a list of great tools you can use to get your slow website in the fast lane.
- Tiny PNG
- Dotcom Monitor
- Google PageSpeed
- Google Lighthouse
- URL Compression Test
- Google Cache Checker
- Google Speed Scorecard
Other valuable tools you use to improve your website load speed exist. You can deploy them to increase your page load speed or get a professional to do the job for you.
6: Check your website analytics:
You don’t have to be an analytics bluff to care about your site’s data. Understanding your website performance can offer many benefits.
With analytics, you’ll learn more about your website. You’ll know the most popular and visited content, top landing pages, pages with the most referrals and more.
The reason why you should consider mining your own data is to have an idea of the marketing effort that’s producing the most results and the one that needs revisiting. With this, you’ll know where to focus your energy more, to get the results.
So, draw out plans to conduct a weekly review of your website. Learn about marketing efforts that are paying off and the ones that need more attention.
7: Improve your reputation online:
How’s your reputation online? Do you have great reviews?
Here’s a shocker, and I believe this should push you into getting positive reviews for your business and services online.
A study conducted showed that 92% of potential customers read reviews about a brand online. The same study also claims that 40% of individuals may form an opinion about a brand after going through 1 to 3 reviews.
Having no review online can hurt your business in ways you had never imagined. It is making you lose potential customers and deals. It’s also worse if the reviews are below 3 stars.
In fact, only 13% of individuals may agree to do business with a brand that has around 1 – 2 stars. So, negative reviews can harm your site.
How can you get positive ratings and improve your credibility online?
Firstly, make sure your products and services are top-notch. They both go hand-in-hand. If you sell good quality cars, but have poor customer support, you may end up with a bunch of unhappy customers.
You can get reviews from your existing customers. Don’t be afraid to ask them to provide reviews. It’s important to your business and your credibility online.
You can send an email to your customers, asking them if they feel satisfied with your services. Some car dealerships will go the extra mile to provide short questionnaires to their customers to get their feedback.
Ask the customer if they feel satisfied with the services and car they got from you. If there’s any aspect of your business that needs fixing, your customers won’t be afraid to inform you about it.
Where should your customers leave the reviews?
They can leave reviews for you on Yelp, Google My Business, and social media. Another cool place is your website. You can provide the opportunity for customers to leave reviews on your website. Just provide instructions and don’t request for 5 star reviews. Let it happen naturally, not forced.
8: Build location based pages:
As a car dealership, you need to be strategic in your SEO approach. Make it easier for potential customers in your locality to find you online. From online, customers might visit you physically.
How can you build location based pages? It all boils down to your keyword. We have helped many businesses with this strategy and have seen some make the best of it.
When searching for a car, most customers narrow their search terms to the make and model of the car, and then the location they can find the car. Someone in Brooklyn, NY will want to check if they can find the said car in the neighborhood before considering other places.
Imagine some searching for “Ford Maverick Brooklyn, NY” That’s the first website you’ll see in the search result page on Google.
We have discussed SEO for car dealerships, now the ball is in your court! If you can do SEO and are confident you can increase your dealership website’s ranking and traffic, go ahead and do it.
However, if you need help with SEO for your promising car dealership business, BitChip Digital has got you covered. We work with small and big businesses to achieve their SEO goals.
Our search engine optimization experts will help increase your website’s ranking, traffic and credibility.