SEO can be a daunting thing to tackle since it’s always changing. Google constantly updates its requirements and algorithms to rank high on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). As an auto dealership, you might not be sure where to begin or how to improve your online presence.
Local SEO can be a great tool, specifically for smaller dealerships, to set yourself apart from the competition. If you’re competing with huge auto dealers across the country to be seen by an online audience, you probably won’t be noticed since you don’t have a huge inventory and budget. However, you might be able to get a competitive advantage in your local area. Below, you’ll find some different ways to make your dealership stand out among the local competition.
You should seek, track, and manage your reviews online. Be sure to respond to the reviews you get even if they’re negative. It shows that you care about your customers’ opinions and experiences. Be respectful, and offer apologies for things that your dealership could improve on. Reviews might not seem like a big deal, but Moz states that over 80% of consumers trust online reviews. Online reviews are especially important for auto dealerships since most people shop for vehicles online first. If you have no reviews or only negative reviews online, car shoppers might not even bother to explore your inventory online or stop by your dealership. Because people trust reviews, Google takes them into account for rankings on SERPs. Getting people to review your dealership isn’t very difficult for the rewards it reaps. Most people are happy to leave a review if you simply ask.
Google My Business
If you don’t have a Google My Business account, you should get one. Even if you have an account, there are some ways to improve the positioning of your dealership. Enter as much valuable information as you can. You will have a higher chance of being seen by online car shoppers and answering their questions. Make sure to verify the location of your new or used car dealership. No one likes to drive around searching for a business. Google will also penalize your ranking if your location isn’t the same everywhere it’s listed. Add some engaging pictures to capture the attention of people searching for a new vehicle. Lastly, get ratings and reviews. If you ask and people deliver, interact with them. Thank them for their kind or constructive words.
Titles and Meta Tags
These tools should be used wisely. They often have limits to the number of words or characters allowed. You should clearly and concisely describe your dealership, what it offers, and where it’s located. To be the most effective for smaller dealerships, include location words (sometimes called geo-targeting) and other keywords. You can leave out prepositions such as “in” and “the” that are unimportant. Titles and meta-tags should contain the name of your city and service, name of your dealership, and the most searched words such as “trusted” or “best.” Whatever you decide to use, track the rankings, and change keywords as you see fit.
Citations and Directories
Local directories and citations can give your dealership the edge over competition. Websites like Yelp, CitySearch, Foursquare, Angie’s List, and Merchant Circle are great places to post your dealership’s information. You should also try to find some directories specifically relevant to auto dealerships or the auto industry. When you have a presence on more trustworthy directories, your online presence increases. These free listings can give customers information about your business, services, vehicles, locations, and more. Make sure that your name, address, and phone (NAP) is consistent across all directories because otherwise Google might lower your ranking. Take advantage of this free tool to get the word out about your dealership.
Another thing that you can do is seek high quality, local links. Network with your local community to find potential partnerships with other companies. You might also find online magazines or other opportunities to sponsor content or events online.
Smaller auto dealerships rely even more heavily on local businesses than larger dealerships, so they should focus more on local SEO. Try some of these techniques to improve your online presence. It’s hard to attract new customers and keep local customers without the help of the Internet. Showcase your best vehicles, and show up first on locals’ search engines with these tips.