As a business owner in 2017, you know how crucial it is for customers to be able to find your dealership online. Having a high-quality website is essential, but it’s equally important to make sure that your website is highly visible and easy to find. One of the most effective ways to do this is through search engine optimization (SEO).
Unless they happen to know your dealership’s website URL already, potential customers will most likely go to a search engine, like Google, to find you online. Will your website place in the top five search results? If it doesn’t, most people won’t click on it. Not only will your website be harder to find, but there will also be a decreased level of trust and credibility for your business if it ranks low in search results. Simply placing one spot above your local competitor can earn you the sale, so it’s well worth your time to implement an effective SEO strategy.
From a broad perspective, SEO involves on-site content creation as well as other tools to organically place your website at the top of search results. SEO can involve simple methods, such as adding industry-related keywords to the inner pages of your site to help search engines pick it up. It can also be a lot more complicated — for example, when you start to get into things like compliant HTML standards and XML sitemaps, you may want to turn to an expert for some guidance.
If you’ve done any research in the realm of digital marketing, you may have heard the phrase “content is king.” According to most marketing resources, high-quality content is the single most important success factor when it comes to a website’s SEO. Here are some best practices to follow to properly optimize your dealership’s website content:
- Content should create added value for the website visitor. In the case of a powersports dealership website, that should include information about bikes and ATVs, high-quality imagery related to the units you carry, and promotions of the products you have for sale. All of this should be simple and intuitive for visitors to navigate. Additional inner pages like “About Us” and “Meet Our Staff” help legitimize and protect the integrity of your dealership online.
- Website content should be written for humans, not robots. Over-using keywords will end up backfiring on you because it likely will not create relevant, useful information. Content should be written in a natural and conversational way.
- Focus content on one subject per page or section. For example, if your website has an inner page about the history of your dealership, don’t add information about your service department specials. Google rewards websites that have relevant, targeted content by placing your website’s link higher in related search results when potential customers look for a business like yours.
- Try to think like a customer when creating your content. What kind of questions may come up about a certain part/accessory, or an event listed on your calendar page? Answer those questions in your writing. Link to other pages within your site that have relevant information. Keep your visitor engaged, and give them plenty of resources so they don’t have to navigate away from your site to find what they need.
- A dealership’s website is considered by Google to be “Your Money, Your Life” (YMYL), because it creates an avenue for people to decide if and how they want to spend their money. For this reason, Google places much higher standards on YMYL than on other websites*. Don’t underestimate the importance of your main content (text on website pages, unit descriptions, images/videos, etc.) as well as your supplementary content — this includes things like social media access buttons, a live chat feature, search bar and more.
There are plenty of other methods that can boost your dealership website’s SEO, but implementing content that attracts search engines to your site is number one. With these best practice tips in place, you’ll have a great foundation for optimizing your online showroom.
*Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines
Lauren McLean is the public relations manager at Dealer Spike, a leading web services provider for powersports dealerships. The award-winning digital advertising company is focused on helping dealers increase sales through powerful, distinctive website design and a full suite of online marketing tools to drive results. Dealer Spike’s expertise comes from real-world dealership experience and a team of professionals who also ride. When you work with Dealer Spike, you’re working with digital marketing experts who have a passion for your industry.