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Building your website traffic through search engines

Dave ValentineThe majority of a website’s search engine traffic comes from Google, Yahoo or Bing. Have you checked recently to see how your site is ranking with these search engines? If you are looking to improve the ranking, there are steps that you can take to optimize your site. Optimization is the term generally used to describe the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website by marketing it on the major search engines.

The optimization process begins by identifying keywords and keyword phrases your customers will use to find a dealership during a search. These keywords should include the name of your business, location (city and state), manufacturer and vehicle lines you carry, as well as any specific products and services that you provide.

After identifying the keywords and phrases you would like your dealership website to rank highly with, take a look at your site meta tags. Meta tags provide search engines information about each webpage on your website. For the most part, they are not visible elements of your website. They consist of the title, description and keywords. Determine if the keywords you’ve identified appear in your meta tags and make adjustments as needed.

You’ve read it time and again: Content is king. After reviewing your meta tags, take a look at each page on your website. Content is the easiest thing that you can add to benefit your site within the search engines. It is important to include in textual paragraph form throughout your website keywords that you have identified. Update your site content frequently. Providing a site with up-to-date content not only encourages repeat visits from customers, but from search engine spiders as well.

Search engine spiders do not recognize images. Assign alt tags, which are text labels containing keywords, to represent your images. When loading video to your site, be sure to include keyword rich text to the video title, description and keywords.

Finish the optimization by evaluating the inbound links to your site. Search engines consider the number of quality inbound links to a website as part of their ranking algorithms. A quality link has relevance to the website. Some great inbound links include your social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and any blogs you may maintain or contribute to. Links from dealership affiliation sites, local riding clubs or commerce sites are beneficial as well.

When setting up inbound links to your site, assign good keywords to serve as the anchor text. The anchor text consists of the words that make up the underlined part of a text link, the actual words someone can click on. Using keywords as anchor text is important because it helps describe the page being linked to. Refrain from using “click here” which serves no SEO benefit. In the sentence “Check out our selection of used motorcycles,” the keyword phrase “used motorcycles” should be used as the anchor text.

After you have covered the basics, if you are looking for additional assistance, contact your website provider for further guidance or SEO services.

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