In SEO and online marketing there is a common phrase, “content is king.” This is because Google, Yahoo, Bing and the other search engines are putting more emphasis in their algorithms on the amount of original content that is populated on a website (and by content, we mean written site copy). The days of having a well populated keyword tag are long gone, and what you actually say on your website about your business and services is what is more important.
So what makes good site copy and where do you get it?
- First of all, do not copy and paste content from another website. It doesn’t matter if it’s your manufacturer, another dealership five states away or even your sister company site. Copying is not being original, and when the search engines notice that your site’s content is the same as another site’s, you’ll start to see your site less and less in search results.
- Secondly, site copy should be readable to the search engines and not just your users. This means entering your content as text on your site. We often see dealerships with lots of great content, but it was made in Photoshop. Bad idea! Images are great for photos of your staff, your location, your inventory and events, but images are not where you want to place site copy because the search engines won’t be able to read it.
If you are stumped about what to put in your site copy, here are some things to think about:
- What are your products and services?
- Who is your target audience?
- What are some common questions from your customers?
- How are you different than other dealerships with similar inventory and services?
- What would you tell a new customer who walked into your doors for the first time?
Remember, your website is an online representation of your brick and mortar store, so be sure you are telling the online customer everything you would share with the customer standing on your sales floor.
You may also be thinking to yourself, “People can already tell what we do, so why do we need to spell it out for them?” While this may be true for your customers, unfortunately, Google and the other search engines won’t know what you have to offer unless you spell it out for them. So be sure to make plenty of references to your major products and services, so they’ll know it’s important for you, and always write content that is easy and friendly for your visitors to read as well, because they will see it. Once you start doing this, you should naturally start to see better search traffic and results from your website.
Jennifer Peterson is a search specialist for PowerSports Network, a leading provider of website solutions serving more than 2,500 dealers in North America. PSN is part of Dominion Enterprises, a leading marketing services company serving multiple industries including real estate, apartments, specialty vehicles, marine, automotive and travel.
Excellent, concise advice...particularly the point about not posting your content as a graphic image. We see this all the time, and its a major mistake because none of that content can be seen by the search engine.
I will add one tip we see forgotten by dealers every day:
All images should include ALT tags, this is just a fancy name for a text description of the image. An ALT tag shows up when a user hovers over an image on a website, a little box gray pops up that shows the description. ALT tags can be added to images on the PSN, 50Below, ARI and Dealer Spike platforms -- just ask your rep how to do it.