By: Sean Stansell, Product Manager – Websites
In part one of “A Strong SEO Process is Your Most Valuable Digital Asset”, we covered the true importance of SEO and how despite all of the other digital channels, SEO is still key in driving website traffic. We also discussed the necessity of managing this process, and keeping up with constant changes.
Once we nailed down the basics, we dove into four core principles to help achieve SEO success. In part one we covered the first two: “Go Where They’re Going” and “Solve Problems.” Now we will explore the final two principles on content along with avoiding outdated techniques.
Create Great Content
The best way to help researchers solve problems is to create “great” content. What’s great content? To a certain degree dealers all know it when they see it, but there are a few qualities consistent among all great content examples.
- It’s relevant – If a car shopper does a search for, “should I buy or lease,” and lands on a page that walks him or her through making that decision, it’s relevant. If it simply says that highly-trained experts would be happy to discuss that, it’s not.
- It’s engaging – Great content gets people reading, interacting, and taking action. Bad content gets glanced at- left behind as the researcher moves on to something else.
- It’s written for people, not for the search engines – Don’t write content that’s stuffed with keywords, but impossible for humans to read without losing their minds. Search engines have ignored content like this for many years, and it doesn’t help engage shoppers when they read it. Plus, dealers are trying to sell cars here, and robots don’t buy cars (yet!)
- It’s unique – It’s not copied and pasted from someone else’s site. The content on an automotive dealership’s website is a perfect place to reflect that dealer’s brand and voice, and talk directly to potential shoppers. Plus, search engines hate duplicate content, and won’t give those websites credit anyway.
Avoid Outdated Techniques
As we’ve mentioned, SEO is always changing. Techniques that were acceptable and effective 10 years ago can be either totally ineffective or downright harmful today. It’s critical for auto dealers to work with someone that is constantly monitoring how search engines are changing, and the best way to work with them to drive traffic.
A couple of specific techniques to avoid:
Search engines used be pretty dumb. They looked at the words on a page, indexed them, then matched people who searched for those words with pages that contained them. Back then, it made sense to try to get as many relevant keywords onto a page as possible, in hopes that when car shoppers searched for those words, your dealership’s website would show up. The end result looked something like this:
Now, search engines are pretty smart, and can actually understand what’s on a page, in much the same way a human can. They also get pretty annoyed when companies try to rank a single page for terms that aren’t really relevant to that page. Google, in particular, warns that keyword stuffing can harm your site’s ranking.
There was a time when search engines could only see the text of a page, with no sense of what it looked like to a reader. Optimizers realized that you could style the text to be unreadable (by making it the same color as the background, making it super small, or moving it off-screen), and still have the search engines read it. Another technique was to create a tiny area on the page for a large block of text, and use a scroll bar to let people see all of the content. Or to use a “read more” link that expanded the area to show the rest of the content. Regardless, the outcome was the same. You could create keyword-stuffed text, but not have any humans see it. It was great!
Now, the days of hiding your spammy text are over. Google considers this a violation of their Webmaster Guidelines. Besides, if the content wasn’t good for humans, why would you want it on your site?
How Dominion Does SEO
Dominion Dealer Solutions has been building and optimizing automotive dealer websites for more than 15 years. We have a dedicated team of Google Certified SEO Specialists and content writers that work exclusively with car dealers. We know the SEO best practices for the automotive industry and can apply them to your site to increase SEO success. Now, we’re happy to announce that we can help dealers using any website vendors.
Call 877.421.1040 today to find out how we can increase your traffic, connect you to your shoppers, and build your brand online.