SEO services for auto dealers can vary depending on who you talk to, so here is an automotive SEO guide to the basic process of optimizing an auto dealership website in a way that can improve organic search results.
Why is SEO Important?
Search engines are smart, but machines have limitations on retrieving information for user queries. This dealership SEO guide provides the basis for a keyword structure that helps search engines better understand web content.
How Are Websites Ranked?
Search engines use mathematical equations called algorithms to sort and rank dealership websites accordingly. These search algorithms use hundreds of ranking factors, categorized in this SEO guide as on-page and off-page services.
On-Page SEO Services
An important aspect of automotive SEO is to make your website is easy for users and search engines to understand. In many ways, search engines still can’t understand web pages like a human does. SEO services will optimize the auto dealership website content in a way that helps the engines figure out what each page is about, and how it relates to keyword search queries.
Keywords are a fundamental guide for automotive SEO services. Dealership content is optimized to match the keywords and the intent of users. Search algorithms try to understand keyword context and semantic variations by looking at optimized elements, such as topical relevance, co-occurrence, prominence and proximity of keywords.
The browser title of a web page provides a search engine optimized description of the content. Automotive SEO includes the optimization of each title for specific target keywords and also user experience. As a general guideline, titles should not be duplicated on other pages.
Search engines display about 70 characters of a title tag in the search results. If a page is targeting multiple keywords or a long keyword phrase, it is not a problem to go longer.
Creating a compelling title can affect visits from the search results. SEO services should not only think about rankings, but the entire user experience. The title tag is a new visitor’s first interaction with an auto dealer brand and should convey a positive impression.
The meta description provides a short summary of the content on a page. Search engines do not use the description tag as a ranking factor, but it is a primary source for the snippet of text displayed under the title in the search results. As a general guideline, descriptions should not be duplicated on other pages
It’s important to craft a description using relevant keywords because it can affect the click-through rate to a dealership website. Descriptions can be any length, but search engines generally will cut snippets longer than 160 characters.
Heading & ALT Tags
The heading tag is an automotive SEO element used to represent different sections of the dealer website content. Search engines check the relevancy of the header tag with the associated content. The h1 is an important tag and should contain a short description of the page content using the primary keywords. Subsequent tags, such as h2 and h3 are generally used for secondary keyword headings.
ALT tags are used for short descriptions of images on a page. ALT is an abbreviation for alternate text, which can appear in place of an image that does not properly display.
While a keyword descriptive URL can be a small ranking factor, minimizing the length can make the URLs easier for others to use, and may be more visible in the search results.
Off-Page SEO Services
Acquiring inbound links and citations from quality websites is a function of automotive SEO services. The search engines analyze the backlink profile of an auto dealer website by looking at the quality of inbound links, the number of referring domains, the relevance of content containing the link, the anchor text within the link and the quality of the referring website.
These are links given by other website owners as a reference for topically relevant information. Examples are content that provides current news, information or vehicle features.
These links are essentially semi-self-created and tend to have less value than editorial or outreach links. Sources may include: high quality directories, business profiles, industry blogs and social media sites.
Quality domains that link to a website can be an important SEO factor. It is a stronger signal than the total number of inbound links because it is a better indication of the true importance of a website.
Research & Testing
This automotive SEO guide offers an overview of the basics, but effective SEO services provide an on-going process of optimizing dealership content and website elements, which includes a lot of patient research and testing in order to refine the search results.