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Improving Your Digital Presence Part 1: SEO

Improving Your Digital Presence Part 1: SEO

Published August 2017

Arguably, the most common question among dealers, large and small, is: “How can I sell more cars?” The easiest solution is to improve your virtual visibility — and in a time where 77% of Americans own a smartphone — your online presence is now more vital than ever.

What do I mean by online presence? Simply put, online presence is a measurement of how visible your dealership is online. To address this growing concern, our three-part series focuses on how you can boost your online presence. First, we'll begin with basic SEO practices to get you started, then we will tackle do’s and don’ts of online reviews and wrap up with social media best practices.

What is SEO?

SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization — the process of optimizing your site for both user experience and search engine spiders, which helps your site rank higher in the search results for relevant terms.

Here are two critical tactics your dealership can implement to ensure your customers are finding you and not your competitor.

  1. Claim Local Listings

    Car dealerships are considered local businesses. This means your dealership location (and the searcher’s location) greatly weighs into how your site will rank on Google. The map pack (the map that pops up first in search to show customers results nearest them) is your sweet spot.

    To rank in the map pack, it’s imperative to:

    • Claim your Google My Business listing. You can claim your Google My Business listing by signing into https://www.google.com/business/ with a Gmail address and entering your dealership’s address and phone number. You will be alerted if the listing is claimed and given options on how to request ownership of the listing.
    • Make sure your listings have consistent business name and contact information. Most of the dealers that I have worked with have used call-tracking numbers or changed their location at least once in the last few years. Clean up all local listings so that there is no confusion on how to contact your dealership. Try searching your dealership’s name in an incognito Chrome window and look through the results. You can also search old phone numbers, addresses or business names and update those results. 
    • Be located in or near the city designated in the search query. For example, if your dealership is located in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, generally you’re not going to be able to rank in the map pack for search terms related to Albuquerque.

    Pro Tip: Don’t forget to claim your social media profiles as well. Facebook is a must. Be sure to search within Facebook to see if there are any existing profiles for your dealership created by customers or employees.

  2. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

    Remember that little factoid about smartphone usage in the U.S.? Your site’s mobile experience needs to deliver, too. Surprisingly, it’s not uncommon to see over 50% of traffic coming from mobile devices and a stripped down mobile site just doesn’t cut it anymore. Most sites have transitioned to responsive sites, so all the elements resize according to screen size. Take a few minutes to review your site’s mobile experience and ask yourself these questions:

    • Is it easy to navigate?
    • Can I easily view the inventory?
    • Are the inventory images easy to view and scroll through?
    • Does the site reflect your desktop site’s look and feel?
    • Is the dealership phone number prevalent?
    • Is my credit application responsive?

These SEO basics are certain to put your dealership on the right path and help you discover areas of opportunity. We hope you will benefit from these helpful SEO tips and return next month for more information on bettering your digital presence with business reviews do's and don'ts.

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