If no one knows where you’re located, how are they going to find you? To solve this problem, you put signs outside your dealership and have billboards labeled with your address. You may even get an enthusiastic employee to stand near your entrance with a spinning arrow sign to show where to enter the dealership. These are effective means for directing people to your physical location. However, is there a better way to utilize online searches for your dealership to bring in more traffic? Instead of billboards and signs drawing in the physical traffic, why not let your website direct the traffic to your dealership? With so many people searching on their phones these days, it’s important to have a strong SEO presence, no matter where your dealership is pulling customers. Let me show you why this is vital to growing your dealership and my five best tips to improve your search engine optimization.
How Can You Improve Your Local Optimization?
When a customer Googles your location, the results vary based on their physical location and past searches. This means every user will see different search engine results. The best way to ensure your dealership is seen is to complete Local Search Engine Optimization which allows you to influence where your website shows up in search results for users that are in a certain area. With recent updates from Google, the user’s physical location is the most important signal for local map results. Here are a few key items to make sure you’re optimizing your connection through Google and Google Map searches.
First, when performing Local Search Engine Optimization, make sure your company’s information is consistent across the web. Decide on a name, address, and phone number (N-A-P) that you will use in online listings. This same N-A-P must be used in all parts of your online presence. Update your profiles on search engines, social media accounts, local listings, and directories to maintain consistency and to create a stronger online presence that Google rewards.
Encourage Google Reviews
A complimentary review on Google can go a long way. The review is made better if the reviewer mentions where they came from to visit your dealership. However, if you get a negative review, respond with kindness and find out what can be done to turn the review around. Employing a good reputation management team when responding to reviews is essential to growing your positive, online presence.
Build Up Third Party Reviews
Not only does Google want to see customer reviews, but reviews on different sites extend your SEO listings. Encourage and cultivate reviews on auto industry sites like Edmunds and Cars.com. Also, seek out excellent reviews on your social media channels, like Facebook and YouTube, to boost your SEO listings.
Get Excellent Backlinks to your Website
Utilizing backlinks is another means of improving your search engine ranking. Creating and developing links from local, prominent businesses, schools, Chamber of Commerce, and community events are ideal for this tip. Just make sure these entities have good websites. Also, Google is fond of getting links from .gov and .edu sites. It’s also helpful if you have the city’s name in the anchor text that they use to link your website. You can generate these backlinks by creating and nurturing relationships with local businesses.
Add Quality, Local Content
Last, but not least, add quality, local content to your website. It’s not sufficient to have just quality content; it must be local as well. Content on your site must be geo-optimized with city and state in all the important places on the page – think the title tag and headings. It’s important to add content to your page that has nothing to do with what you sell, but everything to do with the community you are in. By adding geography keyword content, you are building organic presence locally.
With more people searching from their phones these days, a strong SEO presence is necessary to drive traffic to your dealership. When it comes to communicating the location of your business, nothing works better in the digital age than increasing your ranking in search engine results.
John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising.
Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry.
The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners.
Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards.
The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program.
Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.