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: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising.
With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.