If we know anything about SEO, we can tell you it isn’t simple. SEO has hundreds of applications, which vary dramatically depending on the type of business. Luckily, the business we know the best is the car business, and that means automotive SEO. So we’ve put together a little list of the 5 most need-to-know elements. Whether these made the list by being hugely important core rules of SEO, or because they’re new and game-changing, you can be sure it’ll help to know what they are.
1. Inbound Links are a Crucial Ranking Factor for SEO
Links are a dinosaur of SEO, and we don’t mean that in the “outdated and irrelevant” context. We mean that links as a ranking factor have been around for a long time, rule the SEO landscape, and definitely have teeth.
SEO and links is a pretty dense subject, but it boils down to this: Automotive SEO ranking is heavily based on links, meaning that search engines care what other pages link to your site. But as we say in the trade “not all links are created equal,” and shady link-building practices will actually tank your ranking.
2. SEO Loves Mobile
It’s been almost a year since Google implemented a new ranking factor: mobile-friendliness. If a business doesn’t have a good, responsive (or better yet, mobile-first) site, it no longer ranks as well.
As you can imagine, this has pretty huge implications for automotive SEO, as most dealers operate on a local-level, and receive a lot of mobile traffic. In fact, mobile traffic has eclipsed desktop traffic in the last few years, and it’s still growing. Reputation, popularity, and most importantly, sales, are hanging in the balance. It’s the Age of Mobile now, and automotive SEO is a part of that.
3. Keep Your On-Page SEO Relevant to Car Shoppers
What all of SEO means, really, is that search engines want to provide users with the most relevant page possible for their query. For automotive SEO, that means it’s important for a dealership’s site to align all messaging and content with the core purpose of the website.
To do this, on-page keywords should match up to relevant search queries and phrases that shoppers use. “Tucson Toyota dealer,” or “new f-150 Dallas,” are common types of queries that dealers need to rank for. On-page content needs to win in the “most relevant to this shopper’s needs” category, and it can’t just be relevant, it needs to be immediately obvious to the user that they’re in the right place.
4. Local SEO Is Mutually Beneficial
Like we mentioned in the last segment, search engines just really want to give the biggest and best bang for a search query buck. They want to give the most valuable result to the user the first time around, and luckily for everyone, local SEO is a part of that.
In terms of automotive SEO, showing up on Google maps for a search result, ranking highly in a location-specific query, and more, are based on local SEO. It helps the customer find a reputable, verified local business (and often see ratings and reviews), and it helps car dealers get an audience of ready-to-buy shoppers.
Want to know more about Local SEO for Car Dealers? We thought so. Here’s an article to check out.
5. Keep Up To Date!
Okay, this might be cheating, since it’s less an “element” of automotive SEO than a “characteristic” of it. But forget semantics, this is essential.
Automotive SEO is, like the car business itself, in a constant state of change. The rules today aren’t necessarily the rules tomorrow – and although Google will often announce when they’re going to change something big, other changes just happen. Being on top of those changes can be the difference between startling success and frustrating failure.
So you’ve dipped your toe in the icy waters of automotive SEO. It’s a good first step. If you feel the urge to jump out and head for the hut tub instead, that’s fine. SEO is deep, dark, and not everybody’s cup of tea – or – swimming pool, in this metaphor. But if you want to wade deeper, or dive in head first, more power to you. Taking the first step to learn about automotive SEO, even just the barest-bones of it, is a step in the right direction.
Incidentally, we have a couple other posts (here and here) to give you tips about SEO. I mean, that’s our job after all.