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Effective Keywords for Car Dealer Websites

Although Google no longer recognizes keywords placed in template fields on websites that burry a string of random words in the site meta data, keyword usage is far from dead. The use of effective keywords, strategically placed throughout the browser title, meta description and on-page copy, is still necessary for site optimization.

Identifying the best keywords for your auto dealer website is not as simple as creating a list of terms with your automotive brand, model names and locations you would like to rank for. An effective set of keywords should include these obvious terms as well as terms that describe any specialty services your dealership offers. For example if your dealership offers no credit auto loans or is a buy here pay here lot, or perhaps your service department offers motor home or RV maintenance and repair, these terms should all be used to boost rankings for your site.

As you build a keyword list, also think about the terms customers will use to search for you. Some people search for “car dealers” others search for “car dealerships” or some might search for a “car dealer” nearby. So be sure to include “dealer”, “dealers” and “dealership” terms in your list. Add your brand and desired location (also known as a geo target) to create core keywords that should be used throughout your site. When choosing geo targets, start by checking out the competition. If there is a competitor who is located in and ranks very well for a large city 30 miles away, you might consider focusing your efforts on other locations including smaller towns that are close by. Most people want to buy a car close to home, so why not capitalize on this market?

Once your list of keywords has been created, consider how to best use these words to convince Google bots that your site and/or specific pages are legitimate suppliers of the products and services described. The first thing a bot wants to see is a specific page topic, the last thing it wants to see is a bunch of random words that vaguely describe the content of the page. Therefore, use specific keywords to describe the topic of each top-level page on your site and avoid using too many unrelated keywords. For example, keywords for auto service and repair should not appear on a page that describes new car financing.

With continuous Google algorithm updates, results from various keyword strategies have waxed and waned. A significant change came about with Google Hummingbird updates that now allow bots to decipher the context of a search query rather than just seeing individual words as separate entities. As voice command apps, such as iPhone’s Siri, have become more popular, search queries have become much more conversational.

Since the use of more natural language is in line with Google Hummingbird updates, using long-tailed keywords in addition to standard keywords, could yield better search results. More descriptive, long-tailed terms, better convey the context of a page and help bots to identify it as a legitimate resource for end users. Therefore, in addition to using standard keyword phrases such as “Ford Dealer, Cincinnati, Ohio”, it could be beneficial to use long-tail terms such as “New Ford cars and trucks in the Cincinnati Area”, “Find a Ford dealership in Cincinnati, Ohio” or “Ford Dealers near Cincinnati”.

As the ever evolving world of website marketing continues to change, so will the keywords and strategies that prove to be effective. By using a variety of well chosen keywords that accurately describe your business and target the locations your dealership should rank for, your efforts could pay off with better rankings.
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