Getting Back to SEO Basics
It has been a long and challenging couple of years: a worldwide pandemic, inventory shortages, the worst inflation in 50 years, record-high prices for new and used cars (and for a gallon of gas), and a war in Ukraine.
All of these factors have dealers focusing on getting the most out of their website. A main driver of website traffic is SEO content – and now is the perfect time to get back to basics.
Evaluate Your Home Page
Look at your home page with new eyes (or ask your vendor to do this for you) and update your value proposition. Why should people shop with you instead of with the competition?
A lot of people say it, and it’s true: no one reads SEO text. And it is easy to see why. A lot of dealers are saying the same things. See example below:
“Welcome to our website. Blaufeux Chevrolet is your Chevrolet dealer in Blaufeux. We’re proud to be your Chevy dealer for [add laundry list of wishful-thinking satellite cities and towns in the greater metro area]. We sell new and used cars and we’ll service them too.”
Take some time to rewrite your home page in a way that will resonate with potential customers. Be specific. What’s your philosophy? What do you do that makes you different?
- Never sell a vehicle for over invoice price? Say it.
- The kindest, most helpful staff? Say it.
- Employees who have been with you for 20 years and are the best in the biz? Say it.
- Master mechanics? Say it.
- Why do YOU like working for your dealership? Tell people.
- What are YOU proud of, and what do your customers say about you? Put that on your site.
My approach has always been to write in real English for real people. In my experience it’s best to “hide the SEO” and clearly say what makes you stand out. And it’s never too late. In fact, now may be the perfect time to start.
But what does this do, really? What are the benefits?
If the goal of SEO is to get you more non-branded traffic (i.e., searches that don’t contain your dealer name), then this will help you rank for more keywords (Chevy dealers near me, oil change coupons, used trucks for sale in X, best GMC dealership, truck dealers, etc.), which will translate into more relevant, convertible organic traffic.
Small Tweaks That Make a Difference
There are also useful website practices that are missing from many sites, and now’s a good time to improve these too. These best practices will lead to a better user experience and increased click-thru rate:
- Break up large blocks of text because people don’t read online; they scan. Help them do this.
- Add centered buttons to relevant pages to get more eyes on inventory and more Contact Us leads, etc. Don’t make people think. Help them convert with clear conversion funnels as high up on the home page as reasonable.
SEO best practices will not solve all your problems, and there are many factors beyond our control. But if you write in real language for real people and get your why-buy out there, you’ll engage visitors more, you’ll have more time on site, you’ll get more eyes on inventory, and over time your organic traffic will increase. Getting back to basics now will set you up for success.
Scott Blaufeux, Senior SEO Analyst at Sincro
Scott has worked in SEO for 12 years. He believes that in SEO, it’s best to say what you mean and mean what you say. When he’s not working, you might find him in his garden, baking bread, practicing martial arts, or on a walk with his partner Ruth and their dog.