As retail continues to shift online, search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming an integral part of every successful marketing strategy and a big reason why shoppers will find your dealership’s digital storefront. In fact, SEO is an essential companion to a successful website, as the two work together to optimize content and deliver relevant search results for shoppers.
This article will outline the importance of SEO for your dealership and how you can implement a successful SEO strategy that augments your website and drives more traffic to your digital storefront. You’ll discover the benefits and best practices of SEO and a few ways you can leverage the power of search engines and your website content to bring in more business.
- The Essence of SEO
- Why SEO Is Essential for RV Dealerships
- The Many Advantages of SEO
- SEO Best Practices
- Get the Most Out of Your SEO
The Essence of SEO
Modern search engines incorporate complex algorithms to crawl web content and return the most relevant results for users. SEO is the process of improving your website to increase its visibility on search engines, according to Search Engine Land. It helps to align your website content with what search engines are searching for.
When a shopper goes online searching for a specific dealership or inventory item, search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing index pages to return the most relevant results. By optimizing your website with keywords that actual users use and search engines prefer, you can leverage this unique mathematical formula to your advantage.
When you search for something online, you’ve probably noticed that your search engine returns two types of results: organic and paid results. Paid results appear at the very top of the page. They are sponsored by companies, like yours, who pay an advertising fee every time a result gets clicked. Organic results are those that appear naturally as a result of optimized website content. The most relevant websites according to search engines will appear higher up in the page, just below the paid search results.
Why SEO is Essential for RV Dealerships
Shopping has changed in recent years. Today, shoppers tend to research what they’re going to buy online to ensure that they get what they want at the price they want to pay. While this opens up a literal world of opportunities for your dealership, it also opens up a world of increased competition.
SEO separates your business from the dealership down the street, across town, or on the other side of the state. It allows you to stand out in search engines to separate yourself from your competition. While most digital marketing involves you reaching out to potential customers, SEO involves shoppers reaching out to you. This means that you’re automatically getting leads that are interested in what you have to offer.
When your website is optimized for SEO traffic, it guarantees qualified leads and ensures that your marketing is effective. At the end of the day, SEO is an essential element of every good marketing strategy. It works in connection with your other marketing strategies to promote your brand, drive shoppers to your site, and deliver more leads to your dealership.
The Many Advantages of SEO
A well-optimized SEO strategy can benefit your business in a number of ways, including better brand recognition and bringing more shoppers to your website. The following are a few of the most immediate and obvious SEO benefits:
- Drive Web Traffic: SEO brings more potential buyers to your site through both paid and organic SEO strategies.
- Build Awareness: SEO gives you the chance to be part of the consumer research journey. When you post helpful blog articles, videos, and inventory details on your website, you become an authority and a place where shoppers in every part of the sales funnel can turn for information.
- Provide a Better Shopping Experience: While the final purchase benefits your business, your ability to give shoppers the buying experience they expect can help you land more leads and close more sales. SEO improves the user experience and optimizes your site for better online shopping.
- Improve Customer Relationships: SEO helps you build trust and credibility into your brand. By ranking at the top of the search results page, you become an authority in the minds of consumers.
- Gather Insights: SEO helps you to better understand your website and how it ranks against your competition. It allows you to see the keywords other websites are using, as well as the pages on your website that are performing well and those that need some more SEO help.
- Save Money: SEO is a simple way to bring qualified buyers to your site without spending money on advertising. By optimizing your website, you can drive organic traffic to your site without increasing your ad spend.
- See Results: SEO is an ongoing effort. Although it requires upkeep, it’s also a long-term solution you can depend on to improve web traffic.
SEO Best Practices
The benefits of a well-optimized, well-implemented SEO strategy are evident, but to get the most out of your SEO, consider the following best practices.
Target Consumers with Keywords
Keywords are the foundation of a successful SEO strategy. Keywords are words or phrases that search engine users type when trying to find something online. When implemented throughout your website, keywords can help search engines recognize your content and return relevant results for consumers.
Use a keyword planner and choose the right mix of keywords that target shoppers of every type, at every stage of the buying journey. Consider keywords that are valuable to search engine users, but also rank low in competition, meaning not every dealership will be using them.
Use Meta Descriptions
Content is king when it comes to SEO, but it’s not the only factor to consider when trying to drive consumers to your site. Search engines also take website optimization into account. In other words, they prioritize websites with meta descriptions that they consider to be helpful to end users.
Write helpful meta descriptions for every page and include relevant keywords without overstuffing. Each meta description should briefly describe the content of the page and be about 150 characters in length. Any longer and you run the risk that search engine users won’t see or read the complete meta description. Make them both helpful and fun to read, enticing consumers to click on your site.
Optimize Website Navigation
Believe it or not, search engines take into account the way your site is laid out. If you have descriptive URLs that include relevant keywords, internal links that describe your destination pages, and links that connect pages and topics, search engines will prioritize your site. On the other hand, broken and outdated links and a poorly optimized linking structure that makes your site difficult to navigate may push your website further down the search results rankings.
Prioritize Technical SEO
Search engines prioritize helpful keywords and optimized websites, but they also understand when a website’s internal infrastructure, including speed and performance, responsive design, and image optimization, will result in a better experience for the end user.
- Speed and Performance: No one likes a slow, plodding website that lags to load pages, and search engines recognize this. You can boost the speed of your website by using the correct format for each image and by compressing images without compromising quality. Test your website often to ensure that page load times are snappy.
- Responsive Design: Not every consumer will view your website from the same type of device. Some will come to your site via smartphone and some via tablet or computer. Every experience matters and that means your website needs to be responsive and adapt to different resolutions. Stay away from dropdown menus that take up the entire screen. Simplify navigation with a sticky menu or hamburger menu to facilitate navigation and include clear menus with all your media. Again, test your website often from different devices to ensure that all your pages are easily navigable.
- Image Optimization: Your shoppers want to see high-quality images of your inventory, no matter the device they choose to view them. Ensure that every image is the right size, format, and resolution. Depending on your website domain platform, images may need to be custom created and optimized to keep them responsive. Check with your website platform provider to ensure that all images are high-quality and can be seen by every type of shopper.
Improve Local SEO
While it’s nice that your website has the potential to expand your potential customer base to a worldwide audience, you may want to increase your dealership’s visibility within a smaller geographical area. You can optimize your website for local SEO by claiming and verifying your Google Business Profile. Make sure to complete all the required fields and keep your profile up to date with information about your dealership. This will help search engines to return better results for local searches.
Utilize Link Building
Search engines prioritize sites that are reputable, and one of the ways they determine reputability is by the number and quality of web links back to your site. When other websites deem your content to be credible enough to link to it, search engines take notice. This puts a lot of pressure on your content creation to attract links from other websites, but there are a few ways to build links without relying on other sites.
Consider teaming up with other authoritative websites to create content together. Invite a guest poster to contribute to your blog and encourage them to share their content online. Participate in industry discussions and share your content on social media to build valuable links back to your site.
Use Analytics to Keep Track of Performance
SEO is an ongoing process. Consumer interests rarely remain the same for long, search engine algorithms evolve, and SEO is always trying to stay a step ahead of the change. By monitoring the performance of your web pages, you can change with the times to ensure that SEO is always working for you.
Keep your keywords relevant by utilizing a keyword tracking tool and look for ways to improve keywords on your webpages if they’re underperforming. You can also track the performance of your webpages by viewing metrics, including total organic traffic, impressions, visits, leads, organic conversions, bounce rate, and average session duration.
It’s also important to pay attention to changes in search engine algorithms. Ensure that you or your SEO partner stays up to date with significant changes so you can adapt your website accordingly.
Get the Most Out of Your SEO
As the way people buy continues to move more online, SEO will continue to be a big part of your dealership’s success. By implementing the above best practices, SEO will work with your website to build the credibility of your dealership and bring more buyers to your dealership. To get the most out of your website and SEO strategy, you may want to consider outsourcing SEO to an experienced agency—one that can implement best practices and monitor analytics to ensure that the many aspects of SEO are always working for your benefit. By leaning on the SEO professionals, you can maximize your marketing, drive more traffic to your site, and reap the many benefits of a recognized business in your industry.