Table of Contents
Updated by Randall Theil
Estimated Reading Time: 10 Minutes
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important factors in connecting with customers online. Effective SEO can get your website, online listings, and social media channels in front of shoppers in your area without you having to buy ads. Conversely if your SEO is poor, even if your site has exactly what your customers are looking for, they might not be able to find it.
Dealer Spike websites are built with SEO in mind, but ranking higher than your competitors on Google and other search engines takes a lot more work on an ongoing basis. This article will run down some basic steps you can run through to improve your site's SEO performance, pitfalls to avoid that could damage your site's SEO or get you blacklisted from search engines, and what our in-house SEO experts can take care of for you if you invest in one of our SEO packages.
What to Do
- Update your site on a regular basis. Don't let your inventory or other content go stale. Something you can do to keep your site updated and pull in new customers is to ask for our free blog tool to be added to your site. You could write about vehicle maintenance, local destinations, or store events.
- Make sure to add relevant alt text whenever you add a new slide to one of your slideshows or an image to one of your content pages. You should see a field somewhere for alt text whenever you're adding an image to the site. Alt text is important for SEO because it tells search engines what the images on the page show. It's another chance to reinforce the keywords you're pushing for the page the image is on. They're also important for disabled users who use software to browse the internet that reads alt text to figure out what's in an image.
- Choose titles and URLs for your pages that reflect the content in them and what your customers are looking for.
- Ask the technical support department for access to our metadata editor which can be accessed through your site editing tools, and use it to customize the meta titles, descriptions, and key words for pages you want to promote.
- Write meta descriptions and titles that are meant to be readable by humans. You want to target keywords your customers are searching for with these, but you're also writing text that can show up in Google search results when customers one of your pages as well as at the top of their browser tabs (the page title).
- Keep the URLs for linked pages on your site consistent. If the same page can be accessed from two different URLs (say "yoursite.com/atvs-utvs-motorcycles-in-portland-oregon--xrentals and yoursite.com/overnight-rentals-multnomah-county--xrentals"), Google can index that as two different pages with the same content, which will then compete with each other in search rankings. Make sure when you're adding a new link to an old page on your site that you check and use the same URL that already exists on the site.
What Not to Do
- Don't use the same keywords on every page on your site. If all of your site's pages have keywords like "financing", "vehicles", "services", and "parts", then they will compete with each other when customers search for those terms and they may not be able to find the relevant page they're searching for. Instead think of the terms your customers would use when looking for your financing or parts page and add them solely to those pages.
- Don't write on-page content for search engines instead of your customers. While you want to include keywords your customers are searching for in text on those pages, you don't want to put meaningless text on your site that will bore or annoy your customers. The most important thing when considering whether to add anything to your site that customers will see is whether they'll find it useful, and the biggest natural boost to SEO comes from visitors spending more time on your site and visiting more of your pages without bouncing away.
- Don't try anything tricky to get extra or hidden keywords onto a page. Keyword stuffing is when you add a bunch of keywords to a page in a way that doesn't make sense or flow naturally. Trying to get a bunch of keywords onto a page by hiding them with CSS or copying blocks of text from other websites can get you penalized or removed from search results by Google.
- Be wary of working with third party SEO partners who make unrealistic promises or make suspicious claims using third party reporting tools. Dealer Spike is happy to work with third part SEO companies as well as our in-house team, but it's a good idea to double check claims made by companies or get a second opinion before going forward with a new SEO strategy that might not benefit your site.
How Our SEO Packages Can Help
- Dealer Spike offers additional SEO services in three monthly packages. While each package represents a different amount of work the SEO team will put into your site, they all share some commonalities.
- Our SEO experts will research your dealership's location to target content specifically to customers in your area. Research is important to create accurate keywords to target your customers' online searches, but it takes time and expertise. We can handle all of that for you.
- We will track down and optimize your business listings not just on your website, but on online listings and around the internet to make sure your information is correct and accessible wherever customers are searching for it.
- Our Google-certified experts analyse data directly from Google Analytics and Search Console to learn about your customers and how they're using your site.
- Create keyword-rich longform articles targeted at your customers that are actually worth reading, not barely understandable copy-paste crap.
- There's a lot more our SEO team can help with on an ongoing basis. Ask your account manager for details!