Google and Yahoo are two of the search engines that use SEO. While there are those who say that both of them also rely heavily upon link building when it comes to page placement in the search engine results, both of them also rely heavily on search engine optimization. They send their search engine spiders and bots through the text to pick up keywords to help rank the page. The bots pick up both long-tailed and regular keywords. Long-tailed keywords are phrases that appear throughout the text and will be discussed in a later chapter of this book.
All of the search engines use SEO to some extent. While SEO is not the only factor that figures in to search engine results placement, it is a primary factor in this placement. Google, Yahoo, Bing, and all of the other search engines all rely on SEO in the content to figure on placement in their pages. However, one search engine may rely on SEO more than others.
If you do a search on Google, for example, chances are that you will pull up different results than if you plug the same keywords into the Yahoo search engine. Both of these giant search engines use SEO in order to determine rank, although they also figure in other factors.
One factor that figures heavily in the Google search engine rankings (as it does in other search engines) is link building and page building. The search engine will rank a website higher if it has many links back to the site throughout the web. This is very prevalent with the giant information site, Wikipedia. You have probably noticed that this site often comes up when you are searching for information. That is because there are so many backlinks throughout the web that link back to this site.
When you are on a Wikipedia page, you will notice hyperlinks to other areas of the site. This large link network creates hundreds of thousands of pages that are all linked together to dominate the search engine results. In addition to link building, however, Wikipedia also uses SEO. If you study any Wikipedia article, you can pick out the keywords and see how often they are used.
Everyone who has a website online wants to make sure that they get their website noticed in the search engines. There are positive ways to do this and tricky ways to do this. Tricky ways are often called “black hat” techniques that can get a website banned from the search engines. This can be self-defeating, so you want to be sure that you naturally build up your ranking in the search engines through the use of SEO and other strategies.
One way that you can naturally build up your rankings in the search engine is to properly implement SEO in all of the text that is committed to your website. You want to be sure not to use keyword stuffing, which is when you have too much of a keyword density in your text. You should have 2-3% keyword density for your text.
Automotive SEO Basics
Some of the basic principles of using SEO in text are as follows:
Use it in the title of the text, preferably in the first few words; Use it in the first sentence of the text;
Use it in the last sentence of the first paragraph of the text;
Use it once in the body of the text per 500 words;
Use it in the last sentence of the text.
Automotive SEO Tactics
Different marketing companies that practice SEO will use different tactics to get their website noticed. Many of them use variations of the above when it comes to SEO. Two things that you want to avoid when you are working with SEO to market your site is using too many keywords in your text or not using the right keywords. Later, we will discuss the different ways that you can discover which keywords will work for your type of site.
In order to market your website online, you will want to use search engine optimization in all of your text related to your website.
All of the search engines pick up SEO to varying degrees so understanding how to optimize your website is important if you want others to be able to easily access your website when online.
Automotive SEO is used in all aspects of automotive digital marketing. You need to understand as much as you can about how SEO works in order to get the proper marketing of your website online.
When you use SEO in all of your content – both text and visual, you can draw more traffic to your site. In order to understand how to use SEO, you need to know why people use this type of marketing and rely on it so heavily in order to get the desired traffic to their website. SEO is what gets a website noticed in the search engines.
So what exactly is Automotive SEO?
This sets up your text, photos and videos so that they are easy to find when someone is searching for them using the various search engines online. While it is often said that Google relies more on SEO content than Yahoo, which relies more on link building, the truth of the matter is that in order for a website to be discovered online, it must come up in the search engine.
Since dealers have a website that sells new and used vehicles, you will want to make sure that you structure your site so that others who may be looking for the brands you sell will be able to find it online. Those who are looking online for what you have to sell may do it in a number of different ways, although the easiest way for someone to find something online is to use the search engines. Most of the traffic to your website will come from search engine optimization.
You need to know which keywords will work for your website. These are the words or phrases that people will put into the search engine bars to receive the search engine results pages. Many people today are putting in longer phrases into the search engines to narrow down their search.
Search Engine Optimization Tools
There are tools that the website owner can use to investigate the best keywords for their website, based on what they sell and what words potential customers are likely to plug into the search bars that will lead them to the site. In order to succeed at this, a website owner must not only know the concept of Automotive SEO but also much about the target market, which is those who are most likely to purchase the products on the website.
If you are just starting out your new dealership website, or if you have a website up and running already, you need to know how to use search engine optimization in all facets of your marketing. While there are other ways to market your website and products without using SEO, the fact of the matter is that 60 percent of all traffic on websites comes from those who found the website in the search engines. These people are seeking out what you have to offer and are finding you online as long as you are accessible.
Once your site is search engine optimized, you can expect to get more traffic to your site from the search engines. People who may be interested in your site will find it easier if your website is search engine optimized. Most customers use search engines to find what they are looking for when they go online. By having your website optimized and easy to find in the search engine results pages, you can attract more traffic to your website through the search engines.
There are many internet marketing companies that will help you get your website search engine optimized and keep it that way. Some of the methods that they use to optimize a website include the following:
All of these can be optimized in order to incorporate keywords that will make the website appear in the search engine results pages or, in the case of Google ads, land them on pages where they are most likely to find people who will be interested in your website. The entire purpose of making a website search engine optimized is to make it easier for potential clients or customers to visit your site.
Those who may be interested in your products or services can only take advantage of them if the know about them and where to get them. You have, most likely, gone online in search of something that you wanted to buy at one time or another. Chances are that you put the information into the search engine toolbar to pull up search engine results pages. You probably sifted through a few pages before you came up with what you wanted.
This is the basic concept of SEO
Those who understand how to use SEO to make their website more searchable and likely to come up in the first two pages of the search engine results pages are more likely to have clients land on their site.
There are probably many sites out there that offer you interesting information as well as products or services. Unfortunately, many of them are buried deep in the search engine results pages.
Most people, when searching online for something, will give up after going a few pages into the search engine results pages. In some cases, a search may produce millions of hits. Needless to say, you do not want to go through everyone in order to find what you are looking for. Most people have neither the time or the inclination to do this.
This is why it is so important for businesses and others who want to have their website noticed to make sure that they use SEO techniques in order to do so. By using SEO, a website will no longer be buried in the middle or at the end of millions of results. It has a better chance of getting to the front of the search engine results pages.
Is voice search for the future of mobile search? The jury is still out, but Google says that 20 percent of all searches on mobile are now voice searches – and that number is growing.
While you currently can’t target voice searches directly, if you are interested in driving conversions from voice searches, here are some tips to consider for moving forward.
Understand what makes voice search different
Voice search queries tend to be longer. In 2004, most searches were 2 or 3 words. Today, search queries can be 27+ words. Voice searches also tend to be more specific (for example, searching for “find the closest open store that sells a Ford F-150 ” instead of just “Ford F-150”).
Analyze your longer tail keywords to find patterns
Since voice searches are usually more natural and conversational, keyword optimization should fit this new long-tail landscape.
Use modified broad match keywords
Modified broad match lets you specify that specific broad match keywords or close variants (such as +make +model +locatoin) must appear to show your search ad. So even if the voice search is 30 words, as long as 3 of those are “make,” “model,” and “location” your ad will appear.
Negative out keywords that aren’t driving customers
As you test and refine your keyword list for voice search, be sure to negative any words from a modified broad match that indicate the searcher is not a potential customer.
Be sure to give voice searches the option of calling
People use voice search because it is easy and hands-free. It makes sense that a voice searcher would want to keep using voice to engage with a business – and that means a phone call.
Speak in the language of “mobile.”
Since these ads will only be seen by people on their smartphones, your ad language should reflect it.
Tell searchers that operators are standing by to take their call. Use mobile-specific calls to action such as “Shop our mobile site,” “Buy on your phone,” “Find nearby stores,” and “Call us now.”
Managing images of a dealership can have a significant impact on the quality of content users find when researching travel online. It is possible to add or remove photos from your account at any time. There are also ways to flag inappropriate images added by other users.
Adding Images of your Dealership
Data from Google shows that dealerships with high-quality, relevant images receive higher levels of engagement from users and are more likely to be visited by consumers who have viewed that dealership’s listing online.
Having the photography that includes the exterior and interior of your dealership as well as photos of models and the service department will be beneficial to attracting customers.
To add an image or images, simply log into your Google My Business account and select the “Photos” tab from the menu bar on the left side of the screen. From this section, you’ll be able to add and manage images, including selecting the cover image, identifying specific subjects (such as vehicle photos from your inventory) and other actions. You can add photos from your device or from Google Photos.
How to Remove an Image From Your Listing
Removing an Image Added to Your Account
Sign into your Google My Business account and choose the listing you’d like to manage. Select “Photos” from the menu on the left. Click the image you want to remove and then click the trash can icon in the top-right corner. This will delete the image from your listing.
Flagging Images from Other Users for Removal
To flag an image from another user for removal, navigate to your location’s photo gallery in Google Maps. Click on a photo to pull up the photo gallery image panel, and click on the three-dot menu icon in the top left corner.
Select “Report a Problem.” Complete the information on the form about why the photo should be flagged for your dealership and then click “Submit.”
A photo must be in violation of Google’s photo policy in order to be removed from the Google My Business. Sometimes it is necessary to flag an image a second time if it is not removed after an initial period of 7-14 days from the profile.
Photo Best Practices
Orientation is important for photo selection, and it’s best to keep this in mind when photographing a location. Horizontal images are preferred. Vertical images are acceptable if they have sufficient resolution to be cropped horizontally. Avoid using extreme angles or tight crops on images.
For example, when photographing the dealership’s exterior, try to find a direct shot that includes as much of the façade as possible. When shooting vehicles or service department photos, it may be more practical to use an overhead angle or a close crop shot.
The dealership location should be the focal point of the photo. Users should be able to easily recognize what they are seeing when quickly looking at the pictures.
Photos should be sharply focused and without any blurriness. Images should look real and be high-quality without being heavily doctored.
You want to add images that showcase the focal point in the best manner possible, including quality lighting. It’s generally a best practice to capture things during the day unless you are highlighting a location specifically known for its nightlife. Subtle differences in lighting quality can make notable differences in the visibility of photos within Google products.
Choose images that have bright, vibrant colors because these often generate better visibility and more engagement for your Google My Business profile. Your image may be competing against hundreds of other photos of a given location for a user’s attention. While photos should not be heavily doctored, modestly boosting the saturation of images may be beneficial in some cases.
As much as possible, images should be relevant year-round. This means avoiding seasonal photos (for example – Holiday decorations or colorful Halloween shots).
Photo Rights and Watermarks
When adding photos, you want to avoid intellectual property violations. Make sure the photos you are uploading belong to only you. Try to add a variety of unique images rather than uploading the same images repeatedly.
If your photos have a watermark, it should be small and limited to one corner to avoid distracting from the overall image. Photos should obviously never include inappropriate or dangerous content and obviously no personal or confidential information. Photos should focus on the dealership – so include the building, service, vehicles and limited team members photos from the dealership.
On-Page SEO has to be understood before you can go and turn your new-found knowledge into cold, hard cash.
To make this term a little easier to understand imagine a finely-tuned engine that has several components to perform at its best. The same principles apply to On-Page SEO. It’s not just ONE thing you have to put into action, but several. Don’t worry, after reading this chapter you should have gained a good understanding of what to do. Let’s start with title tags.
The first thing you need to do is include your target keyword in the <title>title<title/> tag of your site. I suggest you use the keyword in a sensible form and maybe even consider using a long tail keyword to match. That way you will get more traffic. The best option, of course, is to incorporate your main keyword into a long tail keyword that gets actual searches.
Some webmasters use their keyword in their title tag (as is) which can actually repel visitors. Make them user friendly and you can’t lose, as long as your keyword is in the tag. This little tip alone can increase your search click conversions by 100% or more.
The next thing you need to do is use your keywords in the site’s page headings. By using <H1>, <H2>, <H3> tags you can further increase the keyword relevancy of your page.
If you use WordPress make sure the theme you use has these heading tags properly coded.
Some themes don’t and failing to pay attention here could lose you a substantial amount of search traffic over time. If in doubt, use an SEO plugin to help you rectify any possible issues.
If you worry about keyword density here, don’t. It’s more important to use the keyword in these tags and if possible incorporate long tails and keyword variations to help build your site’s authority.
Keywords in Content
Whenever you write content for your site be sure to use the keyword in the title, in the first sentence of the first paragraph, several times throughout the text and in the last sentence of the last paragraph. If you do this consistently, besides adding title and page tags you will see incredible results.
Another trick is to apply the following to your pages; every time you write new content do this once per article/post:
Bold the keyword
Italicize the keyword
Underline the keyword
This will strengthen the authority of your site because when you mark keywords like this they will stand out to the bots who crawl your site. But PLEASE, don’t do this excessively or you will get banned. Once each on every page is enough.
Too many people worry too much about keyword density. While it is worth a mention here, you should be more concerned about publishing quality content that is actually user friendly. If you use bots and automation software to publish content you will eventually be excluded from Google’s index – guaranteed! Google is dedicated to clean their search engine from spam and crap and they do so aggressively all the time.
I have always done well by aiming for a density of around 2-3%. This means your keyword is featured twice, or three times for every 100 words of text. Just focus on writing quality content naturally, spike your content with keywords and most importantly use related keywords (LSI) and you will do well.
How Long Should Your Content Be?
In recent months, search engines have started to rank long content above short, spammy- looking content simply for that reason. You are best advised to opt for at least 500 words.
Every single page on your domain should ideally feature one optimized image. This little On- Page SEO addition can help you outrank a competitor with his own optimized site if he fails to optimize his images.
You do this by placing your keyword into the image’s <alt> tag. You can see these tags by looking at the HTML code version of your website. In WordPress you can do this from within your post and page WYSIWYG editor at the top right hand side corner.
Optimizing your images will also give you more traffic since many people use image searches on Google to find relevant content.
You’d be well advised to always use internal links where possible. When linking to your sub pages make sure to use the keyword of that page. So if you optimize that particular page for the keyword: how to buy pink widgets in new york, make sure to use the exact keyword to link. The resulting page would become a sub page of your domain.
Another thing I have found to work really well is to use the long tail keyword on sub pages and link it back (anchor text) to the home page (also called index page). This can get you a double listing on Google. More on those later in this eBook.
Outbound links are links you point to pages outside your domain. In order not to dilute your Google juice you want to make these <nofollow> using the appropriate tag. The more <dofollow> links you use to point to websites outside your domain, the more “juice” you will lose in the process.
It’s the fastest way to dilute your site’s existing authority.
So, Google confirmed on May 4th that it is performing a core update to their algorithm, the second one in 202. What does this mean to your dealership web site?
Google is known for completing numerous algorithm updates on an annual basis but they are usually minor and search engine optimization (SEO) professionals usually don’t see much of a difference when it comes to search results for a client.
Search Engine Optimization professionals always need to pay very close attention when a core update is made public by Google on a regular basis. This is because it can certainly affect rankings and there will be a noticeable fluctuation in those rankings. While this affects everybody, it can certainly adjust rankings for all sites, including automotive.
Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the May 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog post for more about that:https://t.co/e5ZQUAlt0G
The automotive industry has also shown some significant results when it comes to traffic increase. In almost the entire world, the majority of modes of transportation are at a standstill. The pandemic event affects user behavior in terms of looking for transportation to get around.
Be that as it may, the update has been favorable to the sites for this industry. As you can see from the noticeable spike in traffic on May 5th, this site has also enjoyed a favorable appraisal from the algorithm broad core update.
Dealership SEO Tips
One of the worst things someone can do for their dealership is to be lazy with content + keyword strategy, not monitor and updating site content on a regular basis. When a dealership has a Search Engine Optimization strategy of ‘set it up and forget about it’ the core updates can really impact automotive rankings in a very negative way.
Here are some things that you can do to help with your web site rankings during this core update (and to prepare for others that will be coming):
Content will always hold the key to automotive success on Google. Make sure your web site content is up to date and relevant. This includes models, service, and local content to ensure that Google connects your dealership to the local market.
Take a look at your overall on-page web sites SEO strategies such as your page titles, meta descriptions, alt tags (image descriptions), and header tags on pages / posts.
Authentic link building strategies will also be helpful during this time. Which means links that are not obviously paid for as Search Engine leverage. Building links to your dealership site builds strong credibility and ensures that it becomes more recognized as an authority in the automotive industry.
Under the E-A-T approach which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. When raters view your content, Google will use this approach to better understand where and how to place your content. They want to know there is good content that is relevant to the viewer – meaning they find your site, look around and stay for a visit.
Google Core Updates SEO
Typically, Google Core Updates present some sort of challenge for SEO professionals and will inevitability cause them to do a pivot to different or more enhanced strategies. Since the May Core Update is still only a few days old – it is hard to tell what needs to be done right at this moment.
Google always aspires to not rank low-quality web sites. What matters most is whether a web page satisfies a user when they make any particular search query – either for a vehicle, service or dealership location.
Google doesn’t rank a web page because it’s on a high-quality site. It ranks a web page because it is relevant to the search intent of the individual conducting the search.
If your rankings are negatively impacting your brand, I suggest that you work on crafting content with a publishing plan and working on obtaining links to your website for a better holding position.
SEO refers to search engine optimization. It is a process to increase the organic search rankings of a website. There are millions of searches being done online. People search for almost every imaginable thing from how to care for their pets to particular vehicles and services at a dealership.
While searching, people enter some words or phrases in the search box. These are known as keywords or key phrases. A dealership website owner’s aim is to have high rankings for a lot of important keywords related to the site’s niche.
The advantage of high rankings is that you can get thousands of free visitors to your website without spending a dime on advertising. And this traffic will keep coming to your website automatically as long as your site is still ranking high on the search engines.
What’s more – your site will be getting visitors even while you are sleeping, eating or enjoying time with your family.
In order to enjoy all these benefits, we need to optimize our website in a certain way so that it stands a good chance of ranking highly in the search engines. Each search engine is different and gives priority to different factors.
It may be almost impossible to optimize our website keeping all the search engines in mind. Thankfully we don’t have to do so. If we focus on just the top 3-5 search engines, it should be sufficient for us to get thousands of free targeted visitors.
Let us discuss 3 important areas you have to focus on first in order to optimize your website for higher rankings.
Pay Attention to Post Titles
Each automotive webpage has a title. What you place between the title tags is very important from the Automotive SEO point of view.
You should place your most important keywords which you are targeting in the title. The keywords should be placed in the title is such a manner that it should make sense to humans also.
Our webpage titles should appeal to search engines as well as human visitors. If your title is just a bunch of keywords without much sense or appeal, then people will may not click to visit your site even if you have a high ranking in the search engine.
Pay Attention to Header Tags
Header tags are like subtitles of your page. Again, header tags are important from human as well as SEO point of view.
Header tags should also contain your important keywords so that the search engines understand what your page is about. These header tags are also important for human visitors to your website. If someone is just scanning your article, he/she can read through the subtitles to decide whether the article is of their interest and deserves to be read further or not.
Pay Attention to Content
Your articles should be of good quality and useful to the reader. They should serve some purpose.
The article should contain your important keywords written in a natural manner so that it makes complete sense to human readers also. If you write high-quality content and spread your important automotive keywords throughout the content then stand a good chance of impressing the search engines as well as human visitors.
These are the 3 most important parts of your webpage you should pay attention to if you want to gain high search rankings. The benefits of top rankings are immense. So start paying more attention to your blog post titles, subtitles as well as the actual content.
If you do so then you can reap the benefits in terms of good search rankings as well as high conversions from website visitors.
There are many other factors that need your attention in order to improve site rankings, but all efforts should start from here. You should first and foremost try and optimize your content then worry about other factors.
Understanding Automotive SEO basics is vital to ensure that you know how search engines like Google work for car dealerships. When you know how they work, you’ll be able to get your dealer website and blog posts online ranking high on Google.
One of the first things you need to know is that Google ranks websites based on what they scan through whenever they visit a site.
So, if they see a website that has specific words on the site, Google will basically try to put that website on the search engines for that specific keyword.
This is to ensure that those who want help or information in that area will see your web site, as Google only wants to help people find what they really need.
Of course, even if your site says all of the specific keywords over and over again, if there aren’t any backlinks generated for the site, you won’t see the site climbing up the rankings. This is called off-page optimization.
You need to make sure that you have other websites linking back to your site. Google only wants to rank high quality, authority level websites that are popular online with other sites.
How do you get your site to be popular and authority level in Google’s eye? By having other sites linking back to yours.
This can be done by leaving your URL on other blog posts, leaving your URL on other sites, writing posts online, and putting your URL at the bottom, along with many other kinds of ways.
In addition, you need to make sure your page is optimized for search engines. This is called on-page optimization. Your dealership site title, description, and keywords should include your main keywords/key phrases you’re targeting.
Now that you know how it works, start broadening your understanding on the topic of SEO. Continue to learn how to use SEO tactics into your marketing, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes if ever your site doesn’t rank high right away.
Content With Automotive SEO In Mind Increases Sales
Once you’ve done your research on keywords for your dealership, you’ve already gotten started on a good foot. It doesn’t mean you’ll end up with high paying advertisements though, even if you use Google. That’s because you still haven’t written the copy to make sure that the Google advertising server understands which keywords you are targeting. So, it will serve up whatever it wants, regardless of whether it is high paying or not. You get much better results when you also target keyword phrases that have a high CPC too.
When you write copy for the Google search engine, you want to include the keyword phrases in the title as well as the body of the copy. Certain areas in the content are weighted more than other in the algorithms and the title is one such area.
Another area is headings for chapters. Anything bolded, like a subheading, generally receives more attention. Finally, if you use the keywords across the entire article or blog post, that will increase the probability that you’ve optimized in a density that doesn’t trigger any keyword stuffing alerts on Google’s side.
If you are writing blog posts as your website, you want to include the keyword phrases in any tags or categories too that you might be posting for people. Indexing your content with keywords is a great way to make sure they are picked up by the Google search engine. This strategy doesn’t just increase your potential monetary payout, but it also increases traffic significantly.
Original content is also important when you are trying to get noticed by the Google search engine. If it sees duplicate content across the web, the Google search engine will penalize such a site that uses duplicate content excessively.
That’s why many people actually contract writers for original content because duplicate content can do more harm than good for Internet marketers. Even if you are only duplicating your own content across multiple sites, Google won’t differentiate that from plain old plagiarism. So, it is possible to plagiarize yourself on the Internet. Your best bet is to have fresh, original, content for all your web sites either by hiring writers or by writing your own.
Search Engine Optimization and Advertising
In today’s net-savvy world it has become common for any business to have a website which they use mostly for advertising their products and services. With the advent of search engines, it has become even easier for the customers to search for the stuff online. For a website to be successful its link should land in the first three pages which the search engine brings and the rank of the page should be high which means many visitors come to the site. This can be achieved by applying search engine optimization or popularly known as SEO. This is a marketing strategy that increases the quality and quantity of traffic flow to a particular website via search engines.
Automotive SEO not only affects the search engine results but also image search, video search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. It determines how a search algorithm functions and searches what is popular with people. When a website link is submitted to a search engine, a spider crawls through a page to gather links that lead to other pages and stores those pages on the server of the search engine. The information collected from these pages is sent to the indexer, whose job is to extract information from those pages such as the keywords and their weights, the location of the page, and other links that are stored for the spider to crawl in future.
In the beginning, the search engine optimizer algorithms were dependant on the keywords, Meta tags, and index files provided by the Webmaster. Meta tags provided information about a particular page, but using them for indexing the pages didn’t prove to be successful as some Webmasters added irrelevant Meta tags to increase the number of hits and earn huge ad revenue. They even changed the HTML of the web pages to achieve a good rank for the page. But this was a case of abuse as it fetched irrelevant pages.
Search engines then began utilizing complex ranking algorithms, which was difficult for webmasters to manipulate so as to provide web surfers with genuine results. The rank of the web page was calculated mathematically by functions using the strength and quantity of the inbound links. The higher the rank of the page the more chances it had to be viewed by a person. Later algorithms were developed which considered various other on-page factors such as rank and off-page factors such as hyperlink. Since the webmasters couldn’t manipulate the page rank, they began exchanging, selling, and buying links, which lead to link spamming and even creation of numerous sites dedicated to this purpose.
Algorithms became more complex by every passing day and top search engines kept their algorithms a secret. As the cost of Automotive SEO increased, advertisers were roped in to pay for it, which finally resulted in high-quality web pages. Although investing in Automotive SEO is very fruitful, but at the same time is risky because without any prior notice the algorithms being used are bound to change and the search engine will stop directing visitors to the page. Many consultants are available in the market that provides SEO services. They manipulate the HTML source code of the web site like menus, shopping carts, and sometimes even the content of the website to draw more traffic. Search engines like Google have algorithms that extract pages not according to the page rank but according to the cost per click or set fee, that is if an advertiser desires that the page containing his ad be displayed, he is expected to pay money for it. This is a point of controversy, as only the big businesses will be able to increase the number of hits of their page but not the small business who might be having a better quality page.
Search Engines are special sites on the web that are designed to help people find information stored on other sites. There are differences in the ways various Search Engines work, but they all perform basic tasks:
They search the Internet – or select pieces of the Internet – based on important words, phrases, questions, and images.
They keep an index of the words they find, and where they find them, and they allow users to look for words or combinations of words found in that index.
Early in development, Search Engines held an index of a few hundred thousand pages and documents and received maybe one or two thousand inquiries each day from users. Today, a top Search Engine will index billions of web site pages, and respond to hundreds of millions of queries per day from internet searches. This obviously includes people that are looking for automotive focused inquires.
Before a Search Engine can tell you where a file or document is, it must be found. To find information on the billions of Web pages that exist, a Search Engine employs special software robots, called spiders, to build lists of the words found on all web sites.
When a spider is building its lists, the process is called web crawling. They will crawl all sites from baby tips, sports to automotive dealership web sites.
In order to build and maintain a useful list of words, a Search Engine’s spiders have to look at a lot of pages. How does any spider start its travels over the Web? The usual starting points are lists of heavily used servers and very popular pages.
The spider will begin with a popular site, indexing the words on its pages and following every link found within the site. In this way, the spidering system quickly begins to travel, spreading out across the most widely used portions of the internet.
Once the spiders have completed the task of finding information on web sites, the Search Engine must store the information in a way that makes it useful. There are two key components involved in making the gathered data accessible to users:
The information stored with the data, and the method by which the information is indexed.
In the simplest case, a Search Engine could just store the word and the URL where it was found. In reality, this would make for an engine of limited use, since there would be no way of telling whether the word was used in an important or a trivial way on the page, whether the word was used once or many times or whether the page contained links to other pages containing the word.
In other words, there would be no way of building the ranking list that tries to present the most useful pages at the top of the list of search results.
To make for more useful results, Search Engines store more than just the word and URL. A Search Engine might store the number of times that the word appears on a page. The engine might assign a weight to each entry, with increasing values assigned to words as they appear near the top of the document, in sub-headings, in links, in the META tags or in the title of the page, along with the headers on that page.
Each commercial Search Engine has a different formula for assigning weight to the words in its index. This is one of the reasons that a search for the same word on different Search Engines will produce different lists, with the pages presented in different orders.
An index has a single purpose: it allows information to be found as quickly as possible. There are quite a few ways for an index to be built, but one of the most effective ways is to build a hash table. In hashing, a formula is applied to attach a numerical value to each word.
The formula is designed to evenly distribute the entries across a predetermined number of divisions. This numerical distribution is different from the distribution of words across the alphabet, and that is the key to a hash table’s effectiveness.
When a person requests a search on a keyword or phrase, the Search Engine software searches the index for relevant information. The software then provides a report back to the searcher with the most relevant web pages listed first.
Choosing The Proper Keywords
Search Engines are the vehicles that drive potential customers to your websites. But in order for visitors to reach their destination – your website – you need to provide them with specific and effective signs that will direct them right to your site. You do this by creating carefully chosen keywords.
Think of the right keywords as the “Open Sesame!” of the Internet. Find the exactly right words or phrases, and presto! Hoards of traffic will be pulling up to your front door. But if your keywords are too general or too over-used, the possibility of visitors actually making it all the way to your site – or of seeing any real profits from the visitors that do arrive – decreases dramatically.
Your keywords serve as the foundation of your marketing strategy. If they are not chosen with great precision, no matter how aggressive your marketing campaign may be, the right people may never get the chance to find out about it. So your first step in plotting your strategy is to gather and evaluate keywords and phrases.
You probably think you already know EXACTLY the right words for your search phrases. Unfortunately, if you haven’t followed certain specific steps, you are probably WRONG.
It’s hard to be objective when you are right in the center of your business network, which is the reason that you may not be able to choose the most efficient keywords from the inside. You need to be able to think like your customers. And since you are a business owner and not the consumer, your best bet is to go directly to the source.
Instead of plunging in and scribbling down a list of potential search words and phrases yourself, ask for words from as many potential customers as you can. You will most likely find out that your understanding of your business and your customers’ understanding is significantly different.
The consumer is an invaluable resource. You will find the words you accumulate from them are words and phrases you probably never would have considered from deep inside the trenches of your business.
Only after you have gathered as many words and phrases from outside resources should you add your own keyword to the list. Once you have this list in hand, you are ready for the next step: an evaluation.
The aim of the evaluation is to narrow down your list to a small number of words and phrases that will direct the highest number of quality visitors to your website. By “quality visitors” I mean those consumers who are most likely to make a purchase rather than just cruise around your site and take off for greener pastures.
In evaluating the effectiveness of keywords, bear in mind three elements: popularity, specificity, and motivation. Popularity is the easiest to evaluate because it is an objective quality. The more popular your keyword is, the more likely the chances are that it will be typed into a Search Engine which will then bring up your URL.
You can now purchase software that will rate the popularity of keywords and phrases by giving words a number rating based on real Search Engine activity. Software such as WordTracker will even suggest variations of your words and phrases.
The higher the number this software assigns to a given keyword, the more traffic you can logically expect to be directed to your site. The only fallacy with this concept is the more popular the keyword is, the greater the Search Engine position you will need to obtain. If you are down at the bottom of the search results, the consumer will probably never scroll down to find you.
Popularity isn’t enough to declare a keyword a good choice. You must move on to the next criteria, which is specificity. The more specific your keyword is, the greater the likelihood that the consumer who is ready to purchase your goods or services will find you.
Let’s look at a hypothetical example. Imagine that you have obtained popularity rankings for the keyword “automobile companies.” However, your company specializes in bodywork only.
The keyword “automobile body shops” would rank lower on the popularity scale than “automobile companies,” but it would nevertheless serve you much better. Instead of getting a slew of people interested in everything from buying a car to changing their oil filters, you will get only those consumers with trashed front ends or crumpled fenders being directed to your site.
In other words, consumers ready to buy your services are the ones who will immediately find you. Not only that, but the greater the specificity of your keyword is, the less competition you will face.
The third factor is consumer motivation. Once again, this requires putting yourself inside the mind of the customer rather than the seller to figure out what motivation prompts a person looking for a service or product to type in a particular word or phrase. Let’s look at another example, such as a consumer who is searching for a job as an IT manager in a new city.
If you have to choose between “Automotive job listings” and “Automotive recruiters” which do you think will benefit the consumer more? If you were looking for this type of specific job, which keyword would you type in?
The second one, of course! Using the second keyword targets people who have decided on their career, have the necessary experience, and are ready to enlist you as their recruiter, rather than someone just out of school who is casually trying to figure out what to do with his or her life in between beer parties.
You want to find people who are ready to act or make a purchase, and this requires subtle tinkering of your keywords until your find the most specific and directly targeted phrases to bring the most motivated traffic to your dealership site.
Once you have chosen your keywords, your work is not done. You must continually evaluate performance across a variety of Search Engines, bearing in mind that times and trends change, as does popular lingo. You cannot rely on your log traffic analysis alone because it will not tell you how many of your visitors actually made a purchase.
Luckily, some new tools have been invented to help you judge the effectiveness of your keywords in individual Search Engines. There is now software available that analyzes consumer behavior in relation to consumer traffic. This allows you to discern which keywords are bringing you the most valuable customers.
This is an essential concept: numbers alone do not make a good keyword; profits per visitor do. You need to find keywords that direct consumers to your site who actually buy your product, fill out your forms, or download your product.
This is the most important factor in evaluating the efficacy of a keyword or phrase and should be the sword you wield when discarding and replacing ineffective or inefficient keywords with keywords that bring in better profits.
Ongoing analysis of tested keywords is the formula for Search Engine success. This may sound like a lot of work – and it is! But the amount of informed effort you put into your keyword campaign is what will ultimately generate your business’ rewards.
The methods employed to increase your Search Engine rankings may seem like rocket science to you, so you have probably avoided dealing with this issue. I am here to tell you – the time has come to face your website!
A high Search Engine ranking for your website is so essential that if you have the slightest desire to actually succeed in your business, there is no way you can continue to avoid this issue.
At least 85% of people looking for goods and services on the Internet find websites through Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The idea of optimizing your pages for high Search Engine rankings is to attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to make a purchase.
The higher your page comes up in Search Engine results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your website. That’s what Search Engine optimization is about.
You can immerse yourself in all the technical information available online to figure out how to optimize your web pages to achieve higher rankings.
Or you can look at a few simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. The first item you should examine is the title bar on your homepage.
The title bar is the colored bar at the top of the page. Look at the words that appear there when you access your home page. To increase Search Engine rankings, the words on your homepage’s title bar should include the most important keywords or phrases, one of which would include your company name.
Then click on all your links and examine the title bars on the pages you access. Each title bar on every single page of your site should contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page itself.
However, avoid very long strings of keywords, keeping them to six words or less. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to each other.
The next item to put under your microscope is your website content. Search Engines generally list sites that contain quality content rather than scintillating graphics. The text on your site must contain the most important keywords – the words that potential customers will be typing into Search Engines to find your site.
Aim to have around 250 words on each page, but if this is not desirable due to your design, aim for at least 100 carefully chosen words. If you want to achieve a high ranking on Search Engines, this text is essential. However, the Search Engines must be able to read the text, meaning that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format.
To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able to do this, the text is HTML. If the text will not highlight, it is probably in graphic form. In this case, ask your webmaster to change the text into HTML format in order to increase your Search Engine rankings.
Next, we come to what is called META tags. I know this sounds like something out of science fiction, but it is really just simple code. Many people believe that META tags are the key to high Search Engine rankings, but in reality, they only have a limited effect. Still, it’s worth adding them in the event that a Search Engine will use META tags in their ranking formula.
To find out if your page is set up with META tags, you must access the code. To do this, click the “view” button on the browser menu bar, and select “source.” This will pull up a window revealing the underlying code that created the page. If there are META tags, they usually appear near the top of the window.
For example, a META tag would read META name=”keywords” content=. If you do not find code that reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. This may not do much for your Search Engine rankings, but any little boost helps.
Lastly, we come to the issue of link popularity. This is a factor that is extremely important in terms of Search Engine rankings. Almost all Search Engines use link popularity to rank your website. Link popularity is based on the quality of the sites you have linked to from your links page.
If you type in “free link popularity check” in a popular Search Engine, the Search Engine will then show you what sites are linked to your site. In the case that there aren’t many sites linked up to yours, or that the sites that are linked up have low Search Engine rankings, consider launching a link popularity campaign.
Essentially, this entails contacting quality sites and requesting that they exchange links with your site. Of course, this requires checking out the rankings of the websites you want to link up with. Linking to popular, quality sites not only boost your Search Engine ranking, but it also directs more quality traffic to your website.
Search Engine rankings are extremely important for a successful Internet marketing campaign. Before you go out and hire a Search Engine optimization company, try taking some of the simple steps listed above, and see if you can’t boost your rankings yourself. Don’t ever ignore this all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the higher your Search Engine ranking, the more quality customers will be directed your way.
Increasing Your Link Popularity
Search Engines are the gateway to the Internet; they are the first tool that potential customers use to find the products and services they need. This is why link popularity is so imperative. If the customers do not find your website, you have no possibility of making any vehicle sales.
You’re probably wondering what the blazes are popular about a link! Well, in a word – plenty! Link popularity refers to the ranking assigned to your website by the Search Engines, and it determines the ranking your page gets when keywords are entered into a Search Engine. So, you’re probably wondering, how do I make my link popular?
Search Engines are discretionary, giving status and ranking to sites that have links to their pages from related, quality sites. It’s a simple formula, but a very important one. Google created the system, and now virtually all the most popular Search Engines employ it to rank your web pages in their indexes.
The more commonly used your keyword is, the harder it will be to achieve link popularity, but without achieving this step, it is almost certain your site will never rank highly on any Search Engine. But don’t be discouraged; there are tried and true ways of achieving link popularity using the most competitive keywords.
There are a few things you should be aware of. The first is that just linking up with a large number of other websites will not achieve link popularity. In fact, it may have quite the opposite effect.
This is particularly true when pertaining to websites that are nothing more than “link farms” – pages containing line after line of indiscriminate links. Search Engines may aggressively discriminate against your website if you are associated with a link farm, so steer clear of them!
The next thing to bear in mind is the quality of the site you are linking to. Never link to a page you have reservations about your visitors seeing. The last thing you want your website to appear as is indiscriminate and cheap. Linking to sites of poor quality will only lessen your link popularity, if not completely destroy it.
So let’s get to what you need to do to achieve supreme link popularity and improve your rankings to stellar status on all the popular Search Engines.
The first step, and the fastest way to get your foot in the door, is to get a listing in a popular directory, such as Open Directory Project and Yahoo. If your site is business-related, you will want to be listed on Yahoo, and despite the fact that it will cost you around $300 a year, it will be money well spent.
If your site is non-commercial, the listing will be free, but it will take time and follow-up to actually get it listed. Open Directory gives you a free listing whether you are business-related or non-commercial, but be prepared to make a lot of follow-up inquiries before you see your site listed.
You are aiming to get listed in the highest level of appropriate category, and this just takes some common sense. For example, if your company ships Alpaca wool from an Alpaca farm located in the middle of Nowhere, Tiny State, do NOT submit your listing to “Retailers from Nowhere, Tiny State.”
BIG MISTAKE! All you have to do is look a little deeper – and submit your listing to the “Fine Alpaca Wool” category. You will not only associate yourself with culture and quality, but you will be listed in a national category.
The next step after you have attained directory listings is to locate other quality sites that will increase your link popularity. Try to find sites that are in some way related to yours, so not only will your link popularity increase, but your customer base may also be expanded.
You want to avoid your competitors and look for sites that are useful to your site’s visitors. Let’s look at the Alpaca Wool site example. Linking up to a site that sells knitting supplies would be helpful to your visitors, and the chances of the knitting supply site wanting to link up to your site are also greater.
By linking to a related site that will be relevant to your website’s traffic, you are increasing both of your site’s business prospects – and both of your sites’ link popularity.
Not all sites want to link to other sites, so you will have to do some research when you are looking for possible linking partners. Google is an excellent starting place for your search.
Make sure you enter keywords that you think quality customers will also enter to find your own site. Remember, your criteria are quality, highly ranked, non-competing websites that have a links or resources page.
Go to these sites and objectively assess them. Look at the quality of the product, the graphics, and the ease of use. Then check out the other sites they are linked to, and determine if your own site would fit in with the crowd.
When you decide you have found a good prospect, you must set out to woo them. The first thing to do is to add a link on your own links page to their site. This is an essential first step; it shows good faith, and ups your chances significantly of their reciprocity. After you have added their link, you must contact the webmaster of their site.
Since this is almost always done by email, you want to make sure it is immediately clear that your message is not junk mail. This requires that you tell them right off the bat that you have added a link to their page on your site. A hook like this almost always insures the reader will read on.
Next, be sure to be flattering and let them know how much you appreciate their website. Make sure you emphasize that you have actually visited their site and that their site is not just a random pick.
Give them the address of your links page, and ask them to check out the link for themselves. It’s a good idea to mention that they will not only benefit from the increased traffic your website will direct their way, but you will also increase their link popularity.
Briefly, explain why link popularity is so essential, but do this in a sentence or two so you don’t sound like a professor! Finally, tell them you would greatly appreciate it if they would reciprocally add a link on their own links page to your website.
Go through this process with as many appropriate sites as you can find, bearing in mind the criteria of quality and non-competitiveness. After you have emailed all relevant sites, be sure to check these websites frequently to see if they have added a link to your page. Give it about a month, and if no link appears, try another charming email.
Then give it another month, and if your site is still absent from their links page, it’s time to remove their link from your own links page. The only time you want to pursue a link further than this is if you believe a site is crucial to your link popularity and your business needs. Just remember to keep all your communications complimentary and cordial.
Then set up a schedule to check your ranking in Search Engines frequently to see if your link popularity has improved. This is not achievable in the blink of an eye. It will take some time and a good deal of work. There is no way around the labor-intensive quality of improving your link popularity, which is why Search Engines regard it with such importance.
By the way – make sure you have a beautiful, streamlined site or you will never persuade anyone to link up to you. Be prepared to keep plugging away at this process, as long as it takes until you achieve link popularity stardom!
Maintaining Your Search Engine Ranking
Your website’s ranking on Search Engines is a vital element of your overall marketing campaign, and there are ways to improve your link popularity through legitimate methods. Unfortunately, the Internet is populated by bands of dishonest webmasters seeking to improve their link popularity by faking out Search Engines.
The good news is that Search Engines have figured this out, and are now on guard for “spam” pages and sites that have increased their rankings by artificial methods. When a Search Engine tracks down such a site, that site is demoted in ranking or completely removed from the Search Engine’s index.
The bad news is that some high quality, completely above-board sites are being mistaken for these web page criminals. Your page may be in danger of being caught up in the “spam” net and tossed from a Search Engine’s index, even though you have done nothing to deserve such harsh treatment. But there are things you can do – and things you should be sure NOT to do – which will prevent this kind of misperception.
Link popularity is mostly based on the quality of sites you are linked to. Google pioneered these criteria for assigning website ranking, and virtually all Search Engines on the Internet now use it.
There are legitimate ways to go about increasing your link popularity, but at the same time, you must be scrupulously careful about which sites you choose to link to. Google frequently imposes penalties on sites that have linked to other sites solely for the purpose of artificially boosting their link popularity. They have actually labeled these links “bad neighborhoods.”
You can raise a toast to the fact that you cannot be penalized when a bad neighborhood links to your site; penalty happens only when you are the one sending out the link to a bad neighborhood. But you must check, and double-check, all the links that are active on your links page to make sure you haven’t linked to a bad neighborhood.
There is no need to be afraid of linking to sites whose scale shows only a tiny sliver of green on their scale. These sites have not been penalized, and their links may grow in value and popularity. However, do make sure that you closely monitor these kinds of links to ascertain that at some point they do not sustain a penalty once you have linked up to them from your links page.
Another evil trick that illicit webmasters use to artificially boost their link popularity is the use of hidden text. Search Engines usually use the words on web pages as a factor in forming their rankings, which means that if the text on your page contains your keywords, you have more of an opportunity to increase your Search Engine ranking than a page that does not contain text inclusive of keywords.
Some webmasters have gotten around this formula by hiding their keywords in such a way so that they are invisible to any visitors to their site. For example, they have used the keywords but made them the same color as the background color of the page, such as a plethora of white keywords on a white background.
You cannot see these words with the human eye – but the eye of Search Engine spider can spot them easily! A spider is the program Search Engines use to index web pages, and when it sees these invisible words, it goes back and boosts that page’s link ranking.
Webmasters may be brilliant and sometimes devious, but Search Engines have figured these tricks out. As soon as a Search Engine see the use of hidden text – splat! The page is penalized.
The downside of this is that sometimes the spider is a bit overzealous and will penalize a page by mistake. For example, if the background color of your page is gray, and you have placed gray text inside a black box, the spider will only take note of the gray text and assume you are employing hidden text. To avoid any risk of false penalty, simply direct your webmaster not to assign the same color to text as the background color of the page – ever!
Another potential problem that can result in a penalty is called “keyword stuffing.” It is important to have your keywords appear in the text on your page, but sometimes you can go a little overboard in your enthusiasm to please those spiders.
A Search Engine uses what is called “Key Phrase Density” to determine if a site is trying to artificially boost their ranking. This is the ratio of keywords to the rest of the words on the page. Search Engines assign a limit to the number of times you can use a keyword before it decides you have overdone it and penalizes your site.
This ratio is quite high, so it is difficult to surpass without sounding as if you are stuttering – unless your keyword is part of your company name. If this is the case, it is easy for keyword density to soar.
So, if your keyword is “renters insurance,” be sure you don’t use this phrase in every sentence. Carefully edit the text on your site so that the copy flows naturally and the keyword is not repeated incessantly. A good rule of thumb is your keyword should never appear in more than half the sentences on the page.
The final potential risk factor is known as cloaking. To those of you who are diligent Trekkies, this concept should be easy to understand. For the rest of you? Cloaking is when the server directs a visitor to one page and a Search Engine spider to a different page.
The page the spider sees is “cloaked” because it is invisible to regular traffic, and deliberately set-up to raise the site’s Search Engine Ranking. A cloaked page tries to feed the spider everything it needs to rocket that page’s ranking to the top of the list.
It is natural that Search Engines have responded to this act of deception with extreme enmity, imposing steep penalties on these sites. The problem on your end is that sometimes pages are cloaked for legitimate reasons, such as prevention against the theft of code, often referred to as “page jacking.” This kind of shielding is unnecessary these days due to the use of “off-page” elements, such as link popularity, that cannot be stolen.
To be on the safe side, be sure that your webmaster is aware that absolutely no cloaking is acceptable. Make sure the webmaster understands that cloaking of any kind will put your website at great risk.
Just as you must be diligent in increasing your link popularity and your ranking, you must be equally diligent to avoid being unfairly penalized. So be sure to monitor your site closely and avoid any appearance of artificially boosting your rankings.
With everything going on right now between the Coronavirus and the economy right now, there is still an opportunity. Automotive dealers can certainly focus on the digital marketing aspect for their location. Take the time to focus on how to generate more traffic, leads and fill the funnel for when things get back. While the time is slow expanding some new skills is a great idea and here are some SEO tips to focus on for your dealership website! Here are some tips to help out!
Website Load Speed
Website load speed is the most important factor you should focus on right now when it comes to a dealership web site.
Load speed is integral. We’ve seen it over the last couple of years based on Google feedback. We now estimate load speed being about fifteen to twenty percent of an internal SEO build for any site and it’s making a huge difference.
Google and search engines want your page to be smaller and load faster to help with those data rates. These help people load those mobile responsive dealership websites. They go right onto their phones quickly and get information even faster. Website load speed is firing dealerships up in organic rankings. Getting the more website traffic and getting them those valuable lead conversions that they’re looking for- gaining them customers.
So it doesn’t matter what you’re doing on SEO whether with one automotive web site vendor or another. Having your website load really, really quickly is something that you should focus on when getting your automotive web site developed. If you already have a website, go take a look at the images, make them a little bit smaller. Also, make sure you’re running fewer queries on that site and speed up that load speed.
Google Map Locations
The next tip is straight forward. Make sure you have a map location built within Google Maps. We’ve been testing creating and correcting with Automotive SEO for a couple of years now and there’s a huge correlation between businesses that have a physical location and a Google Maps location or Bing’s location built. Search engines want to see that you have a physical address that your dealership is a building and that is creating business for people in a local market. So whenever you’re working on a website, whenever you’re trying to get that organic reach, start by getting a Google Maps location.
Get that Google My Business profile started. Fill it out completely and make sure as the last tip that everything in your Maps location, everything in those directories, matches your website contact page spot for spot.
Make sure the address is the same, make sure that the phone number is the same, everything is the exact same. It’s going to help more authority. Come to your website and move you up in both in organic rankings on search engines as
well as organic rankings on Google Maps, Bing Maps, etc. Lastly, tip number three-you may have heard of this one before but it’s still really important.
Web Site Meta Descriptions
30 to 40% of automotive websites still don’t have unique meta descriptions. Now it’s more than just meta descriptions. It’s all the internal parts, all the technical parts of your internal SEO build on a website. Your meta descriptions on individual pages, your page titles, your alt text behind the pictures posted. Everything that you can do to help your website grow. Now, there’s a ton of analytic tools out there.
The pillar of your SEO is built that allows you to start working on that external SEO, those citations those backlinks, everything else you need to do to increase your domain’s authority comes after you do that internal build.
If you are interested in having some assistance with your web site – contact me anytime – firstname.lastname@example.org. I am here to help your dealership out!
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