s a manager at a dealership, you get bombarded with offers to improve your traffic, leads, and conversions. Most vendors offer the same techniques in various packages. The vast majority provide third-party leads, while some generate first-generation leads. Many focus on PPC campaigns, ads on classified sites, or social media advertising. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy many dealers under-utilize because they do not understand its benefits. What SEO offers isn’t flashy, but it can make a significant difference for your bottom line if you incorporate it correctly. 

If you’re reading this, you likely have a few PPC ads running on Google and the Yahoo Bing Network. Have you noticed, though, that your ads never appear on the first page of a search? Or, if they do, your website is always on the third or fourth page of a search result? The reason so many other ads and websites have better positions is due to their excellent page rank. Page rank is the number search engine bots assign to websites and advertisements based on their overall quality. (PPC ads call this a quality score.) This number includes factors as technical as page load time and as versatile as fresh, original content. A website or ad with a low page rank gets pushed farther back on a search. It is important to remember the effect of page rank because most consumers never go beyond the second page of a search. If they cannot find what they want, they start a new search with other keywords.

  • image121
  • image8
  • image7

Small Business Advertising

When you add SEO to your marketing strategies, your store’s website has the potential to increase its page rank. A website that has a higher page rank influences the quality score of its PPC campaigns. Even if you only care about pushing your ads to the first page of a search result, SEO can inadvertently help you reach that goal. Rather than increasing the number of ads or bidding, SEO focuses on content. Not just any content, though; more VDPs won’t move the needle. The best content is that which anticipates what potential buyers will want to see and read. 

A few blog-style articles about the car buying process, how to lease a vehicle, and best practices for a trade-in can make a significant difference for your site. You might think to yourself, well, that information is readily available on other websites. As a dealership, your focus is moving iron, not making auto buying more transparent. Shoppers will find this information one way or another. Doesn’t it make more sense to have it readily available on your site, though? If nothing else, it increases the traffic to your store’s site, which, in turn, contributes to more first-generation leads. You’re not losing anything by adding SEO; instead, you’re incorporating more creativity into your online presence. 

So the next time a web SEO company cold calls, have a listen. Now that you know what is possible, it is worth finding out what they offer. You might discover that this is the missing ingredient to your current marketing strategy. With an improved page rank, you will quickly discover an increase in high-quality traffic and leads. Considering how competitive the automotive industry is, anything to help you get ahead worth adding to your toolkit.