So you have a general understanding that SEO is important but aren’t sure how to go about creating a plan. Start by breaking down what SEO is. There is on-page SEO and off-page SEO. Separating your SEO plan into these two parts can help you break down the process into smaller, more manageable chunks. So, let’s learn about what on-page and off-page SEO are.
What is Automotive SEO?
Automotive SEO is the strategy you use to help search engines know where to place your website. Searchers enter a phrase or term into the query box, and then the search engine presents a list of results. The goal of the search engine is to understand the search intent and display relevant and helpful results. An effective SEO strategy helps your automotive business website perform better in search engine rankings.
Using SEO tools is useful because it simplifies the process. Start by performing an SEO audit because even if you aren’t doing anything, your website probably has some level of performance. You need to know where you’re starting so that you can figure out where you’re going. You can perform your audit by using online tools, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, or hiring an SEO professional.
How Do On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO Effect Search Performance?
Search engine optimization is about having your website perform better on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Page ranking factor is determined by a long list of factors that all contribute to an algorithm. Web pages appear in the search results in an order that the search engine thinks will best suit the user intent. Your site SEO strategy should include a broad range of on and off-page SEO factors to ensure you address all of the different factors considered.
What is On-Page SEO?
The on-page SEO checklist for your automotive marketing campaign should have elements that you can control. This includes the different parts of your website. If it’s on your web pages, then it’s on-page SEO.
Search queries are referred to as keywords. These are what you’ll need to target in your content. However, targeting keywords has gotten more sophisticated. You can no longer target short one and two word long keywords and think you’ll have success. Instead, you should look for long-tail keywords. These are sentences, phrases, and questions. You should also have more than one target keyword for each blog post. Use LSI keywords, which are keywords that are related and adjacent to your primary targeted keyword. Focus on keyword density; you want to use the words, but not too much.
Keep meta titles to a maximum of 70 characters. Avoid duplicating title tags. Each page should have its own unique page title. While you can have titles that are longer than 70 characters, they may get cut short in the search engine results. Keep titles enticing and engaging while also being relevant to your automotive business.
Heading & ALT Tags
A solid wall of text on the page will look awful. It’s also confusing for search engine crawlers. Using alt text and header tags is a must. An H1 tag is for the title, H2, H3, H4, and so on are for your subheadings. This visually breaks up the text for the human reader. It also helps the crawlers know what the content is about.
The meta description is a small detail but an important one in your digital marketing strategy. It should be a short summary of what the content on the page is about. While the meta description isn’t directly considered in the algorithm, it is what appears under the web page’s title. So what you right needs to make sense for the human reader. You want to give them an accurate and enticing understanding of what the content is about without misleading them.
When writing your content, think about the other content you have written. This is your opportunity to create internal links. A strong internal linking structure helps people navigate your website. Don’t just blindly write blog posts. Instead, create a plan for your content. Start by choosing a topic. Then have one primary page or post that will act as your pillar post or content. This will be long but not very detailed. Then, create more detailed blog posts about specific topics within the pillar post. You can then link these posts to the pillar post and each other to create a spider web effect.
There are three types of snippets, regular, rich, and featured. A snippet is a brief blurb from your website that shows up on the Google search results page. Modern SEO best practices say that you should include snippets in your content production. Using more detailed schema markup can help you gain more search engine results page real estate. This is essential for gaining more attention for your new content.
Regular snippets are the title, URL, and blurb that you see for each search result. A rich snippet is a more detailed listing. In addition to the regular snippet information, it also has things like product details, reviews, and availability. All of this extra information means that this entry will take up more visual space on the page than a regular listing. Finally, there are featured snippets. These are the most valuable because they are the most noticeable. Your featured snippet would appear at the top of the page before the first regular snippet. Typically, these are a snapshot from a website that Google considered the most helpful. For example, you Google, “where to buy a car near me?” Below is a screenshot of the rich snippet that appears in the search results. Each of these questions is similar to the question that other people ask that is similar to the search query. You can click on each and get a fast answer without ever leaving the search results page.
A strong SEO strategy doesn’t forget that the whole point is to engage your target audience. You could do everything right when it comes to page optimization, but if you forget the human element, you’ll ultimately fail. The user experience is about what someone visiting your website experiences. It includes load time, page speed, overall site speed, and page URLs. People access websites through their mobile devices, so you’ll need to consider the responsiveness of your website. While you could try to code your own HTML, no one has time for that. Instead, look for a webpage template that is already responsive. This simplifies things. Page load time is also critical because you depend on cell phone networks to timely load your website. If it takes too long, people won’t wait and move on to another search result.
If you have a WordPress website, then optimizing your website becomes easier. You can use plugins to optimize your website and how it functions. Yoast is well known for simplifying the optimization process of your blog posts and web pages. It can even help you create structured data and proper URL structure. It’s also helpful to use a plugin that can reduce the file size of your assets, such as documents and images. Creating clear file names and URL strings makes it easier for someone to navigate your website.
What is Off-Page SEO?
The off-page part of your auto dealership content marketing campaign is the elements that are outside of your website but still online. This includes managing your online presence, local business profile, link building, and mentions. SEO best practices will tell you to focus on developing outbound links from authoritative websites that point to your homepage and content pages of your website.
These types of links are highly valued because they are notoriously difficult to get. These links are not paid, traded, or asked for. You can organically attract these types of backlinks by consistently producing high-quality content. Focus your automotive content on topical and timely content. Aim for authoritative content about cars, trucks, or parts that includes data to back up your content.
You can’t sit back and wait for your car content to attract attention. Sometimes, link building requires you to get involved and promote it. This goes beyond sharing your new content on social media. Reach out to topically and industry relevant websites and request that they link back to your website. This lets you have more control over the type of website that links to yours and the anchor text used for the link. Typically, websites will want something in return for the link. While paying money is against Google’s user agreement, you could offer to write a guest post or trade for a link from your website to theirs.
These are essentially the links that you create yourself. For example, you register your automotive business on a directory website. Or perhaps you create social media accounts for your car dealership. Maybe you make a business profile for your mechanics shop so that local people searching can easily find your business homepage. These backlinks are good but not as important or influential as the other type. So while there’s some value, don’t solely depend on them.
There was a time when Google and other search engines heavily relied on links. The crawlers would use the links as a road infrastructure system to navigate from one website to another. Over the years, search engines have adjusted the importance and use of external links when it comes to determining a website’s SEO performance. These days, It isn’t about getting as many backlinks as possible. Instead, focus on curating a backlink profile that features topically relevant, industry-relevant, and authoritative referring domains. Additionally, ensure that each piece of content is high quality to ensure others want to link to it.
Getting backlinks from relevant websites is about more than just better SEO performance. It’s also a method for increasing traffic, which can lead to acquiring new customers. For example, you own a car dealership, and you get a backlink from a mommy blogger who focuses on writing cooking recipes. While you may get some traffic, how often do you think someone looking for a chicken recipe is also looking to buy a new Chevy? This is a lot of effort for minimal ROI.
Instead, an auto financing company, auto blogger, or national auto magazine website would provide a more topical backlink. Someone looking for auto financing is definitely interested in purchasing a vehicle. Or someone researching the latest models would be easier to convince it’s time to purchase. The click-through rate (CTR) will be higher, and you’ll experience more conversions. This makes the ROI more profitable.
Establishing your automotive brand can help bolster your online marketing strategy. People who know your brand are more likely to see it out directly. This improves your SEO performance and signals to Google that people know who your business is. Focus on what your brand message and keep it consistent throughout all of your marketing. This helps people to recognize your content and trust the message you’re sending.