If you run a car dealership, it’s pretty important to have a website and local listings that can rank high in search engine result pages (SERPs). After all, your digital presence is the number one way that potential customers find businesses they want to interact with these days. But your website also needs to be optimized so that customers can easily find you whenever they're looking to buy a car or have their vehicle serviced.
So how do you do so? In this guide, we look at how search engine optimization (SEO) can help your automotive website improve its digital rankings and bring more customers to your car dealership. Let’s get started!
1. SEO Legitimizes the Business
When you run a car dealership, it may seem like all of your focus goes into selling cars. But the truth is, you need to work hard to make your business appear legitimate, especially if you want to compete with other local car dealerships. That's why you create a website in the first place!
However, your website can then be optimized to make your business look as legitimate as possible. This is where SEO comes in handy. By using SEO, you can rank your site higher in search engine results. This makes it more likely that your site will be viewed, and it will make your business appear more legitimate.
2. SEO Increases the Number of Referral Customers
It's a well-known fact that once people have bought a new car, they will likely refer their friends to the same dealership - especially if they’ve had a great experience. The same can be said if it's a matter of servicing or repairing the vehicle. Once people have received quality service, they're more likely to recommend it to someone else. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to both refer others to your business and for potential customers to read your positive reviews online when they’re in the decision-making phase of their buying journey.
Ranking high for certain keywords in search engines is the quickest way to do that. In fact, websites like Yelp have been known to rank higher than local car dealerships because of SEO. With this in mind, you should optimize your website for referrals and testimonials regarding your business.
3. SEO Puts the Car Dealership on the Map
Local listings like Craigslist and Yelp have been known to make a huge impact on car dealership sales. In fact, these sites have been known to make a bigger impact on car dealership sales than local newspapers and publications. The reason why these sites are so effective is that they target the most popular search engines, including Google and Yahoo. Even if your website doesn't rank higher than your competitors, you can still increase your site traffic by using these sites.
4. SEO Allows You to Bring in Customers from Everywhere
Even if your business is a car dealership in a small town, SEO can help you bring in customers from all over the country. People want to buy new cars, and they’ll often travel surprisingly far for the right car at the right price. But they might not drive far enough on a daily basis to find your dealership in the first place. That's where SEO comes in. By ranking your website high in search engine results, you can bring in customers from across the country without having to drive very far.
You can do that by optimizing your website for certain keywords. If you target keywords that aren't local, you will either bring in customers from other states/provinces or even other countries. For example, if you're located in Kansas, but your site ranks high for "Toronto Used Cars," you will bring in potential customers from all over the Toronto area. Then you can meet with customers virtually to work out vehicle pickup or delivery.
5. SEO Increases Your Site Traffic
SEO helps bring more customers to your business. However, SEO isn't just about driving customers to your site. It's also essential to get more people to come back to your site time after time, as this signals to search engines that your website is active and worthwhile. One simple way to do this is by having a blog and a subscription page. This way, you can keep your customers coming back to your site over and over again, even if it’s not to shop.
It's also important to make sure your site is user-friendly, especially if you plan on using your site to assist in vehicle sales. Customers are not going to continue using your site if it crashes every time they try to look at a car or if they can’t easily find the information they need. At the end of the day, customers want an easy-to-use website that is worth their time.
The Bottom Line
SEO helps your car dealership stand out from the competition and even increases new and used car sales and vehicle services. Whether the goal is to bring in customers from across the country or you're looking to get more people to come back to your website over and over again, SEO is the key to all of it.
As with any other business, you need a partner that will put your company on the map. FlexDealer is here to help car dealerships grow and succeed in the retail auto industry. We take what already makes your dealership unique and amplify it to vehicle shoppers who are ready to buy. Treat us as your very own car dealer marketing firm. Contact us today to get started!