Search for “cars” on Google, and at the top of the results page, you’ll find a map that shows as many as three car dealerships within a few-mile radius. Conduct the same exact search from the other side of town, and you’ll find that the three listed dealerships are completely different.
The whole purpose of Google is to address searchers’ queries as quickly and efficiently as possible, and on the local level, the algorithm factors the searcher’s location into the results. In addition to showing businesses that are nearby, Google also wants to make sure that searchers have a positive experience at those businesses, so the search engine is selective when it comes to their results.
To determine the best businesses to list, Google looks at over 200 ranking signals to ensure that the results are the best that they can be. Many of these signals come directly from the businesses’ websites, but there are also several signals outside the websites that are considered, such as online directory listings, citations, backlinks and customer reviews to name a few.
This Google map module is called the “Local 3-pack.”
As a dealership, you want to make sure that you are showing up in local searches, and doing so has all to do with building your local SEO. With over 200 ranking signals to consider, it is impossible to capitalize on them all, but what you can do is work on the ones that have been proven to boost site performance in the local sphere.
Approaching Your Dealership’s Site With An SEO Mindset
The internet was a vastly different place only a decade ago. Responsive websites were extremely rare, design principles were largely lacking, and boosting your site’s rankings took little more than adding a slew of keywords into the code. Even though website technology and search engine algorithms are increasingly-complex, there’s still a vestigial understanding of just how SEO works and it’s easy to fall back on outdated practices.
But what exactly were these practices? Most of the old SEO techniques were attempts to game the system, and since the algorithms were simpler, it was easier to get quick results. There was a much stronger relationship between meta keywords, heading tags, and organic positions of a website. Of course, this meant sites with thin content and a high saturation of keywords outperformed sites with quality content in many instances. Thankfully, it’s no longer enough to simply create content for search engines. Read the rest of this entry >>
“Create content for the user, not the search engines.”
You hear this a lot in content marketing circles. And it’s undeniably solid advice. But the “create content for the reader” approach is only part of the story. SEO is still very much alive in content marketing, even if it doesn’t transfer as heavily to the written words themselves. Read the rest of this entry >>
Moving to a new website provider – or even redesigning your current site – can be a scary thing in any industry. In the complex world of automotive websites, the intensity reaches another level.
Automotive dealer websites have a lot of moving parts. First and foremost, when you switch sites, you don’t want any lag in business. You rely on your site to engage customers and push valuable leads through in a timely manner. Any lapse could mean lost sales. And besides simply being live, you’ll want to make sure all pricing, incentives, rebates, forms, CTAs, CRM integration, inventory feeds – everything – is working properly so the transition is seamless to the customer and your internal processes. Read the rest of this entry >>
The internet has completely changed the ballgame for dealerships. Nowadays, getting people through the doors often requires getting them on the website first. That in itself can be a feat. Taking it to the next step and convincing those website visitors to buy a car from you ramps up the difficultly factor even more.
As we speed through the second quarter of 2019, we’re reminded of where DealerFire was during this exact same time period a decade ago. At that time, we had just begun extending our reach into the automotive vertical, and had finally stopped creating websites for gas stations, clothing boutiques, and chocolatiers (no, seriously, this was a thing). In fact, it was our budding relationship with Toyota that ultimately tipped the scales on our development. In early 2009, we recieved our first-ever OEM certification with Toyota and haven’t looked back. Since then, we’ve accumulated 16 OEM website and digital advertising certifications, and will re-launch the Toyota program (along with Lexus) over the next few weeks. It’s an exciting time at DealerFire, and we want to make sure we always remember where we started and our first OEM partnership.
We have a lot to talk about in this month’s edition of Spark Notes. We had some great feature releases, and some partnership announcements. We’ve also announced dates for our upcoming 2019 User Summit, the first time we’ve held the event since 2016. Read on to get the scoop on all things DealerFire in May.
Each month, we host an internal #allhands meeting to announce some of our most impactful enhancements over the past four weeks. While we’re really good at making sure our employees know what’s going on with the DealerFire products, we haven’t been so good at making sure our customers are informed. This is why we’re starting Spark Notes – a monthly email newsletter that dives deep into our product enhancements from the previous month. As well as a brief snapshot into the upcoming initiatives that we’re really excited about.
Does the initialism GMB mean anything to your dealership?
If not, you’re going to want to investigate. GMB refers to Google My Business, the information listing that is offered up by Google from information you provide about your business. If you aren’t interacting with it weekly – or worse, haven’t even claimed it – you’re going to want to make that happen quickly.
DealerFire is Continuing its Long-Running Relationship with Toyota North America
2011. That was the year that DealerFire earned its first OEM certification for websites with Toyota Motor Company. Back then, OEM certifications were still being fleshed out, with many requirements in various forms of completion, as well as webservices, integrations and compliance. Toyota really jumped on the opportunity though, developing great processes to ensure vendor success. It was especially important to us, as we were a small, scrappy web development company that had no OEM relationships up until that point. We had something to prove and Toyota gave us an amazing opportunity to show what we have been working on for almost a decade. Read the rest of this entry >>
Now that the dust from NADA San Francisco has settled, it’s onto the spring automotive digital gauntlet – starting with Digital Dealer 26 in Orlando. While DealerFire has always had a nice booth presence at the show, we’re especially excited to announce that we’ll also be sponsoring a featured speaking presentation!
What Can You Expect From Digital Dealer 26?
There are over 50 different automotive/digital-specific trade shows throughout the year. That type of variety is great, but it doesn’t allow for much content focus, especially for digital marketing. At Digital Dealer 26, the sessions promise to promote digital marketing and advertising at the dealership, with a special focus on mobile optimization. Read the rest of this entry >>