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.
However, with the right approach to the website content, you can accomplish both in one fell swoop.
When we say website content, we’re not talking about blogs or anything involving a content marketing strategy. We’re talking about the content on your homepage, your About Us page, service page and other internal pages—the pages that typically come standard with every website, regardless of the provider.
If you want to drive people to your website and successfully turn those visitors into customers, the solution is two-fold: You must generate unique and compelling content about your dealership that is first and foremost written for your customers, but that is also strategically optimized for search.
SEO is Not the Only Thing That Matters Anymore
A few years back, before Google started improving their algorithms, dealership website content was truly awful. Most providers were writing it exclusively for the search engines, which meant that just about every internal page was jam packed with 20 city targets and the model name of every vehicle under the sun.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, much of it was copied and pasted from other dealership websites, with nothing but the dealership name and target cities swapped out to fit the website. Not only was the content duplicate and virtually unreadable, but it provided absolutely no value to customers on the website.
The majority of automotive website providers have since toned it down on the keyword stuffing, but there are still a shocking number of providers that utilize the same homepage and About Us page content on every single one of the websites that they build—again, with the exception of the name and target cities.
The concern here is not so much with duplicate content penalties, but with the fact that using the same content as hundreds of other dealerships does absolutely nothing to set you apart.
Online prices are competitive, and often, there might be just a few hundred dollars difference between dealerships. With that in mind, more car buyers are researching the dealerships themselves to determine where they want to buy their next car, or service their current one. They are looking at reviews, and reading the content on the website to make their final decision. It’s exactly why you should be utilizing the homepage and other crucial pages to help sway potential customers.
Tips for Writing Compelling Website Content
Here at DealerFire, for every new website that we build, we ask a set of questions that helps us to learn a bit more about the dealership that we’re working with. This helps us generate unique content that is specific to that dealership, and that helps customers to truly learn what the dealership has to offer them.
One of the questions in that question set is: “Name at least two items that set your dealership apart from the local competition.” We typically expand on this by mentioning that special programs, uniquely-stocked vehicles and community involvement are all great answers, but usually, we get the same response:
Free coffee. Free cookies. Free wi-fi. Free car washes with every service visit.
Everyone loves a free cookie, but that is not something that is going to help people to connect with your brand, because every dealership has free cookies. Every dealership puts the customer first. People can see straight through those stereotypical lines, and they are not doing your website any favors at all.
If you really want to stand out, you should be telling your story. How long have your doors been open? What has been your secret to keeping them open for as long as you have? Are you family owned? What have you done in the community to give back to those who have helped to keep your lights on?
You are a car dealership. People already know that you sell and service cars. Tell them something new and center your homepage content and your About Us page around your story and your mission.
That said, mentions of your target cities, the models that you sell and the other services that you provide are absolutely justified in your website content. In fact, they’re welcomed, as they satisfy the SEO requirement of effective website content, and can help to bring searchers to your website.
Here are just some of the keywords that you should consider fitting into your website content:
- Dealership Name
- Actual Dealership Location
- Primary Target City
- Surrounding Target Cities
- Services You Offer (Service, Parts, etc.)
- Vehicle Types (New, Used, Certified, Cars, Trucks, Vans, etc.)
- Brand and Model Names
The trick is to make sure that those powerful keywords are presented in a natural way. Don’t just pack keywords in and call it a day. Write for your customers first, and the search engines second.
The Difference Between Writing for People and Search Engines
To illustrate this, and to show you true the power of content, let’s take a snippet of homepage content from a DealerFire website, and compare it to some copy (pun intended) from a fellow automotive website provider. We’ll start with some homepage content from a recently-launched DealerFire website:
At [Dealership Name], our mission is to make customers happy whether they buy a vehicle from us or not. Come right in off the beach and into the low-pressure low-stress world of [Dealership Name] vehicle sales. We have the cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs that you are looking for in [Target City]. Over our 14 years in business, we have created over 15,000 happy customers, and they keep coming back. We could tell you that it’s because we offer over 250 of the cleanest hand picked vehicles, or that it’s because of this staff that never fails to impress, but really we think it is because we do things the right way.
Name the last time that you heard of a car dealership throwing a block party, or how about giving out free skateboards to the community. That’s our mentality in a nutshell. If you see a dog roll by on a skateboard don’t be alarmed, that’s business as usual. Our financing options will give you the low rates that you have been looking for, and we even have a military discount.
If you are looking to sell your vehicle, then let us know because we are always looking to buy. [Dealership Name] is a family owned dealership that is oriented around the customer. Whether you are from [Target City], [Target City], [Target City], or simply from right here in [Target City], you should come to [Dealership Name] and take a look around. Let us show you what we have to offer, and let our down to earth beach attitude take the stress right off your shoulders.
This example perfectly embodies everything that effective website content should, as it meets both of the requirements that we laid out in the beginning. It is custom, unique content that tells you a lot about the dealership and how they operate in a creative way. It also checks all of the SEO boxes, as it includes a number of prime keywords, but fits them in so that they make sense with the content surrounding them.
For comparison, let’s take a look at some homepage content from a different website provider:
Are you wondering, where is [Dealership Name] or what is the closest Kia dealer near me? [Dealership Name] is located at [Dealership Address]. You can call our Sales Department at [Phone Number], Service Department at [Phone Number], or our Parts Department at [Phone Number]. Although [Dealership Name] in [Target City] is not open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – our website is always open. On our website, you can research and view photos of the new Kia models such as the Cadenza, Forte, K900, Niro, Niro EV, Niro Plug-In Hybrid, Optima, Optima Hybrid, Optima Plug-In Hybrid, Rio, Rio 5-Door, Sedona, Sorento, Soul, Soul EV, Sportage, Stinger or Telluride that you would like to purchase or lease. You can also search our entire inventory of new and used vehicles, value your trade-in, and visit our Meet the Staff page to familiarize yourself with our staff who are committed to making your visit to [Dealership Name] a great experience every time.
It’s easy to spot the difference. This a great example of content that was written exclusively for search engines. There is a keyword every five or so words, and it reads like a Mad Lib because that is exactly how it was designed to be used. It’s cookie-cutter content that could literally apply to any dealership.
Copy and paste the generic portions of that homepage content into Google and you’ll find that the same content has been pasted onto the homepage of literally hundreds of other dealership websites.
Let Us Hook You Up with Custom SEO Website Content
There are no automotive website providers out there who take custom, unique content as seriously as we do at DealerFire. We have a team of more than 30 college-educated Content Specialists, two of whom are dedicated to writing the content for every single one of our new website launches.
They take the answers from the question set that we mentioned earlier, and create content that is unique to your dealership—content that helps to set you apart from the rest of the dealerships out there, and that helps your customers to understand why they should do business with you. The dynamic duo of Website Content Specialists also fit in all of those essential keywords to ensure that your website content and website as a whole has that SEO edge right out of the box.
Our one-of-a-kind approach to website content is just one of the many things that we do differently. To learn more about our custom-written website content and all of the other advantages that we provide here at DealerFire, we encourage you to schedule a demo today.