It’s almost Halloween, so we thought we’d share some scary examples of things that auto dealers love to do on their websites… even though every example is awful for SEO and user experience, we see them all the time. Sit back and watch this week’s video and learn what NOT to do on your dealer website.
Welcome back to another Tuesday tip Video Clip. I spoke in Houston yesterday at the Digital Dealer Workshop, and part of my presentation shared some common SEO and user experience pitfalls that far too many auto dealers have on their sites. Since it’s almost Halloween, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of these scary examples of what NOT to do on your website.
Number one – no home page content. In most cases, your home page is the first thing that people will see on your website. You should have great info there – including your address, phone number, an embedded Google map, and some well-written text that talks about your dealership. It’s important for your customers to be able to quickly find out more info about you, and it’s extremely vital to have good info there for the search engines to crawl.
But… we still see tons of dealers that have zero content on their page. If your home page is nothing but a slideshow and a few vehicle photos, you’re doing it wrong!
Number two – only having a few sentences on a page. Again – potential customers are on your site to find out more about you and what you offer. If someone comes to your service page, they want to know about your service department, about your techs, about your bays, about your hours, and so on. If they’re hitting your finance page, tell them about what you do, and how you get people approved, and what banks you work with… If they visit your warranty page, talk about what warranties you sell, why they’re important, and what’s different about them.
Woah, that lightning is SCARY… if you only have 2 sentences on a page, and it just says “hey, we have stuff – call us for details on what we have” – you’re doing it wrong!
Number three – default page text. This topic is all the rage recently on automotive forums… When a dealer signs up for a new site with a website provider, the provider is going to give that dealer default text on the site pages, so that the site isn’t empty. It’s up to the DEALER to go in and update that text and make it more personalized and unique. It’s just not feasible for a provider who’s setting up thousands of websites to write unique content for thousands of finance or warranty or about us pages.
So if you’ve got default content on a page, you need to log in to your provider and change it! Here’s an example – I took the first sentence on this site’s warranty page and copied it, then searched for it in Google inside of quotes, so Google would only return exact matches for the phrase. Over 5,000 websites had the EXACT SAME SENTENCE.
Number four – spamming cities, makes, and models. Ok y’all – it’s time to stop trying to fool the nerds at Google. EVERYTHING that you put on your website should be there because it provides a better user experience.
Listing out a boatload of cities or cars at the bottom of your home page doesn’t help your customers, and it’s going to do ZERO for you in Google. In fact, if you do it too much, it could get you penalized. It doesn’t work – you’re not going to rank high in every city in your state just because you’ve got them listed at the bottom of your home page. Stop doing it – it just makes you look ignorant.
Number five – stop shoving everything you can into title tags. Your title tag is the info that shows up above the address bar in your browser. It’s what will usually show up in Google search results as your clickable link text. It should be a quick summary of the page contents, and it’s a hugely important factor in your SEO. You should have your primary keyword phrase at the beginning, a secondary phrase after that, and your dealership name at the end. That’s it. Anything longer than 500 pixels in width will be truncated – or “cut off” – if it’s displayed on Google. If you put 87 words up there, you’re doing it wrong. It won’t help your SEO and it will make you look like a moron to customers.
So – that was the top 5 scary things that dealers do all the time on their websites. We hope you enjoyed this week’s Halloween themed video, and as always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them down below. Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you again next week.