Welcome back to another Tuesday Tip Video Clip. This week, we’re going to talk about how your dealership shows up in Google. We get questions all the time from dealers who wonder why their dealer website isn’t showing up in Google. They don’t understand why the podunk dealer up the road with the cruddy building and the ugly cars is showing up but they’re not.
There are only 10 spots on page one, and unless you’re in a really small town, there are WAY more than 10 dealers that want to be there. In some cities, hundreds of dealers are fighting for those top 10 spots. When somebody searches Google, Google tries to show them the most relevant results to what they’re searching for. So how do you make YOUR site the most relevant for users?
I’m going to walk you through what we look at when these dealers call and ask why they’re not ranking. There are 4 areas we look at, and usually, it’s a combination of 2 or 3 of these areas that cause them not to show up.
1) Site Content – You’ve got to have great content on your site. You need unique, relevant text that lets people know who you are and what you do. If you don’t have any text on your home page that talks about your dealership, that’s VERY bad for SEO. If your about us page has a stock image and 3 or 4 generic sentences about how you sell cars and treat customers right, that doesn’t make your site very unique.
So what can you do? Log in to your website’s back end and update your content! Make sure you’ve got great content on your home page, and make your other internal pages unique and useful. Remember, potential customers are going to look at multiple dealer websites before calling you or filling out a form – you need to provide an awesome user experience to get those leads!
2) Links – Links are still one of the most important factors in Google’s algorithm. Links are like votes saying that you’ve got a worthwhile site. Back in the olden days, like five years ago, it used to be purely a numbers game. Then a bunch of jerks figured out how to cheat the system with link farms and paid links and ruined everything for the good guys. Now, your links must be relevant, and they need to come from good quality sites. A lot of the time, when I check out a dealer’s link profile, they don’t have any links at all… or they just have 2 or 3. If you aren’t ranking well, use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer to check out the links that your competitors have – and see how you compare.
3) Citations – Citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites. Put simply, your dealership needs to be where Google expects it to be. It’s also important that your name, address, and phone number are consistent everywhere they appear online. Most dealers don’t do much with their citations, and that’s why the dealers that DO get good citations rank really well in local searches. If you spell your dealership name three different ways on your home page and don’t list your address correctly, your ranking is going to suffer.
Use Moz Local to check your major citation sources. You’ll get a nice graph that shows your citation status, as well as tips on how to optimize existing listings.
You can also get more advanced with Whitespark, a tool that allows you to find all existing citations based on your current phone number. It also allows you to find new opportunities based on keywords, or check your competitors citations by running their phone numbers
4) Number of cars – Sometimes, honestly, it’s just the number of cars on your lot. If you’re a small dealer in a competitive market, the deck is stacked against you. If you’ve got 15 to 20 cars, it’s going to be tough to rank higher than the guys that have 40 or 50 cars… and especially hard to beat the guys with more than 100. Remember – Google is trying to provide the most relevant results to what the user is searching for. If you don’t have many cars, Google will not see you as relevant as the dealer up the street with 75.
There you have it – if you’re wondering why your dealership isn’t ranking well in local searches, take a step back and look at these 4 areas… it’s likely that a few of these are playing together to keep you from ranking higher. Virtual high five – you just learned something new! Check out our past Tuesday Tip Video Clips or our free guides for more information about how to fix any issues you might have, or leave us questions or comments below, and we’ll do our best to help!
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you again next week.