Customers Are Searching. Are You Being Found? - AutoSuccessOnline

Customers Are Searching. Are You Being Found?

If you want to generate more high-quality leads, you need an effective SEO strategy, and that begins with high-quality content.

Welcome to 2022, where the disruptive uncertainty of the last two years has left dealerships in search of any competitive advantage they can find. While such a need provides bountiful opportunities within the vendor space, it’s imperative that dealers retain a sense of perspective, favoring time-proven strategies over flash-in-the-pan promises. And yes … that’s coming from a vendor. 

Now, let me be clear. This isn’t a case of saying, “we’re right, and the other guys are wrong.” This is simply an endorsement of risk mitigation. So, recognizing the surplus of variables that are already working against dealers in the new year, let’s focus on the fundamental component of generating high-quality leads from your website. That’s right; we’re talking about organic search engine optimization (SEO), more specifically: content. 

Content is King

We’ve all heard it before, but, as with any sentiment of merit, it endures as a result of its truth. From prospective car buyers to service customers, the demands of the general consumer on dealerships are relatively universal. Buyers are in search of trustworthiness and expertise, and many will assess your dealership long before they set foot on your lot (if they set foot on your lot). Their assessment will be steered by your online presence, which — from site pages to social media — is based around the quality of your content. 

Search Yourself

Any dealer site worth its salt overflows with comprehensive model pages, consumer-minded comparisons and insightful blog posts. They also include a variety of pages, from landing pages to the About Us page, designed to make the best possible first impression and reinforce a dealer’s image as an authoritative resource. Unfortunately, any cursory audit of sites out there reveals that’s the exception, not the rule. Simply put, most content found on dealer sites suck — minimizing their presence in local search. Even worse, most dealers don’t know they’re affected by subpar content, while others don’t even care. So which are you?

Common Dealer Missteps

It doesn’t matter if you outsource your content or attempt to write it in-house; there are fundamental pitfalls that must be avoided. Dealers everywhere write sizable checks every month for content that does nothing to meet their goals. Anyone can churn out a 250-word blog post, but if it’s not reflective of what you want (or unknowingly need) to rank for, what’s the point? Does it meet Google’s standards in terms of word count? If not, Google won’t serve it up when local car buyers perform a search. Does it anticipate why they performed that search and provide an informative answer to that query? If not, it’s worthless to them and diminishes your credibility. Is your content attractive and easy to navigate? These are all critical factors you need to be aware of, so let me ask you … 

“Does Your Content Suck?”

It might, depending on how guilty it is of any (or all) of those things. The good news? If it does suck, you’ve diagnosed the problem. The next step is to build an intimate understanding of what is needed to fix it. You’ll need to:
1. Have a thorough keyword strategy. 
2. Have a consistent word count. 
3. Have a genuine understanding of your audience and their intent.
4. Avoid common publishing errors.
5. Simplify your site navigation. 

These five metrics may not be as sexy as the newest third-party tool promising turnkey solutions but remember: a performance engine is sexy, but it’s worthless if it’s bolted to a rusted-out frame. 

Content = Sales 

In today’s digital landscape, your long-term objectives are best achieved by offering local car buyers the most streamlined, informative and trustworthy experience. If you want to generate more high-quality leads, you need an effective SEO strategy, and that begins with high-quality content.

If you’re looking for a better understanding of the metrics outlined above, we encourage you to watch our free video series, Just the Tip, which asks the very question of “Does Your Content Suck?” and helps dealers understand the actionable steps they can take to fix the problem. Be sure and check it out (if you’re interested in a real competitive advantage, that is).

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