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5 Automotive SEO Best Practices For Driving Business In 2022

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5 Automotive SEO Best Practices For Driving Business In 2022

Whether you’re managing a car and truck dealership, a tire shop, or any other type of automotive business, search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial ingredient in every impactful marketing campaign.

In fact, digital marketing spending now outpaces conventional advertising in many industries, including automotive.

Since 2015, automotive marketing experts have significantly increased their SEO budgets, while spending on traditional channels like TV remains flat or has even decreased throughout the automotive vertical.

Many shoppers begin serious auto searches on websites like EveryCarListed.com or TrueCar, and spend about 14 hours researching dealerships, pricing, and reviews before ever contacting a business like yours.

What’s more, a full 53% of mobile and desktop users click on organic search results rather than paid ads.

All these stats make one fact extremely clear: SEO is a set of tactics you can’t afford not to master in 2022.

However, automotive SEO isn’t a “set it and forget it” solution.

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Google changes its algorithm 500 to 600 times every year.

To stay on top of these changes – and at the top of Google’s search results – you’ve got to know what factors matter.

Ready to get started?

Let’s dive into the most powerful SEO techniques for car dealerships and other automotive businesses in 2022 – and explore how you can drive new potential customers straight to your website by making these practices part of your SEO strategy.

1. Develop Original Automotive SEO Content And Incorporate Rich Text Snippets

Although a website can be a powerful tool for reaching customers outside a dealership’s designated market area (DMA), It can be tricky to figure out exactly how much content to include on each page of your website.

You may have heard that Google prefers pages with 1,600 words or more – and while that’s certainly true for longer content like blog posts, most visitors aren’t going to read more than a few hundred words per page.

However, Google does prefer longer word counts for in-depth content like automotive blog posts.

While estimates differ, most experts put the ideal blog post length somewhere between 1,500 and 2,400 words.

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As a general rule, marketers agree you’ll be safe sticking with a length of around 1,600 words per post, give or take a few hundred words.

Posts of this length typically outperform shorter posts as long as they’re original, unique, and relevant (more on this under Technique #2 below).

And strikingly, this result holds true across all business types, including car dealerships and other automotive companies, and across all geographical locations worldwide.

When posting blogs and setting up web pages, you’ll want to ensure your web developer or SEO expert adds rich snippets.

Rich snippets are bits of code that tell Google which text to display when it summarizes a page in search results.

In combination with schema markup (described under Technique #4 below), rich snippets will make sure your pages stand out from the crowd, with visually striking messages that drive customers to click.

2. Incorporate Video SEO Into Your Marketing Strategy

If you’re in the car business, you know that video SEO is essential to reaching potential customers.

After all, car dealerships are one of the most popular categories on YouTube.

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And since YouTube is the second largest search engine, it’s important to make sure your videos are properly optimized to appear in search results.

Studies have shown that internet users are far more likely to watch a video than read a block of text. By optimizing your videos for search engines, you can dramatically increase your chances of being seen by potential customers.

Furthermore, videos are also more likely to be shared on social media, meaning that they have the potential to reach an even wider audience.

Luckily, you can follow a few simple tips to improve your car dealer video SEO.

  • First, make sure your videos are keyword-rich. Use relevant keywords in your title and description to help your videos rank higher in search results.
  • Second, keep your videos short and sweet. No one wants to watch a long, boring car commercial. Aim for two minutes or less.

3. Make Sure Your Entire Site Loads Beautifully On Mobile Devices

As of 2022, more than 57% of all online traffic (upward of 12 billion searches) comes from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

However, the average bounce rate is 51.6% for mobile users. This can happen when a page fails to load properly on their device – and most of those customers never come back for a second glance.

In other words, among the 18,000+ car dealerships and other automotive businesses in the US, those that fail to take mobile searches seriously are sacrificing more than half of their prospective customer base.

That’s a whole lot of profit margin to leave on the table.

The good news is that you can capture that market share for your own automotive business by deploying a gorgeous mobile version of your website.

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A reasonably skilled web developer can ensure your site automatically detects mobile browsers, recognizes each user’s screen dimensions, and adapts every page to look tailor-made for that individual’s display.

As more mobile users spend time on your site, your search rank will soon rise.

4. Add Autodealer Schema And Claim Your Google Business Profile

Lately, you may have noticed big detailed info boxes about local businesses popping up at the top of your Google search results.

These business profiles automatically pull information from a company’s Google Business Profile and display color photos of the business, a map with directions, and details like open hours, contact info, and even popular times to visit.

You can set up your own big colorful box by claiming your free Google Business Profile (GBP) – which only takes a few minutes.

Next, ask your web developer or automotive SEO expert to add schema markup to the top-visited pages on your website.

Schema markup code tells Google how to organize and display information it finds on your site, such as images, street addresses, open hours, and rich text snippets (explained in Technique #1 above).

In particular, make sure you add AutoDealer schema, which Google will use in combination with your Google business profile, to create a display box that’ll capture attention at the top of prospective customers’ search results.

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Once you have set up your Google Business Profile, remember to ask every delighted customer for a positive review.

Positive reviews will boost your local search ranking, contribute valuable social proof to your profile on search pages, and measurably increase your business’s likelihood of showing up in search results on Google Maps and other GPS apps.

5. Leverage Strategic Relationships For Link Building

The more third-party sites link to your pages, the more trustworthy and relevant your business looks to Google, particularly when those inbound links come from relevant keywords.

Inbound links, also known as “backlinks,” serve as the cornerstones of an effective link-building strategy, which can drive a flood of organic search traffic to your site if it’s done skillfully.

The principle is simple: Reach out to the owners of businesses and other organizations you work with, and ask them to link to specific pages on your site.

For example, if you want to drive traffic to a page titled “Miami Florida BMW Dealership,” you could ask a local auto parts distributor to add a link to your website and explain how they would benefit from doing so.

Obviously, link building can take some finessing.

Start by requesting inbound links from businesses and organizations in your local area whose opinions Google values extra highly when it comes to backlinks.

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For example, consider asking for inbound links from local charities and sports teams you support, and from suppliers you work with.

In short, it doesn’t take much to update your automotive SEO strategy for 2022 – just some original content, video and mobile optimization, Google Business Profile management, AutoDealer schema, and link building.

Master these techniques, and capture the lion’s share of the automotive market in your local area.

More resources:


Featured Image: iQoncept/Shutterstock

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7 Data-Driven Content Strategy Tips For Improving Conversions

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7 Data-Driven Content Strategy Tips For Improving Conversions

There’s an old maxim in the marketing world, “content is king.” This has been true as long as search engine optimization has been around, and probably dates back even further in the world of general marketing.

But as simple as that adage is, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation, namely what kind of content?

In those early SEO days, it meant identifying your keywords and jamming them into pages anywhere they would fit.

But modern digital marketers are smarter (not to mention that strategy doesn’t work anymore).

These days, successful content starts with a plan that’s backed up by numbers, a data-driven content strategy, if you will.

But what exactly does that mean?

In simple terms, it means developing content using an approach built on user information. This can include information like demographics, survey answers, consumer preferences, etc.

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You probably don’t need to be told why this is important, but just to make sure there’s no doubt, let’s be clear: Using a data-driven content strategy helps you decide where to spend your time, effort, and money.

In other words, you have finite resources. You don’t want to waste them on people who aren’t likely to convert.

A data-driven content strategy allows you to tailor your marketing campaigns to generate the best ROI.

For the purposes of search engine and PPC specialists, it can help you decide which keywords to go after, ensuring you’re targeting the right audience.

Sounds simple enough, right? All you need to do is pop open your content research tool and look for commonalities, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s a bit more to it than that.

But never fear, that’s why you’re here.

In this helpful guide, we’ll give you a step-by-step approach to developing, implementing, and optimizing your very own data-driven content strategy.

Ready to get started?

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1. Set Your Content Goals

The very first thing you need to decide is what you’re hoping to accomplish. You can’t be all things to all people, so you need to make some choices.

Do you want to increase traffic? Are you looking to make sales? Do you want more leads?

Determine what your content goals are and identify the channels best suited to meet them. Once you’ve done this, you can establish your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Be sure to keep this in mind while you’re creating content.

Everything you add to your website or campaign should serve a purpose. If you’re not sure what it’s doing, your audience won’t know either.

2. Define Your Target Audience

Now that you know what you’re trying to achieve, it’s time to figure out who to go after to make it happen.

Comb through the demographic data and other information you have access to. Spot commonalities that occur across many or some of your targets.

Many marketers find it helpful to create customer personas. Using your data, imagine a typical person for each of the various roles you’re targeting.

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For example, you may have a prospect persona, a lead persona, a buyer persona and a repeat persona.

Put yourself in the shoes of these imaginary people.

What type of language resonates with them? What is their highest level of education? Do they want professionalism or personability? Why are they on your website? What do they hope to accomplish with your help? Be as detailed as you can.

Many marketers even give them a name. For example, if you were creating personas for your plumbing supply company, you may have:

Lead Larry – 45 years old

A mid-career plumber, Lead Larry owns his own one-man business. He makes $75,000 a year. He went to a trade school and his work van is 6 years old. He’s looking for a way to reduce overhead and find cheaper parts than his local supply company. He values hard work, honesty, and professionalism.

Be as creative and detailed as you like, just remember this isn’t a fiction-writing exercise. You’re creating personas based on your typical target, so keep your persona in line with who they actually are.

3. Review Your Competitor’s Content And Do Topical Research

Now it’s time to take a look at what the competition is doing. Maybe they’re just flying by the seat of their pants, but they’re probably putting some effort into their campaigns, too.

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Review what they’re doing and look for what appears to be working.

For example, if they’re blogging, they may have a view counter on the page. If so, what type of blogs are getting the best results?

Look for trends in your industry. What’s everyone talking about? Is there a big trade show coming up? Or a new technology about to be released?

Figure out who you’re competing with for clicks, not just to see what’s working for them, but also to gain ideas for content of your own. Start making a list of things you want to cover.

If there are influencers in your niche, this is also a good time to check and see what they’re posting about.

4. Conduct Keyword Research

Once you’ve settled on what your content should be, it’s time to perform that old SEO staple: keyword research.

Using a tool like Google Analytics, Semrush, or something platform-specific like YouTube’s Search Insights, figure out the type of language your content needs to use.

This will help you in more than just the SEO aspect, too.

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Using keywords in your content demonstrates to your audience that you speak the same language they do. And that doesn’t mean English, it means using the nomenclature everyone in the niche will understand.

Going back to our plumbing supply example, that means referring to a product as a “three-fourths full port threaded ball valve,” rather than a “metal connection thingy.”

Okay, that’s a ridiculous example, but you get the point.

The good thing is that you probably already have a working, if not expert knowledge of this.

5. Create Content That Aligns With Your Goals

If you remember, the very first step to creating a data-driven content plan was to determine your goals.

Now, equipped with everything you’ve done since then, it’s time to create the content that addresses them.

Don’t be intimidated. You don’t have to be F. Scott Fitzgerald to write the kind of content your audience wants. And you’ve already done a lot of the foundational work – now it’s just time to put everything together.

Your content could take nearly any form, videos, blog posts, infographics, case studies, or white papers.

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If you’re not comfortable doing these on your own, it should be reasonably easy to find a writer or videographer in your area or extended network. Just ask your connections for recommendations.

If you’re still not confident in your ability to deliver or you can’t afford to hire someone, don’t worry. We have an excellent piece that will walk you through everything you need to know about content creation.

6. Promote Your Content On The Right Channels

You’ve created your masterpiece of relevant content. Now it’s time to share it with the world. But how do you do that? Do you just post it on your corporate blog and wait for Google to index it?

You could take that kind of passive approach, but this is great stuff you’ve just made. Everyone in your niche will want to consume it. And to make sure you get the eyes you want on it, it’s time to promote it.

But before you go linking to it on Facebook, Digg, LinkedIn, and every other social media platform and aggregator site you can think of, pause for a minute.

When you were developing your user personas, you hopefully received some data about where your targets live online.

Are they regular Twitter users? Do they haunt industry-specific forums? Are you connected to them via Slack or other instant messenger apps?

Find out where they hang out and post away. In most cases, if you’re not sure if your targets use a platform or not, you should just go ahead and post anyway.

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There are some sites where you can be dinged for unpopular content (Reddit, for example), but most of the time, there’s no harm.

This is also a time to start thinking about how you can repurpose your new content.

Do you have an opportunity for a guest blog post on another site? Or, would your new infographic fit perfectly in your next investor report?

If your data-driven content is built on the solid principles we’ve discussed, it will get engagements.

7. Use Analytics To Measure Results

After your content goes live, you can begin measuring your ROI to see what you did well, where you missed the mark, and what could be optimized to perform better.

This is where the KPIs discussed back in step one come back into play.

Some of these are easier to track than others.

If increasing sales or conversions was your goal, you should have data that backs up performance. Likewise, if you set out to improve traffic to your website, you should have the analytics to track that.

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Things like brand visibility can be a bit trickier.

Regardless of what it is you’re using to determine success, you should find the data you need to track performance in Google Analytics.

For a detailed walkthrough of this process, we’ve provided information on exactly how you can measure content marketing success.

A Data-Driven Content Strategy Is A Winning One

Data is a marketer’s best friend. It tells you exactly what works, what doesn’t, and often, why that’s the case.

And a data-driven content strategy is vital for success in today’s hyper-competitive business and SEO environment.

Use the tools available to you to gather data – that’s why they’re there.

Learn to identify what the numbers are telling you and use them to help you craft the kind of content that not only attracts views but gets shares and achieves your goals.

More Resources:

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Featured Image: metamorworks/Shutterstock

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