When you hear the word algorithm, your eyes might start to glaze over like they did in your high school algebra class, but the algorithms behind search are more relevant to you than finding “x.” Understanding what’s behind the algorithms that drive search is essential – especially considering that nearly 2/3 of website visitors come from organic search. A stronger digital presence helps your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which in turn will drive customers to your website and eventually into your dealership.
So what’s in an algorithm?
Driving organic traffic to your website with SEO used to be all about updates and keywords for the search engines, but that is no more. SEO should be thought about as search experience optimization. Here are the parts of that equation:
- We’re talking about how your business looks to Google. While it’s true that Google+ didn’t catch on as a popular social network, your Google My Business page has significant impact on your search listings, especially within the map listings. When you search for your name in Google, what comes up in that box to the right of the search results?
Is it just a pin on a map? Does it show pictures of your dealership, business hours, and contact information? Keeping Google My Business up-to-date helps pull the relevant information, including hours and images, into the search results.
- Link building is a popularity contest: the more links back to your site, the more authority you get from the search engines. In the past 5 years, a search study by Seattle based SEO think tank Moz has had “quality of inbound links” as a top five contributor to a site’s overall health. It’s no longer about volume of links, but finding those high quality, reputable links.
- It’s important that your dealership information is consistent across the web. Moz's most recent local search study has “consistency of citations” as a top three ranking factor in local search. You likely have information about your dealership in various locations like Yelp, Facebook, Google My Business and your dealership’s website. Search engines aggregate this information to validate your presence. If your information is inconsistent, the algorithms will fail to verify your digital presence.
- The content of your site needs to reflect your product and service offerings. It seems basic to say that, but think about it in terms of including a page about your body shop, or going into detail about some of your special financing options on another page. Don’t try to shoehorn everything onto your home page – just as you have different departments within the dealership, your website pages should be targeted to reflect the different things you offer.
- Social media is the final element of the SEO algorithm. Google factors in social influences when evaluating the relevancy of your website. First of all, if your dealership isn’t on social media, you need to be. A strong social media presence that includes your customers commenting and sharing your posts plays into your overall online authority, feeding your search rankings.
Remember – you’re not the only dealership focusing on SEO. SEO isn’t just a great offense, but it’s also a defense against your competitors. Especially in competitive markets, you need to make sure you’re doing all you can to stay on top of the rankings – both on the site and across the web.
You can get the most out of SEO with the help of our robust PowerSEO solution. Schedule a demo at NADA 2016 and learn how this solution can help drive traffic and profits for your dealership.
About the Author
Colleen Harris joined CDK Global in March 2013 as a Search Engine Optimization Specialist. Prior to joining the CDK team, she worked in digital marketing in the healthcare industry and the entertainment industry. She brings a passion for link building and content creation, and has been referred to here at CDK as the “Google Whisperer." Outside of CDK, Colleen has volunteered as a digital consultant for non-profits in the Seattle area.