Lauren Labunsky

Editor’s Note: The following blog is authored by Lauren Labunsky, public relations manager for Dealer Spike, a company that provides websites as well as a suite of online advertising solutions designed to help dealers increase sales and service profitability.

You want your dealership’s website to be picked up by search engines, right? When people are conducting an online search for a local dealer that carries RVs, you want your business to appear at the top of the list. Search engines look at things like site structure and design, keywords, links, and even off-site elements like user behavior to determine your website’s search engine ranking. All of these factors contribute to your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and your ranking is always subject to change based on these factors. There are a few best practices to keep in mind if you want to make sure your website is best optimized for search.

• Take a close look at the content on your site. The more relevant and useful it is for customers, the better. Consider keywords that your prospects are likely searching when looking online for a dealership like yours and incorporate content that uses these keywords in a natural way. In addition to creating new content, update and optimize the content that is already on your site. Search engines recognize and favor websites that are updated regularly, because it shows that they are trusted resources for accurate information.

• An important note about keywords is that they need to be truly relevant to your business. For example, let’s say there is a page on your site that describes the kind of coffee that is available to dealership customers when they visit in-store. Because of this page, your website might rank well for the term “coffee,” and people doing an online search for coffee (not RVs) may click on your site. However, those people will quickly realize that your website is not what they were looking for and leave. In this case, ranking high for a specific term can do more harm than good. Search engines pay attention to elements of user behavior like time spent on site and bounce rate, and this affects your ranking. Quality trumps quantity when it comes to website traffic.

• Links to your website from external sites are a great way to build up SEO and credibility for your business. Look for opportunities that can be earned through relationships or partnerships with local businesses, news stories, and other similar resources.

• Monitor your website’s ranking on a regular basis to see if there is any movement. A boost or dip in ranking can signal good or bad performance of your site’s content and/or structure, both of which are possible to adjust.

SEO is valuable for search engine users because it gives them confidence that the website they are clicking on will be relevant and useful to them. It’s also important for the health of your dealership’s online presence that those who visit your website are spending time browsing and hopefully submitting leads as well. Implementing best practices for SEO creates a win-win situation for both customers and businesses, and by following the basic tips above you can get a good start on ensuring a high level of SEO for your dealership.