- Automotive ,
- Marketing ,
The (Introductory) SEO Checklist For Automotive Companies
Sidse SorensenMarch 2018
Google processes over 40,000 searches per second on average, that’s 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year.
If your automotive company doesn’t appear when people search for relevant keywords, then you will be missing out on colossal amounts of business.
In 2014, the world wide web reached 1 billion websites (That’s 1,000,000,000 websites!).
How do you think Google decides what appears when you type in:
‘how to change a tyre’
‘best affordable car’
‘cheap reliable MOT near me’?
Google has a search algorithm that calculates what search results are relevant to the keywords you type into the search bar on www.google.co.uk.
In other words, when you type in ‘cheap MOT near me’, Google will look at a lot of different data and pick the results that it think matches what you were looking for best. It looks at things such as your stated location, site content, mention of keywords, online reviews, referring domains to your website etc.
Getting your website on the first page of Google takes hard work and dedication, and you need to make sure your website is SEO optimised.
Although SEO can be technical and complicated, there’s a whole lot of relatively simple stuff you can do yourself without the help of a pricey SEO practitioner or a digital agency.
We think it’s awfully cheeky to charge folk for something they could easily do themselves (Although if you wanted help, we’d be happy to). Therefore, we’ve put together a checklist of things that you can do yourself to optimise your site for search engines.
Stick with us for a little while as we dig into some examples of how you can do your own automotive SEO. We’re working on a super comprehensive checklist, but for now – consider this an introductory list.
A great automotive site is always optimised for mobile
Mobile is changing the world. With 94% of smartphone owners using their device to search for information, optimising for mobile is no longer a choice. Not if you want to rank well on Google at least.
Mobile optimisation is taking site design, structure, and speed, and doing it in a way that is effective across different screen sizes and devices.
Because of hardware and connectivity issues, page speed is even more important on mobile. If your pages takes too long to load, people are much more likely to bounce (close the tab without interacting with your site). Check out the stats below from Google to see how page loading time affects bounce rates on mobile devices.
The design needs to be fully responsive. This means that the site needs to look and work well across a range of devices and screen sizes. Your site needs to perform whether people are searching from their smartphone on the loo, from their iPad on their daily commute, or from their desktop on their lunch break.
You also need to keep in mind that people are not clicking with a mouse but tapping with their finger. This means that the buttons and CTAs must be of a certain size too.
Check out the two sites below. One is clearly designed with a smart phone in mind, and the other with a big screen.
Don’t know if your site is mobile friendly? Check out Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
Blogging is a great way to build authority in real life and on Google
Blogging can be a key asset in your content marketing strategy. But the first thing you need to think about is why you’re putting all this time, effort, and money into creating content.
The CMI institute defines content marketing as:
“A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”
The automotive industry is a competitive one, and writing high quality blogs and outreaching content can give you a competitive advantage. That’s if it is done right of course.
So how do you do blogging ‘right’?
It all starts with research, and knowing your target audience.
You’ve got to know your target audience by heart. What are their problems, and how are you helping them solve them?
For example, say you’re a mechanic. Creating a series of blogs with tutorials on how to do the more basic stuff such as: change a tyre, check the oil and change the light bulbs in the headlights (perhaps narrow this down to the 5 most common cars on the road), can really help build relationships with potential new customers. If you’ve helped someone save a tenner by offering a great piece of content, they are likely come knocking next time their gearbox is acting up or their engine won’t turn on.
Writing consistent high quality blog content can also help you climb the search ladder on Google. If you’re unsure what sort of content you can contribute, have a play around with the Google search tab and type in some things you think your target customer would search for – and then check the suggested searches. Check the suggested searches below:
If you create content that consistently perform well. I.e. if Google can see that visitors spend a long time on your site, that they go from page to page instead of closing the tab after 3 seconds – then Google will reward this in your rankings.
Still a bit unsure what ROI blogging brings to the table? Check my colleagues blog Content Marketing 101: What’s the f*cking point of blogs?
Off site optimisation
Off site SEO is optimising things that aren’t actually on your site. The main off site indicator is inbound links (links from other sites to yours). If a lot of sites link to yours, this is often an indicator that your content is good. That said, it’s quality over quantity. By this we mean, don’t go out and buy 1,000 random links on Fiverr from @ICanGetYouToTheTopOfGoogleInOneDay.
As you build good quality inbound links, your overall ranking score should improve.
Now, there are different ways of building inbound links. Here’s a few of the ways that are super easy to do yourself:
Google my business
The first thing you need to do, is get your company registered on ‘Google My Business’. This is Google’s own directory, and the box that comes up on the right when someone Googles your business. This is likely to be the first thing people see when they Google your business, and should therefore be kept up to date with things such as your website, phone number, opening hours etc.
Get on social media
All the big social media sites have high authority. This means it’s an easy way to build some good quality links. Set up your business on some of the big platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. This isn’t just a healthy addition to your inbound links – it’s also super useful for when people search for your business on the individual platforms.
Signing your business up for a good handful of local, national and niche directories is another easy way to build some links and drive traffic to your site too.
If you’re a car dealer based in Cumbernauld then try and Google ‘Cumbernauld directories’ ‘automotive directory’ etc and see what comes up.
Be weary though, as there are a lot of spammy directories out there that might affect your website negatively. If you as a rule stick to local and national directories, then you’ll most often be in safe hands. If in doubt, leave it out!
Make sure your automotive business is on the likes of Google my business, LinkedIn, Yell, FreeIndex, Thomson Local, Yelp, Scoot and HotFrog.
Writing and publishing guest content is a brilliant way to build industry authority and to get a few inbound links.
Where do you read your news? Are there industry leading pages for your industry? Work on building a strong relationship with these online publications and then offer to contribute to their blog or send them a press release if you’ve got exciting news.
Last but not least, make sure to ask your customers to leave reviews on platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Trustpilot.
Building up a strong portfolio of reviews doesn’t just add to the trust that people will have in your company, but is a indicator that Google values highly when calculating your rankings.
We appreciate that all of this is a lot to handle, especially if you’ve got no designated staff to deal with marketing. But we believe in you!
A while back, we created a cool little audit checklist for you to quickly evaluate the SEO performance of your site (We’re working on a new, and better one as we speak *type). Check it out here and get a quick overview of what you can work on to improve your site.
If you need a hand from our in house team of marketing and digital experts, try our new ‘Get A Quote’ function to get a custom no- obligation quote for the help you need.
Sidse SorensenDigital Marketing Coordinator
With experience in tech, startup and the public sector, Sidse brings an unbelievable wealth of talent to the marketing team at Digital Impact. Sidse heads up the internal marketing team at Digital Impact and writes for a wide range of clients and niches.
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