Welcome to the weird, wide, and wonderful world of Digital Marketing and acronyms. Now you have your website, you’ve started to outline a Digital Marketing Plan, and somewhere close to the top of that plan you have the letters S E O scribbled in bright red pen with a star next to it (if you don’t have this, go do it now).
WHAT IS SEO?
Social Evolutionary Ostriches?
South Eastern Ohio?
Surgical Enhancement Opportunity?
No, none of those. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and, if it’s not already, it needs to be a cornerstone of your Digital Marketing Strategy. The all-knowing internet resource that is Wikipedia lists SEO as follows:
Basically, SEO affects how you rank on search engines. 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. You want to make sure that your SEO campaigns are at a ninja level fighting condition to ensure your site lands on that all important first page of search results, preferably at the top. If your SEO kung-fu is weak, then you may find yourself buried in the nether regions of Google. Let’s face it, no one wants to be there.
There’s a lot involved in becoming an SEO kung-fu master but there are a number of simple steps you can take to improve your current ranking beyond what you currently have. Read on, grasshopper.
WHY DO I NEED IT?
SEO is the use of relevant keywords and content on your website so that search engine algorithms can discover your site. It’s the digital marketing equivalent of standing in a crowded room, jumping up and down, screaming “I’M OVER HERE!”
Here’s why you need SEO for your dealership website:
- Your competitors are already doing it.
- Optimization will improve the overall ‘friendliness’ of your site for search engines.
- It can improve your ranking by using well-researched keywords that, if used correctly, will move you further towards that all-important first page of search results.
- It makes you more and more visible to your clients and customers which in turn increases lead generation for your company. More leads equals more sales. More sales equal more money. More money equals that beachfront property in Bora Bora you’ve always wanted.
75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
HOW DO I DO IT?
Know your business! In order to establish keywords, make a list of your services and products. Make sure to note different ways of referring to particular products and services. For example: If you’re a pen salesman and you want to optimize your site to sell more pens you’re going to need to list the keywords you want to incorporate into your content. Just listing the word ‘pen’ isn’t going to cut it. What types of pens? What colors? Brand names? Styles? Uses? Once you have your list you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to see how your keywords rank in searches. This way you’ll be able to identify which keywords need to be incorporated into your content.
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, the next step would be to implement those keywords in your site. This is called on-site optimization.
Here are easy ways to build your on-site optimization (be sure to consult your webmaster for assistance):
- Make sure all pages on your website are accessible in 3 or less clicks from the homepage.
- If you use a lot of images on your website , make sure you’re adding ALT tags to each image so search engines can recognize what viewers will see on the site.
- Write meta tags for each individual page using the keyword(s) assigned to that page. Be sure to keep your meta tags under 150 characters. Meta tags are descriptive words that live in the backend of your site so they’re not actually seen on a web page. They allow search engines to easily find your site.
- Write a unique title tag for each site page (this is displayed at the top of your browser while you’re on the page). Include the page title, the name of your business, and one or more targeted keywords. Your title tags should be under 60 characters.
- Make sure you don’t duplicate content. Every one of your webpages needs at least 300 words of unique content. Don’t re-use the same content on multiple pages and don’t borrow wording from manufacturer sites for your listings. Be creative, make it unique. Incorporate your keywords to draw search engines to your site but don’t just list the keywords. Incorporate them into the content.
- Set up a blog! Blogs offer new and fresh content and improve your ranking. Don’t just use your blog for pitching sales. Encourage comments on your blog posts and generate return visitors by posting relevant and entertaining material that people will want to read.
- Don’t limit yourself to text. Use pictures, video, audio, PDF downloads, etc. Just make sure everything is titled and tagged correctly.
Encourage comments on your blog posts and generate return visitors by posting relevant and entertaining material that people will want to read.
SEO is a base standard for marketing your website and company. It’s not something you can avoid using and hope it will happen naturally. A solid well-researched SEO plan, executed properly, will put you and your business in front of your clientele in the exact place where they spend a minimum of 2 hours every single day: the internet.
Employ these tactics and you’ll be on your way to becoming the Bruce Lee of SEO kung-fu. More importantly, you’ll start generating organic leads for your website and climb the search engine ranking ladder.
Want to know more about SEO and how it can work for you site? Leave a comment below and join the conversation!
*Statistical data sourced from 2013-2014 reports by Google, Latitude, Nielsen, Trinity Digital Marketing, and Forrester.