Automotive SEO services: does it really matter?
In 2018, the average automotive website received 50% of total traffic from organic (source: Hedges & Company and Google Analytics).
We view automotive SEO services as a long-term strategy. You’re building a solid foundation for the future. With a strong SEO (search engine optimization) strategy in place, you’ll see long-term gains in site traffic and revenue.
We like to tell clients that with SEO, results tend to show up in two to three months. The results should continue to build over time. Faster results are possible, but any reputable SEO agency agrees, that can’t be guaranteed. On the other hand, if you do need results fast, automotive paid search (PPC) is more likely a better strategy for you. With paid search you can see results within a week or two.
Start with an audit before using any automotive SEO services
Here are some really simple things to check on first in an audit, before starting automotive SEO services:
- Does your website have an account set up in Google Search Console?
- Does the website URL match the property set up in Google Search Console (see the screen shot)? If your website begins with “www” it must be in Google Search Console the same way. If your site is “https://” (it should be!) it must match the URL in Google Search Console.
- Are XML sitemaps created and submitted to Google and Bing? These sitemaps should be crawled and pages in these sitemaps should be indexed.
- In Google Search Console under the “Performance” menu, are pages showing for search queries? What are those queries?
- In Google Search Console under Index > Coverage, are there any issues with indexing? The Google index should include pages in your site map.
Create your action plan with goals for automotive SEO services
Now that you’ve done a quick audit the next step is to create your plan. And of course, any good SEO plan should include goals.
Review your business goals and decide what you want to accomplish using automotive SEO services. Determine specific goals, whether it’s growing overall sales or focusing on particular product categories or pages.
Finally, define how you will measure progress. For example, if you use Google Search Console as the source for data, do you want to reach a certain number of clicks (see screen shot)?
By the way, here’s a quick tip for “Average position” in Google Search Console. Don’t worry too much if the average position looks bad (like here it’s 26.2 for this new website). That’s an average across all keywords, perhaps thousands, including automotive keywords that may be ranked quite low. In this case, this new automotive website has plenty of search phrases ranking in the top 10.
Some of our guiding principals for SEO strategy
Today our view is that SEO is more about topics than it is simply about keywords.
Google is getting really good at latent semantic indexing, or LSI. This means Google understands how search topics and sub-topics relate to each other. We discuss how this influences automotive SEO briefly here and you can read more about LSI on Search Engine Watch.
Focusing on topics does a better job at automotive SEO because many consumers search on topics. They may not know exactly what they’re searching for in the beginning. But, as consumers narrow their search and become more educated, they continue to search within a main topic.
Another important principal in SEO strategy is to focus on user engagement and clickthrough rate.
Hungry for more SEO knowledge? Try E-A-T
A good automotive SEO services strategy should take into account Google’s “E-A-T” guidelines, for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
Google published a 164-page document with guidelines for ranking pages and E-A-T is an important part of those guidelines when it comes to rating a page. Google has a Page Quality Rating that takes into account a webpage’s purpose, the E-A-T characteristic of that page, and the quality/amount of content.
Simply put, E-A-T takes into account the expertise of the page creator. For example, if you have an automotive webpage that describes how to tune an engine, you must look at the E-A-T of that page. Write a page’s content in an authoritative manner. In this case, do a good job of describing how to tune an engine. Make sure the page is comprehensive and factually accurate. Clearly state who is responsible for the content and state who is responsible for customer service. The party responsible can be an individual or a “publisher” (the company). These are all components of a high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
Google looks for content created, “…with a high degree of …effort…”. Google also looks for content created with, “…expertise, talent and skill…”
Find and fix technical issues that can interfere with SEO rankings
Did you know page and site speed are officially ranking factors with Google? Audit your automotive website’s performance and eliminate technical issues that will interfere with your organic rankings. Lighthouse is a good source of information on how your website functions.
Did you know there are separate organic ranking indexes for desktop searches and mobile searches? It pays to check the mobile version of your website. There are several free tools you can use including this one from Think With Google. Page load time is incredibly important for mobile searches.
Conclusions on using automotive SEO services
We hope you find this page informative for your automotive SEO project. Breaking it down into a pre-project SEO audit, then defining goals helps a lot. If you have questions on automotive SEO for auto dealerships for auto parts retailing websites please reach out and give us a call.