8 SEO Terms Every Auto Dealer Should Know
While most dealerships acknowledge the importance of SEO, many dealerships do not fully grasp the concepts or terminology involved in achieving their search engine visibility goals. Understanding these 8 key SEO terms will allow your dealership to maximize the efforts of in-house SEO and better assess what an outside SEO expert proposes for your online campaign. As a result, your dealership can achieve a higher ranking in the search results, improve conversion rates and increase brand name awareness.
1 Google Analytics
Google Analytics (a web traffic analysis tool) provides reports on how much traffic a website generates, where leads are coming from (organic vs paid SEO), and much more. With Google Analytics, a dealer can recognize where his website may be struggling online and how he can fix those issues. It is essential that every dealership have an account on Google Analytics to maximize the reach and effectiveness of his website.
2 Conversion Rate
Conversion Rate (number of leads a website generates divided by total number of visitors) is one of the most important indicators of overall performance of online marketing and advertising. This number indicates the quality of website visitors and a website’s ability to convert online traffic into leads. Naturally a mechanism to track the leads is required to get an accurate conversion rate.
3 Chat vs SMS
SMS marketing (“Short Message Service,” a.k.a. text messaging) and customer support can be extremely valuable assets for any car dealership. Nearly 100% of all mobile phones support SMS-based messaging. This means mobile phones offer the widest reach possible to dealers. Chat messaging meanwhile allows two-way real time communication between the dealership and its client. Two-way real time communication allows a car dealer to close the sale or explain in detail what makes his new or used car so special. Technology is also now available so a consumer can send a text to a company landline.
4 Local SEO
Local SEO has never been more important. Google has implemented updates over the past few years that have prioritized local businesses. Maintaining your website’s status with Google is a necessity for every car dealership and should be on the top of your to-do list. Building Local SEO is not an easy task, but if done correctly, can provide tremendous results. You can build your dealership website’s Local SEO by: generating business listings on important websites (e.g. Yelp, Merchant Circle, Manta, YouTube, Twitter, Google, and Yahoo), optimizing your website for mobile use (i.e. Responsive web design), and improving keyword strategy and internal links (via blogs, reviews, etc.). Together, these strategies can help your dealership rise to the top of Google’s local search rankings.
5 Social Media Marketing
Should your business be active on every social media platform under the sun? The answer is ‘no.’ Regardless of which social medial platform(s) you choose, however, you should monitor your: 1) Conversation Rate 2) Amplification Rate and 3) Applause Rate. These key indicators tell you how well you are performing on your social media sites (i.e. how much success you are having engaging your customers online), and on which social media platform. Together, these metrics will help you strategize how you use social media to reach your goals.
5.1 Conversation Rate
The Conversation Rate (the number of comments per post divided by your overall followers) is the first key to unlocking social media success. A high conversion rate means you have a higher number of comments per post relative to your current followers. To increase this ratio, focus on your customer acquisition strategy or improving your content (by making topics more interesting, relevant, and open-ended). Sometimes the rate may be lower simply because you are not targeting the right audiences with your posts.
5.2 Amplification Rate
Amplification Rate (the amount of shares per post relative to total followers) is another factor determining how well a social media campaign is working. In order to increase this ratio, review your posts with an editorial eye to assess if your posts are interesting and/or relevant enough that your followers will want to share them. Posts that are boring, too self promotional, or have no value will not be shared and therefore contribute to a lower rate. As the amplification rate increases, you will find that your total number of followers also increases; the information has been deemed valuable and worthy of sharing.
5.3 Applause Rate
The Applause Rate (the number of likes per post relative to your total followers) indicates how relatable your content is to your followers, and if they agree with or enjoy what you are saying. This number can be skewed though by adding promotions or tips that require a like in order to receive a prize or gift. The same is also true with the Amplification rate. Either way, it is still a good measurement of how well your content is engaging your audience.
No matter how you run your social media campaign, these three factors can be crucial in measuring your success. While they may not be the only tools you use, they are some of the best metrics available for measuring and ultimately improving your overall social media success.
Contributed by Syed Azam
310 Main Street
Ames, IA 50010