Promoting your Car Dealer Website


Search Engine Optimization for Car Dealers

The internet is more and more starting to push aside other promotional methods like the Yellow Pages, TV, Radio, and Newspaper ads. While these will likely always have a place in Car Dealer promotion, more and more people are doing their research on the internet. The internet gives people a location to learn about cars prices, model features and even availability from the comfort of their own home. This also gives them a way to learn about the car dealers, read other car buyers experiences and dealer reviews before heading out to look at a car.

Without a website, your car dealership is at the mercy of all the other sites talking about you, without giving you the opportunity to discuss your own business. Or worse, if the person doing the research finds nothing on your car lot they are likely going to start with the car dealers they can get information about.

Online customer relationship management starts with having a website but also requires website promotion and PR management to be sure that the information presented on other websites casts a favorable light on your business. For many car dealers this is foreign ground. While they may be very good at attracting customers from print, radio and TV ads, capturing the interest of internet searchers is a completely different story and a single bad experience or poor review can easily snowball into a lot of lost customers. For more information on internet PR you can read our article on Car Dealer CRM. For this article we will work with ways of making your website rank on the top of the search engine results.

There are two sections to consider Onsite optimization and Offsite Optimization. Both are equally important for the success of your car dealer website.

Onsite Optimization

This consists of the following items
  • Good Navigation – Be sure that the search engines can find all the important parts of your site. That includes the information on your inventory. If this is not done correctly, Google and the other search engines will not display your inventory in their results.
  • Proper meta information – each page on your site should have its own Meta Title and Description. These should be unique and accurately describe the page (not your site in general)
  • Sufficient Text – While pictures and Flash capture the attention of the visitor, text captures the attention of the search engines. Without well written text the search engines do not know what your site is about and will not list the site in its results.
  • Proper Keywords – Use of the right keywords will help the search engines understand your site. These words need to include the words people will be using to find your site or a car for sale.
  • Contact information – be sure your Dealership phone number, address, email and business hours are on your website. People frequently use the internet connection on their cell phones to look up businesses and find out how to contact them. Be sure you can be found!

Off Site Optimization

One extremely important step is to make sure your site is listed with Google’s local search, if you fail to do this you will without a doubt be missing potential sales.

Links to your site. The internet is kind of a popularity context. The more popular your car dealership website is the more likely the search engines will list you in the search engine results, hopefully above the other car dealers. Each link to your site is a vote in your favor, the more links you have from other websites the more popular your website appears to the search engines. But all links are not equal! Links from other strong automotive websites have much more authority to the search engines than links from now automotive sites.

That is one of the many advantages of adding your inventory to NorCalCars.com. We not only display your inventory to thousands of Northern California residents who are looking for a new car, but we also link to your dealer website from each of the car ads.

It is a known fact that the more times a person sees or hears of your car dealership the more likely they will choose to check out your inventory. Placing a banner or your name on other websites where Northern California residents are looking will remind them to visit your website when they are looking for a car. While this can be a little more expensive it can also payoff in the long run.

Link Building

Link building is an important way so to strengthen your car dealership website in the search engines. One good way to promote your site and gain links back to your site is to write articles and submit them to the various web 2.0 sites like Qondio, Hubpages, Squidoo and others. By providing useful information you build a reputation for your dealership as well as helping your dealership rank higher in the search engine results.

Real World Promotion

If you have a car dealer website flaunt it. Be sure that your website address is on all of your correspondence, ads, contracts, and business cards, anything that gets in the hands of a potential customer. This will have a great affect on the long term success of your website and your business in general.

While all of this may seem like a daunting task, most of it can be easily handled by your website developer. The best part is that a good website and website promotion will pay off in the long run.