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Car dealers should make quality content to get better search results

Dealers should focus on producing quality content on their websites to satisfy changes to the way Google ranks search results.

A dealer’s website will often be the first point of contact for customers researching their next car purchase and that journey will invariably begin with search giant Google.

Berian Reed, Auto Trader head of performance marketing & Antony Robinson, Auto Trader head of search & social media

  NEED TO KNOW

  
Dealers should focus on creating content and sharing it to help improve their search results  
Google offers free tools to help with search strategy  
 

There are 6 billion searches on Google every day and searches on Google are increasing by 15% year-on-year.

Berian Reed, Auto Trader head of performance marketing, led a workshop session at the AM & Auto Trader Digital Marketing Conference 2014.

“People are busier than ever and there is less time to research their car purchase, they want to go to a single source and their expectations are much higher,” he said.

“Google is getting quite intelligent and is now able to interpret complex questions from people to give the most relevant search results.

“Google wants you to develop your online brand and they’re very clear about what they want.”

Reed urged dealers to use Google Trends and free tools to help them with their search strategy. Tips and updates from Google about how they are changing the way they penalise and rank pages are available from the Google Webmaster Tools blog or on the official YouTube page www.youtube.com/user/GoogleWebmasterHelp.

Antony Robinson, Auto Trader head of search & social media, said dealers should focus on creating content and sharing it to help improve their search results.

Robinson said: “The way people are searching is rapidly changing. There is now the three Ps. Produce, Publish and Promote.

“From a search engine optimisation perspective, Google is moving away from link-building and the emphasis is on good quality content. Not many dealers have a ring-fenced budget for generating content, but they should consider it.”

This content can include YouTube videos, Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as blogs.

Dealers were urged to have a consistent name and brand across all social media channels online, with Twitter and Facebook page names matching, e.g. @SinclairAudi and www.facebook.com/sinclairaudi.

One area in which dealers could see an impact on their search results is in the use of guest blogs as a way of sharing links between websites to boost their Google rankings.

Google will not be penalising high quality blogs from genuine guest writers, but it will be penalising blogs which are sent out as a digital marketing strategy to include links back to a company to increase their search ranking.

Companies that have fallen foul of Google and been penalised include Expedia, Interflora and Rap Genius.

Search ranking tips from Reed and Robinson

Don’t count out Google Plus as a social media platform. Google isn’t giving up on it and “it could be the biggest social media platform in 10 years, despite being niche now”.

Complete your Google Plus profile and then claim your location pin on Google Maps.

Use YouTube videos from your channel and embed them within your website.

Follow the Google Webmaster Tools blog for all the biggest changes to SEO.



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