Car dealers can expect an increase in web enquiries in the lead-up to the March plate change, due to an update in Google’s algorithm.
The search engine now ranks car dealer websites higher than before, according to analysis by car search specialist Honcho.
“Traditionally, when buyers searched for new cars on Google, car manufacturers, online marketplaces and review sites appeared above dealerships but that’s no longer the case,” said Jack Minot, SEO manager at Honcho.
The company has found that, on average, dealerships are now ranked two positions higher in Google than last year.
“Dealerships are appearing higher than before as a result of Google better serving the search needs of consumers. For dealers with optimised sites this should translate into more traffic as the market prepares for the introduction of the 20-plate,” added Minot.
To reap the benefits Honcho is advising dealers to ensure their websites are fully optimised by highlighting new car promotions on separate pages and aim to go live from the end of January.
“Google is providing an improved online experience by making it easier for buyers to gather the information they need while researching for new cars and dealers who recognise this will stand out,” said Minot.
“Google likes pages which are clearly defined by their subject matter, yet a lot of dealers have moved to long-form content pages with mixed messages that can get buried in searches.
“Dealers should be planning their 20-plate content now. Rolling out new pages in late February might not provide the expected results for March as changes are not always instantly recognised by Google.”