When someone searches for your auto dealership on Google or Bing, are you making a great first impression? Do your website pages and 3rd-party content takeover the page? Does your Google Knowledge Graph look complete and accurate?
If not, your dealership is missing out on the 5x conversion multiplier that applies to branded keyword searches. The first page of Google search results for every branded search term should seal the deal for your auto dealership. Here’s how you can make sure you’re owning your branded search engine results pages (SERPs) and keeping the competition at bay.
1. Optimize Your Google Knowledge Graph
The Google Knowledge Graph is becoming one of the main ways potential customers are introduced to a dealer. The information contained in the Knowledge Graph is often the first place someone looks for information after a branded search. The Knowledge Graph also shows up multiple places, beyond the browser. In fact, according to Mozcast, 42.1% of all SERP queries are accompanied by Google Knowledge Graph elements. This means, if you’re Graph is incomplete or inaccurate, you’re losing customers at first glance.
You may already have a Knowledge Graph populating for your dealership’s branded searches, but there is probably room for improvement. Accuracy and completeness are key when it comes to optimizing the Google Knowledge Graph. Information in the Graph is aggregated from online sources until your auto dealership claims and verifies it, so it’s likely you will see incorrect information upon review. To optimize, first, review all the existing business information for accuracy and update accordingly. Second, complete as many of the sections of the Graph as possible including business info, social channels, description, reviews, and photos. Think of this as your digital showroom and a sure way to create a lasting first impression.
2. Keep Your Online Reputation Positive
Branded searches tend to return a high number of local listings and review sites. DealerRater, Yelp, Edmunds, and Cars.com results are all likely to populate alongside your auto dealership’s results on SERP. And when 56% of consumers’ decision to click is influenced by a star rating, keeping your online reputation positive and high on the page is key.
To make sure your local listings and review sites show for your branded searches, optimize your profiles. Not only does a complete listing make you look more reputable and help keep that star-rating up, but additional mentions of your brand name ensures these sites show high on SERP.
And, a great first step in maintaining a high star-rating? Simply responding to reviews. Responding to both positive and negative reviews can influence future reviewers. It shows customers that their opinion of customer experience is important to you, and it shows prospects that you are interested and listening to customer feedback.
3. Create New Content With SEO In Mind
Creating new SEO-friendly content consistently, makes sure you own your branded keywords and keeps competitors from encroaching on your market. Conquesting another’s brand is a popular strategy in the automotive industry—don’t let it happen to you.
At a minimum you will want to own some basic brand terms. Those terms should include your brand name, your location (city and state), and the automotive brands you sell. If you’re not owning these terms, take a hard look at your website headlines and sub-headlines. They are often ripe for improvement!
To get inspiration for new content you can use any keyword research tool, like Google Keyword Planner, to generate new keyword ideas based off of your dealer name. For example, if you put your dealer name into the tool, you get a selection of phrases that include your company name and receive search volume each month. Review those branded keywords receiving existing search traffic and consider crafting new content or adding copy to pages on your website that already exist (e.g. financing, leasing, and model pages).
*If you do decide to replace traditional keywords to make room for branded queries, as always, monitor your results and continue to vary your keywords until you find the best balance for branded and non-branded organic search traffic.
Are you putting your best foot forward on SERP?
If people are already looking for your brand name and you’re not doing the work to capture them, you’re leaving massive opportunity on the table. By monitoring your branded keywords as part of your digital marketing strategy, your dealership will reinforce your credibility to searchers and make sure you capture all those easy conversions.
Consistently maintaining a positive reputation for your branded searches can be challenging. Reach out to us today to get a free digital analysis and discover the expert services we offer automotive dealers.