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ncreasing a dealership’s overall visibility is an essential component of any comprehensive marketing strategy. However, many GMs do not realize the significant impact this could have on their ability to convert traffic and leads to real-life sales. Paid ads on search engines and classified sites are not enough when it comes to increasing your store’s profits. In addition to these advertisements, dealerships need the help of search engine optimization experts. Even the smallest or largest SEO companies have experts that are knowledgeable in this marketing strategy. Regardless of which you work with, prepare yourself to see a jump in your overall ROI. 

Unlike PPC advertisements and ads on classified pages, SEO does behind-the-scene work. This technique relies on original content to improve where your website appears on search engines. For example, if you type “used trucks under 25K near me” into a query box, your store’s website might not appear on the first page of a search. If it doesn’t appear on the second page either, potential shoppers won’t see it. Research has shown that buyers rarely visit websites beyond the first or second page of a search. Instead, they rewrite their keywords and restart their search. Many consumers also prefer not to click on ads, no matter where they get placed. Therefore, paid ads cannot be the only way a store generates traffic and leads. 

Small Business Advertising

So how does SEO influence the position of websites on a search engine results page? To answer that, we first have to explain how sites get ranked in the first place. When websites go live, search engine bots crawl and index them. As they read through all the content on a site, these bots organize them by category (sort of like how libraries organize books by category) and assigned a page rank number. Page rank refers to the overall quality of the website and how relevant it is to its topic. Websites then appear on a results page based on their page rank. Thus, sites with the best page rank appear first. 

Both Google and the Yahoo Bing Network do not disclose exactly how to improve a page rank. However, seasoned SEO experts often work with search engine consultants who provide insider details about increasing page rank. One way to do that is to use original content that anticipates what consumers search for, especially when it comes to vehicle purchasing and leasing. For example, adding a few articles about the car buying process, how financing works, and ways to maintain your vehicle will quickly set your store’s site apart from your competitors. Another method is to increase backlinks, which are the connections your site has with other websites. For example, sponsoring a local Girl/Boy Scouts troupe or working with local businesses on a community project can increase your backlinks and, therefore, your page rank. Of course, the details of how to improve your position on a search engine results page differ from store to store, but a company well-versed in SEO will have plenty of suggestions at the ready. 

Adding SEO may seem like a stretch for some. Yet, paid advertisements have their limits, which is why increasing your store’s overall online visibility can make a profound interest. After all, any store will benefit from high-quality traffic and better leads. To make that possible, GMs need to invest in methods that enhance their reach. SEO is just one of the more innovative marketing techniques available, and it’s a shame to miss out on its possibilities.