Car Dealer Websites Need to Embrace Blended Search SEO

Have you noticed that when you use Google or other search engines the results page is showing different types of media, like video, images, local info, and web search, all on one page?  This is being referred to as blended search, and it is showing up more and more on search engine result pages.  Blended search gives your auto dealer website the opportunity to use search engine optimization across multiple channels to have more entries rank well.

When things like images, video, and news items show on page one of Google’s search results page, your car dealership has an opportunity to rank in all of those categories.  SEO for images means using keyword-rich alt image tags and surrounding the image with descriptive, relative text, among other things.

The SEO efforts for video are similar to those for images.

Since search engines have a difficult time “reading” what an image or video shows, adding descriptive text near the video and even caption for the video can help.

For news, make sure your auto dealership is creating search engine optimized press releases regularly.  This way, when your dealership or relevant keywords are searched for, your car dealer press release (linking back to your website of course) will have a chance to show in the results.

Search engines like Google seem to be going full-steam towards blended search, and auto dealer websites that ignore this will be left behind.  For more information, contact DealerOn’s auto dealer search engine optimization department.  I also found this webinar to be helpful when trying to understand the importance and relevance of blended search: Search Results, SEO and the New World Order: Blended Search 2010

Google Blended Search

Have you noticed that when you use Google or other search engines the results page is showing different types of media, like video, images, local info, and web search, all on one page? This is being referred to as blended search, and it is showing up more and more on search engine result pages. Blended search gives your auto dealer website the opportunity to use search engine optimization across multiple channels to have more entries rank well.

When things like images, video, and news items show on page one of Google’s search results page, your car dealership has an opportunity to rank in all of those categories. SEO for images means using keyword-rich alt image tags and surrounding the image with descriptive, relative text, among other things.

The SEO efforts for video are similar to those for images. Since search engines have a difficult time “reading” what an image or video shows, adding descriptive text near the video and even captions for the video can help.

For news, make sure your auto dealership is creating search engine optimized press releases regularly. This way, when your dealership or relevant keywords are searched for, your car dealer press release (linking back to your website of course) will have a chance to show in the results.

Search engines like Google seem to be going full-steam towards blended search, and auto dealer websites that ignore this will be left behind. For more information, contact DealerOn’s auto dealer search engine optimization department. I also found this webinar to be helpful when trying to understand the importance and relevance of blended search: Search Results, SEO and the New World Order: Blended Search 2010

Google Browser Size Tool

It can be easy for ISM’s to forget that not everyone has the fastest Internet connections or the biggest monitors when looking at their auto dealer website. In order to maximize the power of your dealership website’s calls to action, inventory links, and specials, try using the Google Browser Size tool.

This webtool allows you to enter the URL of any website. Once the site loads, Google places an overlay showing the percentage of Google visitors that have their browser window set to a size that would allow them to see your site. For example, here is the DealerOn homepage:

In this screen shot, you can see the areas on our homepage that Google visitors can see without having to scroll. For example, the area in the orange section and over to the left can be viewed by approximately half of Google’s website visitors.

It’s important to have your calls to action, lead forms, inventory links, and other high-traffic links showing to as many website visitors as possible. You can use this Google tool to ensure as many people as possible are able to convert to a lead without having to scroll on your site.

While this information shouldn’t be treated as scientific, it’s a good tool to help check how viewable your auto dealer website is by the average Internet user. Keep this in mind when doing any website design work.

Your Social Media Followers More Likely to Buy

It seems like everyone is telling auto dealers that they NEED to have a social media presence; if they don’t, they are only missing out on sales and exposure.  Well, according to a recent study from the market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate Research Technologies, “they” are right.

Over 1500 consumers were surveyed, and the majority said they were more likely to buy from and recommend business that they followed on Twitter or were a Fan on Facebook:

What really struck me were the answers of some participants when asked “What does it say about a brand if they are not involved with sites like Facebook or Twitter?”  Some of the answers were:

  • “If they’re not on Facebook or Twitter, then they aren’t in touch with the “electronic” people.” (Female, 55-59)
  • “It’s EXPECTED that a company have some digital face–whether it’s on FB or Twitter I don’t know–but they need a strong electronic presence or you doubt their relevance in today’s marketplace.”  (Female, 50-54)

Social media isn’t the end-all solution to increase your dealership’s sales and exposure, but this study shows why your auto dealership needs to have a presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter.  If your dealership doesn’t have the time or expertise to run these types of online marketing campaigns, look into an auto dealer online marketing vendor.

Search Engine Optimization with your Website Vendor

Auto dealer search engine optimization is one of the most important things when it comes to the success of your car dealership website.  Without it, most of your potential car buyers wouldn’t be able to find your site online.  This is why your dealership website vendor needs to be well-versed in SEO, and be able to educate their dealership clients.

Avoid changing the keywords and SEO text on your dealership website.  When you have questions or if you disagree with what is being placed on your site, it’s important to have a discussion with your SEO vendor.  There may be a bigger plan than what you see, or your SEO vendor may have been mistaken about keywords your dealership wants to target. This is also true of other vendors that may want to change the SEO aspect of your site.

Of course, auto dealers should be (and are) in control of the search engine optimization on their dealership website.  Your SEO vendor should respect the changes you wish to make, help to educate you if they disagree, and be able to explain why they are doing what they are.  This is a huge part of being a SEO vendor, and I discourage dealers from partnering with any vendor that doesn’t abide by these practices.