By Pete Batten
Summer sales are wrapping up and the hype of buying a new boat may be dying down, but that doesn’t mean now is the time to be idle. Consumers will be turning their attention to units and parts for the fall season, and while you may not have this inventory on the lot, you can begin investing in SEO to get your website at the top of search engines in time for autumn.
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization, aligns websites with search engines’ algorithms in order to pull in more organic traffic. Search engines use algorithms to determine which websites are most relevant to an online user’s search query, looking at factors such as keyword usage and user-friendly navigation. The better your website meets these algorithms, the more visible it will be when potential leads are searching for your fall inventory.
Does SEO really matter that much? As you know, consumers today want information as fast as possible, and 75% of online users will only look at the first page of search results. If you want to get in front of more potential leads and drive more traffic to your dealership, you will need to use SEO to increase your website’s ranking in relevant searches. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, which is why it’s important to act now. By anticipating your customer’s search intent, you can strengthen your dealership’s online presence faster.
Consider which units, parts and accessories your customers will need for the fall season and update your website copy to include those crucial keywords. When writing your copy, you want to ensure it appeals to both people and search engines, and you can do so by enriching your copy with keywords for in-season inventory, while keeping your message concise and descriptive for your human readers.
SEO requires dealers to frequently update copy so that it remains fresh and relevant. If your website hasn’t changed in a few years, search engines and online users may pass you by in favor of platforms that are more up to date. You can easily refresh your site by tweaking your content to include seasonal inventory and new services and promotions. Keeping a blog allows you to update your website frequently, and it will help you appeal to audiences who are curious about must-have cold-weather boating gear or the best on-the-lake locations to enjoy the fall foliage.
Of course, your website needs to be easy to navigate in order to appeal to search engines and online users. If your website navigation is too complicated or your lead forms and contact information are not easy to find, website visitors will not remain on your platform for long. Search engines consider website usability as a main factor in their algorithms and prioritize sites that provide easy navigation. As buyers’ interests change overtime and search engines update their algorithms multiple times a month, SEO is an ongoing strategy that requires month-to-month reviews and adjustments. We encourage you to maintain a diligent SEO strategy to keep your website at the top of search engines so that you are continually receiving new traffic to your site and your dealership.
Pete Batten is the chief product officer at Dealer Spike.