Today, 95% of consumers use digital as a part of their decision-making process. That means that, even though they’re buying the car on your lot, you want to reach them on their desktops and mobile devices long before they set foot in your showroom.
Having a website for your dealership is a great place to start. But for local businesses, like car dealerships, making sure you’re present on local listings is just as critical in improving your dealership’s SEO.
Local listings directories like Yelp, Google My Business, Bing Places, and Facebook are critical components in getting your dealership’s name in front of local consumers. Let’s talk about the benefits of local listings and how they can help you improve your dealership’s SEO.
Local Listings & Dealership SEO Tip #1: Build Up Backlinks
When it comes to the offsite factors search engines consider for SEO rankings, backlinks play a significant role in where you stand in SERPs. When your website has lots of backlinks – incoming links to your site from external sites – it signals to search engines that you’re legitimate.
A key component of your local listings profile is your website’s URL. This means that every local listing entry you acquire includes a backlink to your website.
Getting listed on the major local listings sites, plus some niche sites that are specific to the auto industry, is a quick and easy way to build up multiple, legitimate backlinks to your site. When search engines see your presence growing on the internet, and all roads leading back to your website, they’ll give you a boost in how you perform in SERPs and can improve your dealership’s SEO.
Local Listings & Dealership SEO Tip #2: Bolster Your Online Reputation
Beyond including basic information about your business, the other major element of local listings sites is customer reviews. Consumers read reviews, and what they see matters to them. Ninety-three percent of people report that online reviews influence their purchase decisions.
And your online reputation comes into play with SEO, too. Remember, at the end of the day, all search engines are businesses. They want to provide their customers – searchers – with the best results for any given term. So when someone enters “best car dealership near me” as a query, it’s in the search engine’s best interest to show them those dealerships that really are the best.
Imagine if you typed that into a search engine and were served up a pile of results with two- or three-star ratings. Wouldn’t you switch over to another search engine to see if you could get more helpful information there? When customers review your business favorably across a number of local listings sites, search engines get the message that your dealership is providing great service and that they should be presenting you as one of the top options to their searchers.
Local Listings & Dealership SEO Tip #3: Show Up Twice in Search
Your presence on local listings not only affects where you rank in organic search results. It can also get you listed twice on Google.
Google My Business is one of the top local listings sites around; all dealerships should have a presence here. Google is still the top search engine, and it provides an additional incentive to dealerships and businesses of all stripes to get listed on Google My Business and build up a group of strong reviews there.
That’s because of the Google 3-pack. Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve likely seen 3-pack results when searching for local businesses online. These are the three results that appear attached to the map results and above organic results.
One of the factors that can help you earn a coveted 3-pack spot is strong reviews on Google My Business. When your dealership appears in the 3-pack and then immediately underneath in organic results, too, that’s a win-win! Plus, for dealerships that choose to advertise, you might appear on the page a third time, as a paid search result at the top.
The more times you can get your name in front of consumers, the better. And appearing three times on one SERPs page keeps you top-of-mind and your competitors from appearing as often.
Local Listings & Dealership SEO Tip #4: Be the Only Dealership in Voice Search
Voice search continues to grow in popularity. Sixty-six percent of all smartphone users gave voice search a try at least once over the past year. And with smart speakers cropping up in more homes each month, voice search is the way of the future.
When someone asks their voice assistant for help identifying a local business, the results are often pulled from local listings. And unlike with a keyed-in search, appearing at the top of results is important.
The question, “Hey Siri, where can I buy a Toyota?” will result in one answer at a time. If a consumer likes the first suggestion Siri presents, they won’t go any further.
That means you want your dealership to be the first one Siri names! And having a presence across the major local listings sites can help position you properly to do so and improve your dealership SEO.
Local Listings & Dealership SEO Tip #5: Keep Your Information Correct & Current
Local listings can provide a major boost to your dealership’s SEO, but only if everything is correct. If the information on local listings is wrong or outdated, the listing can become a drag on your SEO instead.
All of your business information needs to be consistent across local listings. If you’ve moved locations, gotten a new telephone number, or updated your business hours, you’ve got to make sure that change is reflected everywhere you have a presence all across the web.
Of course, this isn’t just good SEO practice. Customers become very frustrated when the information they find on local listings is not correct. There’s nothing worse than reading certain business hours on Yelp, only to show up during those hours to find the dealership closed!
Local listings are a great way to increase your business’s standing online and get noticed in search. If you’re looking for help identifying those sites where you should be listed or staying on top of your existing listings, we’re here to help.