Prepare for Successful 2016 by Implementing Proven SEO Tactics Now

One of the website basics is to write unique content that explains who you are, what makes you special or different, what products and services you sell and anything else that makes you stand out from the competition.

Peter Bruhn

November 9, 2015

5 Min Read
Prepare for Successful 2016 by Implementing Proven SEO Tactics Now


Search Engine Optimization is a long-term strategy that should be a key part of an auto dealer’s overarching marketing plan.

You can’t just turn SEO on and off like you can with paid search, such as Google AdWords, which means your strategy must be implemented early on for long-term success.

As we come upon the end of the year, I want to share some tactics you can use now that will help you in 2016.

NAP Alignment for Citation Consistency

NAP is an acronym for Name, Address and Phone Number. Anywhere your business NAP appears is considered a citation.

Generally citations exist alongside a link to the website and appear on sites such as,, and others. These business directories will scrape data from around the web to populate their sites, as well as allow business owners to claim, manage and update their listings.

Google wants to see a consistent NAP across the web; it sees that as a trust symbol. If all your citations are aligned and show the exact same NAP information, Google knows you’ve made an effort to ensure users coming from any referral source see the same data.

This is incredibly important for local rankings, such as the “Three-Pack” of Google Maps results that show up for local-intent search queries.

Unique Website Content

One of the website basics is to write unique content that explains who you are, what makes you special or different, what products and services you sell and anything else that makes you stand out from the competition.

Because car dealers are based on the franchise business model, there are many places where duplicate content can exist. You want to make sure that, at the very least, your homepage, inventory-listing pages, fixed-ops pages and “about us” page contain unique, relevant content.

Even just a couple paragraphs can make a difference. Don’t write content for Googlebot, but rather for your users and potential customers. What questions do they have about your business? What information are they looking for?

The more you cater to your users and answer their questions, the happier Googlebot will be. Don’t stuff keywords in this content, but rather write so the content flows naturally and includes mentions of the products and services you want to promote.

Unique Meta Data

Duplicate meta data exists on almost every dealership website I’ve looked at, at least to some degree. Meta data is one of the basics for SEO. Each meta title and meta description should be unique and relevant to the page.

If you have an oil change page, make sure the meta data includes the keywords searched by your users. For example, Oil Changes in Burlington VT | Servicing All Makes & Models.

You want your meta data to be consistent with the content of the page. Not only does Google use meta data as part of its ranking algorithm, it also affects user CTRs (Click-Thru Rates) within SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Because the meta title and description show as the link and content within SERPs, what you write there can help entice a user to click on your site’s result and not your competitor’s.

Google and Bing Webmaster Tools Verification

Both Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools provide valuable information about how your website is configured and performing in the SERPs. Most website providers make it simple to place verification codes into your website. If you aren’t familiar with how to do this, your representatives should be happy to help.

Once both these tools are verified, make sure to keep track of how your site is tracked. The tools will let you know if there are any glaring issues via their message consoles, as well as provide data around keyword searches and search volume, duplicate content and meta data issues and plenty more.

You should become familiar with these tools (there are plenty of tutorials online) and make them part of your routine.

Build Resource Pages

One of the most impactful tactics to increase your organic-search visibility is to create highly relevant and targeted resource pages.

Note I’m calling them resource pages and not landing pages. Resource pages should be exactly that, resources. They should be something users will be highly engaged in because they are the best resource for what they are looking for. Google rewards high quality, relevant resource pages with high rankings.

Do some research to understand what users are searching for and where you are and aren’t ranking in search results, then create resource pages for your keyword opportunities.

Do people have questions about a hot new model that is releasing soon? Do your customers understand the financing process? Are potential users searching for information about particular parts that you supply? These are all the types of questions you should ask yourself and then create resource pages if there is an available opportunity.

There are lots of complexities to SEO, and dealers sometimes get too caught up in trying to figure out and please Google’s algorithm. It is much better to consider your users, not Google and Googlebot, when thinking about SEO strategies.

User experience is now a large part of Google’s ranking algorithm, meaning they want to provide results that are beneficial to a user. You can’t just lead a horse to water anymore. You need to ensure that it drinks once it arrives. So, if you implement these SEO tactics now, you’ll be helping your dealership set the stage for a successful 2016.

Pete Bruhn is SEO product manager at, a Dealertrack solution. He has been in the digital-marketing industry for 12 years.

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