Published On: March 28, 2012
Learn What SEO Pros Are Using to Boost Location-Based Search Ranking
With the recent Venice update, Google has improved the way they detect and rank search results for location-related keywords. Whenever car shoppers search Google for a particular brand and city keyword such as “Toyota Los Angeles,” the SERPs display three types of results. The results that show at the very top are usually Google ads, followed by Google Places listings, and finally the organic listings of dealership websites. Aside from pay-per-click advertising, having an optimized Google Places listing and creating pages with location-based content are the two best ways to get your business more visibility on the first page of Google. As Google continues to deliver more focused search results that prioritize geographical area, it is now absolutely essential that your dealer website is optimized to target location-related keywords. Here are 5 SEO tools you can use to help your dealer website rank higher for location-based search queries:1. KML Generator
A KML file lets Google know the exact address and latitude/longitude of your business. This information helps Google rank your company’s website when people search for keywords that include your services and a city name. Uploading a KML file to your website boosts its visibility, because Google can better recognize that your dealership serves an area relevant to users. To get the benefits of this local search optimization strategy, you will need to upload a KML file to your website. Here’s a free tool that helps you generate this file: KML Generator.2. Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer shows you link metrics such as page authority, domain authority and the type of anchor texts used for inbound links. Building inbound links with keyword-targeted anchor text is a central part of SEO. To rank higher for search queries that include a city name, you will have to include location keywords in anchor text. If your car dealership currently works with an SEO provider, then you can use Open Site Explorer to see the kind of links they are building for your website. Google’s search also uses social data like user reviews, Google +1’s and social media sharing to determine search ranking. The premium features on Open Site Explorer will let you see more in-depth metrics on Facebook shares, tweets and Google +1.3. Google Local Search Toolkit
Another helpful tool is the Google Local Search Toolkit. This program finds key information about the top Google Places listings for any keyword query you want to target. It helps you see how many external citations, reviews, and images are being used to optimize each listing. You can also get insight into the website title tags other local competitors are using, as well as their distance from different cities.4. hCard Creator
The hCard is a type of microformat that provides Google with contact information for people, organizations and places. Adding hCard content to your dealer website gives Google further data it can use to determine how relevant your business is for any given city name. Use the free hCard creator to create this information for your website: hCard Creator.5. Schema for Automotive Businesses
Google’s new enhanced search categorizes websites based on the kind of information they offer. A schema is a type of website markup language that tells Google, Bing and Yahoo about the category in which your website belongs. Auto dealers definitively benefit by having the “LocalBusiness” schema markup added to their website, because it helps search engines identify the address and business information for the site. You can use this free schema code generator for automotive businesses to create a schema code that includes your business name, address, and the phone number. This code will identify your website as a member of the "LocalBusiness > AutomotiveBusiness" category.
Effective SEO is mainly about communicating relevant information about your website to Google, Yahoo and Bing. Make it easy for the search engines to find and identify facts about your dealer website, and you will notice its gradual increase in organic rankings. To learn more about search engine optimization, feel free to get in touch with us.