Published On: April 11, 2012
Three Tips to Fine-Tune Your SEO and Maintain Search Rank
The SEO community is abuzz about recent comments made by Google about their new penalty against “overly optimized” websites. The penalty is aimed at websites that are heavily optimized for search engines but provide little or no value for users.
Over optimizing a website is quite simple: all you really have to do is load your content and title tags with keywords, and create one-way backlinks from other websites using keyword-targeted anchor text. In the past, this practice would help your website rank higher on search engines, and it was part of intermediate outbound SEO strategy.
However, recent Google updates show that the world’s largest search engine is focusing more on enhancing search quality by reducing the ways people can influence search rankings. As Google makes it more difficult for SEO practitioners to game search results, a different approach is needed to make websites that are more about communicating value to users and less about strategically boosting traffic. While many websites will be affected by the “overly optimized” penalty, car dealer websites should see little to no impact from Google’s new policy. Websites in the automotive industry are typically optimized using internal and external SEO. Social signals and natural backlinks from your business’ Google Places listing should help you rank well for important key terms. So unless your website is ranking well due to excessive external SEO techniques, it will not get penalized by Google.
To ensure your site is in good standing with Google, here are 3 ways to fine-tune your SEO strategy:
With so much content to publish, creating new material for your website and social media marketing campaigns can get messy. Use a simple web-based calendar such as Google Calendar to help organize what your marketing team wants to publish on a daily and weekly basis. Online tools such as HootSuite and Klout can also help you manage and track the progress of your dealership’s social media exposure.
• Make sure your SEO provider is not focusing too much on external optimization:
If you are using an SEO provider, get in touch with them to make sure they are not overly optimizing your website's external SEO. The term "external SEO" refers to the practice of keyword stuffing website content and building heavily keyword-optimized back links. Both practices were once powerful ways to boost your site ranking on SERPs, but now they can result in the reverse effect due to this new penalty. Search marketing providers that do not specialize in automotive sales may overlook the “overly optimized” penalty and continue using methods that the Google algorithm will see as "unnatural" optimization. Instead, work with your search marketing partner to develop more strategies that improve on-page SEO.
• Add web content in a variety of media, such as videos, slideshows, and images:
Search engine optimization is becoming more about rising to the top of search result pages due to how fresh and relevant your content is to a particular key term. Producing quality content has always been the best way to gain traction with both visitors and search engines. Use a variety of media such as videos, slideshows, blog posts and images to rank organically for long-tail keywords. If you are located in a metropolitan area, your dealership’s website may not rank organically for highly competitive terms like the name of your city area plus the make name (example: “Dallas Ford”). Instead, create interesting, unique content to target long tail key phrases that include three or more words. Then use pay-per-click advertisements to get traffic from two word key phrases that are hard to rank for organically, such as “Dallas Ford”. By combining SEO with paid search advertising, you cover all of your bases and leave no holes in your search marketing campaign.
As intimidating as Google’s continued updates may seem your dealer website will be less affected if you keep up with SEO best practices. Continue to provide valuable and relevant information for users, and your website can maintain its position on Google SERPs. The more you focus on enhancing user experience, visitor return rates and social sharing rates, the better results you will get from residual inbound marketing. To learn more about search engine optimization, feel free to contact us with any questions.