It’s not news that social media and SEO are invaluable to every dealership’s marketing strategy today. SEO has long been a critical element of search engine visibility, while social media, newer to the marketing scene, has become essential to a holistic digital strategy.
Perhaps what gets lost or continues to go unrecognized, however, is the increasingly important relationship between SEO and social media, how good content reaches far beyond social platforms, and that dealers need to think about an SEO and social strategy as one and the same.
While display and paid search advertising are designed to grab attention, SEO and social media, at least in this context, support brand visibility across traditional search engines and the social media platforms consumers are increasingly using to search for vehicles and dealerships.
Since it’s becoming more and more clear that one practice cannot succeed without the other, here are three ways a strong social media presence comprising high quality and frequently updated content that is informed by analytics can help your dealership’s search engine rankings improve.
1. Target a specific audience.
Social media has become more than just general community interaction. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, even YouTube allow dealers to target potential car buyers based on demographics, keywords and geographical location. Just like local SEO strategy, social posts should target a highly specific set of qualified, in-market shoppers in your region.
It’s not enough to create content, hit the post or tweet button, and hope the right people will see the message. If you want to reach the right shoppers and continue to build a following, make sure you’re poring over your social data to determine the appropriate targeting strategy.
2. Create relevant content.
Here’s an exercise: do a Google search for one of your favorite major brands and chances are its Facebook page, for example, ranks somewhere not too far from the top organic listing. That’s because high-quality, relevant content has tremendous SEO value.
What’s high-quality, relevant content? It’s engaging, informative posts, tweets, articles, captioned photos, and videos that target a specific audience.
But don’t stop there. Great social media content also means linking to supporting webpages and writing using keywords and geographic terms that relate to your business. When that content also links to your dealership’s website, it may, for example, reinforce your onsite advertising efforts and integrate with your SEO strategy to help improve search engine results page (SERP) ranking.
And one more thing. Use #hashtags when relevant. While they don’t directly affect SEO ranking, timely hashtags tactically increase awareness and engagement of your social content. They’re both content filtering tools and, sometimes, a chance to expand your brand reach by joining onto something trending on the internet that might be useful to your marketing efforts.
3. Integrate your advertising efforts.
Create content that promotes your dealership’s advertising strategy such as new vehicle launches, dealership events, comparison pages, and sales promotions. This content should always link shoppers to the website where the marketing initiatives are well detailed.
Speaking of links,
The search and social platforms we once thought as islands are now clearly part of one big digital ecosystem. The trick is to use each one effectively and with strategy interconnection so as to ensure you’re reaching as much of your target audience as possible without burning out on too much content generation. Stick to relevant content creation, one with applicable keywords, hashtags, and links, post frequently, and your dealership will be “buying” up more and more of that first SERP page real estate.
Bobby Bailey is the manager, Managed Social and Chris Nichols is the manager, SEO at Dealer.com