Gone are the days of stuffing websites chock-full of keyword-rich content to gain top search engine rankings. No more simple replication of webpages and the swapping of geographical targets within content to “expand” search visibility (e.g. doorway pages).
In 2015, Google is more sophisticated than ever. Its ranking algorithm focuses heavily on content relevance and user experience. When building landing pages from an SEO perspective, it’s important to design them for human users and not solely for Google’s algorithm. When you create high quality, engaging, and helpful content, Google is likely to perceive it as a resource and reward it with higher rankings.
Below is an example of a page that was built by a senior search analyst for a Dealer.com SEO client looking to reach relevant shoppers interested in the rare Toyota Tundra XSP-X. The orange highlights represent the top 10 elements that make this page pop to search engines and a highly effective driver of relevant traffic:
1. A short, keyword-targeted page URL.
2. Relevant meta data (title and description) that is short, localized & keyword targeted.
3. A standout title clearly describing what the page is about.
4. Unique, textual content written for a shopper, not a search engine bot, that exists above the fold.
5. Links to relevant pages for shoppers looking for more information, in this case, inventory and specials pages.
6. A form above the fold that allows shoppers to easily set up a test drive, thus driving conversions.
7. High quality, relevant photos that draw shoppers’ attention and entices them to submit a lead for more information.
8. Additional details/content to highlight the hot features included.
9. More high quality images that showcase the vehicle.
10. Another link directing the user to inventory & vehicle details pages.
The success of this page has been staggering. It ranks first nationally on Google for keywords such as “tundra xsp-x”, “toyota xsp-x”, and it does so without a geotarget. The dealership now leads the industry in Toyota Tundra XSP-X sales across the country. Toyota corporate was so impressed that it flew reps to the dealership’s location for an official XSP-X launch event.
It is critical to approach SEO from a quality content perspective and forget about outdated strategies designed to fool Google’s algorithm. Remember: the best custom pages are built for users, not search engines, and focus on creating a truly helpful resource for car shoppers.
About the Author: Pete Bruhn is the Associate Product Manager, SEO & Managed Services at Dealer.com. He has 10 years of experience in the SEO and search marketing industry, six while working at Dealer.com. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Google+ at google.com/+PeteBruhn.