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After several years of helping to market automotive inventory over the Internet, I still meet dealers who are unclear about the benefits of online marketing or who don't understand how it works. With that in mind, I'd like to take a few minutes to give an overview of your Web marketing options.
I believe if you know how the Web works as a marketing tool it is much easier to squeeze maximum ROI value out of it. That is not to say you need to know how to write HTML code or how to create a cascading style sheet. But to ensure the success of your Web site, as well as your overall marketing efforts, it is important to understand your online options: SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing) and emerging search engine technologies.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Optimizing your Web site for search engines is the best way to ensure that your site attracts the visitors you most desire. SEO includes techniques to improve your Web site's ranking on organic (natural as opposed to paid) search result pages through the use of relevant content, keywords and linked sites.
To consistently generate high traffic and qualified leads, you'll need to first provide services and content that people need. And your Web site will need a strong foundation designed to last over time.
Any appreciation of how search engines work starts with an understanding of the keyword concept. A word or phrase in an online search that is used to find relevant Web pages is called a keyword. For example, €certified pre-owned vehicles€ might be used to match local online shoppers to your store. Site relevancy relates to the relationship between site content and keywords. The keywords you target should describe the content that visitors will find when reaching your site. An important goal in optimizing your Web site, then, is to select the most appropriate keywords that will drive the maximum number of targeted visitors to your site, where they will find the relevant content they are seeking. (I'll say more about keyword selection later in this article.)
Another way to improve your site ranking is through linking. By providing relevant content that users consider valuable, they can be convinced more often to link to your Web site. Google considers inbound link volume when positioning your site in search engine results pages. Typically, the higher the number of relevant links associated with your site, the higher your site is ranked. Google considers more than just linking, as we shall see in my discussion of SEM next.
The bottom line? Earning high rankings on major search engines is an on-going task.
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