Search engine optimization (SEO). It’s something many companies in the automotive industry think about but few actually take advantage of. And that’s especially true when it comes to auto parts manufacturers and retailers. 

Some companies shy away from SEO and digital marketing because they don’t know where to start. Others are afraid of making a mistake that harms their business. And there are just as many, if not more, who don’t want to take on the cost.  

Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be a digital marketing professional to implement a sound SEO strategy.  

There are two basic options available to you: 

  • Hire an agency to manage your marketing efforts. 
  • Do it yourself by focusing on the basics of SEO, social media, and content marketing. 

Either way, you’re taking a step in the right direction.  

Digital Marketing: Driving the Auto Industry 

Get this: approximately 64% of marketers actively invest time in search engine optimization.  

So if you’re not getting in on the action, there’s a good chance your competition will pass you by online. And that’s not a risk you want to take in 2020 and beyond.  

The auto industry, in particular, is extremely competitive online. For example, auto parts retailers have to contend with major players in the industry as well as up-and-comers taking advantage of a low barrier of entry. 

If you want to reach the top of your niche within the automotive industry, it’s critical to have a digital marketing and SEO strategy to guide you.  

7 Game-Changing Automotive SEO Tips 

There’s a lot you can do from an SEO perspective, but this article is all about simplicity. 

We don’t want to bog you down with terms you don’t understand and advanced techniques that are best left to more experienced digital marketers. 

With that in mind, here are seven search engine marketing tips you can use to make a difference: 

1. Conduct a Site Audit 

This is where it all begins. Without a site audit, you don’t know what you’re working with. And that alone makes it impossible to make informed decisions. 

This doesn’t have to be an overly complex process. Furthermore, with the help of one of the many SEO tools on the market – such as SEMrush - you don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting yourself. 

A site audit provides an overview of the health of your website. This includes but is not limited to things such as: 

  • Proper use of meta tags and meta descriptions 
  • Site content 
  • Backlinks 
  • Broken links 
  • Pages that are slow to load 

You hope that your site audit shows that you’ve done everything right, but it’s more likely that there will be some areas of concern (especially if you haven’t done any SEO work in the past). 

As you move forward with your SEO strategy, keep this audit nearby so you can make the necessary changes. Remember, small changes can have a big impact on your organic rankings.  

2. Focus on Your Content 

Even if you don’t know the first thing about technical SEO, you probably have a good understanding of your site content (even if you realize it’s time to make some changes). 

This includes everything from the content on static pages to blog posts. If it’s content on your website, it’s content you should review and edit as you see fit. 

A growing number of companies in the auto industry are turning their attention to content marketing. This includes things such as: 

  • Regularly publishing blog posts 
  • Sharing content via social media 
  • Creating video content 
  • Starting a podcast 
  • Distributing press releases, slide decks, and white papers 

There’s no shortage of ways to use content to your advantage. For example, if you’re part of the auto parts industry and you have an active blog, you could share the following: 

  • New products  
  • Interviews with industry experts 
  • Auto maintenance guidance and advice  
  • Industry updates and trends 

You get the point. The only thing limiting your content is your imagination.  

As you create new content, do so with your audience in mind. Write in a manner that provides them with detailed, actionable, and engaging information. 

Of course, you should also write with Google in mind. This means doing things like: 

  • Identifying your primary keyword 
  • Identifying secondary keywords 
  • Including the keywords in your content (without keyword stuffing) 
  • Including your keyword in the title tag 

Content is king, and that’s especially true when it comes to search engine optimization. If you’re not investing in content, don’t expect to see good things on the search engine results pages (SERPs).  

High quality, targeted content is a must in today’s digital world.  

3. Review Your Backlink Profile 

There used to be a time when an SEO strategy was as simple as this: create a lot of keyword-stuffed content and point as many links to it as possible. The website with the most links was typically the one found at the top of Google. 

But that was a long time ago. Today, if you want your website to rise to the top of the SERPs, you must have a general understanding of the more than 200 Google ranking factors

While all of these factors are worth your consideration, the fact of the matter is this: backlinks are still critical to your success. 

The key to beating your competitors is securing quality backlinks from websites in your industry (or a related industry). 

For instance, if you’re staffed with the responsibility of marketing an auto parts manufacturing company, seek links from a dealer website, your customers (auto manufacturers), and the stores that sell your products.  

On the other hand, don’t seek out links from online casinos and video game message boards. Links from these sites hold no relevance, so they won’t give your online presence a boost. In fact, if you have too many of these low-quality links, it can result in a Google penalty. 

Upon reviewing your backlink profile, decide what to do next. If you’ve done a good job naturally securing high-quality links in the past, stick with your strategy. But if you’ve struggled in this area, it’s critical to devote the necessary time to link building in the future.  

4. Start Small 

This isn’t specific to the auto industry. Any company, big or small, that’s first getting into SEO should start small. Biting off more than you can chew early on typically results in two things: 

  • Financial loss 
  • Fear of SEO 

Starting small means something different to every company. To you, it may mean focusing solely on content marketing as a means of improving your SEO. For another, social media combined with blogging may be the perfect mix. 

If you want to win big with SEO, focus solely on this side of your marketing efforts. Don’t overextend yourself, such as by trying to figure out search engine optimization and PPC advertising at the same time.  

5. Set Realistic Goals  

This isn’t a tip that will directly affect your rankings, but it’s critical to getting on and staying on the right track. 

Here’s an example of a reasonable goal: rank on the first page of Google for a high-volume keyword within three to six months. 

Now, here’s an unrealistic goal: rank #1 in Google for a high-volume keyword within one month. 

Both your short and long-term goals should be realistic and attainable. If you set goals that are next to impossible to reach, it will only lead to frustration. And when frustration sets in, you’re more likely to give up on search engine marketing before giving it a real chance to produce results.  

6. Optimize for Desktop and Mobile Devices 

This is one of the most overlooked SEO tips for auto industry companies that want to improve their marketing efforts.  

There used to be a time when the majority of people browsed the internet on a traditional computer. But with each passing year, mobile devices – including smartphones and tablets – are picking up steam. 

With 63 percent of Google searches originating on a mobile device, a mobile-friendly website is no longer optional. It’s a must. 

You may be wondering what this has to do with SEO, right? Well, fair or not, Google takes into consideration whether or not a website is mobile-friendly, along with page load speed. 

Don’t optimize your website for one or the other. Optimize for both to ensure that you provide a high-quality browsing experience, while also meeting Google’s requirements.  

Simply put, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re chasing away visitors and giving Google a reason to suppress your search engine rankings.  

7. Hire a Marketing Agency 

If you don’t have the time, desire, and/or expertise to manage your own digital marketing and SEO efforts, you can always hire a marketing agency or SEO company to run things on your behalf. 

Yes, it’ll cost you money, but you’ll more than make up for it if they’re successful in generating more traffic, leads and ultimately new customers. 

There are a lot of people and many companies that claim to be SEO experts, so it’s critical to take your time when choosing a marketing agency. You could easily make a mistake that costs you time and money, and in some cases, results in a penalized website. 

Here’s what you should look for in a marketing agency: 

  • A clear understanding of the automotive industry and automotive SEO 
  • A roadmap that provides an overview of their SEO strategy for your brand 
  • A company that understands your goals, whether that is more website traffic, potential customers in your sales pipeline, or another metric

There are clear-cut advantages of hiring a marketing agency with a focus on automotive SEO services. Not only do you gain access to a team of SEO experts, but they can also help with other digital marketing-related tasks such as local search optimization, Google My Business optimization, PPC advertising, and social media. 

If you’re on the fence, contact a few agencies to see what they have to offer. It never hurts to learn more.  

Optimize Your Way to the Top of the Automotive Industry 

What do you think about these SEO tips? Do they have you rethinking your digital marketing strategy? Are you more confident than ever in your ability to carry out an effective online marketing plan? 

With the right approach to SEO, you’re in a position to beat your competitors to the top of Google (among other search engines). As your website climbs the rankings for your target keywords, you’ll come to find your organic traffic following suit. 

Forget about what you’ve done (or haven’t done) in the past. You have plenty of opportunities ahead to implement an SEO strategy that will take your company to the next level.