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The Importance of Local SEO for Dealers

By ensuring your dealer network has done their due diligence in regards to basic local SEO best practices, prospective customers will be better able to connect with your brand and find your products. Regular check-ins with dealers about their SEO initiatives will ensure your brand is represented at both the national and local level of search. Here are a few critical things to consider.

Looking beyond your website
As a marketer, you have known for years to pay close attention to your brand’s website SEO and make efforts to optimize your site for search. Your site may rank high and receive quality visitors from organic search. But if these visitors still need to be connected to a dealer for purchase, how can you ensure they are able to do so?

Sure, you can have a dealer list or a dealer search tool on your site to connect visitors to your dealer network, but do you know the quality of your dealers’ SEO? Because it matters.

Dealer websites have a unique opportunity to answer to general and local search queries, such as “appliance repair near me,” “appliance dealers near me,” or any query that includes a specific city or area they serve. Dealers can make efforts to ensure their sites are appearing for these types of searches by optimizing for local search.

Basic SEO Best Practices Can Still Go a Long Way

While local SEO efforts are the focus of this article, ensuring a dealer’s website is covering the basics is still very important. Potential customers may not have a strong brand affinity and, therefore, could skip interacting with the manufacturer website first. Their decision could be made based on which dealer displays first in search or has offered them the best experience.

Basic SEO tactics are still valuable in helping with search engine rankings. Moz, a software-as-a-service provider and SEO thought leader, offers a handy Beginners Guide to SEO overview that can be used to educate dealers about the importance of SEO, along with best practices.

As far as bare SEO minimums go, Power recommends ensuring dealer sites are at least doing the following:

  • A tactical keyword list is developed and appropriate keywords are used throughout the site
  • Page meta data (titles, descriptions and alt tags) is appropriate and in place
  • Proper headline hierarchy (H1, H2, H3, etc.) is followed
  • 301 redirects and a proper 404 page are in place
  • An up-to-date XML sitemap is managed
  • Site URLs are properly structured
  • Back-links from quality sites are being targeted (focusing on .gov, .org and .edu domains)

My Business from Google – Stake Your Claim on Local SEO

The next step dealers can take with their websites is to ensure they are showing up for relevant local searches with a Google My Business account. Google My Business is a free tool for businesses and organizations that complements dealers’ existing websites by giving their businesses a public identity and presence with a listing on Google, including in Search and Maps.

If your dealers have previously used Google Places for Business or Google+ Pages Dashboard to manage their business information, their accounts have been automatically upgraded to a Google My Business account.

With a Google My Business account, dealers can publicly list crucial business information, including business hours, contact information and links to their website, and they can manage costumer reviews. Once a dealer’s business is set up and verified with the service, their information will be included in Google’s Knowledge Panel and local search results in Google Maps.

According to a 2014 study for Google by Oxera, businesses that verify their information with Google My Business are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. Dealers can learn more about signing up and verifying their business through Google My Business, right here.

Make Local SEO for Your Dealers a Part of Your SEO Initiatives

If you don’t have strong communication with your dealer network, with effective and relevant marketing support like SEO optimization, make it a priority for 2018. Power can help! From Strategy & Analytics to Digital to Media, our talented teams can create a customized plan to make your marketing dollars work a lot smarter. Contact us today!

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