By Les Abrams
Websites, like dealerships, are worthless unless people show up to look around. You need to drive traffic to your online showroom with strategies like search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).
SEM is paid advertising in the sponsored link section of a results page.
SEO involves customizing your website so search engines find it naturally. Then your dealership will simply appear on the results page—matched to the customer’s needs. SEO takes advantage of the power of the Internet.
In a nutshell, here’s how search engines like Google work:
- Google scans the Internet for data, photos, and videos. It indexes most of what’s out there. When someone does a search, Google reviews its files and presents the findings.
- You get your dealership listed near or at the top of the findings by having relevant and visible content that users are searching for.
- You really need an expert in SEO to help you customize your website, but you should be fluent in the language of SEO so you can communicate with the expert.
- SEO specialists drive people to your website through the sophisticated integration of keywords, videos, and other online elements.
- Fancy animation may not be a plus. Search engines may not be able to read the animation, thus hurting your ability to show up high on the results listings.
At the Academy, we explain SEO and what it can do. It’s an increasingly important marketing tool, and the most successful dealers we see are involved personally.
Instructor Les Abrams teaches Variable Operations in Week 4 of 6 in the NADA Academy program. He can be reached at [email protected]. Visit to download the schedule and applications for all programs.