If you’ve ever talked to an internet marketer, you’ve heard about SEO. Since the birth of the internet, SEO has been a hot topic, and it’s not going anywhere. What does that mean for mobile home dealers? And what can dealers do about it?
Before we dive into all that, let’s define what SEO actually is. It’s an acronym that stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. And like the name implies, it relates to optimizing content for a website that is easier to find on the various search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) It is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your site via organic search results.That’s a mouthful, so here’s the condensed version: Good SEO means that dealers will get more mobile home buyers from people visiting your website.
How can you get great SEO? That is the million-dollar question that everyone is working to answer. Great SEO means that the search engines think that your site is a good resource for your potential home buyers.
Search Engines ‘crawl’ (read and discover) websites on a regular basis, and they analyze all the content on the site. They are programmed to understand what’s on the site, and then bring that information back to the search engine’s index. All the data is fed through an algorithm, and sites are ranked based on the keywords and information they contain.
The ultimate goal is to allow the user (whoever is searching), to find the best website based on their query. If someone searches for ‘mobile home dealer near me’, the search engine wants to show them the best website that meets that criteria.
As business owners, you want your dealership to rank as high as you can on any search engine query that relates to your business. The higher you rank, the more people will click on your site. And if lots of people are visiting your site, you should be getting lots of sales. So how do you rank high? Simple: You provide a valuable and engaging experience to the user on your site. There are lots of different factors that go into this, but the bottom line is that you need to give the user exactly what they’re looking for.
To determine the quality of a site, search engines look at the following factors:
Updated and Secure Website
Obviously, you have to have a website for your dealership for search engines to be able to find it in the first place. And the website you have must be secure and up to date. If you’ve got a site, but you haven’t updated or modified it since 2004, this is hurting your SEO performance. And if you don’t have one at all, it’s time to get one.
Page Load Speed
No one likes a slow website, and the search engines know it. If you’re on a reasonably fast connection, page loads should be almost instantaneous. If they’re not, you have something slowing down the page that needs to be fixed. For mobile home dealer sites, the most common culprit is a large photo. Photos are great, but you don’t need an image that is so large that it is slowing down the site.
85% of adults in the US own a smart phone. That’s up from 30% in 2011, so you can see where that trend is going. This means that your site has to function perfectly when visited from a mobile device. The search engines will look at the mobile version of your site, and they will rank it based on how well both versions perform.
Domain Age and Authority
Chances are, the longer a website has been around, the more valuable it is. If a domain (website address) has had lots of traffic since the dawn of the internet, it’s probably a valuable resource. There’s not much you can do to affect this, unfortunately. A website’s age is what it is, and there’s nothing to do to make it seem older.
This is a big one, because you have 100% control over this. Content refers to anything that can be read, listened to, watched, or consumed in any other manner on a website. This is blog posts, images, videos, announcements, bios, etc. on your dealership’s page. The more information you have, the more valuable the search engines think your website is. A good website must have valuable content that is of interest to its users.
This is in your web developer’s hands. There are many back end (not visible to the user) pieces of information that help a search engine know more about a website. Meta tags, meta descriptions, and alt tags are some examples of this.
For a website to be effective, it must be a good experience for the user. Think of this like your sales lot: if you have 30 mobile homes on the lot, you want them to be laid out well so that your customers can see the one they want, and get to it easily. Like a dealership, your website’s information must be clear, easy to access, and assembled in a pleasing manner. Google has actually developed AI (artificial intelligence) software that is able to test the user experiences on websites as if Google were an actual person.
You need links coming into the site, and you need links going out. Websites do not live on an island, and the search engines do not like websites that are isolated from the rest of the web. An isolated website typically means that no one is interested in it, and that’s not what you want.
You need a social presence for your business as well. SEO experts have gone back and forth re: how much social presence affects search engine rankings, but it’s best to air on the side of caution and create social pages for your businesses. Google crawls the social networks like any other site, and the more they see your business mentioned, the better.
There are many directories out there, and it’s best to have your business in as many of them as possible. Search engines crawl directories as well, and they need to see your business as often as possible. Start with Google My Business, and then go from there.
Bear in mind this is a mile high view of SEO. And like an iceberg, there is much more that lies beneath the surface. If you’d like Bild Media to have a look at your website, contact us here. We would love to help you in any way that we can.