On Episode 3 of the Think Bigger Podcast my colleague, Crystal Mack, gave some awesome tips on how car dealers can get started creating relevant content on their websites for users and search engines alike. One piece of advice in particular is game-changing cure for SEO writer’s block, and a great place for dealers to start:
Use the questions your sales and service customers ask you on a daily basis to inform the type of content to write about. Chance are if they are asking you these questions, there’s hundreds of others asking Google the same questions too.
This strategy is a great, actionable way to start generating content. If you have a lot of customers asking you how to set up bluetooth in a particular model — that’s a blog! If you have a lot of customers wondering which truck is right for the amount and type of towing they need to do — that’s another blog! For every 1 customer that’s asks those questions in person, there are exponentially more people asking Google, looking for a trusted source to lead them in the right direction.
*Please note: This advice doesn’t apply to every question a customer asks. If you get a weird, irrelevant question, it would become a weird, irrelevant blog!
Once you get that ball rolling and are putting helpful, relevant blogs out into the world, you can start to hone in on your SEO craft — like keyword research, meta descriptions, and site optimization. Listen to Crystal’s “Ask an Expert” segment at the 37:18 mark to hear it in her own expert words!
After listening to Crystal’s tips, I was inspired to build upon her foundation and thus, Connor’s Ultimate Guide to Creating Captivating Content was born! Below is a road map you can follow to create SEO content for your dealership’s blog once you have those great topics!
Introducing… the Keys to Introductions!
Welcome to the introduction of great content. An intro should accomplish a few objectives: it should give the reader an idea of what the piece is going to talk about, it should tell the reader a rough order you are going to follow, and most importantly, your content “hooks” should sink in and never let go.
To help readers get an idea of what’s to come, an author should give a mini example of what the body is going to focus on. Laying out a structure of what is coming will help users stay engaged and want to read more. It will also give readers a way to jump to what is most important to them. Establishing a structure will help readers stay engaged and make you seem trustworthy.
As we’ve discussed before, outrageous claims in an introduction can be risky. It’s best to stick to what you’re talking about in a realistic manner. Writing a good intro can be tricky, but you shouldn’t rely on being tricky to keep a reader motivated. Honesty and compelling language can go a long way with any type of content, especially in an introduction.
Body Content – It’s All In the Details
Because body content is the main bulk of your piece, it’s important to stay interesting and not get too complicated. For example, if you’re writing about specs on a new vehicle, you will want to include hard data and numbers, but you will want to also discuss why those numbers matter. It’s great to let readers know that a car has 246 horsepower, but what are the implications? What can someone do with that horsepower? Providing details and examples will keep content relatable, so readers don’t get bogged down with too many numbers and specs.
Another way to keep readers interested in the body of your content is to play around with formatting and styles. For example:
- Bullet points (see what I did there?)
- Numbered lists
- Short paragraphs
- Custom graphics
- Custom text boxes
- Video (we’ll talk more about that later)
- Charts and tables
- Pull quotes
Utilizing a variety of formatting and styles is not just visually appealing; it helps readers stay interested. Readers get overwhelmed with long chunks of text, big paragraphs, and a lack of a visual appeal. Body content is where most your information is going to live, so it’s important that, if you need readers to see something, you make it as obvious as possible. Using an image, bulleted list, or video to stand out will help readers more clearly see what you want them to see.
Images and Videos are Your Friend
As we’ve discussed before, video makes everything better. Not only does video help your SEO, it is engaging to everyone. In a video, you can show users what you want them to see in greater detail. It is important, though, when considering video to make sure you have a professional look. A bad video can lead people away from your site and make you seem less trustworthy.
While making a video is simple, making a good video is not. Quality video takes time, practice, equipment, and knowledge. Like we said, good video can help SEO, make your page more authoritative, and provide users another reason to stay on your site, but good video is also tricky. Lucky for you, we know how to make quality video.
Check out some of work below, and learn more about how effective video is to your bottom line in this recent blog!
The CTA: Close Your Content the Right Way
A closing paragraph can do many things: it can seal the deal on a sale, it can get users to go to more pages on your website, or it can get you leads or phone calls. The absolute worst thing that can happen with a closing paragraph is you leave users wanting more with nowhere to go. It’s important to make sure users have the next logical step laid out right in front of them. Whether it’s sending them to your inventory, a contact form, or providing a phone number, you always want users to know where they can go next without having to search for it.
Providing a call to action (CTA) is a simple process. CTA’s should follow these simple practices:
- They should be visually appealing with buttons, forms, or clickable images.
- They should be simple – you don’t want readers getting lost in content.
- Buttons or forms should be easy to find – you want readers to see them right away.
- Use action-oriented language in order to urge readers to follow those steps you laid out for them.
But Wait, There’s More!
Title tags are incredibly important if you want users to even get to your site. Your title tag is what shows up in a search engine results page. It’s important to be informative, creative, and give people a good idea of what you’re talking about. As we mentioned above, it’s better to rely on creative language and honesty rather than tricking people into thinking your content is something it’s not. Title tags and descriptions don’t have an exact formula, but here are some guidelines to follow when writing your title tags and descriptions:
- Be Unique: Never follow a set formula that all your titles follow. It’s important to give each page its own flavor or flare.
- Don’t keyword stuff: A good title tag is like salt. Salt can make or break a meal, but too much is guaranteed to ruin your dinner and leave a funny taste in your mouth. It’s better to naturally put your keyword near the beginning of your title and keep it interesting.
- Include your brand: Always include your name or brand in a title tag whenever possible. You want users to know they are going to your site along with seeing your name.
- Write to humans: As we’ve said, search engines want to give users answers. If you write a title like “We Have Great, Cheap, Amazing Cars,” you will seem like a robot that’s not providing relevant information. Instead, make sure you are telling humans what your content is offering. “Providing Affordable and Reliable Cars for Years | Dealership” not only sounds better, but it seems like it is written for a human.
- Title Length: You want to make sure your entire title is viewable to people searching. You don’t want to run into search engines cutting off your title tag. A good rule of thumb is to keep your title tag under 60 characters, although there is no guarantee of search engines following that number.
Sound Like a Lot of Work?
Don’t you fret – Dealer Inspire is here to help! We have an incredible content team that has this formula down. Our content team works with many other departments (SEO, Social, and Video) to make sure your content is 100% what you need. Our priority is the reader, because more and more Google is prioritizing content that answers a question — content that provides EXACTLY what the reader is looking for. At DI, we know how to uncover what exactly a reader is looking for and answer that question in the best way possible.