Despite what some people might tell you, search engine optimization (SEO) is still alive and kicking. Sure, you now have other ways of attracting potential customers and building a relationship. The rise of social media has seen the future of SEO being put into doubt but you should still be using it to bring customers to your dealership site.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is around the keywords you use. These are simply the words or phrases which you identify as being important to attract the visitors you are after. If you get these right then you stand a much better chance of being successful. On the hand, get it wrong and you could simply waste time and resources without getting any benefit from it. So how should you go about finding the right keywords?

Target Your Market

The first step is to make sure you know what market you are targeting. The simplest way to start is to think about your target audience in a geographical sense. After all, if you are a Canadian car dealer then isn’t going to help you out very much reaching number one on keywords which are used by people in New Zealand or India. There is no reason to restrict yourself to just the city you are based in but you should consider how far afield you can reasonably expect customers to travel from. Once you have this clear in your head it should make the choosing of keywords easier. Ford Trucks Ontario or New Chevrolet Quebec are phrases which are going to attract the people you want. Vague phrases such as Ford Trucks for Sale could be a lot more hit and miss and will see you up against much tougher competition because they have global appeal.

Understand the Customer’s Intent

Ideally, you want customers who are serious about buying a vehicle just now to find you. Clearly this isn’t always possible but by understating the keywords they use we can understand something about the customer’s intent. For example, if they search for 2010 Jeep Grand Cherokee Winnipeg then it seems that they already know exactly what they want. On the other, someone who just looks for Jeep Grand Cherokee could be thinking about buying just now or not. Long, specific phrases which show a definite intent are called long tail keywords and are seen by SEO experts as a powerful way of attracting exactly the customers you are looking for.

Think Creatively

What other phrases could be of interest to the clients you want to see walk through your door? Might they be looking for advice on coping with tough winter driving conditions if you live somewhere which is currently under snow, on selling their old auto or on special finance deals? One of the great things about spending time thinking about your keywords is that it allows you to be creative. Can you think of a great long tail keyword which your competitors haven’t thought of yet? If you can then you will get a feeling of immense satisfaction once it starts brining you visitors to the site. Above all, you need to remember that you want valuable customers who might buy from you, rather than folk who entered your site expecting something else or those people who are just curious but have no real intention of buying.