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AUTO SHOP SEO CHECKLIST: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR SEARCH RANKINGS

Is your auto shop website not showing up in search results? If not, you probably feel pretty frustrated. After all, you’ve poured a lot of time, effort, and money into building a high-quality website – so why isn’t it performing up to expectations?

 

Here’s a surprising statistic: only 17 percent of small businesses invest in search engine optimization (SEO). Is yours one of them?

 

If not, don’t worry – all that means is if you start taking SEO more seriously, you could see some huge results which could boost your auto shop above the competition.

 

Regardless of whether or not you launched your website with SEO best practices in mind, you might have missed out on some critical steps toward guaranteeing your long-term success. Today, let’s explore five ways you can improve your auto shop website’s SEO today.

 

1. GET SET UP FOR SUCCESS

Before you undertake any changes or optimizations, it's best to get set up with tools that show you where you are today, so you can monitor progress.

 

First and foremost. Make sure your website is connected to Google Search Console so you can keep track of your performance data on a regular basis. And don’t forget -- it’s critical for your site to have an XML sitemap which lists your website’s most important pages  so Google can find and crawl them. Previously mentioned tools like WordPress’s Yoast plugin enable users to quickly generate sitemap.xml files. 

 

By also using online tools like Similarweb or SEMrush, you can track how your website is performing every day and compare it to your local competitors. Then, any time you include new keywords in your website content or start a new online marketing campaign, you can quickly determine their effectiveness.

 

One great way to track your website’s performance over time is to keep any changes recorded in an Excel spreadsheet or another document you’re comfortable with. Work toward positive trends in traffic, filled contact forms, and more drivers coming into your shop after visiting your website.

 

2. MAKE SURE YOUR TITLES, DESCRIPTIONS, AND URLS ARE SEO FRIENDLY

Every time you create a new page or update existing pages, make sure every element is fully optimized for search engines. This is especially important for meta titles, meta descriptions, and URLs, some of the most fundamental building blocks of SEO.

 

Here are the best ways to stay on top of these issues:

  1. Include your target keywords in your meta titles and descriptions, headers, and subheaders.
  2. Write unique meta titles between 50-60 characters for every page.
  3. Write unique meta descriptions under 160 characters for every page.
  4. Use short, readable URLs whenever possible, avoiding “junk” numbers and letters.  
  5. Include specific keywords in URLs for their corresponding pages.

If your website runs on WordPress, you already have access to a selection of helpful plugins like Yoast and SEOPress to guide you through the process of optimizing these aspects of your site. Improving these sections of the back end of your website can show positive results practically overnight. 

 

3. KEEP YOUR WEBSITE LOADING TIMES UP TO SPEED

How many times have you given up on exploring a website simply because it took forever to load each page? Did you know that 53 percent of mobile site visitors will abandon a webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load?

 

The sweet spot for loading times is 1-2 seconds per page. Anything beyond that is worse, and if your website takes 4 seconds or more, you might have a real disaster on your hands. Fortunately, Google Chrome has built-in tools that allow you to check speeds like PageSpeed or Lighthouse, and Google Search Console now provides speed reports under their “Enhancements” section. For an alternative to Google’s tools, try GTmetrix, a resource which can help uncover more details on why your website may be performing poorly. 

 

The biggest reason why auto shop website pages load slowly is because of poorly optimized images. That’s why you should never upload an image directly from your PC onto your website without compressing them first with an online tool like this one. Your videos can also significantly slow down loading times, so try not to have too many on your most important pages.

 

4. RUN A LINK BUILDING CAMPAIGN

Any mentions of your auto website from trustworthy websites in the same city as your business is an exceptional way to boost your local SEO. These mentions, often with a hyperlink to your site, are called backlinks. In general, the more times your business is mentioned anywhere on other websites, the better.

 

The goal here is to pursue natural links with other business websites in your area that will draw the attention of drivers in your community. The more optimized and genuine your content, the better for your local search engine rankings.

 

The most popular and successful auto shops in your area very likely have a solid number of links leading to their websites. Take a look at online resources like Ahrefs.com to see what kind of backlinks your competitors have, then try and replicate their success. And remember: the most important aspect of your auto shop’s link building campaign is to ensure that both inbound and outbound links are relevant to your business. One of the many benefits of partnering with Castrol is a detailed listing on our Where to Buy tool, allowing you to earn an inbound link from a  high quality Domain.

 

5. FIX THE MOST COMMON SEO ISSUES

Have you uncovered some serious SEO issues affecting your website’s (and your auto shop’s) performance? It’s important to nail your problems down quickly and get to work on correcting them.

 

The most common “under the hood” SEO issues your website may experience include:

Take your time and figure out which of these issues could be harming your website performance the most. By recognizing and addressing them quickly, you’ll provide a better experience for your visitors and see improved traffic overall.

 

IN CONCLUSION

Every auto shop marketer must realize that search engine optimization is not a one-time-only process. Instead, keeping strong SEO for your auto shop website requires regular maintenance and testing, fine-tuning, and monitoring. Set up a monthly or even weekly time to check in on your results and keep an eye on what your competition is doing.

 

Did you find this SEO checklist helpful for your auto shop website? Check out the Castrol Insider Resource Hub for more actionable advice, eye-opening information, and useful guides just like this one!