Welcome to Digital Homesteading.
This collection of resources from 9 Clouds helps you build your business and community.
If you want to get a vehicle off your lot, you've got to get it on your site.
Research has shown that vehicle detail pages (VDPs) are now an important player in the game of car sales. In fact, good VDPs can make or break your digital marketing strategy. That's why it's crucial to make sure these pages are found by the right people. In this post, we'll tell you our best strategy for optimizing your VDPs for awesome SEO.
What Exactly Is a VDP?
A VDP is a webpage that lists all information pertaining to a specific vehicle, including photos, videos, and other relevant details. Because the vast majority of shoppers will start by reviewing a vehicle's VDP, your dealership should have one VDP for each vehicle in your inventory.
A study conducted by Cobalt shows that the more VDP views a vehicle has, the quicker it will sell:
Clearly, VDPs are a must for your digital marketing strategy. But how can you make sure your VDPs are being seen amidst all the other online competition? Here are our five favorite SEO tactics for optimizing VDPs.
3 Ways to Optimize Your VDPs for Amazing SEO
1. Use Your Own Photos
Dealers, it's time to say goodbye to stock images.
We're serious about this one. Not only are stock images boring to look at anyway, they also tell the buyer absolutely nothing about the specific vehicle you're selling.
Visitors to your VDP want to see recent photos that were taken on your lot so that they can see the car in its current state. And they want to see lots of photos–we're talking bumper to bumper, inside and out. And while their respect for you will certainly increase if you have high-quality pictures, you don't have to be a professional photographer in order to take your own photos. Sometimes even a cell phone pic will do.
Bottom line: no matter how well-designed or well-written your VDP is, if a buyer sees a stock image in place of a real-life photo, they'll turn and run. Fast.
2. Sprinkle in Relevant Keywords
You can't talk about SEO without talking about keywords. For an effective VDP, you must use relevant keywords throughout the page, including the title, body copy, meta description, image alt text, URL, and anywhere else that makes sense.
While you certainly want to use the vehicle's year, make, model, and other information as part of your keywords, you can't forget to include location as well. If you simply write “New 2015 Nissan Versa S,” you'll never show up on a Google search for “Versas in Billings MT.”
Remember, those location-specific searches are the ones you want to target, so keep those city and state keywords in mind when making your VDPs.
3. Don't Copy and Paste
We get it–when you're creating ten VDPs on Ford Fusions, it can be super tempting to simply copy and paste the same text across the board in order to save time. But don't do it! Search engines will crawl your site for repeated text, and they'll punish you if they think you're trying to cheat the system.
While you can certainly re-use phrases and sentences here and there, you should really try to make each VDP its own unique page. Highlight the details that make a specific vehicle different from its brothers.
Car shoppers are different from other shoppers. Since a vehicle is such a big purchase, it requires far more research than most other items. That means visitors to your VDP will want as much information as they can possibly consume. So leave nothing out–photos, videos, descriptions, features, pricing, awards, ratings, special offers, suggested vehicles, owner's manuals, testimonials, disclaimers, and whatever else you can think of. And don't forget plenty of calls-to-action!
If the vehicle you're selling is used, use this opportunity to tell its history and condition. Not only will you make search engines happy, you'll also make shoppers happy, as they'll appreciate your honesty in telling them everything they need to know about the vehicle's past.
Still Need Help Optimizing Your VDPs?
If you don't know what you're doing, vehicle detail pages can be a real pain. Not only are they time-consuming to create, but there's just so much to consider–including angles you may not have even considered.
For professional auto SEO help, give us a shout or click below to read our auto resources. We've got tons of experience in helping dealers improve their presence online, and we know just what to do with those pesky VDPs.