Keyword Stuffing – How to Improve the SEO of your Dealership’s Website
Members of our Dealer Family are always looking for ways to improve their search engine rankings. Carsforsale.com is here to help! We provide custom websites to our Dealer Family, which are optimized for local searches. However, some dealers prefer to take website strategies into their own hands. While SEO (Search Engine Optimization) has become a hugely popular term to throw around, this expansive topic is too large to cover in one post. Today, we’d like to explain the concept of “Keyword Stuffing,” and why you should avoid it.
First, you need to understand what “keyword stuffing” is. Google defines keyword stuffing as “the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google search results.”
But, wait, don’t most SEO advisors tell you to use keywords whenever possible???
Keywords are very powerful and very important. However, you should not abuse the power of keywords. Often times, dealers attempt to “stuff” their titles, descriptions, meta tags, and home page text with too many keywords.
Here at Carsforsale.com, we have witnessed dealers submit a list of over 100 keywords to place in their keyword and description meta tags. Many dealers have been misled to believe that jamming the most keywords possible into their meta tags will improve their search rankings. Similarly, we’ve seen dealers attempt to place keywords on their website that are not at all related to their services, such as the name of a local baseball team. Another common error we see is the attempt to place over 50 keywords in their title tags, which are intended to have a limit of 70 characters. These dealers are only hurting themselves with such tactics.
You may be asking yourself how Keyword Stuffing can hurt your website and search engine rankings. There are three primary ways it can hurt your site. First, it leads to penalties from search engines. Search Engines such as Google and Bing do not like it when you try to “trick” them. Penalties from search engines can result in a large drop in rankings, or even severe punishment such as website ban or de-indexing. Secondly, the text looks either “spammy” or unreadable. If you’re website contains unreadable text, you will lose credibility with the user. Thirdly, this practice decreases user engagement. Once a user loses interest in your page, you will likely push away potential conversions, such as submitting a lead.
We would like to stress for the members of our Dealer Family to create quality-filled content, which allows them to use keywords associated with their services. For instance, make sure that your “Financing Page” provides useful information, specific to financing a vehicle. You should not have content regarding Ford, Chevy, current specials, or dealership history on your Financing page. Keep the content of your Financing page to relevant information, such as loan information, co-borrower information, financing options, and a secure loan application form. If you place emphasis on creating informative and useful content, the selection of your keywords will come naturally.
It is important to know what to place in your Title, Description, and Keyword fields for your dealership’s website. Use the following guidelines:
Title: The title tag is the main text that describes your page. Keep this title tag to under 70 characters, as search engines will truncate anything longer. This is one of the most important on-page SEO factors, next to the content itself. Make a title tag that is accurate and concise in describing your dealership!
Description: The meta description is extremely important to gain user “click-through” from search engine results pages. This should be a short paragraph advertising the content of your page, and letting the user know that you have exactly what they’re looking for. Keep this description to approximately 155 characters.
Keywords: Search engines will sometimes use these meta keywords for information when indexing your website. Fill this section out with keywords that directly relate to your dealership and website content. The more important keywords should be listed first. We recommend listing 5-10 keywords, in order of importance.
Following these guidelines will ensure that your dealership’s website is displayed appropriately in search engine rankings!
Google’s constantly-evolving algorithms will penalize your site for practicing keyword stuffing. Not only will this affect your website’s search engine ranking, but it will also result in a negative experience for the visitor of your page.
Be sure to use the keywords appropriately as you fill your dealership’s website with content! Keywords are important. Just be sure to use discretion, as it is not worth trying to cheat the system. Practice “quality over quantity.”