Successful Dealership Digital Marketing | Inbound Links 101
Most business owners know that inbound links are important for the success of their digital marketing, but many don’t really know much about the details. Since a successful dealership depends on having a high-performing website, how can you put inbound links to work to improve your dealership digital marketing?
Your goal is to drive more traffic to your website, so let’s look at how links help do that.
What is an inbound link?
An inbound link is a link from someone else’s website or blog to yours. For example, your OEMs may have dealer directories that link to your website, or a supplier or colleague may link to one of your blog articles.
An outbound link is one that goes from your website to someone else’s. In this case, you may link to your OEM sites so customers can find more information about specific trucks or equipment, or your blog articles may link to a trade publication or other source you mention.
You also have internal links – those that go to other pages on your own website. For instance, when you publish a blog article about a new product or service, you want to link to your page that has more information about that. Also, when you make special offers on your website – a premium download such as an e-book, a form to request more information or to subscribe to your e-newsletter – you are providing internal links for website visitors to use.
Inbound links benefit your website in two ways.
The main reason you want inbound links is to boost your search engine optimization, or SEO. Search engines favor websites with more “authority,” and if you have more inbound links it gives your site more credibility – much like having a lot of positive online reviews gives you more credibility with human searchers.
But it’s not quite that simple. While quantity matters, quality matters even more. So you don’t want just any inbound links, you want to attract links from other authoritative sources.
You may also benefit from referral traffic. When someone publishes a blog article that links to your website or blog and one of their readers clicks on that link, that’s called “referral traffic.” This is potentially great news, because you may never have connected with that reader otherwise.
Constructing a “good” link.
Aside from the fact that quality links need to come from authoritative websites, each inbound link should be constructed using natural anchor text. You can say “click here,” and link from that phrase, but search engines can now discern context. So you can also use a word or phrase that naturally appears within a sentence as your hyperlink text. For example, we might say, check out our article on improving your inbound links, or we might say, successful dealership marketing requires good inbound links.
Search engines will use any of these variations to help rank your website. What will derail your efforts is overusing keywords as links. If it “reads funny” to you, it will seem unnatural to search engines, too.
How can you attract great inbound links?
There are dozens of ways, though not all methods are equally valuable for a construction equipment or heavy-duty truck dealership. Ask yourself: what would make others want to link to our website or blog? Here are some easy ideas:
- Publish new blog articles consistently and post your webinars online, to give others more opportunities to link to you.
- Write a guest article for another blog or online trade publication.
- Write about your customers – they’ll want to link to your articles.
- Create an RSS feed for your blog that makes it easier for others to share your content and link back to it.
- Link to other blogs.
- Promote “tweet this” and other ways to share your content.
Your marketing team can review your current inbound links and help you find more ways to use them to strengthen your dealership’s online presence.