When someone is thinking about buying a boat, the first thing they likely do is open up Google or another search engine.
When the search engine returns the results of their search, what is the first thing these future boat-owners see? Is it your business or one of your competitors?
If you’re not ranking near the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) for the terms potential customers are searching, you’re likely losing business to competitors.
A smart boat dealer search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can help you rise to the top of SERPs and bring in more customers. To help you get started with SEO for boat dealers, in this guide, we’ll give you seven essential elements to include in your boat dealer SEO strategy.
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The importance of local SEO for boat dealers
SEO is a digital marketing method that encompasses a wide array of tactics for improving your search engine rankings and driving qualified traffic to your site from search.
There are several types of SEO. The most important for the majority of boat dealers is local SEO.
Local SEO focuses on reaching users who are in your geographic area. If you run a local boat dealership, these are the users you want to reach since they are the ones who will come to your location and potentially make a purchase.
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Essential elements to include in your boat dealer SEO strategy
So, how do you get started with SEO for boat dealers? Let’s dive into the most essential elements to include in your boat dealer SEO strategy.
1. Make sure search engines can crawl and index your website
For your website to show up in search results, search engines like Google need to be able to crawl and index it.
Crawling refers to how Google finds pages. Once Google crawls a page, it adds it to its index — a massive database of online content — so that it can show the pages in search results.
How can you make sure your content is crawlable and indexable? Go to Google and search “site:yourwebsite.com.” This will show you the pages from your website Google has in its index.
For example, if you search “site:marinemax.com,” you’ll see that Google has indexed about 11,300 pages from the site.
A more accurate way to check your crawlability and indexability is to use Google Search Console. Log into your GSC account or create one if you don’t have one. Then, you can see crawlability and indexability information in the ‘Coverage’ report.
If Google is not indexing the pages you want it to index, check the following:
- Do you link to the page from somewhere else on your site?
- Is your txt file blocking crawlers from accessing the page?
- Are users required to log in to see the page?
- Is the text on the page in a non-text format like an image file?
2. Claim and complete your Google My Business profile
GBP helps users find information about your business. It also provides the information that populates Google Maps and the local 3-packs, like the one below, that display near the top of many local searches.
To manage your GBP, you’ll need to claim your listing if it already exists. To do this, click on “Claim this business” on Google Maps.
If no listing exists, you can sign in to Google Business Profile using your Google account and create one.
Then, fill out your business’s information completely and accurately. Also, add photos and a brief description of your business. Include some facts about what makes your business unique in your description.
3. Add your business’s information to other directories
You’ll also want to add your business’s information to other online directories in addition to GBP, such as:
- Bing Places for Business
- Yellow Pages
- The Better Business Bureau
- And more
Adding your business to these directories gives you more chances to show up in search results. If these directories rank, your business’s name may show up in the description. People can also find your business by clicking through to the directory site.
Like with GBP, make sure you fill out your information completely and accurately, add photos, and provide a brief description.
4. Perform keyword research
A fundamental part of SEO, whether it’s local SEO, SEO for boat dealers, or any other type, is keywords.
Keywords are the terms that users search on Google and other search engines. To succeed in SEO for boat dealers, you need to determine which keywords your customers use and optimize your pages for those keywords so that you can rank for them.
For boat dealers, many of your keywords will have a locational element to them, such as “boat dealers in [your city].”
It’s also useful to target long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific than short-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are easier to rank for and reach a more precisely targeted audience. “Pontoon boats for sale in Pennsylvania” is an example of a long-tail keyword. “Boats” is a short-tail keyword.
To come up with keyword ideas, try the following:
- Come up with some basic key terms, like “boats for sale,” and use a keyword research tool to generate related ideas
- Use Google Search Console to see which keywords your site currently ranks for in search
- Check your competitors’ sites to see which keywords they use on their site
5. Create content and optimize your pages
When you create content based on a keyword, think about what the user wants when performing the search. Then, try to meet that need.
For example, if someone searches “best type of boat for fishing,” they want information about the best boats for fishing. To meet this need, you could create a blog post about the topic.
In the title of your page, as well as in the meta description, headings, and throughout the copy, try to use the phrase “best type of boat for fishing.” Don’t overuse the phrase, though, or use it unnaturally, as this can make your page hard to read and lead to lower rankings.
6. Earn links to your website
Backlinks are another important element in SEO. Backlinks are links from other sites to yours, and Google uses them to determine site authority. Getting more links from more reputable sites can improve your rankings.
One of the best ways to earn links is to create content that other people want to link to in their content. For example, if you create an interesting infographic or video about the best fishing boats, a fishing enthusiast may want to share it on their blog.
You can also take a local approach to getting links. Host, sponsor, or participate in a local event, and you may earn links from event organizers, other event participants, and local news organizations.
If you write content featuring other local businesses, you may earn links from them, giving a boost to both of your companies.
7. Ensure your website is well-designed and easy to use
If users quickly leave your website or avoid visiting it, this sends a signal to Google that your website isn’t meeting users’ needs. Google wants to rank high-quality websites in its SERPs, so poor site performance can lead to lower rankings.
To improve your website’s quality and rankings, make sure it:
- Has a professional design style that’s consistent throughout the site
- Is easy to use and navigate
- Is responsive, which ensures it works well on various kinds of devices
- Loads quickly
- Is secure
Maximize the results of your boat dealer SEO with WebFX
When you work with WebFX, we’ll take the time to understand your needs and goals, create a custom strategy for you, implement that strategy, track and share our results, and continually refine our tactics.
We’ve been rated the world’s top SEO agency by Clutch, and over the last five years, we’ve generated 7,839,684 leads and $6,021,182,299+ in sales for our clients. We focus on results, and we can get results for your business.