We get a lot of great questions from car wash businesses about SEO. When it comes to car wash marketing, search engine optimization is one tool that’s frequently glossed over in favor of other more popular tactics with quick ROI: coupon books, gift cards, fundraisers. But while these marketing techniques help retain and motivate existing customers, SEO has the potential to grow your customer base.

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70 percent of consumers decide to visit a local business based on online reviews.

This brief article will help you understand why car wash marketing SEO is important and how you can easily help your website rank higher in Google. While the numerous “SEO gurus” out there would like to make you think they’re magicians, the trick to doing better online is less mysterious than it seems.

Think like a consumer

The first step is to think about how you use the internet yourself. If you’re like most people with a need, you first consult with your personal adviser: Google.com. You punch in a few keywords that you think will lead to relevant websites on the first page of Google results.

So, if you’re a car wash in Akron, Ohio, you might want your website to rank for a keyword like “Akron car wash.” You can test your keyword using a Google’s keyword planner or something more straightforward, like Moz, which provides information about the volume of search traffic for those words and how difficult it will be to rank higher than the competition.

Start optimizing

Once you have your target keyword, it’s time to start optimizing your website. Google uses a complex algorithm to determine the order of results for a given search term. A variety of factors are involved to determine whether a page will rank highly, and it keeps the exact formula under lock and key. But Google’s goal is to provide its users with relevant, useful, and authoritative information, and it weighs the factors according to those objectives.

When we provide car wash marketing SEO services for clients, we take a three-step approach. It starts with optimizing landing pages, then continues with a regularly updated blog, and we reinforce it with public relations and social media campaigns. Let’s look at each step more closely:

1. Optimize your landing pages

First, the metadata for your site should be geared toward your target keywords. The site title and site description should be Google-ready and include your main keyword. The main keyword and supporting keywords should also be scattered throughout the text in your landing pages.

2. Create a relevant blog

We emphasize the word “relevant” here, which to us means two things: It’s updated regularly so the information isn’t stale, and it’s not just fluff. That is, it’s useful to your target audience. It can include anything from information about special offers to car care tips to local community news you care about as a business. But your blog should be updated at least once per week (preferably twice), and each post should be optimized to help search engines find them, including images, keyword research and backlinks to other pages on your site.

3. Reinforce your work

Google’s algorithm is very impressed when other websites link to your website. This tells it that other people think your content is important. Your website gets more “SEO juice” when more authoritative sites link to you: A newspaper’s website is more powerful than a blog or a tweet, for example. That’s why we recommend generating interest in your website beyond your website, including with press releases and social media management.

Do it yourself or farm it out?

All of this can be managed in-house of course. It’s not really complicated. It’s just time consuming. Large car wash businesses may have marketing professionals on staff who can manage some or all aspects of website SEO. But small- and mid-sized businesses may find it more cost-effective to outsource their SEO, content creation and PR work. If you’re interested in learning more about Wolford Communications services, don’t hesitate to get in touch today!