Hitting the Sweet Spot on Dealership SEO: Utility vs. Readability

It’s not news that your dealership’s website content and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts complement one another.

Optimized content – content produced with an emphasis on keywords and link building – is how you deliver messages to car buyers while also driving traffic back to your website.

Striking the right balance can be trickier than you might expect. That’s the challenge of hitting the SEO sweet spot: utility versus readability.

Utility vs. Readability

What do we mean by “utility” in optimized content? Basically, all the aspects of the content that are geared specifically toward boosting your SEO. That means including effective keywords with an eye toward building external links to your website.

What does it look like when you go too far in this direction rather than striking the balance? A great example is the use of synonyms on a page for SEO.

Interweaving keyword synonyms into content on a page can be very tempting. It seems like a more artful but still easy way to show up for more searches.

The danger lies in keyword spamming – letting the temptation of keyword synonyms get the better of you until you have 50 variations of a keyword stuffed onto a single page. The result is an unreadable mess.

Readability is the first and most important casualty of going too far in prioritizing search engines over humans.

How do your dealership’s customers search? What do they want to find on your pages? Most importantly, what type of writing are they expecting from you?

Answering these questions will help you optimize your content in an organic way that doesn’t come off as forced or compromise the quality of the content.

At the other end of the spectrum, it’s easy to focus on crafting the message exactly the way you want to say it, and then tack SEO on as an afterthought.

While that might make for highly readable content, it loses the value of driving traffic with keywords, building links, or appealing to a targeted section of your audience.

Conclusion

There will be temptations to do both: to prioritize SEO value to the point that your content loses its ability to persuade, entertain, and inform, or to lose sight of efficiently, effectively targeting customers you’re trying to convert.

Reject both extremes, and aim instead for a balance of the two:

  • Go into your content and SEO efforts understanding that they work best together.
  • Have a clear understanding of your target audience as well as what keywords and link-building methods will capture interest and drive traffic.
  • Weave this strategy into content that can stand on its own with messaging that nudges prospective customers toward a buying decision.

Hitting the SEO sweet spot means not drifting too far toward utility over readability or vice versa.