Automotive SEO
for Car Dealerships

Learn how to achieve search engine success and attract more customers with our automotive SEO guide for your car dealership.

For many businesses, attaining a page-one ranking on Google can feel daunting, with many opting to explore paid advertising to appear at the top of their industry-related searches. While this works in the short term, it’s not conducive to a cost-effective long-term strategy; however, by following our advice below and educating yourself with SEO best practices, LOCALiQ will help you enjoy positive returns from the search engines.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is crucial for advertising your car dealership, as with many investments, your customers will naturally conduct thorough research before visiting your showroom. By investing in SEO, you will appear in front of your customers and stand out online.

What is automotive SEO for car dealers?

Automotive SEO is an ongoing process which will improve your website’s ranking within the search engines (Google, Bing) by implementing many optimisation techniques to attract more customers with their car dealership-related searches. This process will increase your organic traffic, conversion rates and sales.

Why do car dealers need automotive SEO?

A strong SEO strategy offers excellent benefits for your car dealership, including –

  • Increased exposure for your business, ranking your web page above your competitors
  • Increased organic traffic and clicks to your website
  • More targeted and qualified leads
  • A healthy boost to your brand awareness, locally, regionally and nationally

Advantages of automotive SEO for car dealerships

There are many advantages of automotive SEO for your car dealership, including –

  • Improves your ranking and grows your organic traffic
  • Establishes trust and credibility with your customers
  • Boosts your website’s user experience
  • Enjoy higher engagement and conversion rates
  • Good SEO is cost-effective, with quantifiable results
  • An affordable long-term strategy with excellent ROI

The importance of local SEO for car dealerships

Local SEO optimises your pages for local search, ensuring anyone looking for your services can easily find you and contact your store. By optimising your website for local search, your car dealership can improve its visibility in your area, gain more traffic from a local audience and generate more business.

There are many benefits, including –

  • Increased organic traffic and local leads/sales
  • A revitalised local brand presence
  • Higher ranking on Google Maps and Google Search
  • Opportunities to receive positive reviews from happy customers

Our automotive SEO services for car dealerships

Competitor Analysis

A key part of SEO for your car dealership is identifying and analysing your competitors; once you understand how they run their digital marketing, this will direct your SEO strategy.

LOCALiQ’s analysis will provide guidance on SEO techniques, from content ideas and successful keywords to their targeted backlink strategies and link opportunities.

Technical SEO Audit

Technical SEO analyses the technical elements which sit behind the scenes of your website, ensuring your website runs at peak performance for online visitors to your car dealership.

By partnering with our automotive SEO agency, we will improve your site speed so your page loads quicker than anyone else across desktop, mobile and tablet.

We will also review your indexing, sitemaps, redirects, broken links, internal link structures, crawl errors, HTTPS and more.

How to get started

  1. Audit your website – audit your website for free with LOCALiQ’s Website Grader.
  2. Check your health score – score your online presence (website, advertising and analytics, social media and more) and receive actionable areas for improvement.
  3. Investigate and fix any technical issues – easily make changes and achieve great results online for your car dealership.

Download your free report today: LOCALiQ’s Website Grader

Localiq SEO website grader results

Keyword Research

Keyword research enables us to find suitable keywords for your website, showing us the content your audience is searching for and the specific search queries related to your website.

These search queries will guide the content creation for your website, optimising your content using the selected keywords so you rank highly within the search engines for your target audience.

Discover automotive-related services and popular-related topics your customers are searching for with SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool. Generate keyword ideas, estimated monthly search volumes and many SEO metrics from their comprehensive keyword database.

How to get started

  1. Enter your industry-related phrases into the keyword magic tool – car, cars, used cars, car finance.
  2. Choose “broad match” keywords – this will show you keywords and questions containing your selected phrases.
  3. View your keywords & their metrics – analyse different keywords by their monthly search volume and difficulty (KD %).
  4. Save your keywords – save your selected automotive keywords into a SEMRush project so you can view them quickly and easily.
semrush keyword research image

Image source: SEMRUSH

Optimising your GBP Listing

Updating your Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) is crucial for your car dealership.

Using local SEO techniques, we will attract local customers to your business by ensuring your contact information, categories, images, and videos are up to date, displaying the unique aspects of your dealership.

We will also encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on your profile.

Give your Google Business Profile a head start on Google by ranking in the organic search results and “map pack”. To do this, you’ll need to optimise your website, but to rank in the “map pack”, you’ll need to optimise your Google Business Profile – we explain how below.

How to get started

  1. Set up your free Google Business Profile.
  2. Optimise your profile – complete as much as possible, including the types of automotive services you offer.
  3. Get reviews – reviews will help you rank higher, so ask customers to review your car dealership.

Learn more with our free resource: A Guide to Local SEO

Google local map pack illustration

Optimising your content

Content is king, as we say. Your copy influences the success of your car dealership online; hand in hand with keyword research, your content will attract potential clients and high-quality leads when working with LOCALiQ.

But that’s not all; updating your content will boost your ranking and brand authority within the search engines while improving your organic traffic and sales potential.

Automotive SEO top tips for car dealerships

1. Keep your website up-to-date

Online purchases have never been easier, and with this in mind, your website will need to rank well to stand out from your competition. View our quick tips below for a head start:

  • Aim for (at least) 500 words on your homepage
  • Include your address and contact details on each web page (the footer is a place to start), updating these for your location-based pages
  • Include a title tag, H1 header, meta description, and image alt text and title on each web page
  • Add a search bar (if applicable) and links to your social media channels

Learn more with our free resource: A Guide to The Basics of SEO

2. Create useful content

Adding relevant, unique content your customers find valuable will help you outrank your competitors within the search engines. Creating a blog or the latest news section, including information about the cars you sell and local updates, will provide value to your customers.

Your topics can include:

  • Local events and charity opportunities
  • Local news which could impact your community on the roads
  • Your upcoming model launches, car maintenance tips and special offers

We also recommend advertising your monthly finance options to help meet the demands of your customers, targeting keywords such as ‘car offers near (location)’. They will help to entice potential visitors with car-buying journey-related content once they are in the ‘consideration’ stage.

Many car dealerships focus on brand-related content, but offering several topics on the different areas highlighted above will help you in the search results.

3. Optimise your content

Since we’ve highlighted potential topics for your specialist content, you must ensure this content is optimised. We recommend:

  • Your blog posts are at least 800 words
  • Each post includes a primary keyword in the title, headers and copy
  • Each post contains your contact details (address, phone number and email)
  • You add internal links to other pages within your site
  • High-quality images and videos are included, with relevant alt texts, titles & descriptions
  • You embed your Google Business Profile map, displaying where customers can find you

Remember to optimise each post, including your contact details, title tags, meta descriptions, and high-quality images and videos with relevant alt texts. It’s good practice to include an embedded Google Business Profile map, displaying where customers can find your dealership.

Learn more with our free resource: A Guide to On-Page SEO

4. Create video content

Video content is another tool for improving the SEO of your car dealership – video enables your customers to learn about your products and services in an engaging, easy-to-follow format.

The SEO benefit is your customers will stay on your site for longer as they watch your content, indicating to search engines they are enjoying a positive experience on your website, promoting you as a trustworthy dealership with valuable content.

5. Claim your Google Business Profile

As we mentioned earlier, your Google Business Profile is hugely important for your car dealership and – if you’ve not done so already – you will need to claim your business listing online.

Your Google Business Profile will help your organic traffic and make your business easier to find for any customers who wish to view your models and services.

When setting up your profile, ensure your contact details, categories, opening times, images, and business descriptions are correct. We recommend you use the same NAP (name, address and phone number) format across your profile and website.

6. Implement schema

Another tip is to implement schema into your website. Unsure what schema is? Schema mark-up is an additional website code which helps the search engines and site crawlers better understand your content. Schema will tell the search engines what your data says and what it means.

For example, schema mark-up can help search engines understand the number listed on your website is a phone number or identify your customer reviews and their rating of your car dealership.

Google will view your schema positively and rank you higher than competitors who don’t include schema mark-up, improving your click-through rates. Often overlooked, this is a quick win for your website to help boost visibility.

7. Join the online directories

Online directories are a great way to boost your backlinks and search engine ranking. Gaining backlinks is widely encouraged within SEO as they build Google’s trust in your site and offer an alternative way for customers to find you online.

We recommend targeting automotive directories specific to your industry, helping you connect with customers searching for car dealerships. There are many online, with several paid-for and free sites available for your business, including your local chamber of commerce site, FreeIndex and Yell.

Like before, include your address and contact details and ensure the information is consistent with your Google Business Profile.

8. Increase the number of backlinks linking to your website

As we explained in our previous top tip, receiving backlinks from trusted websites is crucial to improving your website’s ranking. Gaining links from local businesses is an excellent way to increase your ranking for location-based searches.

To help generate these links locally, we recommend exploring the community events and sponsorships you participate in throughout the year. For example, your car dealership may already support local non-profit organisations, sports teams or car meet-ups. Asking these local groups for a link from their website is often a great place to start.

Learn more with our free resource: A Guide to Off-Page SEO

9. Ask for Google reviews from your customers

Most of your customers will read online reviews, and many will form an opinion of your car dealership based on the experience your previous customers received. To help enhance and safeguard your reputation, we recommend inviting your existing customers to provide feedback on your business.

Then, after each sale, it’s worth contacting the customer to see if they are satisfied with their service. If their feedback is positive, ask them to leave a review on your Google Business Profile to boost your star rating within the search engine and entice more leads.

10. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly

Mobile devices have revolutionised how we search for products and purchase online, especially for location-based searches.

A mobile-friendly website will help you stand out from competitors and improve the user experience for anyone who visits your website via mobile and tablet.

11. Create location-based pages

If you have many car dealerships, regionally and nationally, creating location-based pages for local searches in their area is an excellent way to boost your brand exposure. These pages can include popular keywords, local sponsorships/news and up-to-date contact information for each dealership.

We also recommend including popular makes/models for your car brands, displaying your available products for each area and matching the low-funnel keywords your customers may be searching for.

Need more help with SEO for your car dealership? Our award-winning team are waiting to hear from you. Visit our SEO page to find out more and discover our many SEO services.

LOCALiQ Free SEO Audit for your website

Free SEO Audit

LOCALiQ Free SEO Audit for your website

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