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Car dealers across the country are seeing an increase in used car sales. I am now working on an SEO campaign for a Honda car dealer. One of the top priorities is to increase the sales of Certified Honda cars.

Since the Honda Certified project is just starting, I thought I would share with you how to use the ‘Google Keyword Tool’ to refine an initial dealer keyword strategy. Keyword strategies evolve over the course of a project, but the initial research into what consumers are tying into Google is extremely valuable.

You can use Google's free keyword research tool by using this link:

Keywords For Honda Certified Cars

A good keyword strategy will help direct the new written content that will be added to the dealer’s website. It will also serve as a guide for creating Certified Honda press releases and Certified Honda blog postings on social networking websites.

Google provides a free tool to query their database to see how popular certain search phrases are each month. Since we will be marketing Honda used cars on the Internet, we have to research the most popular phrases consumers use each month in Google. Here is a partial list of the data provided by Google:

  • certified Honda - 18,100 per month
  • certified Honda quote – no measurable traffic
  • certified Honda NJ – no measurable traffic
  • certified Honda PA – no measurable traffic
  • certified Honda Philadelphia – no measurable traffic
  • certified Honda phoenix – no measurable traffic
  • used Honda quotes – no measurable traffic
  • used Honda prices - 1,300 per month
  • Used Honda - 368,000 per month
  • Used Honda PA – 1,000 per month
  • Used Honda NY – 1,000 per month
  • Used Honda dealer - 2,900 per month
  • Used Honda cars - 90,500 per month
  • Honda used car - 12,100 per month
  • Honda used cars – 90,500 per month
  • Honda preowned – 5,400 per month
  • Honda preowned cars – 390 per month

This research is important to determine which search phrases are the best to include in our targeted keyword list. When creating an automotive keyword strategy, it is important to let the data speak and avoid drinking your own Kool-Aid.

The data shows that consumers are more likely to type into Google “used Honda” as compared to “certified Honda”. Every month, 368,000 people type in “used Honda” as compared to 18,000 people a month typing in “certified Honda”. This knowledge is valuable in creating an effective Automotive SEO campaign.

Dealer’s love to use the word “certified” for their cars because they think the word “used” is not very sexy. That’s fine for internal printed documents and conversations with customers, but it’s not as powerful for Automotive Digital Marketing. I’m not suggesting ignoring the word “certified”, but it has to be placed in the proper priority for your keyword strategy.

If you were going to build a microsite for selling used Honda cars, this data would also help guide you to what domains to purchase. For example, based on this research I purchased as a possible domain for this new project. I would not purchase because the monthly traffic is too small.

Certified Honda Long Tail Searches

For example, if you are trying to capture consumers looking for a used Honda price quote, the phrase “Certified Honda Quote” would be a waste of time since no one is really typing in that phrase into Google. The more common phrase “Used Honda Quote” is also not a high volume phrase so that’s not a good choice either.

Slightly better, according to Google, is “Honda used car prices” which confirms that the word “quote” is not as popular as you would think. According to Google “Honda car prices” (1,600) or “Honda Prices” (33,100) would be a better choice to attract price shoppers.

An effective automotive digital marketing campaign has to include keyword research like what is shown above. This is only one part of a good Automotive SEO strategy but is a key part of the foundation for all work that follows.

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