Car Dealership SEO Tips: 3 Best Practices You Shouldn't Ignore

Andrew James

Automotive SEO is no different than other Search Engine Optimization strategies for local businesses.

Just like the restaurant down the street, or the dental office around the corner, there are customers out there searching Google for a solution, and the businesses who are paying attention to their SEO are the ones who are showing up in the search results.

Learn how to build and run a successful local SEO campaign to acquire traffic from search engines, and to maintain a positive and controlled local brand presence in the search engines with these three tips. SEO Tips For Car Dealerships With a local SEO campaign, there are 3 areas to focus on.

These include auditing, building and fixing citations, researching and optimizing keywords on the website, and analyzing your local competitors.

1. Audit Your Citations

Grubbs Infiniti Citations SEO

The first thing any local business should do is see how their basic business information is showing up on the web.

This basic info is called a citation, and include the business name, address and phone number.

Any mention of these, individually or in combination, comprises the business’ citation, but is most often posted in a business directory like Yelp, Google Search and Foursquare for example. Yelp Citations SEO

One of the most important search engine ranking factors for a local business is the accuracy and consistency of its citations, so you can run a citations audit to determine which citations need to be fixed, and which ones need to be built. Moz Local Report

To run a citations audit, you can do this using a free tool from Moz:

The report that comes back will display the percentage of the brand’s citations that are inconsistent, those that are incomplete, and the citations that need to be built.

The most important aspect of local SEO is to ensure that the brand’s citations are consistent and accurate.

So based on the Moz report, determine what the correct name, address and phone number are for the business, and align all of the brand’s citations to it.

To get a full audit of a brand’s citations, you can use the citation audit report from Loganix which is only $7.

Loganix Audit

They will produce a full audit spreadsheet of all the brand’s citations, so you can see which ones need fixing, and which ones you’ll need to build.

2. Identify And Optimize Your Keywords

The next step in an SEO strategy is identifying and optimizing the website for specific keywords. DrivingSales Related Searches To do this, you can perform a quick keyword researching to see what people are searching for in the search engines to find a solution to their problems.

In the car dealership world, these keywords include terms like [brand] [location].

Once you’ve identified some of the main keywords, you’ll want to make sure they’re being used on the website.

DrivingSales News Title Tags

For example, if we’re working with a Nissan dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah, the home page could be optimized for the keywords “Nissan Cars & Trucks In Salt Lake City, Utah”.

You’ll also want to ensure the business name, address and phone number are consistently displayed on the website, and that the information matches the citations.

3. Run A Competitor Analysis

Finally, an effective SEO strategy should also include analysis gleaned from online competitors.

You can identify who is ranking in the local pack for common keywords (the “local 3 pack” is a map with 3 highlighted local businesses).

Screenshot of Local 3 Pack

Then, determine why they’re ranking in the 3 pack, and set out to emulate and improve on their strategy.

Are they ranking because they have more reviews than your business?

Or maybe because they have a greater number of citations?

The more intelligence you gather about the businesses, the more information you have to create a proactive SEO strategy and increase your brand’s chances of ranking in that important local 3 pack. SEMrush

Dealers should be aware of their competitors’ online marketing strategies, because they can be a dealer’s greatest allies.

The goal is to identify the strategies that are working for others in the market, and improve on them so you gain an advantage.

This is also important for dealers who may already be partnering with an agency for their digital marketing efforts.

Important Metrics

Google has over 200 different ranking factors when they determine how and when a webpage should rank in its search engine.

While some of those ranking factors are direct, like keyword usage and links pointing to the site, others have to do with the website’s visitor habits.

This is where Analytics comes into play, and why you should be measuring user interaction. Google Analytics

Let’s take a look at some of the most important metrics to track: Unique Visitors

Unique Visitors (Users)

This is the number of visitors who have each been given a unique random number and time stamp. Traffic Sources

Traffic Sources

This metric will give you an overview of the different sources that send traffic to the website, including search engines and social media platforms.

Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate

This indicates the percentage of visitors who navigate away after only viewing one page. Time Spent On Page

Time Spent On Page

This is the amount of time a user spends on a specific page on the website. Conversion Rate

Conversion Rate

This is the average number of conversions per action, including ad clicks and button clicks on the website.

What are your best SEO tips for dealers? Share them below!

That is a lot of great information. Thanks for sharing!

Tania  Hill (Werwega)

Under the "local pack" section, you mention: "The more intelligence you gather about the businesses, the more information you have to create a proactive SEO strategy and increase your brand’s chances of ranking in that important local 3 pack." What is the screen shot displaying for NetFlix stats?  What tool or resource!? 


Jack Moskovitz

That would be SEMRush, Tania. 

R. J. James

AJ... THANKS for the great SEO info.  Although I have not worked on any SEO related projects, after reveiwing your post I am feeling Armed & Dangerous :)

Brad Paschal

This tool is the best for citations and business listings.

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