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It would be great for most dealers if they could appear in search results for all of their makes and models. Unfortunately, these terms alone are often hard to rank for. Manufacturers and aggregators like cars.com can make it difficult for dealerships to be seen for generic, one-word keywords.
Good keywords to go after are actually known as long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are easier to rank for because they contain more specific words that might not appear in the same exact order on every site. For example "Mazda" may be nearly impossible to rank in the top 3 for a dealership. However, "2015 Mazda Miata" should be achievable within a reasonable amount of time.
The work involved in getting these long tail keywords to rank typically requires creating content on the site that has the keyword phrase appearing in the same exact order on a dealership site. This means that if a dealer is going after "2015 Mazda Miata", they will want that exact phrase to appear on a page on their site a few times naturally in the site text. Additionally, if backlinks to a dealer site can somehow be created with the long tail keywords as anchor text, it will create some degree of SEO relevance for the site.
SEO is a tricky process with results that often take a long time to achieve, but is manageable if keywords are chosen wisely. What are some keyword battles you all are trying to win right now?