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SEO for Car Dealership: 7 Proven Best Practices to Boost Sales

SEO for Car Dealership: 7 Proven Best Practices to Boost Sales

The journey of buying a car is complicated and can take a long time. To reach potential buyers, your dealership needs to be visible at every step. That’s where car dealer SEO comes into play.

If you own a car dealership, whether you specialize in specific car models or offer a wide range of new and used cars, having a well-optimized website is crucial. It’s not just about showcasing your business; it’s also about making sure it appears in local searches.

Since most car buyers start their search online, it’s essential to prioritize your visibility on search engines. That’s where we can help. We specialize in optimizing car dealership websites to ensure they rank high on search engine result pages.

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the process of optimizing their online presence to improve visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). The goal is to attract organic traffic and increase the likelihood of potential buyers finding the dealership’s website or listings.

Did you know?

  • 99% of people use the internet to search for local businesses. (Source: BrightLocal)
  • Consumer use of Google to evaluate local businesses has leapt from 63% in 2020 to 81% in 2021. (Source: BrightLocal)
  • Mobile devices are used for over 50% of all online searches. (Source: Statista)

Paid vs Organic SEO

Paid SEO involves investing in digital ads, also known as pay-per-click (PPC) ads, that appear on top of organic search results. You pay a specific amount every time someone clicks on your PPC ads. PPC is a good way to track and measure conversions while getting faster results than organic SEO.

Organic SEO is when you optimize your website so it ranks in search engine results pages, but without using paid methods. Content that appears in SERPs using organic SEO are called organic results and visits to a website are called organic traffic. This is achieved by content marketing, acquiring backlinks, and improving the site’s technical aspects.

Why Car Dealer SEO Matters for Boosting Sales?

Before people decide to buy a car, they usually search online to find answers to questions like which car is best, how much it costs, and where to buy it. This process can last months before they make a decision.

The graphic below shows different micro-moments that a person intending to buy a car faces.

SEO offers substantial advantages, and the primary reasons why investing in top-notch SEO services is essential include:

  • A car dealers’ SEO service will provide you with a competitive edge, ensuring your web pages rank above those of your competitors.
  • Car dealers’ SEO will drive up organic traffic/clicks to your website.
  • SEO tailored for car dealers will generate more targeted and qualified leads.
  • It enhances your brand’s visibility and increases foot traffic.

Now that you know about SEO and why it’s crucial for your car dealership’s sales, let’s get started on implementing strategies to maximize its impact. Explore these 7 Proven Best SEO Practices to Boost Sales.

Choose the right keywords

Choosing the right keywords for automotive dealership SEO is crucial. When doing keyword research, consider factors like keyword volume and difficulty. But don’t forget to also look at the searcher intent behind the keywords. Make sure it matches what your customers are looking for at each stage of their buyer journey.

When conducting keyword research for the “car dealerships” niche, it’s important to follow a step-by-step process to find relevant SEO keywords.

Here are the key methods to consider:

  1. User Intent: Understand the various intentions behind user searches related to car dealerships, such as finding local vehicle resellers, comparing prices, or seeking specific information about car models.
  2. Brainstorming: Start with general keywords like “car dealership,” “auto dealer,” or “car sales,” and then expand upon them by considering variations such as “new cars,” “used cars,” or “car showroom.”
  3. Competitor Analysis: Analyze successful car dealership websites that rank well in search results to gain insights into the keywords they are targeting and incorporating into their content.

The table below displays the competitor’s keywords and the corresponding amount of traffic they receive from these keywords.

4. Keyword Research Tools: Utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, or Ahrefs to discover terms suggestions, search volume data, and competition metrics.

Below is the sample table that shows the Competitor’s comparison table with the use of keyword research tools.

5. Refine and Prioritize: Evaluate the gathered key terms based on relevance, search volume, and competition level. Refine the list to focus on high-value keywords with a good balance of search volume and reasonable competition.

Check out the table below for popular ‘car dealerships’ search queries and their estimated frequencies. It’s a useful starting point for your SEO strategy, highlighting high-volume terms that can boost visibility and generate leads.

Search QueryQuery Frequency
Car dealerships near me10,000
Best car dealerships8,500
New car dealerships7,200
Used car dealerships6,500
Luxury car dealerships4,800
Affordable car dealerships3,900
Local car dealerships3,500
Top-rated car dealerships3,200
Honda car dealerships2,800
Toyota car dealerships2,500

Consistently Publish High-Quality Content

Many car dealership owners focus solely on updating their websites with new offers and promotions. However, to stay ahead of your competitors, you need more. Maintaining a blog or news section and posting regularly can significantly improve your position in search engine results.

Now, what should you write about on a car dealership blog? In the previous point, we discussed how to find the right keywords for your automotive SEO strategy. Keyword research can provide numerous ideas for blog topics. Additionally, consider analyzing your competitors’ content.

According to the latest guidelines from Google, good quality content should align with the E-E-A-T concept. 

Let’s take a closer look at the key components of this principle.

  • E – experience – Quality content often reflects the creator’s firsthand knowledge, showing that their advice has been tried and tested, and their insights are genuine.
  • E – expertise – Google assesses this by examining your page’s main content. It should demonstrate your expertise, credentials, and authority on the topic being discussed.
  • A – authoritativeness –  This refers to your business’s reputation in the industry. The opinions of experts and influencers carry weight. Google looks at your website’s authority, your content, and your reputation as an author. It’s beneficial if other industry authorities link to your content, indicating that you’re seen as a leader and trusted source of information.
  • T – trustworthiness – Google evaluates the trustworthiness of your main content, its author, and your website. Be transparent about who wrote the content, correct any inaccuracies, cite trustworthy sources, and avoid overwhelming users with ads.

Buyers are hungry for knowledge. Well-crafted blog posts or articles targeting keywords they’re likely to search for can put you in front of them. To make sure your content marketing output contributes to your SEO performance, make sure you’re tackling the right topics.

The first step is thinking about what car buyers might want to read, such as:

  • Explanations of common car features
  • Reviews of specific car models
  • Comparisons of similar car models

source: carvana.com

Enhance On-Page Performance

Most websites strive to rank high in search results, but knowing where to begin with SEO can be daunting due to its complexity. While SEO can be divided into on-page and off-page strategies, there’s much more to it than that. Achieving top search rankings for your target keywords involves various factors and techniques.

Here are some essential on-page SEO elements you can optimize:

Title Tag:

  • The most important on-page element for SEO
  • Clickable headlines in SERPs and browser windows
  • Should accurately describe content, include keywords, and be under 60 characters

Meta Description:

  • Short summaries below title tag in SERPs
  • Compelling, informative, and keyword-rich
  • Should be under 155 characters


  • Clearly communicate main offering of each page
  • Include dealership name and type of vehicles

Source: cars.com


Use subheadings (H2-H3) to organize and structure the content on the webpage, such as different vehicle categories, special offers, financing options, or customer testimonials.

Internal Links:

  • Strategically place internal links to guide visitors to related pages, such as specific vehicle categories, financing options, or contact forms.

In the example below, you can see the internal link:

Generate Local Backlinks

Backlinks are essential for SEO, especially in local searches. Securing backlinks from local websites can significantly boost your site’s ranking for local keywords.

The relevance of backlinks is paramount. Targeting links from sources closely related to the automotive industry can amplify their impact. Some prime targets for backlinks in the automotive sector include:

  • Other local automotive businesses (excluding competitors)
  • Organizers of local automotive events or communities
  • Local automotive publications and newspapers

To identify potential backlink opportunities, begin by examining the websites linking to your competitors. Tools like Semrush’s Backlink Analytics can facilitate this process.

Quality links come from trusted sources, such as websites with a high domain authority or well-known industry leaders.

While high-quality local backlinks are preferable, you can also leverage directories in your backlink strategy. This is as simple as finding relevant online directories and creating business listings on them.

Good initial targets include:

  • Yelp.com
  • Foursquare.com
  • Yellowpages.com

Local news publications with business directories
Listing your dealership on these websites will bulk out your backlink profile with relevant referring domains, while also helping push leads to your website directly.

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business is essential for local SEO success. Click Dealer reports that a significant portion of your customers come from within a 25-mile radius of your dealership. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure your listing is accurate and up to date.

Your car dealership SEO strategy should prioritize optimizing your Google My Business profile. If you haven’t set up a Google My Business account yet, claim it here: https:/www.google.com/business/ You’ll receive a postcard in the mail to verify your dealership.

Once verified, follow these quick tasks to ensure your listing is optimized:

1. Display Your Dealership Name and Contact Information: Ensure your dealership name, address, and phone number are prominently displayed on your Google My Business profile for easy customer access.

Here’s a sample screenshot of a GMB:

2. Use Branded Keywords: Incorporate branded keywords throughout your profile to improve your ranking in local search results. Use them in the title, meta descriptions, and profile content.

3. Upload Photos: Showcase your dealership premises with photos to increase views and engagement on your profile, ultimately improving your local search ranking.

4. Gather Reviews: Reviews significantly impact local search rankings, so aim to have more reviews than your competitors. Encourage customers to leave reviews by sending them your Google My Business link after a purchase.

source: yelp.com

Additionally, consider featuring reviews on your homepage to boost SEO and build trust with customers.

Optimizing your Google My Business listing is key to maximizing your dealership’s online visibility and attracting local customers.

Optimize Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves optimizing a website and its server to enhance the crawling and indexing process for search engines. By addressing technical errors, you can improve the site’s organic rankings. Common technical issues include:

  • 404 errors
  • Broken backlinks
  • Poor URL structure
  • Duplicate/thin content
  • Poor internal linking
  • Poor website architecture
  • Missing metadata (page titles & meta descriptions)
  • Missing H1 tags

However, technical optimization is a waste of time if search engines cannot find, crawl, and index your pages. Without being indexed, your pages won’t appear in search results. For instance, even if you create valuable content targeting specific keywords, it won’t be indexed if it contains the noindex code:

To identify and address technical issues, regularly audit your site to ensure optimal performance in search results.

1. Audit your website.
Get a free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools account and crawl your site with Site Audit.

2. Check your Health Score.
Get a sense of your site’s overall SEO health.

3. Investigate and fix technical issues.
Delve into individual issues and fix them.

Users expect websites to load quickly so they can find what they need fast. If your site takes too long to load, 53% of users might leave. This sends a bad message to Google, which can hurt your site’s ranking in searches.

To make sure your site ranks well, you need to make it load faster. You can check your site’s speed using Google PageSpeed Insights. It’ll show you how fast your site loads on phones and computers and give you tips on how to make it faster.

When you use this tool, you’ll get numerous suggestions on how to improve your site’s load time, like:

  • Compressing image files
  • Using browser caching
  • Minifying site coding
  • Reducing redirects
    If you don’t have experience optimizing your site’s backend, you can invest in page speed services from a digital marketing company like JetTrinet to help you improve load time.

Measuring Results from Car Dealer SEO

Effective tracking and analysis are essential for evaluating the success of your SEO strategies. Here are the key performance indicators to focus on:

Organic Traffic: Keep an eye on your monthly organic visitors to track the growth in rankings.
Keyword Rankings: Monitor your positions in Google search results for your targeted keywords.
Conversions: Link SEO efforts to conversions such as form submissions, calls, chats, emails, and sales.
ROI: Calculate the revenue generated from SEO traffic to demonstrate the return on investment.

Partnering with an expert car dealer SEO company positions your dealership to capitalize on buyers’ search habits. By making your website more visible through organic rankings growth, you can dramatically increase your website’s traffic and connections with those high-intent customers.


In today’s complex car buying journey, visibility is key at every step. Car dealer SEO ensures your dealership stands out, attracting potential buyers and boosting sales. With the majority of car buyers starting their search online, prioritizing visibility on search engines is crucial. Investing in top-notch SEO services drives organic traffic, generates qualified leads, enhances brand visibility, and increases foot traffic. Partnering with an expert car dealer SEO company positions your dealership for success, maximizing website traffic and connections with high-intent customers. Additionally, effective SEO strategies can enhance your dealership’s reputation and credibility online, improve visibility in local searches, and keep you ahead of the curve in the dynamic digital marketplace.

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