When it comes to grabbing the attention of new customers as a car dealership, being able to do it as efficiently as possible is very important. By increasing the traction of your website, you’re already taking a step in the right direction. Implementing the benefits of SEO across your website is essentially giving yourself the best chance in doing this.
We have created this SEO guide for car dealers, which is tailored specifically to helping your business. Within this guide, we hope to help develop your understanding of SEO and how you can start implementing it today.
Our aim is to provide actionable tips on how you can start applying SEO to your website.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation, or more commonly referred to as SEO, refers to the process of improving the visibility of your site to potential customers. Although there are several ways to approach it, the most beneficial is making sure you’re placing keywords throughout your content.
By using all the appropriate keywords, when a potential customer is searching for a car dealership, your business is more likely to come up in their search. Which is exactly what SEO aims to achieve, to ensure you’re the one getting those all-important customers over your competitors
Why is SEO important for your website?
Searching for “Car Dealers in…” will return with hundreds of overwhelming search results. For a casual browser, rather than siphoning through all these results, they’ll no doubt go with the first few options to appear on the page.
So this is where SEO becomes incredibly handy. Essentially it’s your chance in getting one jump ahead of all your competitors to make sure you’re the option they decide on.
All search engines, especially Google, use a number of factors in order to rank results when certain words are searched. If you’re on the hunt for more clicks, then you need to work on where you appear on those rankings.
According to research from Backlinko, the #1 result on Google has an average CTR (click-through-rate) of 31.7%. Which is over 10x more visited than search results which appear at the bottom of the first page.
If your website doesn’t make it to the first page of search results, it’s reported that only 11.9% of users click through to the second page of results. Which isn’t what we aim for. We want to start climbing those rankings.
If you’re following all the information you need to, eventually you may find yourself reaching that sought-after top spot of the search. Or at least the first four positions, where most clicks land according to research.
Local SEO for Car Dealers
Local SEO is an integral element to any business. It’s especially relevant in making sure that your business appears when your local area is searched.
To enhance your local SEO, consider using these keywords:
- Car Dealers near *location*
- Recommended Car Dealers near me
- Quality car dealers in *location*
- Family car dealership in *location*
- Used car dealership near *location*
Using these keywords across your website means you’re optimizing your chances of appearing in these searches. Resulting in your business climbing those pesky search engine rankings already.
Another important aspect to local SEO is marking your company on Google Maps using a Google My Business Profile.
By keeping this page up-to-date with relevant information, reviews and pictures, your business will appear more reliable to potential customers. It’ll also show that you’re passionate and involved with what you do and people will feel more compelled to reach out.
Top Tips for Car Dealer SEO
We’ve put together a list of our top 5 SEO tips and tricks for car dealerships, so you can start making changes today.
1. Targeting keywords
Having a good understanding of the appropriate keywords you need to interpret across your website is incredibly important. This is the easiest way to begin your SEO journey across your website, since Google will rank your website according to the keywords they find embedded.
If you’re stuck on thinking about which keywords would be appropriate to apply to your website, try looking at it from the perspective of someone looking to buy a car. This technique may help reveal keywords you’d have missed otherwise.
Specialist tools like Google Keyword Planner as well as competitor analysis are really helpful when searching for keywords. But if you’re not using an SEO agency these tools may not be accessible to you.
Here’s a list of potential keywords which you may find appropriate to use:
- Brand of cars you specialize in + ‘for sale near me’
- Used Cars
- High quality service
- Efficient Dealership
- Competitive Prices
- Cheap down payment
These key terms may already be the unique selling point of your business. If that is the case, you’re probably already advertising them. But if you’re not, try highlighting them across your posts and content on your site. Additionally try adding them to meta titles and descriptions on your website (which we will mention a bit later on.)
2. Add Keywords to your Site Meta Info and Page Content
SEO can seem incredibly confusing for a car dealership. The keyword research you’ve just completed will reveal just how many search terms you have to be aware of.
Our best advice for approaching SEO is to start small. By including a handful of keywords across your site, you’ll begin to notice an increase in traction. Over time, these steps will lead to you becoming more comfortable with SEO.
Changing page titles and meta descriptions is another incredibly beneficial way to start implementing SEO.
By making sure these are unique and honest you are allowing your customers to understand what your site is about before they even visit. It also helps optimize the page for that specific term.
When it comes to editing meta information and page titles you may need access to your website’s CMS (content management system).
Otherwise the information can be edited manually in HTML. Google Webmasters support has some incredible useful tips for editing page titles, meta descriptions and more to ensure optimal site visibility.
3. Make sure Technical SEO is on Point
Targeting keywords is just one part of the SEO jigsaw. If you want customers to be visiting your website time and time again, you also need to make sure your technical SEO is on point.
Technical SEO is the process of optimizing the infrastructure of your site. It needs to be fast, easy to navigate and user-friendly for anyone who is visiting.
Technical SEO manages the underlying structure of your website, including:
- URL Structure
- Page loading speeds
- Broken links (404s)
- Site localisation
- Image alt tags
- And many more vital elements!
If you want to boost your chances of attracting all-important organic traffic generated by search engines, you need to implement technical SEO. Alongside regular SEO benefits, this will help you create a fast, usable website.
There are a lot of free SEO audit tools but the results may be hard to understand if you’re not an SEO specialist. Consider a full SEO audit as a great starting point to uncover and solve any technical issues you’re facing on your site.
4. Create Relevant, Useful Content
If you’re searching for a little extra help, consider featuring some original content on your website.
This will help enrich the user experience, and can cover a huge range of topics. Original content can be anything from visitor reviews, photographs, an up-to-date social media feed, or a blog for first time buyers.
This content will more than likely be less focused on sales, but will encourage browsers to keep visiting your website. In turn, this will probably result in more clients and open discussion about your website.
It’s important to think about your broader audience when creating content for your website. Adding some well-written content will be a valuable asset to your website.
Here are some blog ideas for car dealerships:
- Best questions to ask when buying a used car
- How to check the quality of a used car
- Tips for cleaning a car
- Best locations around for a test drive
- Benefits/features of the car brand you sell
This content also provides the opportunity to include another set of keywords (known as long-tail keywords) and boosts your SEO.
If you have a service where clients can book in for a consultation or a visit, consider acting a call to action button where people can ‘book a meeting now’. This efficiency could be the thing that persuades visitors of your website to book with you over anyone else.
5. Scale your SEO with link building
If you’ve applied our first few tips then you may be searching for some more advanced SEO.
If your location is saturated with similar businesses and you’re still finding it hard to stand out against competition, then this tactic might be the thing to save you.
One of the most overlooked factors with SEO, yet something that Google and similar search engines look for, is the quality of links which point back to and recommend your website.
It’s important to remember the quantity of these links just isn’t enough to improve these rankings. Google and other search engines will look for the quality of these links, so it’s important to gain the trust of authoritative websites when you’re link building. In turn, it will also improve the trust of potential customers.
A targeted content marketing strategy is the best way to build these links. Reach out to websites and offer to write a high quality feature, or an appropriate blog post corresponding to your industry, in exchange for a link to your own website.
For a car dealership, you may not have a huge amount of content on a blog of your own – but there are still a number of approaches you can use to gain these links.
- Approach similar sites in your industry. For example, collaborate on something such as an event or a deal with one another. This can be published across several places and may offer customers something in return which is always appealing.
- Look for high-quality and recommended car dealerships in your area. If you host used cars whilst they sell new, see if they can point customers looking for a quality car for a smaller price towards your business. The same goes for people who may be looking for something new at your business.
- Never underestimate the power of positive reviews. Your visitors are your best friends when it comes to free advertisement.
- A final tried and trusted method is the use of digital PR. Do something fun for the community. Host an event like a big weekend promotion for a new type of care. It’ll promote your business whilst encouraging your name in your location. It’s a win-win.
How About PPC For Car Dealers?
Once you have begun the process of applying SEO to your website, changes will not suddenly occur overnight. The process may take a few months. But if you’re looking for an instant difference, PPC (pay-per-click) or Google Adwords can give you some instant traffic from certain keywords.
The first 3-4 results on Google are paid advertisements. They’re often quite prominent in ranking in traffic due to how early they appear on the page, so can attract plenty of attention for your site.
But, you’ll need to pay Google for the click. As well as paying a PPC expert for the cost of setting up the advert.
Google have made it easier for ads to be set up by individuals, however you can end up spending money on irrelevant keywords if you’re not sure how to use this feature.
It may well end up costing you more than getting the help of a professional!
Confused by SEO for Car Dealers? Search Hog Can Help
If setting up SEO on your website is still incredibly overwhelming, don’t be disheartened. We hope this guide has been of some help, but if you’re more confused than when you started a SEO specialist could be your best option.
If you would like any help with the SEO strategy for your car dealership then please get in touch with Search Hog today. We can help improve your website visibility and attract more customers to boost those sales!