Search Engine Optimization For Car Dealers

The First Step To Getting More Customers!

The goal of any search engine optimization campaign, regardless if it is automotive SEO or not, is to generate more visitors with buying intent to a website.

However, with the craze of content marketing and blogging, which typically generates its revenue from email marketing and display ads, we have seen a huge influx of content decisions focusing simply on generating more traffic. Unfortunately, generating 10,000 visits for a vehicle that won’t be released in the U.S. will lead to almost zero potential customers.

So, what should you do with your car dealer SEO?

Own your market.

By focusing on your market, the types and frequency of searches there, and the potential of those searches, you can build a search strategy focused on generating customers, not just more visits. When your lead volume is static while your traffic increases, you know you have an audience problem.

What Is The Right Organic SEO Traffic For Dealerships

For car dealerships, the right audience is the one that is trying to buy a car today. To get an idea, we can take a look at what phrases are converting within your Google Ads campaigns outside of the branded searches.

  • City State Brand
  • Brand City State
  • Brand Dealer Near Me
  • Car Dealerships City State
  • City State Car Dealerships
  • Car Dealerships Near Me
  • Used Cars City State
  • City State Used Cars
  • Used Car Dealer Near Me

You will notice that we don’t put “Make Model City State” searches in our lists very often. The reason that these searches don’t make our list isn’t because they aren’t engaged shoppers, because they definitely are, but simply because the math never works out.

The phrase “Ford Escape Houston” gets searched, on average, 30 times per month. Based on the 30% Click Through Rate experts estimate at a Number 1 ranking, we would get 1 visit per month. With a typical car dealership website converting at 1% for all traffic, we could expect one lead to be submitted every 100 months.

In spirit, ranking for this phrase looks fantastic, but even in one of the nation’s best cities for density of phrases with less suburbs blending into the searches, we still see very few searches. When you change this, from a city of 100,000 to a city of 20,000, the search volumes get even lower, and the math points to a conversion for every 150+ months. SEO for car dealerships should focus on what is going to help you grow your sales today, not what makes you feel good when searching around.

Doing Search Engine Optimization With SEMD

Now, that leaves us with a clear objective on what we need to achieve and maintain for your dealership to succeed. First, we need to dominate in your market for the three core keyword types: Make City, Car Dealer City, and Used Cars City. Search volumes are largest for used cars, which makes it the most important of the three. Conversion rates also tend to be the lowest for used cars, so the website platform you choose is going to be critical when getting conversion rates to be as high as possible.

The second step is owning the markets around you. Your competition is likely using an OEM approved automotive SEO company that (in order to remain compliant) cannot effectively rank for used car terms. They are being paid to make the new cars shine. That gives us more opportunity to direct relevant, quality visits to your website, generating more leads.

Once we have the content we need on the website, we place our focus on improving your off-site ranking factors such as authority and citations. We do this through correcting your local citations, and generating relevant backlinks to your website.

This three part process that we continue to reciprocate and refresh for an edge on your competition, as well as targeting additional areas, allows us to rank in your city, your neighboring city, and even state-wide for some searches. Quality visits from quality searches generate quality leads.

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