Driving Leads: The Complete Guide to Automotive SEO for Local Car Dealers

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Are you stuck on an old track? Times are changing and businesses must stay ahead of the curve if they want to stay on top.

The internet is responsible for many of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the modern business model. Consumers have more options than ever when shopping online. Do you feel your business is getting lost in the shuffle?

Enter the opportunities presented by automotive SEO. SEO can help you get cut to the front of the line and get your vehicles seen and sold. Read on to learn more about how you can rev up your business.

What Is SEO Exactly?

By now, you’ve likely heard the term SEO. Like many business owners, you may not know exactly what it means or how it works. We’re here to help with that.

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization helps you ensure that your business’ listings are at the top of a user’s search engine responses. 

It’s the difference between being in the top few responses for a search engine or getting buried somewhere on page 5. So how is it that certain companies show up at the top and others are buried? 

The answer lies in becoming an authority. When a search engine ranks responses, it ranks them by their level of authority on the given topic.

In short, using the right keywords is essential for getting your business noticed. Small mistakes can seal your business’ fate if you’re not getting your listings seen.

SEO in Practice

Still scratching your head? Here’s an easy to understand example:

A Google user is searching for a classic car. He types “1955 Chevy Truck” into the search bar. He then receives a list containing thousands of search responses.

Let’s say the top response is a website about car restoration. That website hosts 50 different articles that mention the keyword ‘1955 Chevy Truck’. 

Now imagine that the second response is a Southern Car Parts website. Let’s pretend that this website has 15 pages of listings featuring 1955 Chevy trucks. 

Our next example shows us why SEO is important. This will illustrate just how your website’s content can impact your business.

The third business is a local auto dealer. This dealership website has 20 actual car listings for 1955 Chevy trucks, but 10 of them are listed as ‘1955 Chevy Trucks’ and 5 of them are referred to only as ’55 Chevrolet trucks’.

The third website has not optimized their listing for SEO. Even though they more actual pages devoted to 1955 Chevy trucks, the word choice they used prevented them from capturing the number two spot.

So what did they do wrong exactly? Their website didn’t use the keyword “Chevy” on their listings. This isn’t to say that they shouldn’t use the word “Chevrolet” in their listing, but failing to use the additional modified keyword keeps them from ranking on a search using the word “Chevy”.

Why Should I Use Automotive SEO?

People everywhere are changing the way they shop, interact with brands, and what they expect when making a purchase. The key to staying on top is to be adaptable. Adaptation and resilience are two of the most important factors for your business if you want to continue to grow in the years ahead.

What may be the current trend today might be obsolete tomorrow. Consumers’ tastes and preferences are evolving. More than ever, would-be-buyers begin their search for a new vehicle online.

A typical car buyer spends almost half a day searching the internet for the perfect vehicle to purchase. He searches for a minimum of 10 car dealership websites before settling on what he believes is the best lead. For these reasons, it is essential that every car dealer ensure that their dealership receives optimal search engine ranking.

Current Trends in Automotive Marketing

Current trends in the business require business’ to take advantage of recent advancements in media and technology. Some huge businesses can afford to pay for costly TV and Radio Ads.

Some may even resort to weekend print ads. However, more business owners are coming to realize that these methods have a lower return on investment than the opportunities presented by digital marketing strategy.

Not every person who drives past your billboard will be in the market for a car. Not every person in the market is looking for the kind of car you’re selling. Internet marketing, however, ensures that people who are searching for the specific vehicles that your business has for sale, see your listings.

Using your know-how, you can optimize your budget for the internet age. Using product promotions and advertising in a more economical way can drive leads to your business. An effective marketing strategy doesn’t require your business to outspend a big business ad budget. 

Take advantage of SEO and you can utilize the opportunities available to you. The internet has the ability to present your products to your customers. To narrow down the topic, this article will be talking about how local car dealers can make use of digital marketing to drive more leads.

What Is Digital Marketing and Why Is It Essential to Your Business?

Digital marketing methods encompass more than just SEO. These strategies aim to reach your potential customers through digital technologies, such as search engines, mobile phones, and digital display advertising.

Modern-day consumers prefer to use digital devices rather than going on physical shops making digital marketing more popular. Additionally, digital marketing strategies make use of the key market demographics that are most likely to purchase your product.

Digital marketing methods include SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), content marketing, and influencer marketing. This could mean bidding on Google Ads to get your company mentioned in the sponsored area of a search response, or getting the word out with influencer marketing.

Every day, various car dealers are updating their selection of vehicles. How can you ensure that your car lot stands out when faced with other local competitors?

How Local Car Dealers Benefit From SEO

Car dealers who do not sell vehicles online can still take advantage of digital marketing. These strategies can still help you drive more leads to your car lot. Even if individual listings aren’t offered, you’ll still want to implement an effective SEO strategy to promote your lot as a whole. 

Focus on creating multiple pages that use keywords that are likely to be used by car buyers in your local area. Getting mentions on other local area websites can also help you drive traffic to your website. 

When users search for used cars in their local area, they’re likely to include the name of their city or town in the search. This reduces the number of search responses that they will receive.

In this case, users won’t receive the standard results of a nationwide search. In this case, their Google Search Result Page (SERP), search results are narrowed down to include local businesses. 

These responses are likely to only include matches that are within their local area, along with pertinent business information like reviews and map locations.

Claiming Your Spot

Depending on the algorithm of the search engine they’re using, the number of local searches greatly vary. In theory, your business should aim to rank within the first two pages of response.

If you’re serious about growing your business, you can even aim to get your business recognized by a grouping known as the “local pack”. To boost your business’ local online visibility and rank higher in search results, use one or more of these digital marketing strategies:

Sponsor a Local Sporting Club

Choosing a club to sponsor depends greatly on who your customer is. If you’re selling classic cars, you may want to consider sponsoring a local car show or car club.

If you’re selling more midsized vehicles and mini-vans, it may make more sense to sponsor a local tee-ball team. In either case, you should require the club to mention you by name on their website. A graphic alone isn’t enough and won’t help your ranking unless the image itself has been optimized with an SEO image description.

Connect with Local News Outlets

Looking to reach more buyers? Try getting your car lot mentioned by local news outlets. You’ll want to make sure it’s getting mentioned for all the right reasons, of course.

Backlinks from local news outlets can help drive traffic to your website and help you rank higher as a local dealership.

Consistent citations of your business NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) can help you get your local business a top spot in search engine results.

Call in the Experts

If you’re new to SEO, you may consider using ranking tools designed by SEO experts to help you get started. SEO experts can help you recognize any potential errors you may have made in your listings.

They can also help you improve your online ranking more quickly than you would be able to do so by yourself. To get started, you should consider using a free keyword ranking check tool.

You might just be surprised by just what a little SEO can do for your local business.

Off to the Races

Now that you’ve read our guide to SEO, you have all the knowledge you need to implement these great tools into your online business model.

To learn more about automotive SEO and other great digital marketing ideas, visit our website. We’re here to help you take your business to the next level.