Car Dealer SEO Done Right


In the competitive automotive sales industry, car dealers rely heavily on their websites to engage customers and drive sales. For most car dealerships, search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to attracting website visitors through organic search.

By partnering with an experienced car dealer SEO provider, like Dealers United, dealerships can optimize their sites to rank higher and capture more search traffic.

Looking for an Automotive SEO company?  Dealers united can help. Click here to learn more about how we can help your dealership dominate SEO.

The Importance of Car Dealer SEO

SEO is crucially important for car dealership websites to include in their digital marketing strategies. The vast majority of today’s vehicle buyers conduct online research and will search for local dealers on search engines when they are ready to purchase.

If a dealership’s website does not rank prominently for relevant search queries, those buyers will simply not find it or engage with the dealer.

According to recent surveys, over 80% of car buyers use search engines to conduct research before purchasing. 

80% of car buyers use search engines to research before making a purchase

The majority of these searches are focused on specific car makes and models, as well as local dealership names. Car dealer SEO enables you to meet this consumer demand and increase visibility when buyers are searching for vehicles to purchase.

By optimizing on-page elements, enhancing technical site performance, building local SEO signals, and earning high quality backlinks, dealerships can achieve much better visibility in search results. This leads to more organic website traffic, direct phone calls and emails, increased brand awareness, and most importantly, more customers visiting the showroom ready to buy. 

Dealers who neglect SEO miss out on connecting with these high-intent buyers. Investing in proven SEO best practices pays dividends through higher qualified traffic and greater return on investment versus other digital marketing options.

Search Engine Optimization For Car Dealers: The Benefits

Most owners of auto dealerships are aware that SEO is ‘important.’ They also know that there are benefits to incorporating a proper SEO campaign for their dealership. Let’s go ahead and cover some of the more common benefits we see when doing search engine optimization for car dealers. Investing in car dealer SEO provides many benefits including:

  • Increased organic website traffic from high-intent customers.
  • Heightened visibility for geo-targeted searches like Miami Ford dealers.
  • Ability to track conversions and ROI from SEO traffic.
  • More direct phone calls and contact forms.
  • More foot traffic in your dealership.
  • A large increase in brand awareness, and authority, in your community.
  • Cost-effective, long-term strategy versus paid ads.

Benefits of SEO for Automotive

There is no denying that when car dealers utilize SEO packages through Dealers United, they see results in the form of more sales, and a higher brand awareness.

What Does An SEO Campaign For Your Dealership Encompass?

There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of tasks and labor that go into a successful SEO campaign for car dealerships…Keep in mind that a lot of these tasks and techniques will vary based on the different packages Dealers United offers, but you can expect a few baseline elements to remain the same.

An effective SEO strategy would optimize technical elements like site speed and structured data markup to improve search visibility. It would also focus intently on local SEO signals like Google My Business and reviews to rank for geographic searches. 

Finally, an automotive SEO campaign requires creating SEO-friendly website content and earning high quality backlinks from authority sites to drive organic traffic and connections.

Technical On-Page Optimization for Car Dealer Sites

On-page SEO simply refers to optimizing elements within the dealer website itself for higher rankings. Some important on-page optimizations for car dealers include:

  • Keywords: Researching and using highly searched car dealer terms throughout pages and content.
  • Page speed: Ensuring fast loading times as site speed is a ranking factor.
  • Mobile optimization: Developing a mobile-friendly site to accommodate majority mobile searches.
  • Schema markup: Adding schema for better rich snippet display in SERPs.
  • URL structure: Creating logical, keyword-focused page URLs.
  • Internal linking: Linking relevant pages together to pass authority.

The key takeaway here is there are several different techniques and tactics that we use to help optimize your automotive website to increase rankings in search engines, like Google. 

If your dealership is a Ford Dealer in Atlanta, we want to make sure you show up not only for Atlanta-based terms, but also makes and models in the Atlanta region (and greater Atlanta region). Many different SEO providers fail to give you a complete campaign that accomplishes these tasks properly.

Off-page SEO Tactics to Increase Relevance For Search Engines

The term off-page SEO simply refers to things that you can accomplish off of the website itself to help increase rankings, and relevance, to search engines. 

Here are some effective off-page SEO tactics used for car dealership websites:

  • Link building: This involves actively acquiring backlinks from relevant auto websites, local business directories, niche review sites, and mainstream online media publications. Quality links help dealership domains earn trust and authority to rank higher.
  • Social media marketing: Leveraging social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram provides opportunities to gain follow links, embeds, shares, and exposure. Promoting content and engaging local followers can drive SEO value.
  • Press releases: Publishing press releases on new inventory, dealership news, awards, etc. on PR distribution sites can lead to pick-up links as stories get syndicated.
  • Local citations: Manually building and optimizing citations on 50+ relevant local/auto business directories maximizes local SEO signals for map rankings.
  • Reviews: Generating positive genuine reviews on platforms like Google, Facebook, and third-party review sites improves local reputation and search visibility.
  • Guest posting on blogs: Creating and publishing guest articles on authority automotive, dealer, or regional websites helps secure high-quality contextual backlinks.
  • Site aggregators: Getting listed on niche auto dealer and inventory aggregator sites that link back to the main domain can enhance domain authority.
  • Analyzing competitors: Determining sites/pages linking to competition provides prospects to pursue similar high-value links from those domains.

What About Local SEO For My Dealership?

Ranking for localized searches is absolutely critical for car dealers trying to connect with customers in their specific geographic regions. When consumers search for things like “Toyota dealers Dallas” or “Honda service center Austin”, dealers want their website to appear right at the top. 

Local SEO for my dealership

There are several impactful local SEO strategies dealers should focus on to maximize their visibility and prominence for these types of local searches.

Optimizing and completely fleshing out the Google My Business listing with images, service menus, posts and other enhancements can really help improve local pack rankings. Building dozens of citations on highly authoritative local and auto-related directories such as Yelp and Autotrader provides more local SEO signals. 

Generating genuine positive customer reviews on Google, Facebook, and third-party ratings sites also boosts local reputation and consumer trust.

Crafting dedicated city and neighborhood pages with locally optimized content assists with geo-targeted keyword rankings. And finally, a strong local link building campaign aimed at securing backlinks from regional auto blogs, city-specific publications, neighborhood directories, and other locally-relevant sites helps establish more localized SEO authority.

How to Measure Results From Car Dealer SEO

Robust analytics tracking and reporting allows you to continuously improve SEO efforts. Key metrics to monitor include:

  • Organic traffic – Tracking monthly organic visitors to gauge rankings growth.
  • Rankings – Monitoring rankings in Google for target keywords.
  • Conversions – Connecting SEO to form fills, calls, chats, emails and sales.
  • ROI – Calculating revenue from SEO traffic to demonstrate ROI.

Key automotive SEO metrics

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.

Book a quick demo to find out how your car dealership will drive highly-qualified leads to your website with the help of Dealers United.

Common Questions About SEO

Is SEO a scam?

No, SEO is not a scam, though some questionable practices can give it a bad reputation. Unfortunately, many full service agencies claim to offer great SEO packages, but in reality, they provide little-to-no value to the dealer. Because of scenarios that involve overpromising results, using manipulative tactics, or even not educating the dealer properly on expectations, many people get burned and then think that SEO is a scam. 

This is, actually, a big hurdle that Dealers United has to overcome, too. Many people have been cheated in the past when it comes to SEO, so we do our best to educate our clients on all expectations and timelines. Click here to learn more about Dealers United’s SEO Solutions!

How long do results take for SEO campaigns to show results for my dealership?

SEO is not a quick fix and requires patience to achieve results. While some basic technical optimizations can provide a small boost in the first few weeks, significant organic rankings growth typically takes several months of consistent effort. 

This is because Google and other search engines take time to crawl, index, analyze, and trust websites before conferring upon them high placements for competitive keywords.

Are Pay Per Click Ads Better Than SEO?

Pay per click (PPC) advertising and SEO each have their own advantages and disadvantages for driving website traffic for car dealers, so one is not definitively better than the other. 

PPC ads allow you to buy instant visibility and traffic, making them ideal for promotions or lead generation. You can precisely target keywords and control your costs and placement. However, PPC requires continuous spending on ads to maintain visibility.

SEO takes more time and effort to build rankings, but delivers sustainable organic traffic that persists without ongoing spending. SEO traffic also converts better since it reaches users genuinely searching for your products or services. 

Dealers United always recommends a digital marketing campaign that utilizes both SEO and PPC ads for maximum results.

Differences between automotive SEO and automotive PPC

Summary – Do Not Pass Up on SEO For Car Dealerships

If you haven’t figured it out by now, SEO is essential for car dealerships’ websites to connect with buyers online. The direct result of a proper SEO campaign is an increase in revenue across the board. 

Optimizing for technical factors like site speed and mobile responsiveness increases organic visibility. Targeting local SEO signals such as Google My Business helps dealers rank for geographic searches (local SEO).

Creating SEO-friendly content and earning backlinks boosts authority and conversions. Monitoring rankings and implementing ongoing optimizations enables dealerships to continuously improve search visibility and website traffic.

Want to learn more about Dealers United’s SEO Solutions?

Written By Lauren Blackwell
Lauren Blackwell is a skilled content marketer who has spent the past 3 years working in automotive advertising technology and now brings her unique experiences to Dealers United. From running ad campaigns, to curating auto-specific resources, Lauren is empowered to create valuable content to help automotive dealers thrive on social media.

Register for the webinar, “The 3 Biggest Facebook Mistakes Even Advanced Dealer Marketers Are Making”!