| Read time 12 min read

SEO for Auto Dealers: Tips for Success

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SEO for Auto Dealers: Tips for Success

Read time 12 min read
SEO for Auto Dealers

Test your SEO in 60 seconds! Diib is one of the best SEO tools in the world. Diib uses the power of big data to help you quickly and easily increase your traffic and rankings. We’ll even let you know if you already deserve to rank higher for certain keywords.


Easy-to-use automated social media + SEO tool


Automated ideas to improve Social Media traffic + sales


Keyword and backlink monitoring + ideas

SEO or search engine optimization is often misunderstood throughout the automotive community. A lot of SEO advice uses outdated tactics and strategies no longer effective. In some cases, these strategies can harm your SEO and online presence. There are modern SEO practices you can use for your auto dealership to effectively drive the results you need. 

Using SEO for Dealers

The majority of consumers do not have enough time to search through numerous websites to find a vehicle of interest. Most look at a maximum of two to three sites with the rest ignored. Approximately 75 percent of all clicks are for the first three results. For this reason, investing in a good SEO campaign is priceless. The other reasons include:

A Competitive Edge

The higher your rankings with the search engines, the more clicks and attention your dealership will receive. You will acquire more sales and leads than your competition with lower rankings. If you are serious about standing out from your competition, SEO for auto dealers is an excellent option. 

SEO Automotive Keywords

Adding broad keywords to your site does not offer good enough search engine rankings. Your keywords need to focus on your inventory and location for higher rankings with local search. This will result in more targeted traffic to your site. Targeting more specific traffic can be accomplished by using ultra-specific, long-tail keywords. You should give the name of the automotive manufacturer you represent, your city and the year for any new vehicles in stock. 

You will not get as many searches with this type of keyword, but the consumers searching for them have a greater chance of converting. SEO for dealers also targets consumers looking for the services and products you offer, ensuring highly targeted SEO traffic to your website. Here are a few more examples of automotive keywords found using a keyword research tool:

SEO for Auto Dealers

(Image Credit: Rank Defender)

Greater Authority

Consumers trust websites with higher rankings a lot more because they are viewed as authoritative and respectable. When the ranking for your auto dealership improves, you have a higher authority. More consumers will visit your website when searching for an auto dealer. You are also viewed as a leader for your industry. Consumers will know the information you offer is beneficial because they can learn something new.

Increasing Dealership Awareness

Even if you are the best dealership in your area it will not do you any good if consumers are unaware of your existence. This means you will be unable to close sales by attracting new customers. SEO for car dealers helps make certain your dealership is placed before a relevant online audience. As awareness of your brand increases, more consumers will contact your dealership. 

Once awareness of your brand improves, consumers will think of your dealership first when purchasing a new vehicle. You will receive more business through word of mouth as more consumers become aware of what you have to offer. 

Tips for SEO Car Dealers

If you are new to SEO for auto dealers, the procedure can appear complicated. As you gain experience, the process becomes a lot easier. There are tips you can follow to ensure you receive optimal results from your SEO strategy including:

Keyword Research

When a consumer is interested in finding a service or product, they usually conduct an online search using relevant search terms. If these terms are not included in the content on your website, you will not appear in these searches. You should begin by doing a little keyword research to determine the current terms consumers are searching for. You can then use these keywords in your content. Consider everything you are offering regarding locations, vehicle models and terms of service. You can easily find these keywords by using keyword research tools, for example:

SEO for Auto Dealers

(Image Credit: WakeupData)

Incorporate as many of these phrases and keywords into your content as possible. Make certain you use them naturally. You can write a few new paragraphs on your website’s homepage or use blog posts or individual pages focusing on specific topics of interest. Do not make the mistake of keyword stuffing. If something does not appear natural, do not use it or you risk being penalized by Google. 

Importance of Optimization

Just because you have incorporated phrases and keywords for your website does not mean your SEO efforts are complete. Make certain you are not repeating the same words and phrases too often or your copy will be poor and drive away potential customers. You can add words and phrases in other areas as opposed to overusing them. This includes photo descriptions, URLs, meta descriptions and alternate text relevant for every page of your site. 

You will be interested

SEO optimization will improve the chance consumers will click on searches for your dealership while improving your rankings. Make certain you include articles or blog posts for your SEO strategy. The idea is to have your dealership associated with specific keywords to improve your site ranking. Make sure your keywords appear natural because your ranking can be negatively impacted if your content appears unnatural. To help ensure you receive optimal results, optimize every page on your website. 

Creating High-Quality Content

Search engines and consumers both love high-quality and fresh content. When you publish online content containing helpful information, more consumers will be interested in learning more about your automotive dealership. A good place to start is with a blog filled with interesting information about vehicle purchasing tips and your industry in general. Blogging gives you the opportunity to interact with consumers and answer their questions regarding your inventory and dealership. 

Add more details to your content about the vehicles you have on your lot and the available services. This is an exceptional strategy because not only are you offering your visitors invaluable information, you are also optimizing your SEO for your dealership. Make certain you include important details such as your hours of operation, contact information and locations to ensure everything is easily available to consumers interested in purchasing a vehicle. 

FACT: Nearly 40% of marketers say content marketing is a very important part of their overall marketing strategy. (HubSpot)

Performing SEO Regularly

SEO needs to be performed on a regular basis to improve and maintain your search engine rankings. You will need to dedicate your time to ensure your SEO efforts are successful. Once you begin using SEO for your website, you need to continue. You can optimize your website daily or weekly provided it remains an important aspect of your marketing strategy. If you do not perform SEO regularly, your online visibility will not improve and you will not attain your marketing goals. 

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Monitoring and Tracking Your SEO

Do not assume the keywords you have selected will be effective. You need to determine if your search engine ranking has improved and your website traffic increased. Your keywords should bring in the traffic you need. Monitoring and tracking your SEO enables you to find any weaknesses. Create a strategy for monitoring the SEO efforts of your dealership. For example:

SEO for Auto Dealers

(Image Credit: Neil Patel)

By keeping track of the steps you have already taken you can continue improving your efforts. Once you are aware of your weaknesses, you can place your time and focus on improving your weakness to ensure your SEO efforts are more effective. 

Google My Business

To improve your car dealer SEO, consider using Google My Business. This is a powerful strategy enabling your business to appear in the results for local searches. This means when a local consumer is searching for a car dealership, you will be in their results. For instance:

SEO for Auto Dealers

Obtaining an account with Google My Business is simple and free. When you are creating your account, you should include:

  • Official name of your dealership
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Website URL
  • Operating hours
  • Description of your dealership including services, values and history
  • Images from your auto dealership including vehicles and facilities
  • Dealership videos such as your lot or team

In addition to creating an account with Google My Business, you should maintain your profile. You need to respond to questions your customers are asking and both negative and positive reviews. Update your dealership hours for unexpected closures, holidays and special events. You can then maximize SEO for your dealership. 

Common SEO Mistakes

When the average person considers SEO, they think of keywords and content. SEO is a lot more than that. Before you start writing new content, you must be certain you have optimized the technical health of your website. Technical SEO is optimizing and auditing your site to improve your search engine indexability and crawlability. At the same time, you should offer your visitors an exceptional experience. Your visitors must be able to find the information they want quickly and effectively. 

In addition to performing a technical site audit before your content is published, this step should be performed either semi-annually or quarterly. Your site will grow due to the efforts of you and your team in addition to numerous outside sources. Errors and mistakes are inevitable because your website is being manipulated. If you ignore technical audits, a lot of mistakes will remain undetected. 

This will negatively impact the health of your site. There are a lot of common errors you need to be aware of to maintain the health of your site including: 

  • Duplicate meta descriptions and title tags. Every page needs a unique meta description and title tag to describe your pages for visitors. The image below shows the difference between the two:

SEO for Auto Dealers

(Image Credit: Atomic Design & Consulting)

  • Correct index directives. A robots.txt file is necessary to ensure crawlers from the search engines crawl the pages of your choice and know which pages to ignore.
  • Make certain there are no broken links on your website. Broken links cause your visitors to receive error messages when they are visiting your dealer site. You can track broken links using tools like this one:

SEO for Auto Dealers

(Image Credit: WPBeginner)

  • Internal linking. Internal linking is necessary to ensure your visitors can access links to additional content. This is a natural extension based on the page from which your website was entered. 
  • Be careful with your redirect chains. Too many redirects will slow down the speed of your website. Remove old redirects to make certain users can reach their destination in a straightforward manner.
  • Cleaning your XML sitemap is important. Make certain there are no pages containing broken links or not indexed and no missing redirects.
  • Make certain all of your images include descriptive alt text. This is necessary to provide search engines with image context and for any visitors using a screen reader. For instance:

SEO for Auto Dealers

Relevant Content

As soon as you have optimized the technical health of your site, you can reexamine the way you approach your content. The majority of webinars and conferences stress the importance of content. Content is a critical part of your SEO strategy. Your content is even more important than it was in the past. If you intend to attract and keep visitors on your dealership website, you need a lot more than the most recent automotive news.

You need to ensure your published website content is relevant for consumers with real issues searching for effective solutions. When a consumer conducts a search, they are looking for a product or service or need help to solve a problem. In the automotive industry, this can be regarding the newest technology, availability, offers, vehicle specs, incentives and pricing. This is the reason that developing an effective content strategy for what people are searching for is critical. 

You should already have a strategy before a single line of your new content is published on your website. This is a good way to make certain your content is relevant and addresses the specific needs of consumers shopping for a vehicle. Once you have completed your target audience research and written your content, you should have answers to all of the following questions. 

  • Are your organic competitors the same as your local competitors and who are they?
  • Which content on your website is performing well?
  • Do your competitors have any relevant content you do not have on your website?
  • Which pages are ranking lower than they should?
  • How can performance be improved?

After you have finished your research, you can start publishing relevant new content on your site. For the best results, adhere to the following practices. 

  • Review all of your new pages to ensure they perform well for both desktops and mobiles before publishing.
  • Including visuals is good but do not overload your pages. This will decrease the speed of your pages.
  • Use internal links for directing shoppers to other topics and pages relevant to their purchasing journey.
  • Your media should be laid out for mobile users first. From there, you can make any necessary changes for desktop users.
  • Your existing pages should be naturally linked to all new web pages. 
  • Do not forget to include meta descriptions and title tags.

Search Engine Optimization

You need to use a different optimization strategy for car dealerships near me queries than for keywords indicating interest in a vehicle such as best new cars for safety. Search engines use a different type of criteria when a query is placed for a local business. This helps ensure the best results are available. Proximity, relevance, distance and reviews are all very important. 

If you want to place in local queries, you need the right key elements for your strategy. The idea is proving you are the authority for your area by sending search engines the right signals. You need to show the search engines you are the best option for local searches because you have what consumers are searching for.

We hope that you found this article useful.

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NAP Consistency

You should be certain your name, address, URL and phone number are consistent throughout the internet. This step is critical because it shows the search engines you are consistent and can be trusted. You can use aggregator tools, but you need to be aware there are some websites they are unable to update. This means manual work will be necessary. 

Consumer Engagement

Make certain your website has a section for questions and answers. You should respond to all of your reviews, even the negative ones. For example:

SEO for Auto Dealers

Focused Local Content

The content you create should focus on your community. Including content for an auto show in Detroit is not effective when your dealership is located in Florida. Concentrate on events in your area related to the automotive world. 

Site Geotargeting

Determine which cities you want to obtain business from. Specific geographic names and locations should be included naturally on your website such as landmarks and cities. The only areas you should use need to be fairly close to your location. If the location is too distant, it will not have the desired effect. 

Localized SEO Efforts

Local SEO is critical for your auto dealership. Whether you choose to have your SEO efforts performed by an in-house team or hire experts to perform the required services, make certain you make the effort. Without SEO, your dealership is not operating at its full potential.

Diib®: Improving Your Auto Dealership SEO!

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Here are just a few of the ways you can improve SEO on your website:

  • Do your keyword research and utilize long-tail keywords.
  • Study your competition.
  • Regularly post easy to understand content.
  • Build reliable links.
  • Sign-up for social media sites and post frequently.
  • Improve your title tags and meta descriptions.

With a lot of research, patience, and practice you can do SEO on your own. It isn’t as hard as it seems. The key is knowing the fundamentals of SEO and implementing in your website. Anybody can do SEO after a bit of research.

Using keywords is an important part of optimizing your website because they let the reader know what your content is about. Google also looks at your keywords when deciding what your ranking should be on different search queries. This means you need to do your research to make sure that you are using keywords that will be the most helpful for your website.

There are things you can do to your website that are free and help improve for SEO. Many tools out there that help you research keywords, track your links, even design your website are free. You can sign-up for other tools that cost a little bit to use as well.

Below are some of the best tools to help your auto dealer SEO:

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMRush
  • Moz Pro
  • SpyFu
  • UberSuggest
  • Google Search Console
  • KWFinder

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Daniel Urmann

Author Bio:

Daniel Urmann is the co-founder of Diib.com. Over the past 17 years Daniel has helped thousands of business grow online through SEO, social media, and paid advertising. Today, Diib helps over 150,000 business globally grow online with their SaaS offerings. Daniel’s interest include SMB analytics, big data, predictive analytics, enterprise and SMB search engine optimization (SEO), CRO optimization, social media advertising, A/B testing, programatic and geo-targeting, PPC, and e-commerce. He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Finance and E-commerce from Cornell University – S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management.

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