Steve DiMatteoAuthor: Steve DiMatteo
Updated on 03/05/2024

The strategy of utilizing traditional marketing is much less common these days, as the age of social media and online channels has become the norm. With that said, we have to change the way we do business and adapt to the current trends.

Over the last decade, there has been massive technological growth, which has made a major impact on the practice of digital marketing. This especially is true for those in the auto industry. Specifically, search engine optimization is now the go-to initiative for increasing your company’s online presence and overall sales/revenue.

“We re-vamped our website and quickly learned that we weren’t getting the SEO numbers that we were used to and in addition, Covid-19 hit. Sixth City came in and took control of our SEO and really improved our google presence and improved our leads by quite a bit. They are professional, well-versed in all things SEO, and very responsive. I am very thankful for Sixth City.” – Madison Osborn, FitWorks

SEO for Automotive Businesses in 2024: Your Frequently Asked Questions, Answered

Table of Contents


What Is Automotive SEO?

Whether your business is a car dealership, an online dealership, an auto repair shop, or an automotive manufacturer, SEO is an online marketing strategy that will improve your online presence across search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and more.

Within search engine optimization there are many marketing initiatives that you can implement. Before implementing any of the strategies listed below, the first thing you’ll need to do is identify the keywords that are most applicable to your business, along with your target location and audience (B2B or B2C).

If you’re unfamiliar, keywords are a mix of words and phrases, known as search queries, that your customers type in on search engines to find your business. For example, if someone is looking to get their car repaired, the keyword might be something like “automotive repair near me” or “body shop in [city].” However, auto body shop owners may be searching for things such as “order bulk spark plugs” or terms like that. These different queries and knowing which ones you want to show up for most will help determine which type of strategy to implement.

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Why Is SEO Important for Your Business?

Not only is automotive SEO a necessary tool to keep up with current trends and customer habits, but it will help you reach your target audience to ultimately bring in higher-quality leads and customers.

Think about the way you find local businesses. Typically, if you’re looking for a nearby store, the first thing you’ll do is a quick Google search to find a related service or business. That is exactly how your potential customers are going to find you, so it is extremely important to make sure your overall site content is optimized to target your audience.

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What is Local SEO?

Local search engine optimization is an effective way to market your business to specific regions you serve. We can target regions that your business serves and implement our SEO efforts to attract local customers.

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Is It Hard to Do SEO in the Auto Industry?

Like any industry, SEO may come with various setbacks, though, overall, the process is worth the work that is put in. Some of those setbacks can include:

  • Higher competition for keyword positioning and possible lead generation due to a large number of dealerships in the United States
  • Site speed can be decreased due to image-heavy websites since dealerships rely heavily on photos and video to sell products
  • Accurately showcasing cars so customers can get the same information without test-driving the vehicle

In order to prevent these issues from inhibiting leads and sales to your business, having an effective SEO strategy tailored to your company is key. Once created and implemented, issues, like those listed above, will not be as detrimental to your business and its overall goals.

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What Are Vehicle Listings on Google and How to Get Them

Specific to the automotive industry, vehicle listings are product listings on Google that allow dealerships to

display their inventory on their GBP for free

. That way, potential customers can filter listings based on key preferences, such as availability, pricing, and more.

Want to utilize vehicle listings to help further direct customers to your company? If so, learn more about how to sign up for vehicle listings through Google Business Profiles.

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How Should Dealerships Organize Their GBP?

Along with vehicle listings, organizing your GBP can help customers navigate your profile more effectively. So, for companies in the auto industry, it’s recommended to have a main listing with the sales information included, and however many nested listings for your service and parts departments.

When optimizing your GBP to accommodate these standards, it’s important to note that each department should have unique categories listed for each profile, with more broad services listed under the main listing, and more niche services assigned to their respective nested listing for the best results.

Here are the different categories you can use as you complete your profiles. Choose the closest match for your main category, then choose up to nine others are secondary categories. Between a main dealership listing, a service department, and a parts department, you will be able to choose 30 different categories:

  • Car dealer
  • Car leasing service
  • Used truck dealer
  • Auto Parts Store
  • Car accessories store
  • Car battery store
  • Truck parts supplier
  • Racing car parts store
  • Auto body parts supplier
  • Tire shop
  • Used tire shop
  • Muffler shop
  • Truck accessories store
  • Auto sunroof shop
  • Brake shop
  • Wheel alignment service
  • Transmission shop
  • Used car dealer
  • Car finance and loan company
  • Car inspection station
  • Auto electrical service
  • Auto radiator repair service
  • Auto air conditioning service
  • Auto repair shop
  • Auto tune up service
  • Mechanic
  • Car repair and maintenance
  • Truck repair shop
  • Oil change service
  • Auto body shop
  • Auto bodywork mechanic
  • Auto dent removal service
  • Auto glass shop
  • Auto painting

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How Should You Respond to Reviews Online?

Whether your reviews are positive or negative, it is highly encouraged to respond to each review that’s posted on your Google Business Profile.

According to Google, responding to reviews is a great way to both build awareness and loyalty as a brand, as well as communicate directly with your consumer base. With that being said, dealership owners are advised to respond to reviews promptly and keep the message short and sweet.

Additional tips and tricks to navigate responding to reviews include:

  • Keep your tone authentic, genuine, and professional
  • Understand the customer’s experience before responding to them
  • Apologize only when necessary
  • Offer to talk to the customer directly to hear their feedback

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Does Your Website Need Video?

Absolutely! Including video on a dealership website is a great way to present customers with insight into the vehicle they are looking to purchase. It could be a good idea to add your videos to YouTube since it’s the second largest search engine behind Google.

To best optimize your videos to satisfy SEO standards, our team recommends keeping your videos short, ideally two minutes or less. This will allow you to show the unique features of the car without dragging the video out too extensively. Secondly, make sure that the title and description for your vehicle are keyword-optimized, as that will help your dealership rank higher in search engines!

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What Types of Schema Should You Add to My Website?

Schema is a great way for car dealerships to enhance their website even more so it can be read more seamlessly by Google. So if you’re an auto dealer, automotive business, or beyond, the unique types of schema you can include are:

For more information about formulating code to meet your company’s needs, check out Google’s example of vehicle schema and more.

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If You Company Sells Cars Online, What Are Some Things to Keep in Mind?

Overall, when selling cars and other vehicles online, our team wants to ensure that you’re fully equipped with the best tips and resources possible to optimize your website and GBP to generate positive results. With that in mind, some things to consider include:

To learn more about how to leverage automotive SEO tactics to achieve the greatest results for your business, please contact our team of experts directly!

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What Is the Difference Between On-Page and Off-Page SEO?

On-page SEO comprises anything that you can change on your website. This includes headers, titles, keywords, internal links, and more. Off-page SEO is everything you do outside of your website, such as link building, optimizing your local profile, and more. There are two other types of SEO we often use; you can read more about them on our blog.

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So Why Should I Do SEO?

If you’re still not sold that you should be implementing SEO tactics for your business, here are some statistics that hopefully can help via Invoca Blog:

automotive seo stats

  • 76% of car shoppers do a search online before buying.
  • 61% of people shopping for a car will call a dealership after an online search.
  • The digital advertising spend for auto dealers increased by 11.7% in 2023, meaning your competition may be ranking above you.
  • 95% of people shopping for cars use online resources for research instead of going straight to a dealerships as their starting point, meaning you can utilize your blog to target content that will bring them to your website.
  • 40% of people shopping for cars find out about new vehicles due to video marketing.
  • People looking to buy a car on average spend 14 hours online researching.

And if you are now interested in investing into SEO services, here are some of our own results that may convince you to choose us for your marketing partner:

  • 117% more monthly leads for University Commons
  • 295% conversion increase for National Church Residences
  • 540% improvement in organic traffic for TYKMA Electrox
  • 58% boost in new users for M/I Homes

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SEO Tactics to Consider for Your 2024 Strategy

Take a look at some of the crucial elements of automotive SEO and how they apply to your business:

Content writing

Not only is the content on your site important for showing customers the value and services your business provides, but it also matters to Google. When Google is crawling, indexing, and ranking site pages, it will scan your site for content quality and authority to ensure that your content is providing value to site visitors.

What does that mean for your automotive business? It is recommended that you dedicate some time reviewing and updating your site’s internal pages with keyword-optimized content that displays both quality and authority. Additionally, Google rewards pages with unique content, so make sure the content on every page is different.

Link building

Link building is a strategy that is used to increase the Domain Authority of your website. Domain Authority is a statistic from industry leader Moz, and is a search engine ranking score out of 100 that measures the overall SEO equity of your site.

A great way to increase your site’s DA is by building a strong profile of backlinks that show you are an expert in the automotive industry. Not only will this help you in the SEO race against your competitors, but it will provide the foundation you need to get more qualified visitors to your site.

Competitor analysis

A great search engine optimization strategy starts with understanding where you rank against your competitors. By performing an in-depth competitor analysis, you will be able to see which keywords you’ve overlooked and how you can improve your content.

Additionally, you will get a better idea of how to portray the value your business provides compared to a competitor. Potential customers who are serious about doing business will want to know why you are better than the business down the road. This gives you the opportunity to take a look at their content and craft your “why.”

Technical improvements

While the customer-facing content is important, many backend things need to be done that can influence your rankings. Here are some questions to ask yourself when making technical improvements:

  • Is your website mobile-friendly?
  • Have you performed a site speed analysis?
  • Do you have a way to capture leads coming from your site?
  • Are you utilizing Google Search Console and Google Analytics?
  • Are visitors able to easily navigate your site?
  • Are your fonts and colors easy to read and see?

These are just some of the many changes you can make to the backend of your website that will dramatically assist in your rankings and overall lead generation.

Site optimization

There is more to search engine optimization than implementing keyword-optimized copy on your site pages as mentioned above. There are other optimization techniques that further assist Google when ranking your website.

For example, ensuring that each page has a unique and optimized meta title and meta description can be very beneficial. You’ll also want to make sure that your site images have an optimized alt and title tag.

Other Ways You Can Grow Your Presence

Today, most successful automotive digital marketing strategies incorporate SEO. By improving your online presence, you can attract new customers to your dealership or shop and generate more leads that are likely to convert.

1. Utilize Your Social Medi

Some social media statistics to consider:

  • Facebook has 1.6 billion daily active users
  • YouTube has 149 billion daily active users
  • Instagram has 600 million daily active users
  • Twitter has 134 million daily active users
  • Snapchat has 109 million daily active users

As you can see, social media is thriving with users and potential new customers for your business. Keeping up your social media content to promote your business will only lead to good things.

2. Refine Your Website Content

Most car buyers will research online before going to the dealership. The same goes for people looking for a car detailer in their area. This is your opportunity to reel them in with your website. In order to do so, you need to make sure your site is easy to navigate, visually appealing, and loaded with unique content that will make potential customers choose your business.

Add photos, videos, informative content about your work, and even a blog featuring new trends in the industry.

3. Establish a Clear Call-to-Action

There is nothing worse than having a customer who wants to contact you for a purchase but not having any idea how to do so. Make sure to have a button with a number or email address to reach out with concerns or inquiries. You can also create a banner or form on each page of your site so it is clear how to connect with you.

4. Engage with Customers Online

You should respond to comments and reviews, send out email blasts, and craft content relevant to and interesting for your audience. Continue to maintain an ongoing dialogue with your customers and respond to praise or criticisms. Establish trust through engagement online and your clients will appreciate you and your transparency.

5. Build Quality Links

In the eyes of Google, obtaining links of high authority is imperative for your search engine rankings. To do this, you’ll want to write blog posts other sites may want to share, get listed on automotive directories, engage in forums, and interview car experts.

Through strategies like these and more, Sixth City Marketing can help to get your automotive SEO strategy where it needs to be.

Why You Should Consider an Automotive SEO Company

Automotive businesses of all types can benefit from investing in a quality automotive SEO agency, no matter if you are a used car dealership, a parts manufacturer, or a repair shop.

We understand that choosing to partner with an SEO agency is a big decision, so here are a few things to keep in mind when considering automotive SEO services:

  • Results – The main reason you’d likely invest in automotive SEO is to see improvements in your online presence. What is different about our agency is that we can help you see your ROI from using our services.
  • Site health – What we do to our client’s websites is never with an eye on just the short-term. The content we write, website fixes we implement, and everything else we do can make your site stronger in the long run, ensuring a steady flow of leads and sales for years to come.
  • Expansion – Another great thing about SEO is that it opens the doors to a variety of other digital marketing tactics you may have never considered, such as CRM marketing, email marketing, social media, and paid advertising.
  • Learning – Through the meetings we have, emails we send you, and the entirely custom strategies we create, you will be able to acquire more knowledge about SEO and have a greater understanding of its value.

What We Do in Our Automotive SEO Services

We’re glad you asked! When you work with our automotive SEO specialists, some of the things we do within your campaign will include:

Content Writing and Optimization

Not only will we refresh all the current copy on your website, but we also supplement what you already have with additional blog posts and landing pages to target specific terms you want to rank for.

Local Search Techniques

Your automotive company may have several locations that you need help with, and our local SEO strategy can provide a road map for all of them. From setting up your local profiles to getting local backlinks to helping get rid of spam competition and more, our local focus is just what you need.

Technical Design Updates

Sometimes, the way your website is currently structured could be hindering your online performance, and our on-staff analysts and developers know how to correct that. We can make tweaks to your website to have it running its best.

Link Acquisition

One way that search engines evaluate the strength of your website is through how many other websites link to yours. A tactic called link building is a strategic way to get your site linked to others. Our creative strategists will use proven and creative ways to get you links from high-authority websites to enhance your link profile.

Data Measurement

One of the most important parts of doing SEO for car dealerships, auto body shops, and more is being able to track its results, and as a Google Partner agency, you can trust that our team is well-versed in setting up Google Analytics on your website properly so you can see all the important numbers.

Other Services We Offer

Not only do we specialize in SEO tactics, but we have an in-house B2C and B2B marketing team ready to meet any online needs you may have.

Our other services include:

Not to mention, we have offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. We work with clients all over the country and can help your business no matter where you are located.

“The Sixth City Team is truly knowledgeable about how SEO works and love what they do. They are natural teachers, excited to share what they know. The recommendations and information we got from them were super helpful in improving our site’s rankings and a few other things.” – Miranda Berner, Berner Air Curtains

Invest in Automotive SEO Services with Sixth City Marketing

Sixth City Marketing is here to bring your business’s goals to life through our services. If you’re ready to leap into the possibilities with automotive SEO, contact us today for more information. We look forward to speaking with you.

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