Home » Unlock the Power of SEO Best Practices for Your Automotive Industry

Unlock the Power of SEO Best Practices for Your Automotive Industry

LLike any industry, the automotive industry will surely benefit from search engine optimization (SEO). Whether your business is a tire shop or a car dealership, SEO for the automotive industry can help propel your business to the top of organic search. This will surely give you the ranking and traffic you need, which translates to a higher sales volume.

What is good about SEO for car dealers and the like is it allows optimization at every step of the car buying process. This also compels the business to understand the car-buying journey. In a 2019 Car Buyer Journey Study, it was reported that:

  • Car buyers visit multiple websites before deciding to buy
  • About 65% of car buyers visit a third-party website first
  • About 58% visit a third-party website last
  • A total of 80% of all online car buyers visit a third-party website at least once during the shopping process
  • Third-party websites are a key source of new and used car inventory
  • Approximately 32% end their car search at a dealer website

SEO for automotive industry best practices

Here are the best practices for automotive SEO.

1) Conduct keyword research 

Keyword research is the process of researching popular search terms to include strategically in the SEO campaign. These terms are the actual words and phrases that users type when searching online.

Keywords can be:

  • Short-tail keywords – These are keywords with one to two words (e.g., ‘electric cars,’ ‘hybrid cars,’ ‘diesel cars,’ ‘gasoline cars’). These keywords are generic and usually have higher search volumes, hence are considered more competitive.
  • Long-tail keywords – These are keywords with three or more words. They are more flexible, less generic, less competitive, and more targeted. Some examples are: ‘list of hybrid cars in the philippines,’ ‘best hybrid cars philippines,’ ‘hybrid cars philippines price list 2023.’

Both short- and long-tail keywords can also be branded keywords. For example, some keyword examples are: ‘honda cars philippines,’ ‘toyota corolla hybrid,’ ‘subaru forester,’ and so on.

Since the automotive industry is highly competitive, it is best to invest in long-tail keywords. Many keyword research tools can be used for this purpose, such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, Moz Keyword Planner, and WordsStream Keyword Tool.

2) Develop original automotive content

Automotive is a broad topic. Hence, you or your content writing provider will never run out of ideas and topics to write about. What you need to consider is Google’s preference. For instance, the search engine prefers long-form content or articles and blog posts at least 1,600 words long. There are no rules of thumb when it comes to word count. However, the ideal for the automotive industry is from 1,500 to 2,400 words.

The content you publish must be original or not duplicated or copied elsewhere, unique (topic-wise), and relevant to your audience. Originality and relevance take precedence over word count. So, publishing content your visitors have not read elsewhere is best.

3) Optimize SEO elements

  • URLs
  • Title tags
  • Headings
  • Internal links
  • Meta descriptions

On-page SEO is vital for the automotive industry. These elements will help drive traffic to your website that sales representatives can work on as automotive leads and convert them into customers or clients. There are at least five elements to optimize: URL, title tag, heading, internal link, and meta description. All relevant pages must have these elements.

URLs should be short with no dynamic characters; otherwise, Google will not crawl them. Meta titles and meta descriptions must also be unique and specific. Descriptions should be up to 160 characters. The URL, title, and description must include the target keyword as much as possible. Regarding headings, there should be one H1 and two H2 tags. Finally, internal links are an opportunity to have more pages crawled by Google bots.

4) Incorporate rich text snippets

When publishing content, it is vital to include rich snippets. These are codes telling Google which text to include when displaying a particular page in the results pages. If rich snippets are not provided, Google will decide which information to display before the users. As such, rich snippets are a way to control what information within a particular page the search giant will show once the relevant keyword is searched for.

5) Add AutoDealer schema

Schema markups structure the data and standardize the SEO HTML tag when added to a particular page. These elements contribute to making the search engine understand what the website is about. In addition, they lead to better rankings and higher click-through rates because the page displays not just the title, URL, and description but also industry-specific information or the ‘rich results.’ Some of them are the homepage (or the main website), street address, images, operating hours, and more.

As SEO experts, we suggest adding schema markup on top-visited pages. Of course, you need to use the AutoDealer schema when adding the markup.

6) Claim your Google My Business profile

You must also optimize the Google business profile and integrate the schema markup. To claim your Google My Business (GMB) profile, you need to follow these steps:

  • Go to Google My Business website (www.google.com/business) and sign in with your Google account.
  • If you have already created a GMB listing for your business, you will see it on the Google My Business dashboard. If not, click the “Get on Google” button to create a new listing.
  • Fill out the required information for your business, including the business name, address, and phone number.
  • Verify your business by choosing one of the verification options: postcard, phone, or email. Once your verification is complete, your listing will be live on Google Maps and Google search.
  • Update your listing with additional information such as photos, services offered, hours of operation, and more to make your listing more complete and attractive to potential customers.

Note: If someone else has already created a listing for your business, you must request ownership. This can be done by clicking the “Suggest an edit” button on the listing and selecting “Request ownership.”

7) Make original video content

Videos are essential in industries that combine products and services, such as the automotive industry. What better way to encourage the public to buy from you than showcasing your car products through videos, right? Hence, videos reach potential customers.

If you are going to publish your videos on YouTube, make sure that you implement YouTube SEO. Properly-optimized videos also appear on Google searches, presenting another opportunity to occupy the screen real estate. For example, car dealership is actually one of the most popular categories on the platform.

8) Post car listings on third-party websites

As a part of a broader SEO strategy, there should be a link between your website and third-party websites. Through this, you can take advantage of the prominence of third-party sites on results pages. The more listings you have on these sites, the stronger your presence in the inventory marketplace.

9) Check how it renders on mobile

Automotive websites that do not take their mobile presence seriously are sacrificing more than 50% of their prospective customers. That’s a sizable profit margin you are deliberately ignoring and actually pushing to your competitors if you are one of these websites whose mobile rendering is nowhere near visually stunning.

A mobile-friendly website adapts to the screen dimensions to tailor each page for that particular display. This is crucial for product pages. So if you want your pages to convert, make sure they render beautifully on mobile devices.

10) Do local SEO

Doing local SEO for a car dealership would be different. Aside from the basic link-building strategies, do these two things.

Ask for reviews

Asking customers for reviews of your car dealership business can be a great way to build your reputation and attract new customers. Here are some tips for asking for reviews:

Timing is key. It’s best to ask for a review at a time when the customer is happy with their experience, such as after a successful sale or positive service appointment.

Personalize your request. Consider including the customer’s name and mentioning a specific aspect of their experience that stood out to you.

Offer multiple options. Give customers the option to leave reviews on platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp.

Make it easy. Provide a link to your review profiles and make the process of leaving a review as simple as possible.

Follow-up. If a customer hasn’t left a review after a few weeks, consider sending a friendly follow-up email or message to remind them.

Respond to reviews. Responding to positive and negative reviews can show customers that you value their feedback and are committed to improving your business.

Offer incentives. Consider offering incentives, such as a discount on their next purchase or service, for customers who leave a review. However, be mindful of review platform policies, as offering incentives for reviews is not allowed on some platforms.

Do these to encourage customers to leave positive reviews of your dealership and build your online reputation.

Track phone calls

You can use call-tracking software or services to track inbound phone calls and determine their conversion. Here’s how it works:

Assign unique phone numbers. Each advertising campaign or website page you want to track will have a unique phone number.

Integrate with your call-tracking software. The unique phone numbers are integrated with the call tracking software, so when someone calls one of those numbers, the software can track the call and record relevant data, such as the caller’s number, call duration, and source.

Analyze the data. The call tracking software will provide data on the number of calls you receive, how long each call lasts, and the source of each call. This information can help determine which advertising campaigns or website pages generate the most calls and conversions.

Determine conversion. You can determine the conversion rate of your inbound phone calls by dividing the number of calls that result in a sale or a desired action by the total number of calls. This can give you a clear picture of the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns and the performance of your sales team.

Optimize your efforts. You can optimize your advertising and sales efforts to achieve better results by tracking your inbound phone calls and determining their conversion.

If not software, you can always use Google Analytics to track the phone calls originating from your website. You have to set up call extensions and call reporting on your Google Ads account if you have one.

Optimind can optimize your automotive website for you. We can also build the said website if you don’t have one.

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