Automotive Marketing Tips

Automotive marketing tips to boost your organic website traffic

As a car dealer, you’re probably well aware of the benefits of automotive marketing. A quick Google search on the terms gives 861,000,000 results and many of examples of strategies to boost the traffic of your website and attract potential customers. 

However, the majority of these articles are guided towards paid advertising, very useful but also such a waste if you haven’t fixed the organic position of your automotive website first. In this article, we’ll show you how to gain organic website traffic with the help of some tips you can easily do yourself and which are often forgotten by car dealership owners. Let’s go.

Automotive marketing tips to boost your organic website traffic

1. Install Google Search Console
2. Define your keyword list
3. Optimize your Google Business Profile
4. Perform a page speed check
5. Use the free SEOquake Chrome plugin
6. Strategic internal linking
7. Effective external link building
8. Optimize your image alt tag
9. Improve your page titles and meta descriptions
10. Use clear page titles for your important content pages
11. Vehicle listing (Car) structured data
12. Implement videos on your automotive website

The importance of ranking your automotive website higher in Google

Did you know that 95% of car sales today are made at the dealership, but actually, search is the first place people go to begin their buyer's journey? In today's digital age, car dealer SEO (search engine optimization) plays a crucial role in your sales strategy. 

Before car buyers decide to purchase a car, they embark on an extensive online exploration. They seek answers to various intent-driven questions, such as determining which car suits their needs best, understanding the associated costs, and identifying the most reliable place to purchase. This information-seeking process can span several months, with potential buyers navigating through different micro-moments, each shaping their car-buying journey.

To succeed in the automotive market, it's crucial to recognize the significance of SEO and its role in influencing these micro-moments. By optimizing your website for search engines and providing valuable, informative content, you can position your dealership as a trusted resource for potential car buyers throughout their decision-making process. As a result, your dealership will be better positioned to capture their attention, build trust, and ultimately convert their online exploration into actual car sales.

The definition of SEO

Search engine optimization, also known as SEO, comprises a set of practices aimed at improving a website's presence in organic search results on popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Microsoft, and more. For the automotive industry wherecomplex buyer journeys take place across multiple touchpoints, effective SEO is essential.

Two types of SEO tips

We've categorized the tips to rank your website higher in search engines into two sections:

  • Offsite: These tips can be executed outside of your website and will provide insights into how your website is ranking and what's required to rank in Google.
  • Onsite: This is a collection of tips on what you need to do on your website to make it easily discoverable by search engines.

Offsite Automotive Marketing Tips:

#1. Install Google Search Console:

Most website owners are aware of the free tool of Google Analytics to measure the traffic of a website. But a lesser-known free tool from Google is Google Search Console. It’s a valuable search analytics tool for any website owner and especially  for dealership websites. 

It allows you to see your website's visibility in Google Search results. You can also see which pages are ranking in Google for various search terms. Are your customers finding you in Google on your brand name or descriptions of your inventory? You can easily answer those questions with Google Search Console.

With Google Search Console, you can do several things:

  • Optimize your content using Search Analytics: Identify which queries bring users to your site, analyze your site's impressions, clicks, and position on Google Search, especially in the context of car sales and related keywords.
  • Get your content on Google: Submit sitemaps and individual URLs for crawling to ensure that Google has the freshest view of your site in the competitive automotive market.
  • Get alerted on issues and fix your site: Receive email alerts when Google identifies issues on your site, allowing you to address any problems affecting your car sales pages promptly. You can also track which URLs are affected and inform Google when you've resolved them.
  • Understand how Google Search sees your pages: Use the URL Inspection tool to access detailed crawl, index, and serving information about your pages directly from the Google index. This insight can help you fine-tune your car sales content and ensure it performs well in Google Search.
If you still need to set up Google Search Console, it's time to get started. Google Search Console is a valuable tool for monitoring and optimizing your website's performance in Google search results. 

Here's how to set up Google Search Console:

  1. Go to the Google Search Console website by following this link: Google Search Console.
  2. Sign in with your Google account or create one if you don't have it already.
  3. Once  logged in, click on the "Add Property" button.
  4. Enter your website's URL and click "Continue."
  5. Verify your website ownership by following the provided instructions. There are several verification methods available, including adding an HTML tag to your website's code or uploading an HTML file to your server.
  6. Once your website is verified, you'll gain access to a wealth of data and insights about your site's performance in Google search. You can view search analytics, monitor indexing status, and identify any issues affecting your site's visibility in search results.
Setting up Google Search Console is a crucial step in understanding how your website performs in Google search and optimizing it for better results.

#2. Define your keyword list:

Analyzing Google search results provides valuable insights into your website's keyword rankings. Optimize your automotive website for search visibility, keyword research is critical. 

While evaluating keywords, assess factors like themonthly search volume a keyword has in your market and how difficult it is to rank. However, it's equally crucial to delve deeper and understand the searcher's intent behind these keywords, ensuring they align with your customer's needs at every stage of their buying journey.

Think about how people would search for your automotive services, and make a list of these keywords. Then, check the traffic and competition for each term with an SEO tool like Ahrefs, SEMrush, BrightEdge, Google’s Keyword Planner. Most offer a free trial, and Google’s Keyword Planner is completely free.

#3. Optimize your Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile (GBP) is a powerful tool to position your dealership for the right customers. It’s your profile card that shows up in Google search results on the right-hand side or Google Maps. 

An optimized Google Business Profile can efficiently and cost-effectively drive more traffic to your website and business. Ensure that your GBP is complete and accurate. Provide detailed information about your car sales dealership, including your address, phone number, business hours, and high-quality images of the inside and outside of your dealership. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile, as positive reviews can boost your online reputation and attract more potential buyers interested in car sales at your dealership. 

A well-optimized GBP profile can significantly enhance your dealership's local presence and visibility for car sales. Your profile helps:

  • Build trust with your customers and demonstrate the legitimacy of your business.
  • Increase your brand awareness within your local community.
  • Drive more local traffic to your website, especially from potential customers searching for car sales nearby.
  • Assist potential customers in finding basic information about your business quickly and conveniently.
  • Provide valuable backlinks to your website, contributing to your overall SEO strategy in the competitive automotive market.

In summary, here are some key tips for optimizing your Google Business Profile:

  • Ensure profile completeness and accuracy.
  • Provide detailed business information, including address and phone number.
  • Include your business hours.
  • Use high-quality images of the inside and outside of your dealership to showcase your business premises.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews to enhance your online reputation and attract more car sales leads.
If you still need to set up your Google Business Profile, you can apply for one here.

#4. Perform a page speed check:

In digital marketing, speed is crucial for your dealership's website. Page speed, the time it takes for web pages to load, directly impacts user experience and SEO.

A slow website leads to:

  • Lost leads and sales.
  • Frustrated users who leave your website
  • Google identifying your website as not favorable and ranking your  competitors' websites higher in results instead

A faster page speed results in higher conversions, lower bounce rates, more page views, and better SEO. In contrast, a slow page speed leads to higher bounce rates, lower conversions, and SEO issues. In summary, optimizing your website's speed to capture more leads and improve user experience. If you need help, consider professional help from an SEO and web developer expert.

Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to analyze your dealership's website's loading speed, especially on pages dedicated to car sales. Slow-loading pages can lead to higher bounce rates and lower search rankings in the competitive car sales market. Address any issues the tool identifies to improve your website's performance, particularly on car sales pages.

#5. Use the free SEOquake Chrome plugin:

SEOquake is a helpful diagnostic tool that can identify basic SEO issues on your dealership's web pages, including those related to car sales. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Install the free Chrome plugin and run it on your website, especially on pages showcasing car sales. 
  2. Look for any red flags, such as missing meta tags, broken links, or issues with page structure on your car sales pages. 
  3. Address these issues to ensure that your dealership's website follows SEO best practices for car sales. 
  4. If you need help fixing specific problems, you can often find tutorials and solutions on YouTube or other online resources dedicated to car sales SEO.

Onsite Automotive Marketing Tips

#6. Strategic internal linking:

One effective strategy for boosting website traffic is through strategic internal linking. Internal linking refers to linking one page on a website to another page within the same website. Internal links not only helps improve your website's overall navigation but also signals to search engines the relevance and importance of the linked pages. By strategically linking relevant content within your website, you can guide visitors to explore more pages, increasing their overall engagement and time spent on your website.

Consider incorporating a "Related Articles" section at the end of each blog post or article. This section suggests other relevant content to keep visitors engaged and exploring your website further. By providing these additional resources, you not only increase the chances of visitors finding valuable information but also encourage them to spend more time on your website, reducing bounce rates and increasing overall engagement.

It's important to note that internal links should be strategic and naturally. Avoid overstuffing your content with excessive internal links, as this can be seen as spammy by search engines. Instead, focus on linking to relevant and valuable content that adds value to the user's experience. By doing so, you can create a well-structured and informative website that not only attracts more traffic but also keeps visitors coming back for more.

#7. Effective external link building

A key component of automotive marketing is link building. Link building is the process of acquiring links from other websites to your own. These external links signal to search engines the authority and credibility of your website, thus improving its ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

An effective way to start your link-building efforts is within your own network. Collaborate with other websites within the automotive industry, such as manufacturers, suppliers, and industry influencers, to secure high-quality backlinks. Networking and building relationships with these industry players can lead to guest blogging opportunities, mentions, and recommendations that drive traffic to your website.

When it comes to guest blogging, choose reputable and authoritative websites to contribute your content. This will not only help you build backlinks but also establish your expertise and credibility in the automotive industry. Focus on creating valuable and informative content that will resonate with the target audience of the website you are contributing to.

In addition to guest blogging, consider submitting your website to relevant industry directories. These directories serve as online listings of businesses and websites within the automotive industry. By being listed in these directories, you increase your online visibility and make it easier for potential customers to find your website.

Forums and social media groups related to the automotive industry can also be valuable sources of backlinks. Engage in discussions, provide helpful insights, and share your expertise to establish yourself as a knowledgeable and trustworthy source. As you become an active member of these communities, you may have opportunities to include links to your website in your forum signatures or social media profiles.

When building links, it's essential to focus on quality rather than quantity. Seek websites with a strong domain authority and relevance to the automotive industry. A few high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites can have a greater impact on your search engine rankings than numerous low-quality backlinks.

Remember to regularly monitor your backlink profile and identify any potentially harmful or spammy links. Disavow any links that may be negatively impacting your website's SEO. It's crucial to maintain a clean and natural backlink profile to ensure the long-term success of your link-building efforts.

#8. Optimize your image alt tags

When it comes to automotive marketing, optimizing image tags is often overlooked. However, ensuring that all images on your website have descriptive alt tags can have a significant impact on your website's SEO performance.

Alt tags, or alternative text tags, are HTML attributes used to describe the content of an image. Search engines cannot "see" images but rely on alt tags to understand what an image represents. By providing descriptive alt tags incorporating relevant keywords, you provide search engines with valuable information about the image, increasing the chances of your website appearing in image search results.

#9 Improve your page titles and meta descriptions

Your page titles and meta descriptions are crucial in attracting visitors to your website. Page titles are displayed as the clickable headline in search engine results, while meta descriptions provide a brief summary of the page's content.

To optimize your page titles and meta descriptions, it’s important to incorporate relevant keywords that align with your automotive dealership's offerings. However, avoid keyword stuffing and focus on creating compelling and engaging titles and descriptions that entice users to click through to your website.

#10. Use clear page titles for your important content pages

Another effective automotive marketing tip to boost website traffic is to start your pages with clear and structured titles that incorporate your main keywords. Structured page titles not only help search engines understand the content of your pages but also give visitors a clear indication of what to expect.

Consider using a hierarchical structure for your page titles, starting with the main category or topic and then specifying the subtopics or details in subsequent sections. This not only helps with SEO but also improves the user experience, as visitors can easily navigate through your website and find the information they are looking for.

#11. Vehicle listing (Car) structured data

Google has introduced new structured data support specifically tailored for vehicle listings, aimed at assisting car dealerships in gaining more visibility for their listings. This feature, known as "Vehicle Listings on Google," enables car dealerships to showcase their inventory for sale on Google Search and various other Google platforms.

In addition, Google has included new tools and reports within Google Search Console to aid in the management and troubleshooting of these vehicle listings.

To implement Vehicle Listings on Google, car dealerships can utilize structured data markup on their websites. Google has also provided an alternative method through feed files that you can upload to the vehicle listings partner portal.

It's worth noting that the vehicle listing rich result is currently available in English, specifically in the US and US territories, for both mobile and desktop interfaces.

For more detailed technical information and guidelines, you can refer to Google's documentation.

Furthermore, Google has introduced a new rich result report in Search Console, designed to help monitor any markup issues related to your vehicle listings. This report will display both valid and invalid items for pages that utilize structured data for vehicle listing markup.

To streamline the validation process, Google has also updated its Rich Results Test tool to support vehicle listing structured data. You can input your page's URL or a code snippet into the tool to instantly verify the validity of your markup, eliminating the need to wait for Rich result reports to be updated.

This update is valuable for car dealerships looking to enhance their online presence and improve the visibility of their vehicle listings on Google.

#12. Implement videos on your automotive website

One of the most engaging forms of content that can drive traffic to your website is videos. Videos have become increasingly popular, and incorporating them into your automotive marketing strategy can significantly boost website traffic and increase visitor engagement.

Create high-quality videos that showcase your car dealership's offerings, such as virtual tours of your showroom, customer testimonials, or informative videos about your vehicles' features and specifications. Embed these videos on your website and promote them through social media channels, email newsletters, and other marketing channels to attract more visitors and keep them engaged on your website for longer periods.

Implementing these automotive marketing tips will help car dealerships boost their website traffic and attract potential customers. By strategically linking relevant content, collaborating with other websites for backlinks, optimizing image tags, enhancing page titles and meta descriptions, using structured page titles, and incorporating videos, car dealerships can create an optimized online presence to drive traffic and increase sales.

Read this blog article as well: 4 video marketing use cases for the automotive industry

Continue with reporting and Measurement

Finally, after making the above changes, it's crucial to monitor and measure their impact. You can check the progress in Google Analytics or Google Search Console to see how your website is gaining organic impressions from search engines and attracting clicks and website traffic from specific automotive keywords. 

Reporting and measurement are essential aspects of automotive marketing as they allow you to track your performance, identify areas for improvement, and refine your strategies for continued success.