Local businesses are finding it more and more difficult to rank high on Google, and one of the more complex and competitive industries for local SEO are car dealerships.
Car shoppers do most of their research online before they ever visit a dealership showroom. According to Google, the average car shopper only visits two dealerships when they’re searching for a new vehicle. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever for car dealerships to “show up” high in local search results.
The challenge, however, is that car dealerships have a more complex online presence than the average local business, which means their digital marketing strategies are more complex as well.
For example, because a car dealership is essentially three businesses in one (new cars, used cars, and service & parts), dealers need a multi-faceted approach to local optimization.
Adding to the mix, if you search for car dealerships in your city, you’ll probably find at least one dealership with multiple locations. These multi-location dealerships may be in the same city or in surrounding cities.
So what are some search optimization strategies you should consider? Here are some local SEO recommendations.
Making sure that your dealership is listed across online directories, especially automotive directories and directories that have an automotive category, is a great way to improve your dealership’s backlinks and online rankings.
Yelp, YellowPages, and Bing are some of the larger general online directories that have dedicated automotive categories. Make sure your dealership’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent with the information that you have listed on Google My Business.
Questions & Answers
Google My Business has a Q&A feature that many dealerships are not aware of or are not fully leveraging. As with most information on Google My Business, anyone can answer questions that are asked, which means that it’s easy for misinformation to be published about your dealership and service center.
To protect your online reputation, we recommend having a dedicated resource monitor for questions and manage important online information about your dealership.
Website Schema Markup
Schema markup is a snippet of code that helps Google, and other search engines, understand what your site’s pages are about. Once added to a webpage, schema markup creates an enhanced description (commonly known as a rich snippet), which appears in search results. Since many dealerships aren’t yet using schema markup, it can help advance your competitive edge.
Maintaining your dealership’s local SEO and online reputation requires a multi-faceted strategy. It’s an effort that many general managers know is important but often don't have time to focus on.
Don’t let 2020 pass you by without a comprehensive local SEO strategy. Ask us how you're stacking up against competitors in your market today.