Automotive SEO and local search: a field guide for dealerships

Alex Griffis January 2, 2023

And we’re back for another edition of Overfuel in 5. Today, we’re diving into practical tips for optimizing automotive websites for local search and social media channels. These strategies, sometimes referred to as local search or “automotive” SEO, are increasingly important for dealerships in a highly competitive market.

If you’re new here, welcome!

When we’re not building the fastest websites and digital storefronts in automotive, we take a break to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way. We prefer simple yet insightful tips that can be consumed in 5 minutes or less.

Without further ado, here are a couple practical tips to optimize your website for local search and boost your search engine presence.

Optimize your website for local search

There are several best practices for local search engine optimization (SEO) for car dealerships:

  • Claim and verify your Google My Business (GMB) listing: GMB is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including in search results and on Google Maps. It’s important to claim and verify your GMB listing because it helps your dealership show up in local search results.
  • Use accurate and consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information: Make sure that your dealership’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are accurate and consistent across all online directories and listings, including your website and GMB listing.
  • Optimize your website with local keywords, such as the name of your city or region, in the content and metadata of your website. This helps search engines understand that your dealership is relevant to local customers and can improve your chances of ranking in local search results.

Implement tags to tell search engines about your dealership tags are a form of micro-data that can be added to a website’s HTML code to provide search engines with more information about the content on the page. For car dealerships, using tags can help improve the visibility of their website in search results and make it easier for potential customers to find the information they are looking for.

At a high level, there are several key use cases of tags:

  1. Vehicle listings with details
  2. NAP (name, address, phone number) information
  3. Locations, departments, and hours

While tags may sound technical, it should be standard practice for most modern website vendors. In our case, we built a content management system (CMS) specifically for dealerships to enrich websites with local search data and open graph tags.

A few benefits of using tags for dealerships include:

  • Improved search engine rankings: By providing search engines with more information about your dealership and the cars you sell, you can increase the chances of your website ranking higher in search results.
  • Enhanced search results snippets: When your website appears in search results, the tags can be used to display additional information about your dealership, such as its location, hours of operation, and contact information. This can help attract more clicks to your website.
  • Facilitated voice search: With the increasing popularity of voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, tags can help ensure that your dealership’s information is correctly understood and displayed when users search by voice.

That’s all for today.

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By Alex Griffis

President and CTO, Overfuel