6 Automotive SEO Tactics That Really Work


Long before we ever built our first website, Dealer Inspire started out as an SEO Agency. It was through those early experiences when it became clear that trying to implement SEO best practices on websites built with other automotive web platforms was not very efficient, and oftentimes not as effective as it could have been due to technical limitations. The natural next step for our company to take was clear — we needed to build our own web platform so we could provide our partners with optimal SEO, UX, and conversion optimization.

So whether you’re receiving our SEO services through an OEM partnership, or you’ve signed up à la carte, you can rest assured knowing that you’ll be receiving a holistic SEO strategy that’s tailored specifically for your dealership, your region, and your goals. This is super important, because when it comes to SEO, there are two truths that you can count on:.

  1. You can’t be cookie-cutter with your approach to SEO. Each dealership is unique, and what works for one, may not work for another.
  2. There are no shortcuts or magic bullets that’ll instantly shoot you to the top of the SERP. Effective SEO that returns a positive ROI requires research, market analysis, and patience

So with that out of the way, I want to share six real and timely case studies from our dealer partners that show how our collaborative and custom approach to SEO provides proven results that drive a positive ROI. 


With the ongoing inventory shortage affecting the entire automotive industry, our client at Dependable CDJR wanted to fill their sales pipeline by taking more pre-orders from in-market shoppers. The only problem was they didn’t have the proper content or site structure for search engines to understand that their dealership was the most relevant answer to related “order” searches for their brand of vehicles.

In an effort to establish their authority for these keywords, our team created and published a pre-order landing page on their website that explained in detail how the process worked and why a car shopper would want to customize their vehicle and order it directly through their dealership.

60% increase in order keywords 30 days after page was published
65% increase in conversions YoY

After publishing the new landing page, the next step was to ensure that it was easily discoverable by both search engines and real people by linking to it in the main navigation menu, in addition to creating other carefully selected internal links to the page.

The results of implementing this pre-order focused SEO tactic was impressive. Dependable CDJR saw a 60% increase in keywords containing the word “order” driving traffic to their website, in addition to a 65% increase in conversions year over year! 


Aside from increasing the importance of having a pre-order strategy in place at your dealership, having a comprehensive vehicle acquisition campaign is pretty much required during the prolonged inventory shortage. 

Morrie’s Auto Group was on the forefront of implementing this strategy, and they took it to the next level by opening up dedicated car buying centers across three states. To help build their website’s authority for related “sell my car” and “trade-in my car” keywords, we started with a singular landing page that explained the process and allowed consumers to get a value for their vehicle.

237% Increase in keywords 30 days after page was published
296% increase in organic traffic since location pages were added (Jan 20, 2022)

Because Morrie’s had three buying centers in three different states, we wanted to make sure each center could have hyper-local relevance to consumers in those areas who are searching for where they should trade-in or sell their vehicle. To accomplish this, we created locations pages for each of their buying centers using the primary page as the parent. 

Since we added those location pages, organic traffic to all of the pages, including the parent page, is up 296% and they’ve also enjoyed a 237% increase in total keywords that their website now ranks for. 


When the Dealer Inspire SEO Teams plans future content with a client, we always try to align our recommendations with the dealer’s stated goals and missions. For Triple J Guam, one of their missions was to enhance the relevance of the content we were creating for them even more by including their own custom created videos.

To that end, we now collaborate heavily with Triple J team based on what models they have in stock or what new models are arriving soon so they can go out and physically shoot videos on those vehicles that can be embedded on the page at the time of publishing. 

20% increase in total website keywords MoM
11% increase in total organic traffic YoY
18% increase in total organic ROI YoY

The chef’s kiss to this model specific content strategy is making sure that all of the content is easily found (and crawlable) for users (and search engines too!). To do that we created an informational hub page that neatly organizes the content that’s available on the site by OEM. 

Since implementing this collaboration and overall technical structure, Triple J Guam is seeing a 20% increase in keywords, an 11% increase in organic traffic, and an 18% increase in organic ROI. 


For years, the most progressive car dealers in the industry have partnered with Dealer Inspire so they could achieve their goals using the most flexible platform on the planet. Sussex Honda is one of those dealers who is constantly looking to do things differently, and we’re always thrilled to partner with them to see those goals to fruition. 

In light of the global pandemic, Sussex Honda wanted to reinvent the way area residents could visit their service department in a safe and convenient way. To do that, they installed Express Self Service Kiosks outside of their service lane that allowed customers to drop-off their vehicle for service, and also pick it back up when service was completed. 

Their SEO Specialist took the information that was provided, and immediately began researching how to best make an impact in the organic SERP. After reviewing the keyword data, it was determined that targeting variations of “service kiosk” keywords would be more effective due to having good search volume and an attainable difficulty score. 

23% increase in keywords 30 days after page was published
158% increase in organic goal completions YoY
30% increase in organic sessions YoY

From there we created their Honda Express Self-Service Kiosk landing page that included detailed information teaching customers how to use the kiosk, and the benefits of doing so. We also made sure to include their custom how-to videos that showed folks exactly what to do when they arrived at the dealership. 

That page is seeing a 23% keyword increase along with a 30% increase in organic sessions. The total performance of the entire website has benefited as well with a 158% increase in organic goal completions. This is just another great example of how creating content to help educate users already on your website can also turn into a leading source of organic entrances to your site as well.  


Have you ever wondered to yourself, “is there such a thing as having too much content?”. It’s a fair question to ponder and on the surface it may seem like an easy “no” for an answer — especially if you’ve been taught over the years that “Content is King”. 

Well, believe it or not, there is such a thing as having too much content, and it’s something you need to be aware of so you can look for the warning signs and ultimately prevent any deciline in your organic traffic. 

While content on your website can be evergreen and still maintain high quality and relevance many years after it’s published, sometimes your content can become outdated and cause your keyword rankings to wildly fluctuate. 

That’s what was happening with our client at Biggers Chevrolet. They had years and years of custom content published on their website, but as those pages became less relevant due to age, organic positioning and traffic began to fall off. 

42% increase in keywords over a 90 day period
$18,000 SEMRush Traffic Cost ROI Calculation

Knowing that there was an opportunity to regain organic impression share, the SEO Strategist assigned to Biggers Chevrolet took a deep dive into their content library to identify which content was no longer driving traffic and could be removed from the site. From there they set up mass redirects of the old content to more relevant pages on the site, and cleaned up all the previous internal links to prevent presenting unnecessary 404 errors to users. 

Undertaking the technical audit of their website and implementing the proper fixes has paid off in a real big way. BIgger’s Chevrolet has seen an 42% increase in organic keyword positions 1-3 and enjoy a monthly SEO ROI of $18,000 and climbing. This proves that you don’t necessarily have to add more content to get more organic traffic. Sometimes you can just clean up what you already have and get even better results. 


All dealers are going to see a mix of branded (keywords that mention your dealer’s name) and non-branded (keywords that don’t mention your dealer’s name) keywords driving organic traffic to your website when you inspect your analytics. 

The goal is to have a solid mix of both so that you’re able to maintain organic visibility both for people explicitly searching for you, and for people searching for the products and services that you provide.

If a majority of your traffic is coming from branded search, that means you’re not providing additional value and relevance to searchers about other aspects of the car buying and ownership experience. And if you skew too far into non-branded search traffic, that could be a signal that you haven’t done an effective job of marketing your dealership in general. 

Our amazing partners at Toyota of Cedar Park found themselves struggling with their non-branded traffic, and being close to a major metro market like Austin, Texas ranking for non-dealer name terms was a priority. 

1114% increase in non-branded traffic Q2 2020 vs. Q4 2021
229% increase in organic conversions YoY
237% increase in organic sessions YoY

To help address this imbalance, we developed a strategy to heavily focus on model research so they could connect with higher funnel shoppers who may not have discovered their dealership yet. In our research we found that the local competition in the Austin area wasn’t doing a very good job of providing informational content about Toyota vehicles in general. So we hyper-focused our content strategy on research and high funnel topics to capture the attention of shoppers early on in the research process. 

Taking this collaborative approach to Toyota of Cedar Park’s content strategy worked. When looking at the breakdown of traffic during the most recent quarter compared to when they started SEO services, they have seen a 1114% increase in non-branded traffic, a 237% increase in organic sessions, along with a 229% increase in organic conversions.


When it comes to choosing a provider for your dealership’s SEO services, be sure to partner with one who provides a holistic and collaborative SEO strategy that aligns with your goals – not some off the shelf, cookie-cutter strategy that’s not tailored to your needs. Our SEO Team at Dealer Inspire would love to collaborate with you on the best approach to start improving your organic presence today. Drop us a line and let’s talk!

Let’s Talk SEO

Connor Bonam
Connor is a SEO Strategist and 2017 Innovation Award Winner. At Dealer Inspire Connor has created SEO strategy through keyword research, competitor research, technical audits and creating link building strategies with a variety of automotive and non-automotive clients.

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