Today, we are going to review the Automotive Marketing SEO Checklist. We are going to work on getting first page Google rankings for competitive keywords with your dealership and local market. 

Set Up Essential Plugins and SEO Tools 

The first step is to make sure that you have the important SEO tools set up and ready to go for tracking and growing the SEO traffic, including Voice SEO to your dealership’s web site.  

Google Search Console

The main tool that every site needs to have is the Google Search Console. This tool makes it super easy to track your site’s performance in Google when it comes to organic searches for your web site. It will also help you find technical SEO problems that are holding you back on the site. Most important of all, the Search Console shows you the exact keywords that you rank for according to searches. This includes the words, impressions, and clicks to the site. Also, where you rank for them, and unlike third-party tools, this data comes straight from Google, so you know it’s legit from the source.

Automotive Marketing SEO

Google Analytics

The next tool you wanna set up is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is the best way to see how people find and use your website, but that’s just scratching the surface.

With Google Analytics, you can do all sorts of cool stuff like find pages on your site that bring you traffic, identify the exact websites that send you traffic, your site’s Bounce Rate, Paid Views, and Time on Site, and lots more.

Finally, if your site runs on WordPress, you need to install the Yoast SEO Plugin. Yoast is by far the most popular SEO plugin on the planet, and for good reason. Yoast makes it super easy to make your WordPress site SEO friendly right outta the box.

And now it’s time for the second step.

Keywords That Customers Search 

It’s not a secret that keyword research is extremely important when focusing on growing organic search to your web site. 

The question is, how do you find automotive-based keywords that your potential customers search for on Google?

Here are three simple techniques. First, find long-tail keywords with Google Suggest. To use this technique, type the keyword into Google, but don’t press enter or the search button.

Instead, take a look at the keywords that Google shows you. Google only suggests keywords that people are actually searching for, so when you see a Google Search suggestion, you know that lots of people are searching for that term.

Google Keyword Planner

Next, find keywords with the Google Keyword Planner.

The Google Keyword Planner is Google’s official keyword research tool. This tool is technically designed for Google ads, but it’s still super useful for SEO keyword research. To use it, just enter a seed keyword, and check out the suggestions that the tool spits out.

That’s all there is to it.

Spy on Online Communities

Fortunately, this isn’t as crazy as it sounds. We are talking about reading automotive-based threads on sites like Reddit, Quora, and other automotive online forums. Head over to the communities and find questions that crop up again and again. It could be about a particular model or service performed on your dealership OEM make.

With that, let’s jump into step #3

Keyword-Optimize Your Content

So, you’ve installed all of the important Automotive Marketing SEO tools on your dealership site, and you’ve found some keywords.

Now it’s time to actually optimize your site. First, use your keyword in the first 100 words of your page.

Google puts more weight on terms that show up at the top of your page, so make sure you use your keyword once here. For example, on this post for my site, you can see that I use the term Automotive SEO Checklist right off the bat.

Next, use your keyword at the beginning of your title tag. Just like with your page’s content, Google puts a little bit of extra weight on terms that show up early in your title tag. For example, my main keyword for this post is SEO case study, and, as you can see, my title tag starts off with that keyword.

Find and Fix Technical SEO Issues and Errors

The truth is, technical SEO problems can tank your rankings, so if your site has technical SEO problems, you’ll wanna find and fix ’em right away, here’s how.

First, make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. As you might’ve heard, Google now runs on a mobile-first index, which means if your site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, it won’t rank.

Fortunately, you can easily see your site’s mobile-friendliness with the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.

You can easily find crawl errors in the Google Search Console using the Coverage Report. Finally, improve your site’s page speed. Your site’s loading speed is a confirmed ranking factor

Page loading speed isn’t going make or break your rankings, but in general user experience, the faster your site loads, the better for generating automotive leads off a web site using Automotive Marketing SEO.

To evaluate your site’s loading speed, check out Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Both tools give you a benchmark for how quickly your site loads.

Let’s quickly blast through the fourth step in this SEO checklist.

Short URLs that Include Target Keyword

Why is this important?

Well, a recent SEO industry study found a correlation between short URLs and higher Google rankings, so you’ll wanna keep your URLs short and sweet.

This post on my site uses a short URL, and that URL is one of the main reasons that this page ranks number one in Google for my target keyword, SEO techniques.

Last up, you wanna use your keywords in a H1, H2, H3 or H4 tag.

For example, my main keyword for this page is Automotive Marketing SEO, so I use that exact keyword inside of an H4 tag, simple.

And now it’s time for our next step,

Create Content Designed to Rank in Google

There’s no denying it, if you want to rank in Google, you need to publish great dealership focused content, but what is great content, exactly?

In my mind, great content is content that actually ranks in Google, based on your dealership and market. Now we are going to highlight exactly how to create the type of content that ranks on the first page of Google in organic searches.


Automotive Marketing SEO


The Skyscraper Technique

The Skyscraper Technique is a three-step formula for creating amazing content. In fact, I used this technique to grow search engine traffic in two weeks to my own site. Here’s the three-step process. First, find a piece of content in the automotive industry that’s popular. Next, create something even better, and finally, obviously, promote that content.

For example, you may notice that lots of people are writing about a particular model or service. So you may decide to take what was out there and make something even better content for the reader. Specifically, you can spend 20-plus hours on a 6,000-word post called “Why this model is better than all others in that class”.  Or “Why winter tires are important in the Halifax, NS Market”. 

Promote the Automotive Marketing SEO Content 

The next step would be to promote this post on social media and using email outreach, and this three-step process can likely bring in a massive spike in traffic.

Second, break your content down into chunks because here’s the truth!

No one likes reading giant walls of text like this.

That’s why I always break things down into chunks because it makes my content super easy to read. Allowing users to skim, and because my content is easy to read, my Bounce Rate, a key Google ranking factor, is super low, more on that later.

Next, make sure to cover everything there is to know about your model, market or anything else is covered.

When analyzing over a million Google search results, one thing is always clear. Content that covers an entire topic in-depth ranks above content that only covers part of a topic.

Besides making your content in-depth, you also wanna use lots of multimedia on your page. We are talking about stuff like images, polls, visual content, videos, charts, and infographics.

Within my own blog, I make sure to use lots of screenshots, visuals, and videos in pretty much every post. You want to double down on content formats that are working best right now. 

Posting External Links

94% of all published content gets zero external links. That’s right, zero.

Now, for the good news. There are certain content formats that attract more backlinks. The statistics show that why posts, what posts, and infographics get significantly more backlinks than other textual content formats.

The bottom line, if you’re serious about ranking in Google, you need backlinks. There are some link-building strategies. If you are posting information about a make or model, but sure to share it. The objective would be to get local blogs or media to share as well. That helps with local SEO with the content indexed as local for the dealership. 

So if you publish something amazing on your site, there’s a good chance that you could get a link from multiple web sites. 


There is a lot that goes into ensuring that your Automotive SEO Checklist is complete. But it can be done as long as the content is relevant to your market, make, models and services that the dealership offers.

Are You Ready?

Based on my experience, my objective is to work with dealerships and ensure that all aspects of Automotive Marketing SEO are covered for organic growth. This means more traffic on the website, in the dealership and more sales for the dealership! Contact me to learn more about how I help dealers.

Contact Shawn Ryder

Shawn Ryder

Shawn Ryder

Shawn Ryder has over fifteen years in the automotive industry. Having worked with a training company in the early 2000s for a number of years, focusing on manufacturers and dealer groups. I then transitioned an automated digital marketing company for a couple of years focusing specifically on automotive dealerships. At that point decided best to work in a dealership for real experience, so I worked at a dealership selling vehicles for two years to understand the retail world. For the last three years has worked with dealers on digital marketing and growing traffic, leads and sales for the retail dealership.

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