Automotive SEO

Want to Sell More Cars? Get Found on Google First.

You know better than anyone that the internet has changed the way we shop for cars. However, the universal rule of marketing still applies: You want the consumer to find your business first.

That’s where automotive SEO steps in. You can have an amazing website—a conversion machine constantly re-optimized for success—and still fall behind if you’re not on top of your SEO game. If no one can find your dealer online, you’re not competing in the arena where most shopping decisions are made.

SEO is more complex than search keywords. You need experts who can integrate and optimize every last aspect of your on- and off-page SEO. If you want top-tier digital marketing for your car dealership, the team at Stream Companies has mastered the skills that can change the game for you!

SEO Company near Me: Why Automotive SEO with Stream?

Online shopping has changed the game in so many ways. More shoppers than ever are choosing their car and the dealership they want to work with online before they buy. The average shopper visits just 1.25 dealers before buying a car. In other words, you need to make your dealer “the one” to win a prospect’s business—but how?

You need to show up at the top of organic search results. Stream’s automotive SEO can help you do that.


What is SEO? Simply put, it’s a conquest. It’s about taking over the first page of search results for yourself—and in the process denying your competitors those coveted rankings.

Did you know roughly 90% of people click a link on Google’s first page when they search for something? When you move to page 2, that number drops to less than 5%. If you’re not ranking on these two pages, your dealership may never be seen by your intended audience.

Successful automotive SEO moves your dealership to the top of the pack. We’ll make sure you tap into the keywords and angles your competitors are missing.

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High Value Content that Ranks Above the Competition

Technical mastery is a must in automotive SEO, but so is creativity. With 100% unique, engaging content that answers searchers’ queries, you’ll build authority in the eyes of search engines.

While some competitive agencies promise just 4 pieces per quarter, we write up to 10 unique articles every month! SEO strategy and compelling creative combine as we produce:

But it’s not all about quantity: We take pride in quality above all else. Quality helps us snag Google Quick Answers and “People Also Ask” rankings to get you seen at the very top of the search engine results.

All our writers are Stream writers, too. We create our content in-house, so you get consistent quality and messaging—the building blocks of brand trust!

SEO for the Automotive Industry Is Different—Here’s How

There once was a time when consumers drove around from dealership to dealership, comparing models and looking for the best deals. If you’ve been in the car business long enough, you may remember those days!

Today’s shoppers do things a bit differently, and the internet is at the heart of it all. Here’s how it usually works nowadays:

  • Shoppers compare and contrast various makes and models online.
  • Through careful online research, they narrow their options to one or two models.
  • They visit a car dealership or two to see the cars, confirm their interest, and buy.

In other words, shoppers choose the car they want before they choose a dealership. And many of them are only visiting a single dealership before they finalize their deal. To state the obvious, you want to be that dealer—and SEO will help make that happen!

Sometimes, ready-to-buy shoppers don’t even know what brand or model they want until Google points them in the right direction. In many cases, it’s what’s at the top of the search rankings that helps them make up their minds—one more reason you want your content to rank highly.

For Car Dealerships, the Best SEO Is Local

Every industry is different and unique. That’s true of the automotive industry, too, and it means you will need automotive-specific SEO strategies if you want to succeed in the space you compete in.

Consider this: Most of your car dealership’s customers and prospects are local drivers. In some cases, it may extend regionally, but for the most part, you’re talking to shoppers who live within an hour’s drive of your showroom. It follows, then, that localized SEO strategies are the best way to reach them.

As a pioneer in automotive digital marketing for more than 20 years, Stream Companies knows a thing or two about local SEO for automotive. We’ve tried and tested many strategies to understand the ones that are most effective at reaching local consumers. They include:

  • Social Media for Car Dealerships. Harness the power of your social channels. At Stream, we can help you create popular social media content with a human touch. As more people like it, share it, and link to it, it has the potential to boost your search engine rankings.

Posts on these platforms need to be relatable, relevant, and interesting to your target audience—sometimes a hard balance to strike. Social media is the window into your dealership! Let people have a taste of your showroom, even from afar, with our social media experts at the helm.

  • Off-Page SEO. Believe it or not, not all the SEO magic happens on your website. As other people and websites link to or promote your website and “vouch” for the quality of your content, your site can rise in the search rankings. (A good social media strategy certainly helps here, too!)

At Stream, we’ve honed strategies to help move this process along. For instance, we create local content that spotlights businesses and nonprofits in your dealership’s community. We reach out to these organizations and encourage them to link back to your dealership on their websites.

  • Geotargeted Content. Even if featured organizations do not choose to link to your site, it helps establish your position in your community in the eyes of Google and other search engines. Mentioning local places literally puts you on the map.

We apply this on-site SEO strategy to all the content we write for your site. Stream creates and implements a geotargeting game plan for every client. This will help solidify your presence in the towns and cities you already serve and extend your digital reach into strategic new places!

  • Local Listings and SEO. Your local business listings and citations play a major role in your search rankings. You may not have given them much of a thought until now—but Stream can guide you through the process of claiming your local listings and verifying your information.

From Google My Business to Yelp reviews, our reputation management specialists will help you make sure all the information listed about your dealership online is accurate. Update all listings with the best keywords, images, and videos in a more strategic way.

  • Keywords, Keywords, Keywords. Yes, “keyword stuffing” is a thing of the past, so you won’t see content that looks like spam from Stream! However, keywords are still important. We’ll help you research the keywords local shoppers are searching for that best align with your services.

Local keywords will help you rank in local searches, and they usually include geotarget locations. For instance, if you were a digital agency and your prospects were looking for an “SEO company near me,” you would want to mention your locations—say, Malvern, Philadelphia, or Pittsburgh, PA—in your optimized content as part of your on-site SEO strategy.

Is Automotive SEO Still Important for Your Dealership?

Yes, yes, yes! Whether you’re just starting SEO for your car dealership or wondering whether you should continue, the answer is the same. It’s your best way to get seen on the virtual billboard of the internet—the one people spend more time looking at than actual billboards. 

Remember: SEO Is Not an On/Off Switch

With the many digital marketing channels available for your dealership, it may be tempting to cut back on SEO. After all, your strategy has you getting seen by all the right prospects so far. Why not “shut it off” for a little while? You can save now and ramp it up later when your dealership needs the traffic, right?

The problem is, automotive SEO doesn’t work like automotive paid search (another great building block for your digital strategy). With paid search, you can flip the switch and get traffic the very same day.

The difference? Automotive SEO takes time to ramp up. It’s like a digital savings account in a way. Put in little by little today, and months from now, you’ll have big gains to boast about!

Make a Real Investment in Dealership SEO

They call it organic search for a reason: It has to grow organically. Just like you won’t see traffic drop the second you flip the “off” switch (your highly optimized website won’t atrophy overnight!), you won’t see traffic immediately ramp up when you switch to “on”.

Yes, you have a budget to stick to. And yes, that may mean stepping up or pulling back on SEO spend for your dealership as circumstances demand. But you always want an active strategy in place—and you want an automotive SEO partner who can help you navigate every roadblock along the way.

That partner is Stream Companies. We’ll help you build the infrastructure, brick by brick, that gets your dealership seen online for the inventory and services you prioritize!    

Stay Ahead of the Curve with New SEO Trends 

The landscape changes every day. That’s true for SEO and your showroom, too. Google’s ever-evolving algorithms affect what content and websites reach the first page of search results. The cars your most promising prospects search for and compare online will change over time as well.

And your inventory shifts as new models and trim levels are released. There may come a time when you have a surplus of certain cars, too. Fine-tune your strategy according to what you have in stock this month. Nothing matters more than keeping your SEO strategy relevant to the world you wake up to every day.

That’s where Stream steps in and steps up. Some SEO companies simply use a generic list of keywords for all clients and call it a day, but not us. Let us help you ride the wave of industry trends and spot all the opportunities to optimize for what you need to sell—and what future customers are searching for.

What Is SEO? A Crash Course

If you’re new to the world of digital marketing for car dealerships, you might be unfamiliar with SEO. It stands for “search engine optimization.” In layman’s terms, it’s a process for improving your website to increase its visibility for relevant searches. 

The more visible your site and its pages are in search results, the more likely you are to attract prospects to your business.

Why Is SEO Important for Marketing?

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of SEO in automotive marketing! Trillions of online searches every year, many with commercial intent to learn about products and services, represent your greatest untapped market of potential customers.

Obviously, most of those trillions of searches are not automotive-related. But search is often the central source of digital traffic for brands—and it complements your traditional marketing channels. Your goal is simple: to drive your site to the top of the results for searches related to your inventory and services.

In recent years, search results have been evolving to give users more direct answers and information, so these users are more likely to stay on the results page instead of going to other websites.  

What Do SEO Companies Do?

SEO companies offer search engine optimization services to businesses and other organizations to help them improve—and then maintain—their visibility online. It involves making changes to your website design and content to make your site more attractive to search engines.

There are benefits to using an SEO company, whether you work in the automotive dealership space or any other industries. These companies have specialized experience in helping businesses rank on search engines. When you choose Stream as your SEO company, you can expect:

  • Routine audits of your website to identify areas for improvement
  • A development plan for an SEO strategy tailored to business goals
  • Implementation of tactics that will help your business reach its goals

What Is On-Site SEO?

Though we’ve mentioned the importance of off-site SEO, much of the work our automotive SEO experts do is on-site SEO. This involves optimizing elements on your site in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic. It’s a broad term that covers many of the services we’ve already talked about.

Here’s why on-site SEO is important: It’s the one factor you have direct and complete control over. Off-site SEO generally relies on entities outside your dealer responding well to your content. On-site SEO is optimizing the signals your website sends out in the first place.

Above all else, this comes back to great content. It’s less about keyword placement and repetition than it is about understanding your users, what they need, and what topics (keywords) you can develop for maximum impact. Optimized site metadata helps, too.

The inbound marketing copywriters at Stream create content that satisfies all these goals by being:

  • In-depth. Thorough content, measured by its ability to answer real questions and provide useful information rather than by raw word count, stands a better chance at ranking.
  • User-friendly. Your content should be readable and easily navigable. Trust us—search engines can pick up on this somewhat more subjective factor.
  • Aligned with user search intent. Do your content topics match the search queries for which they rank? For best results, you need to keep your content on theme.
  • 100% Unique Content. Content duplicated from elsewhere on the internet (or even on your own website) may impact a page’s ability to rank. In these instances, the ranking generally goes to the site that posted it first.  

Why You Need Real Automotive SEO

In the age of digital marketing, SEO is one of the best competitive advantages car dealerships can have. Why? Simple—it’s the cornerstone of inbound marketing, the logical next step for automotive industry players who want to attract quality leads.  

Right now, we live in the era of the empowered buyer—and that’s a good thing! Today’s shoppers react less to external influences about brand awareness. Instead, displaying an independent streak, they tend to find all the information they need alone, trusting their own judgment.

The days of heavy-handed branding that tells the buyer what they should want instead of letting them decide? That’s over. Dealerships need to create value, and value starts with content that solves users’ problems—that assumes they have control over their own buyer journeys. A real SEO strategy puts that content front and center.

What’s Real? Introducing White-Hat SEO

You want your automotive content to rank higher in search engine results. But you want that to happen while maintaining the integrity of your website—and staying within search engines’ terms of service. At Stream Companies, we help our clients employ white-hat SEO techniques to do just that.

These techniques rely on one mantra: Make content primarily for users, not search engines. Every car dealership needs an SEO provider that constantly asks, “Does this help my client’s users? Would we do this even if search engine algorithms didn’t exist?”

We have good reason to ask ourselves these questions. After all, search engines themselves can detect and weed out content that doesn’t provide educational value—the stuff that relies on manipulation to try to “game” search engines. White-hat SEO for automotive avoids tricks and instead focuses on quality.

  • Valuable Content. If you’ve reached this point in this article, congratulations! It takes time and dedication to read upward of 2,500 words. By now, you’ve surely noticed something important: Every one of these words is carefully assembled to convey valuable information to you.

Information-rich and, in some cases, longform content holds just as much value for consumers as it does for search engines. It helps shoppers make informed and empowered decisions! For that reason, we always take the longer, harder road to make every word count.

  • No Link Schemes. Link to me, and I’ll link to you. This doesn’t help—and can actually hurt—your automotive SEO. While we do encourage local businesses and organizations to link to your site, we don’t do it with a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality.
  • Easy Site Navigation. How will you keep your valuable content from becoming clutter? Stream can help you organize your site’s information architecture to streamline user conversions and the overall site experience. Surprisingly (or perhaps not!), this has been shown to affect SEO.   
  • Descriptive, Keyword-Rich Metadata. Yes, your SEO metadata is important—and it’s one more place you want to avoid the practice of keyword stuffing. Our robust meta descriptions hit all the right words while compelling users to click onward.

Notice we did say create content primarily for users—implying there is a place for search-engine-based SEO wizardry somewhere in there. And there certainly is. 

But the point is, SEO must take a backseat to the user’s interest. Think about what makes your website, inventory, and services unique and engaging. It’s always the best path to creating SEO content that puts the user first.


Climb to the top of organic search results with Stream Companies at your side. We’ll help you master on- and off-page SEO and send the social media signals to be ranked by search engines everywhere.

Automotive SEO is the foundation of your dealership’s success. With offices in Pittsburgh and Malvern, PA, we want to help you lay and build on that foundation. Reach out to us and start strategizing your search engine optimization today!

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