5 Easy Steps to Better Keyword Research For Car Dealers

It’s 2018 and you want to start focusing more on your website and the internet aspect of your car dealership. You know that your site needs to start showing higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs), but you have no idea how to go about starting.

Well, the answer is to start with keyword research for your car dealership. After all, you can’t get your pages to rank unless you know what keyword you would like to rank for.

keyword research - AutoRevo
After all, you can’t get your pages to rank unless you know what keyword you would like to rank for.

At AutoRevo we understand the struggle and have come up with 5 easy steps to help any car dealer choose the best keywords for their dealership and get them ranking higher in no time.

  1. Seed Keyword List

    • Great keywords don’t just materialize out of thin air (although that would be amazing!). Luckily, as car and truck dealers, the niche is pretty well defined and the basic keyword list is easy to come up with and can start with terms as simple as “used cars,” “used trucks,” or “used cars dallas.” These will also come in handy when trying to find the competitors for your business.

      If your dealership handles a little more obscure or niche product like powersports or Japanese mini-trucks, you can find your basic seed keywords by just describing the vehicle in your own words or conducting a brainstorming session about how others might search for your vehicles and for which vehicles you tend to keep in stock.

      Best of all, this step requires no tools beyond your own brain!

  2. Generate More Keyword Ideas

    • Now that you have your basic keyword list, it’s time to sit down and come up with any keyword that someone might use to find your dealership, and your vehicles, online. This list should be very large and as all encompassing as you can make it.

      Do you sell a lot of cars that are priced under $10,000 in the city of Modesto, California? Try “used cars for sale under $10000 in Modesto.” We’re just at the idea stage right now, so everything is fair game. The idea right now is to come up with as many as you can. By the way, it’s usually a good idea to go with “used” instead of “preowned” when describing your inventory. We have an amazing blog post that explains why.

      Do you sell only preowned BMWs? Try “used BMWs.” There are almost endless possibilities at this stage.

      Another way to populate your keyword list is to see which keywords you are already ranking for, is by using Google Search Console. You can pull up your “Search Analytics” report and see how you rank for keywords that people are currently using to find you and your vehicles. This will provide you with a wealth of potential keywords.

      To round out your list, you may want to consult a keyword research tool. We use and recommend:

      These tools should give you plenty of ideas to move on to the next step.

  3. better keyword research - AutoRevo
    Put simply, this will show you the overall search demand of any given keyword or how many times someone has entered this keyword into Google.
  4. Check Keyword Search Volume

    • You have your giant list of keyword possibilities, so what next?

      Now you want to check the estimated search volume of the keywords in your list. For this, you will more than likely need another tool. At AutoRevo, we recommend:

      These are all paid tools, but some of them offer a free option to start with.

      For the most part, these tools are all pretty straight forward. You enter the keyword that you want to check and it will come back with a number of metrics. For this step, we want to pay attention to the “Search Volume.” Put simply, this will show you the overall search demand of any given keyword or how many times someone has entered this keyword into Google.

      Another tool that we like to use, in conjunction with the ones listed above, is Google Trends. This tool is very useful to see the overall trends of the keywords over time. Hopefully, these tools have helped you cull your giant list into something a little more manageable at this point.

  5. Check Clicks and Click Through Rate

    • Now it’s time to take your ever dwindling list and check the clicks on each term. Having a fantastic search volume is only part of the battle and can be rendered useless if no one is actually clicking on the search results the term brings up.

      The best tools that we’ve found for this job are Ahrefs Keywords Explorer and Moz’s Keyword Explorer. If a search term has a decent amount of clicks and click through rate, it’s a keeper, otherwise it’s relegated to the backup keyword list.

  6. Keyword Difficulty

    • Now that you have winnowed your keyword list down to the ones that have the best traffic and clicks, it’s time to consider possibly the most important metric of all, Keyword Difficulty, which most tools abbreviate to KD. Keyword Difficulty is the popssible difficult that you will have getting that particular keyword to rank for your dealership. It runs on a scale from 0-100, with 0 being easiest to rank and 100 being next to impossible. If you find a keyword that is super competitive, it may not be worth the effort to try and rank that keyword. The flipside of that coin is, if the keyword is too easy, you may be able to rank for that keyword but the traffic it sends may not become customers, which makes it pointless.

      On the other hand, pursuing a highly competetive keyword and managing to rank for it, could drive a ton of customers to your dealership and be totally worth the effort. The trick is to find the balanbce for your dealership.

keyword research tips - AutoRevo
Keyword research should be ongoing. Your dealership is a living, breathing thing and it could change from time to time.

Long Tail Keywords

I know I said there were only 5 steps, but here is one more, for free!

After you’ve created a mammoth seed list and cut it down to some great keywords that you are itching to rank for, it’s time to check out Long Tail Keywords. These are basically keywords that are longer search phrases that may not have the traffic or click rates of your other keywords, but could prove very lucrative nonetheless. For example, if you’re a Dallas dealership that specializes in used Jeeps under $20,000, you might want to try out the keyword phrase “used jeeps in Dallas under $20,000.” The search traffic is apt to be very, very low and the click through rate may not even register, but customers that search for that keyword phrase has a clear intent to buy and are actively looking. It may be well worth your time to pursue that keyword. And if it turns out to not work out, just scrap it and start over. Long tail keyword searches account for about 70% of all searches performed on the internet, they are definitely worth going after. Keep trying!

Keep Researching

Keyword research should be ongoing. Your dealership is a living, breathing thing and it could change from time to time. You may get a great deal on a bunch of cargo vans and want to push them. Then start back at step 1 and start over. Check you Google Search Console periodically and see if you are ranking for any new keywords. If so, incorporate them into the mix. The possiblities, and the work, are endless!

We’ve found that this is an excellent way to find the best possible keywords for your dealership. If you follow these steps, you’re sure to come up with a great bunch of keywords. Now it’s time to start optimizing that site and creating pages with great keyword rich content to get your site at the top of those SERPs!

If we missed anything, or if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.

Market Insights: How To Stage and Photograph Your Vehicles

Dealer's Guide to Vehicle Photography - AutoRevo

A bunch of new inventory has just been delivered to the lot and you’re eager to get it online and sold.

You know you need pictures so what’s your next step? Do you toss it on the website with a bunch of stock photos and hope for the best?

Or maybe you send someone outside to snap a few quick photos with their cell phone and use those?

Our latest free white paper, “How to Stage and Photograph Your Vehicles” answers these questions and gives you a wealth of car photo tips. Think of it as AutoRevo’s car photography tutorial for 2018.

What’s the best location to shoot your vehicles?

How many pictures should I take for each vehicle?

What is the best type of weather to take pictures of my cars?

Whether you’re a veteran of photographing cars for dealerships or a newbie with a cell phone, this white paper is for you. We even give you the exact photos that you will need to perfectly showcase your vehicles and get them sold as fast as possible, from the basic drivers-side front angle photo to the content shots of the vehicle’s DVD and navigation systems.

Guided Photos Feature

Once you’ve had a chance to look through the white paper if you still want some extra guidance for the best photos possible, give us a call about our inLine Mobile App. It includes a “Guided Photos” feature that shows exactly what pictures to take and how to position the vehicle to showcase it on your website!

How To Stage And Photograph Your Vehicles - AutoRevo
Download Here.

If you have any questions, comments, or other car dealership photography tips that we may have missed, leave them in the comments below.

Your Links and You: Links in 2018

It’s 2018 and you’re hard at work on your resolutions (or have already abandoned them. I’m looking at you…me). One resolution that you shouldn’t leave by the curb as you begin your journey down the highway of 2018 is your resolution to get serious about link building for your site.

Search Engine Ranking Factors

Search Engine Ranking FactorsSource:http://backlinko.com/google-ranking-factors

Since the late ‘90s, search engines have used links as a signal of a web page’s popularity and relevance. In 2018, links may not be the only part of the equation, but they are still one the top ranking signals for all of the search engines and a significant part of your time should be spent on trying to gather them.

Understanding Link Signals

Most people hear that link building is one of the top ranking factors and the knee-jerk reaction is to rush out and get as many as you can, as fast as you can. While that kind of “go-getter” attitude is admirable, not all links are created equal. Links are interpreted in different ways, depending on where they are coming from and how they are formatted. The following is a basic list of important link signals that search engines are looking for:

  1. Popularity

    This one is pretty self-explanatory, the more popular a site is, the more weight links from that site will carry. For example, a single link from CNN.com will count for more than a hundred links from mymomsaysimhandsome.com.

  2. Context

    Where a link comes from, as well as the subject matter of the linking site, can matter. A link from a local car club site would hold more weight than a link from your mom’s sewing blog. In addition to the context, the locality matters as well. If you have a link from a business located near you, it counts for more than a link from an identical business across the country.

  3. Anchor Text

    Anchor text is the actual text of the clickable link. Using the right keywords in your anchor text used to be a very powerful signal to search engines, but updates in recent years have mitigated this. For example, if you have 50 sites linking to you, and every link says “used cars Dallas,” this won’t appear natural for search engines. It’s more likely that other sites will use your dealership name as the anchor text or something generic like “click here.”

  4. Trust

    You’ve used the internet before, so you know how much spam is out there. It’s been estimated that as much as 60% of the internet is spam. Search engines have developed systems to sort out irrelevant content. Trust is a huge ranking signal and links from trusted domains can significantly boost your rankings. Universities, government websites, and non-profits have very high-trust domains.

  5. Who You Link To

    Spam is a two-way street; a website that links to spam is most likely a spammy site itself. Search engines will look at the link profile of your site so it’s important to be careful which sites you link to–a few links to untrusted sites can wreak havoc on your rankings.

  6. Social

    Over the past few years, social signals have become more and more important to search engines. Links shared on social networks are treated a little differently than much more “permanent” links on websites, because social links tend to get buried by constant social updates. Search engines are constantly adjusting their algorithms to include social signals, so make sure that you are creating share-worthy content.

How Do I Go About Getting Links? Link Building in 2018

Link building is easily the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of SEO. No link building campaign is the same, but these guidelines will give you a good head start:

  1. Check Competitors’ Backlinks

    Use an SEO tool that will analyze your competitors’ backlinks and let you see what they have and what they are doing. There are a multitude of tools on the market to achieve this and each of them does something a little different. We recommend using Moz’s Open Site Explorer, Majestic, SEMRush, or Ahrefs to look at other dealers who rank higher than you. You’ll be able to see where they are getting their links so you can replicate it.

  2. Get Your Customers To Link To You

    This one is simple. Your customers have websites, so ask them for a link. If you have vendors or partners, that you work with regularly (that detail shop up the street or that shipping company you use would be great options), ask them for a link!

  3. Start a Blog (and Make It Awesome)

    So many dealerships start blogs and then just write about cars that they want to sell or cars that are on their lot. That is not the best way to go about it! Blogs are your opportunity to add fresh, useful content–it’s even recommended by Google. Write valuable, informative content. You are a car expert, share that knowledge and people will begin to link to you.

  4. Real World Stuff

    Your website is online, but your business most often isn’t. You exist in the “real world” and it’s time to do real stuff. For example, Ford sponsors the “Drive One 4 UR School” program where they donated money to schools for every verified test drive. Guess what happens when those events happen at local dealership? They get links. Sponsor a Little League team. Volunteer at a charity event. Get involved in your community. Don’t manufacture reasons for people to link to you — do real world stuff and they will link to you anyway.

  5. Be Social

    Social media has become more than a place for you to post pictures of your vacation to Jackson Hole, WY or what you had for dinner last night. Social media sites are news sources –  news breaks on social media sites first because the audience is ALWAYS listening. Spread links to your dealership’s website on social media. Got a new blog post? Share it. Big sale next weekend? Probably a good idea to share that link. If the information that you share is useful, the people who read it will share it also. The more your posts are shared, the more likely it’ll garner a link.

Closing Caveats

Link building can be a frustrating and tricky business, but the payouts are worth the aggravation. As I close out this blog post, I’d like to give you a couple of warnings for the new year:

  • Avoid Free Directories

    Since Google’s release of the Penguin update, low quality links are no longer a good signal for your website. There are thousands of free directories out there where you can list your site, but this tactic is no longer recommended. Pay attention to what kind of directory it is — if it’s relevant to your dealership or business, it’ll be okay — but if it’s generic or for another type of business altogether, stay away.


    I don’t feel I can say this enough — DO NOT BUY LINKS. There are hundreds of websites and services that offer to sell you links. Avoid them like the plague! Search engines devote an enormous amount of effort to detect purchased links. You will NOT outsmart them! Websites that get caught buying links can get penalized or even banned from search engines. It’s not worth it.

These are fantastic ways to get your dealership’s site new links for this new year, but by no means are they the only ones. If you need more ideas for link building, feel free to contact us with the form on this page or give us a call for more information.

Happy 2018!: Market Insights Are Back

AutoRevo Market Insights

Happy 2018!

AutoRevo is starting our New Year out the best way imaginable, by giving away information to help your dealership soar to new heights this year. This will be the first in a series of Market Insights emails. We’re beginning the year by issuing updated versions of our industry standard whitepaper along with trending industry articles that you might find interesting and could help your dealership. We will cover everything from the best ways to stage and shoot your vehicle photos to design tips to drive more traffic to your site and more customers through your doors.

Our initial whitepaper release may actually turn out to be our most useful for 2018. “The Dealer’s Guide to Automotive SEO” is now available, free of charge, by filling out the short form below. It is jam-packed with ideas and information to get your site higher ranking on search engines, which will get more eyes on your site and more leads in your inbox.

Need to know if it’s an absolute necessity to have a secure, responsive website?
(Spoiler Alert: It 100% is!)

Want tips on conducting keyword research to create better content that drives traffic to your site and helps you sell more cars?

Our first whitepaper will help you with all this and much more.

The Dealer's Guide to Automotive SEO
Download Here.


If you have any questions or need more information, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot us an email at info@autorevo.com.

A New Industry Leader Has Emerged



Unmatched PageSpeed

In the past few weeks, we’ve given you some tips and tricks to help speed up your site and announced the release of our new SuperSonic site platform, with the fastest PageSpeed in the automotive sphere.  We leveraged studies on the matter letting you know how much page load time is affecting your bottom line and how every second of loading time counts.

Perhaps the biggest deal, other than customers bouncing away from your slow website, is that Google uses your site’s speed as a ranking factor. Which could mean that if your site isn’t fast enough, people searching Google for used cars in your area may not be seeing your site at all. (more…)

How Secure is Your Website? Google SSL Update 2017

are you secure banner - autorevo


Picture this…

Your ideal customer is sitting in their home, or office, and wants to find that perfect used car. After searching Google, they come to your site, ready to peruse and possibly purchase. Instead of the warm and fuzzy feeling that they should get when looking over your inventory, they are stunned to be presented with this before your domain name: (more…)

Is Your Site Ready For the Fast Lane? 3 Ways To Optimize PageSpeed!

Fastest Website in automotive Industry

Does your site’s PageSpeed leave a little to be desired? Do your customers get tired of waiting for your site to load and bounce over to your competitor? Is your site actually costing you business?

These are the questions that you should be asking yourself about your current website and provider. Simply put, the faster your site is, the faster your customers are going to see your vehicles, and the faster you are going to sell them. Google has also indicated that site speed is one of the ranking factors for its algorithm. Which means a faster site could have your ranking higher on Google searches, which also means more sales. (more…)

Can’t Miss Conferences in 2017


Video TranscriptIn order to stay on top of the ever-changing world of digital marketing as well as follow the best practices in Automotive, you need to know where to go for the best tips and strategy. Submerging yourself in a pool of information is the best way to stay cutting edge and up to date. Conferences offer the ability to do just that as many of them are full day or multi-day events that fill you cup with useful actionable items straight from the leaders in the industry themselves. However do you know which conferences are worth your time and money? (more…)

Google’s New Mobile Index


Video Transcript
Google announced at Pubcon in October that they will be dividing their index to give mobile users better results. This mobile index intends to be their primary index making a separate desktop one less up-to-date. This announcement is one in a long line of not-so-subtle suggestions from Google that you have to be mobile-first oriented when it comes to your website. (more…)

How to Spot an SEO Scam


Video Transcript
Pssstt. Hey, over here. You need SEO? I’ve got some right here. I’ll get you top of the page, number one, no problem. Yeah, my kid nephew does it all,uh he knows computers. How much? I’ll take whatever you’ve got! Hundred bucks a month. Yeah yeah. Number one spot, like 4000 more hits to your website, we do it all. Just give us a few days and we’ll get you right up there. Alright… what you do you say?
Wow, do you know how to spot an SEO Scam? (more…)