SEO Tips to Help Your Dealership to Succeed in 2021 (Part 2)

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Posted on by Jason Cook
Categories: Content Management, Just The Tip, SEO Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Last week, we began focusing on SEO Tips to help your dealership succeed in (what we hope will be a post-COVID) 2021. More specifically, to succeed in a world where, every day, online retailers are taking increasingly more aggressive strides to attract prospective car buyers that might otherwise do business with you. And one of the topic we covered was the need to understand user intent, and create content around it. So, let’s build on that one further, at the request of Wikimotive’s Managing Editor, Kelsea.

PAA (People Also Ask)
There are a variety of tools you could be using to research current keyword trends, informing you which hot topics you should be creating content around. But what if I told you that one of them is free, and available to every Google user?

If you are looking for an easy way to get relevant topic ideas for your dealership, one of the best places to look is the “people also ask” or “featured answer” box. Here, we call them PAAs. By checking out this box before you start creating your content, you can come up with some great content topics based on the questions your customers are searching.

The best part about a PAA, is that you don’t need to pay to find data. All you need to do is run a Google search for your keyword and spend a little time clicking through the “people also ask” box.

How do I find PAAs? 

The easiest way to discover a PAA is to pick a keyword. In this case, we are going to use the keyword “used cars.” Now, run a Google search for this keyword. Because Google is going to assume that you are searching for a place to shop for used cars, the People Also Ask box is going to be towards the end of your SERP.

Screenshot of PAA Featuring the Results for Used Cars










This is the People Also Ask box, and here you will find common questions people are asking.

Clicking on any of these boxes is going to add more questions to your list, leaving you with a seemingly endless list of content ideas.

How do you rank in a People Also Ask box? 

First, you need to find a question that relates to your keyword or topic. Then, you need to write your content based on the searcher’s intent. So, if you were trying to sell more Chevy Silverados, you would need to consider what your truck customers care about and why the Silverado is the truck they should buy.

Now, find your questions. Pick one, or a few, that you think would best relate to your customers. Answer the question to the best of your ability in the format you think makes the most sense. This could be a list, video, or 1200 words that answer your question or questions. Make sure the answer is clear, concise, and that it actually answers the question.

Now, let’s talk about one of the most popular topics of 2020, which is even more important in 2021. Your GMB listings.


Consider this:
• More than 95% of your dealership’s potential sales are delivered to you as a result of online research.
• Local search accounts for 46% of Google searches, and 4 out of 5 consumers consider it to be their primary means of getting information about, or contacting a business.
• It’s also estimated a business’s GMB is the preferred resource for 64% of Google users. And those numbers keep tracking upwards.

This paints a pretty clear picture of how important your dealership’s Google My Business listings are. Management of any GMB listing can get pretty involved, but what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. And we’ll have Sam & Meaghan back to cover GMB’s in plenty of detail in upcoming episodes, but for today let’s start withh 5 optimizations you NEED to prioritize in 2021. Break ‘em off for us, Josh & Kyle.

1. Understand the GMB Listing options available to your dealership.
If you’re a franchised dealer, you’re allowed (i) a primary SALES department listing for EACH of the brands you offer (ii) a singular SERVICE listing and (iii) a singular PARTS listing. Independent dealers, however, are limited to a single sales listing UNLESS they have a dedicated service department.

2. Select the proper category and configure it based on your business model and geography.
If you’re a franchised dealer located in a competitive geography occupied by other “same-brand” dealerships, you’re competing against those dealers every time someone performs a brand-related search.  To improve your chances of out-ranking them, you’ll want to specify the brand within your GMB category. Franchised dealers that manage MULTIPLE brands (like a GM or FCA dealer) should only specify brands within each their individual SALES listings. And if your dealership is the ONLY local option for brand-related search, your biggest competition is probably going to be on the used vehicle front – coming from other local dealerships, regardless of brand. So, adjust your category accordingly to focus on THAT element of your business, and you increase your chances of capturing a wider share of local car buyers.

Now…the next few optimizations are a little more involved. We’ll touch on them briefly, but if you’re looking for actionable steps you can take today, you’ll want to visit this blog at where we’ll include everything you need.

3. Select additional categories to help each listing rank higher.
Yes, you’ve already chosen your primary category, but you can choose up to 9 more for each listing, helping you to rank higher for the products and services you offer. For example, your sales listing might include:

Car Dealer
“Brand” Dealer
Used Car Dealer
Used Truck Dealer
Car Leasing Service
Car Finance and Loan Company

When it comes to your Service listing, you’ll want to focus on the most popular services that people are likely to search for…then include other common services, as they apply to the services you offer. The top recommendations?

Auto Repair Shop
Auto Tune Up Service
Car Repair and Maintenance
Truck Repair Shop
Oil Change Service

But, depending on the service YOU offer, you might also consider:

Brake Shop
Wheel Alignment Service
Transmission Shop
Car Inspection Station
Auto Electrical Service
Auto Radiator Repair Service
Auto Air Conditioning Service

You can take the same approach when it comes to your Parts listing, with some of the top recommendations being:

Auto Parts Store
Car Accessories Store
Car Battery Store
Truck Parts Supplier
Racing Car Parts Store
Auto Body Parts Supplier
Muffler Shop
Truck Accessories Store
Auto Sunroof Shop

4. Compare your categories against those of key competitors, adjusting as needed
Yes, you have visibility of the various categories that your director competitors have chosen. Know what they are, and you can adjust yours as needed to remain competitive. Here’s how you find out what those ‘hidden listings’ are.

First, pull up a competitors GMB listing. Copy their PRIMARY category as it appears. Now, right-click on their GMB and select ‘View Page Source’ to pull up the programming code. Don’t be intimidated, you won’t get sucked into The Matrix. Just activate the ‘Search’ function by hitting Control-F (if you’re on a PC) or Command-F (if you’re on a MAC).

Now paste that primary category into the search field, and you can see each time THAT category appears within the code. The first TWO times it comes up it will be associated with reviews, so skip right to its THIRD appearance. Directly afterwards- you’ll find any other categories they’ve selected.

Maybe they’re categories that you WANT to rank in, and maybe they’re NOT…but better safe than sorry.

5. Make sure that your department listings are properly configured, so nested rankings don’t outrank your primary listing.
This was a big problem in 2020, and we know firsthand that there are a lot of you out there who haven’t even noticed the glitch, let alone fixed it. Following certain updates, many dealerships found that their nested department listings were outranking their primary SALES listing in brand search results. Fortunately, a relatively easy fix has been discovered.

You’ll need to distinguish your primary listing from department listings in four specific places. Make sure that each has a unique:

Direct phone number
Website URL

In addition, be sure to remove your dealership name from your departmental listings, and focus on the brand itself. You can make these changes in your GMB Dashboard under Department Listing.

So, there you have it – two more optimizations you need to perform to position your dealership for greater success in 2021.