9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


[Study] Top 3 SEO Keywords for BMW Dealerships

When potential BMW customers head to Google for the first time, you'll need to fight for their attention.

Marketing a luxury brand is competitive to say the least. In fact, our agency has seen clicks for luxury-brand-related ads go up to 300% more than clicks for value-brands such as Ford or Chevy. So, if you're a BMW dealership, a solid SEO and AdWords strategy are key.

In the same way that Chevrolet dealers need to think about how their customers search – i.e. “Chevy” instead of “Chevrolet” – BMW dealers need to put themselves in their customers shoes and hone in on the keywords that count.

Beyond “BMW Dealership”

As a dealership marketer, you probably already understand the importance of showing up in search engines for words like “BMW dealer” or “BMW service.” We want to dive beyond that today, so we're going to cover some high-volume keywords that you may not have considered for optimization.


1. “BMW M4” [74,000 monthly searches in U.S.]

It's highly likely that most of your BMW customers aren't driving around M4's (not yet, anyway). But just like the Mustang dominates Ford-related searches, the shiny new M4 is essentially a gateway car for bimmer enthusiasts (more on the word “bimmer” later). For example, visitors who land first on an M4 page can still end up on inventory that fits their lifestyles more realistically. So, even if they're not exactly flying off the lot, it's a good practice to show your M4 expertise up-front on Google.

Screenshot-2015-06-01-13.54.38Another interesting point about “BMW M4” is that it's relatively trendy. While the BMW 328i – a more “common” model – has always been popular on Google, the newer, sportier M4 is catching up.

Takeaway: Even though the M4 is a less-common vehicle, it's important to capture the attention of BMW enthusiasts to make your presence known in your market.


2. “BMW Financial Services” [22,200 monthly searches in U.S.]

Let's face it: Financing is the Debbie Downer of the car-buying experience. While everyone wants to find, fall in love with, and drive away in a shiny new X5, they're going to need more than just the keys.

And the thing is: Although nobody enjoys financing, everyone seems to anticipate the complications that might come with it. It's reflected in the amount of financing-related terms for any vehicle brand. BMW is no different: “BMW financial services” and “BMW financial” both appear in the top 10 BMW-related search terms on Google.


But what about your customers who already bought their BMWs from you? While we don't readily know where these searches for “BMW Financial Services” are heading, they're likely made up of leads and customers alike. That's why it's important to optimize for “BMW financial services” and also write the content to researchers as well as people looking for information on their existing BMW loans through your store.

Takeaway: While financing certainly isn't the fun part of car buying, it's an important piece of the experience. Display your knowledge of BMW financing options for new and used inventory via your blog or web pages. Providing your expertise on BMW Financial Services will allow new shoppers to feel comfortable with (what sometimes can be) the least comfortable part of their new BMWs.


3. “Bimmer” [8,100 monthly searches]

Let's set the record straight once and for all: While both options sound exactly the same, the word “bimmers” refers to BMW cars, while “beemers” refers to BMW motorcycles. There, the debate is over. “Bimmer” gets 8,100 monthly searches while “beemer” gets 5,400. Why did this happen? Here's my hypothesis: BMW is German, and Germans pronounce “bimmer” like “beemer.”


“But wait, John. How do you know that these ‘beemer' people aren't actually searching for motorcycles?” Here's the answer: When we conducted our research, the AdWords keyword planner was set to filter out traffic related only to four-wheeled vehicles – not motorcycles. 

While many of us politically incorrect Americans still use “beemer” in conversations about cars like the M4 or the i8, we should be saying “bimmer.” BMW motorcycles are the original “beemers” and the word “bimmers” was invented to visually show reference to the cars. In all instances, a BMW dealership should use “bimmer” and not “beemer.”

The key word here is “should.”

While BMW purists will inevitably open a debate every time you use “beemer” on your dealership's blog, don't be afraid to sneak it into alt tags, meta descriptions or page titles. Doing so will help you guide misinformed newcomers to the bimmer world.

Takeaway: Even if it's politically incorrect, it's still important to optimize your site for the keyword “beemer” in addition to “bimmer” on your BMW dealership's website. If you want to learn more about the “bimmer vs. beemer” debate, I highly recommend this Reddit thread about it.

How to plan your SEO keywords on AdWords

If you want to get a grip with your keyword optimization, 9 Clouds highly recommends the Google Keywords Planner to search for relevant, high-volume keywords. Enter search terms in the box labeled “search for new keyword and ad group ideas.” Target the U.S. or your state, then click “get ideas,” which will take you to the screen below. Here, you can find search volumes and get ideas for related terms.


To dive even deeper, you can check out the keywords with your city or market's name in them. “BMW dealers in [city],” for example. To get the most bang for your buck, go after the keywords with high search volume and low competition. (Maybe a couple of posts about the i8 wouldn't be a bad idea.)

Getting Started with Automotive SEO

Your starting point on this SEO project will depend on the software you use for automotive digital marketing.

If you have a keyword searching tool, use that first. If you don’t, cue up the Google Keywords Planner and start exploring all the features it offers. This article can show you how.

For more automotive SEO tips and tricks, turn to the pros. Download our free eBook now to “Learn SEO from the Experts.”