[Case Study] Independent Auto Dealers See Organic Traffic Increases with Affordable SEO Package
Do your potential customers find your dealership or business when they search for your products or services on Google or Bing?
One of the most foolish things any business owner can do is to throw marketing dollars at a digital giant like Google, Facebook, or Amazon when their website isn’t even showing up in organic search results.
You don’t have to worry about ad spend when improving your search engine optimization (SEO), after all.
And, especially if you’re an independent auto dealer with a limited marketing budget, SEO improvement is the most efficient place to start with digital marketing improvements.
Here’s how we’ve helped two independent, used auto dealers increase their organic website traffic.
Two different Midwest auto dealers approached 9 Clouds to help with both automotive SEO and digital advertising.
While the dealerships are similar in that they are independently-owned with a niche market, their differing products and target audiences necessitated custom solutions unique to each dealership.
GMG Motors is a “buy here, pay here” used car dealership in Morgantown, Indiana. Morgantown is a quaint small town rich in history and less than an hour from Indianapolis.
With a limited marketing budget, GMG sought to reach used car shoppers looking for low-interest rates and affordable payments. Most importantly, they wanted local pre-owned car shoppers to find the right vehicle from their family-owned dealership, rather than heading into the city.
While Blackhawk Motors is also a pre-owned, family dealership, they offered a different challenge in that they sell classic cars to enthusiasts nationwide.
In addition to selling vehicles to shoppers looking for their “dream” car, Blackhawk also purchases classic cars from around the nation — another search engine ranking opportunity.
Helping Qualified Shoppers Find What They’re Looking For
When it comes to search engine optimization, many folks may have been searching for what GMG Motors or Blackhawk Motors could offer them — but were they landing on either website?
Neither group was sure; that’s why 9 Clouds partnered with both of these independent dealers to help measure and improve their on-site SEO and relevant keyword rankings.
In both cases, the 9 Clouds team began by creating a Google Analytics account to measure and analyze results and linking the account to Google Search Console.
Now, we aren’t going to spill all of our SEO secret sauce, but here’s a high-level glance at our typical strategy. This is catered to each partner’s needs and challenges (such as website limitations):
- keyword research to inform website improvement areas
- fixing website crawl errors in Moz
- updating Google My Business
- on-site updates, such as adding meta descriptions, links, and page titles
Want more details on automotive SEO? Find ’em in this free eBook, SEO for Auto Dealers.
For both dealerships, the first three months of work saw an incredible increase in organic traffic simply because there was no historical Google Analytics data with which to compare.
In both cases, though, we identified some significant SEO-related wins.
In the first quarter of the partnership with 9 Clouds, organic traffic from Google was the second source of traffic to the website, after the traffic from Facebook ads.
From the first quarter of work to the following, organic traffic continued to improve by 12%, thanks to the on-site optimizations and keyword ranking improvement.
In the first six months of partnership, GMG Motors also made headway with their keyword rankings. Some of the largest local keyword improvements included:
- “buy here pay here” from 51+ to 20
- “used cars for sale” from 51+ to 20
- “buy here pay here car dealerships” from 51+ to 16
Worth noting is that GMG Motors’s website provided a challenge to SEO improvements as it has many website edit limitations. Despite the hindrances, the results are strong and we look forward to continuing to help them improve.
“9 Clouds has been instrumental in the growth of our dealership. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in leads and sales since hiring them.”Melanie Goldman, Owner, GMG Motors
The classic car dealership also saw early increases in organic search traffic to the website after partnering with 9 Clouds. Traffic is growing at a steady rate, with a 10.25% increase in organic users in the second quarter vs. the first quarter of the partnership.
Additionally, the quality of organic search traffic is improving for Blackhawk Motors. Compared to the first month of work, after six months the bounce rate from organic traffic had decreased by more than 20%, and session duration improved by nearly 16%.
Keyword ranking improvements are a slower ride for this dealership, as their audience is located nationwide (and sometimes even globally). However, we’ve already seen improvements in:
- “classic cars illinois” from 25 to 14
- “classic car dealers” from 51+ to 34
Improving keyword rankings takes time and consistency, and we’re thrilled to see early gains for this independent dealer with a national market as we continue our partnership.
“9 Clouds helped Blackhawk Motors get our online presence from good to great in a matter of weeks!“Paul Greenhill, Co-Owner, Blackhawk Motors
Do You Want to Improve Your Dealership’s SEO?
Especially if you’re an independent dealership with a small marketing budget, improving your SEO is the best place to start toward digital marketing success. People are already searching for what you offer; let’s make sure they find you!
So, before you drop cash on advertising, get your website in a healthy place by improving your SEO with 9 Clouds.
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