SEO For UK Car Dealership -148% Traffic Increase!

Car Dealership SEO

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SEO for Car Dealerships

Do you own a local or national car dealership? See how we did SEO for this car dealership and how we can help any automotive company rank well in the search engines....

At the end of 2019, a Birmingham (UK) car dealership contacted us with a problem:

They used to get a good chunk of traffic from the search engines, but suddenly their traffic had dropped significantly and they didn’t know why.

This dealership didn't come to us with a clean slate. Their rankings were dropping, their keywords were falling off, and their business was hurting. Now, that’s nothing new to us as a lot of our clients come to us with these kinds of issues.

We soon discovered that they had applied lots of shady linking strategies to gain traction in the search engines and we realized that this would be one of the first things we would need to fix. 

This was actually the first time our SEO Agency dealt with an automobile company, but that doesn’t stop us from taking their traffic to new heights.

The following case study will describe how we were able to recover them after a Google penalty and turn their traffic around.


The car dealership sells high-end luxury cars and are affiliated with several other similar stores sprinkled across the UK. 

They wanted to rank for several search terms, which at first glance seemed almost unreasonable to spend money trying to rank for because they had ridiculously low search volumes. However, these were extremely targeted search phrases and the nature of the business made these search phrases extremely lucrative.

Their main goal was to get their traffic back to normal and if possible also improve their rankings for some new key pages.

All this was discovered on the onboarding call with myself, a representative of the car dealership and one of our UK SEO team members.

After the call, myself and the UK SEO team sat down and made a plan. 

This is what we did…

The SEO Audit - Our Best Friend

We always start with a Website SEO Audit to get a clear view of the websites SEO history.

We discovered that this client was experiencing a significant drop in rankings due to the Google Core Algorithm Update in May the same year. The next step was to discover exactly why this happened.

We also discovered that the website had applied a lot of shady link building because of a previous SEO service they had hired. It wasn’t clear whether this was affecting the drop in rankings (the client didn’t have google analytics and search console set up). Instead of waiting for an accident to happen, we were proactive and started removing the worst links from web 2.0 properties with clearly auto-generated gibberish content and .edu links, blog comments and  similar low quality properties.

We were not able to remove all the bad links pointing to the website, so we applied an “Authority Drowning Strategy” by creating multiple authority backlinks and thus “drowning" the bad links in authority links.

Once we took a deep dive into the website it became obvious why they were hit by the Google Core update: The site had lots of thin content and duplicate pages with little-to-no content as well as a nearly 89.2% bounce rate. 

The high bounce rate tells us that people landing on the pages after making a Google search, didn't really find what they were after and therefore ”bounced back” to the search engine. This is a strong signal to Google that this site isn’t providing much value. In addition the thin content is a type of problem that is very common for auto dealers as most pages are just showing inventory pages. It’s challenging for this type of website but with every challenge comes an opportunity: There is a huge opportunity to win the traffic back!

Quick Wins and Getting Ranking & Traffic Increase For Existing Pages

First we looked at how we could improve traffic to existing pages. Get some quick wins is not only good for morale but also for bringing back some of that lost traffic. 

Most of the websites we work on are sites that are close to ranking and getting traffic, but they just aren’t in the top positions yet. 

For this car dealership we applied an easy wins analysis and found keywords that the site was ranking for with the following metrics:

  • Google positions 4-30
  • Keyword Difficulty Score equal to, or less than, 30. This is important if you want to rank fast. The higher the KD, the harder it will be to rank well.
  • Minimum Cost Per Click of  $.01 if we would have run an Adwords Campaign.
  • We looked at keywords with competitions from paid results in the search engines like this:

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If businesses are actually paying for ads, then we know there’s money to be made if we can rank for that keyword.

Using this strategy we found targetable, valuable keywords and pages that were on the verge of ranking and that could easily be improved.

For this site, we found 463 potential targets, mostly on the bottom of page one through page three with CPC between $0.29 and $2.51. 

These terms / URLs were primarily product pages leading to specific cars that are available. They were very detailed and targeted keywords that had low difficulty, and we could capitalize on these to quickly get higher rankings and increase traffic.

Competition Gap Analysis

Ok, so we’ve established the errors and fixed them. We have also built some high authority links and identified some quick wins. Now, let’s have a look at the competition.

We took a look at the keywords their competitors were targeting, that our car dealership wasn’t yet ranking for. We analysed the type of content they were using and what kind of search intent people searching for this kind of content would have. Then our content crew got to work focused on building out content for these opportunities.

We realised that the automotive industry is a bit different in terms of the content gap analysis.

Doing SEO for a car dealership made us realise a few things we had previously seen on some ecommerce sites. The competition is often ranking for keywords that are irrelevant and not worth targeting, like specific car models, geo-targeted keywords etc. Just like our website, most of the top competing sites in this niche have very little content and are not easy to optimize perfectly for the search engines.

That’s excellent!

Because it allowed us to create a blog and write some long blog posts around our quick win keywords. Each month we did a combination of high-quality link building and strategic content placements on the blog.

SEO Results - UK Car Dealership

The easy wins strategy paid off. We bumped many of these key phrases to page one. The top 10 keywords are currently all ranking on page one of Google:

YO1KIekaJPIlAeyffaL4Jl869vItdC1y8whoofM5tNKuv3xmjwpgTKpn9cmfulfjh0RsJJBc 1beEE5h6XwDI1lb0iNofCeKvP BjXD8UF6oKqtDu2dpRxiVSADKqwig mtWnoHB

Serious Bump

Here’s an example of their #1 exact match keyword that experienced serious movement after the 3th month of using our SEO Agency:

TKWbPZ 4Z65Rq7y90d V3nyVECaeJ3fOXHnuRZT4i0OQnhzBytoKiQTtgL LV0b9uwTOhMDlv8MEJsA5yZSyMWe5uCACw0njWLM 1IVHmmOZj5CLFd21DpGZGb wHS7k a2q0VWd

Summary & TakeAways

When this client contacted us, they had lost most of their traffic due to a Google Penalty. We got on an onboard call with the client and discovered what was wrong through our SEO audit.  We managed to get their traffic back on track and the value of their traffic (return of investment per visitor)  has also started to consistently increase every month.

Our main focus was on planning- and building quality content on their new blog in combination with our link building strategies.

The following image is a snapshot of the site's backlinks, organic keywords, organic traffic, and traffic value five months after they started working with us. It's consistently improving, even today. 

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SEO is no quick fix, but after a few consistent months of hard work, we recovered this site’s organic traffic, bumped many of their keywords up to page one. We also doubled their organic traffic value!

The client stayed with us for 6 months, after which we merely have acted as an “on-call” consultant through a personalized version of our 1-on-1 monthly coaching.

If you’d like some help with your site and get more organic traffic from the search engines, You Can Apply Here.

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