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Directing traffic – How to get more out of your website with SEO

Improving your website’s visibility on the web is key to increasing the number of visitors and potential buyers. For a better chance of appearing more prominently in search engine results, it may be time to have a look at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

But what exactly is SEO? Like tofu, everyone’s heard of it but few know exactly what it is.

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of editing web pages to increase their visibility and rankings on top search engines. SEO’s goal is to attract organic (i.e., non-paid) traffic or visitors.

The following are some useful ways that SEO can be implemented to improve a dealer website:

Keyword research

These are words and phrases that would-be buyers type into search engines to find a used car. For example, someone might type in ‘car’ or (more likely) “used cars for sale” and although the latter is four words it’s still a keyword for SEO. You can find more ideas for links and keyword research at Google Keyword Planner here or at Answer the Public here.

Confused? There’s no need to be, just as long as you understand that it’s important to do a little research to identify keywords that are specific to your stock, location and target audience.

Even more effective than standard keywords are long-tail keywords. These are phrases made up of three-to-five words that, research shows, visitors are likely to use when they’re considering a purchase.

Ensure pages on your site have relevant keywords incorporated into page titles, headings, meta descriptions and content. Carefully peppering your pages and overall site content with long-tail keywords can have a dramatic impact on your site’s ranking and visibility.

Quality content

Creating high-quality content related to used cars can have just as noticeable an impact as good keywords. Consider buying tips, industry news, video stories and more. These will improve your search engine rankings but will also make visitors stay longer on your site. 

Statistics from Cox Automotive’s recent digital report suggest that potential customers expect a range of digital tools to help their search and decision-making on a website.  

63% expect part-exchange valuation functionality, the majority of people asked (92%) want the ability to search available stock. However, just 29% said they would like to have the ability to purchase and complete online.  

What’s more, 75% of those asked said they expect a quality website as it has an influence on their decision to buy. 

Image optimisation

Used car websites and quality photography go together like a horse and carriage. Cox Automotive’s report found that 73% of potential customers expect quality photos. So, it’s important to ensure that images are the right size to ensure faster loading times. The speed pages load is a crucial element of good SEO. Potential car buyers often lack the time and patience to hang around if there are any issues with loading photos. Search engines pick up on these small details and rankings can be negatively affected.

Images should have descriptive filenames and alt tags that include relevant keywords. An alt tag is the text that describes an image or illustration on a web page. It is a field that can be completed in the page’s HTML code. These help search engines more easily identify the content that’s displayed and also help screen readers which are used by the visually impaired.

Mobile optimisation

Ensure your website is mobile-friendly i.e., can be satisfactorily viewed on a handheld device. Mobile technology has improved so much that most people are as happy to browse on their phones as they would be on a desktop or laptop. It follows that responsiveness (meaning the site looks good on mobile) is a must.


Also known as “inbound links” these are links from one webpage to another website. Top search engines consider these ‘votes’ for pages as proof of a web page’s relevance and quality. Sites with high numbers of relevant backlinks tend to have higher rankings on Google et al.

In short, backlinks mean another resource finds your content valuable enough to link to it in their content. Why not develop a backlink strategy? Seek opportunities to earn them from reputable sources including local business directories, motoring blogs and relevant industry associations.

Social media integration

Boost your site’s ranking by linking pages to your social media platforms. Highlight promotions, share useful content and stock updates.

There are many ways to boost a used car website’s visibility. Modix specialises in building SEO-optimised landing pages that help attract new customers and provide great consumer experiences.

It’s important to remember that SEO is a continuous process that needs regular monitoring and amending. Keeping an eye on-site analytics and adjusting when needed will ensure you’re getting the most out of your web presence.

Did you know…

that more than three-quarters of consumers say the ‘quality’ of a dealer’s website has a vital part to play in their buying decision? With the right tools in place, your website could consistently help you turn a visitor into a locked-in buyer. Have a look at what features every great car dealer website needs to reach that goal.