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Search Engine Marketing

Local SEM Tactics for Auto Dealerships to Drive More Traffic


Table of contents:

  1. An overview of the importance of search engine marketing for auto dealers
  2.  Brief Explanation of Local SEM and Its Impact on Foot Traffic
  3. Understanding the Basics of Local SEM
  4. Setting Up for Success
  5. Listing your business on Google My Business and optimizing it
  6.  Leveraging Local Paid Search Advertising
  7.  Importance of Ad Extensions for Auto Dealerships
  8.  Implementing Local SEO Strategies
  9.  Advanced Local SEM Tactics
  10.  Measuring Success and Optimizing Your Strategies
  11.  Conclusion

In the fiercely competitive automotive industry, getting noticed isn’t just a luxury—it’s a necessity. Getting local search engine marketing (SEM) is a great way to make sure that your auto dealership is found first and fast when potential customers are searching. Being visible isn’t enough; you have to be visible in the right places and ways. Buckle up as we delve into the engine room of local SEM tactics tailored for auto dealerships. 

An overview of the importance of search engine marketing for auto dealers

Search Engine Marketing has revolutionized the way auto dealerships connect with their local communities. The right SEM strategy doesn’t just increase traffic—both to your site and your storefront—it also enhances the quality of the interactions and conversions from potential buyers. Why? Because local SEM catches customers exactly when their interest is highest—when they are searching for their next vehicle. 

Brief Explanation of Local SEM and Its Impact on Foot Traffic

Local SEM focuses on targeting geographical areas and aligning your marketing efforts with the specific needs and behaviors of local consumers. By emphasizing local search keywords and content, dealerships can significantly increase their visibility to potential customers who are ready to visit a dealership and make a purchase. 

Understanding the Basics of Local SEM

Definition and Components of Local SEM

Local SEM is a strategic approach that combines the use of Google Ads, localized content, and precise targeting methods to boost visibility in specific geographic areas. This strategy involves tailoring your SEM activities to resonate with the local audience and incorporating local dialects, landmarks, and even local events into your ads and web content. 

How Local SEM Differs from General SEM Practices

Unlike broader SEM strategies that target large demographics, local SEM hones in on specific communities. This localized approach ensures that marketing efforts are not diluted over a vast area but are concentrated where they can make the most significant impact—right in your backyard. 

A Local Search Engine Marketing Strategy for the Automotive Industry

In the automotive sector, local SEM allows dealerships to outmaneuver competitors by appearing as the top choice for local searchers. It’s about being the local authority in automotive matters, which in turn builds trust and loyalty in the community. 

Setting Up for Success

Optimizing Your Website for Local Searches

Importance of Mobile Responsiveness

The majority of local searches are conducted on mobile devices, so having a mobile-friendly website is essential. By using different devices to search for their next car, potential customers can enjoy a seamless experience. Local Keywords to Target

Identifying and incorporating local keywords such as “best car dealership in [Location]” or “affordable SUVs near me” can dramatically increase your search relevance in local queries. 

Page Creation for Specific Locations

Create a page for each dealership location. These pages should include location-specific information, such as address, phone number, and even staff information, to personalize the user experience. 

Listing your business on Google My Business and optimizing it

Your listing needs to be verified and claimed

The difference between being found and being overlooked can be made by having an accurate, up-to-date Google My Business profile. Improve your local search presence by claiming and verifying your dealership.

How to Make Your Profile More Visible

Ensure your profile is complete with engaging photos of your dealership, updated contact information, and regular posts about promotions or events. 

Utilizing Google Posts and Google Q&A

Engage directly with potential customers by using Google Posts to highlight special offers and Google Q&A to address common inquiries. This interaction not only enhances visibility but also builds community rapport. 

Leveraging Local Paid Search Advertising

Introduction to Google Ads and Bing Ads for Local Targeting

Using Google Ads and Bing Ads allows dealerships to appear at the top of search results for local automotive queries. Tailor your ads to reflect local promotions or events to capture attention effectively. 

Creating effective local search engine marketing campaigns

Develop ads that speak directly to the needs of the local audience. Highlight unique selling propositions that appeal specifically to your community. 

Choosing the Right Geographic Targeting Options

Use geographic targeting to refine where your ads appear, ensuring they are only seen by users in your designated market area. Precision reduces wasted ad spend and increases campaign effectiveness. 

Ad Copy That Resonates With Local Audiences

Craft ad copy that includes local slang and mentions local landmarks to create a deeper connection with potential customers. 

Setting Up Call-Only Campaigns

Implement call-only campaigns during business hours to encourage immediate contact and cater to mobile users looking for quick information. 

Importance of Ad Extensions for Auto Dealerships

Location Extensions

Enable location extensions to help people find your dealership’s physical location directly from the ad. 

Call Extensions

Include call extensions to make it easier for customers to reach out to you with just a click. 

Promotion Extensions

Utilize promotion extensions to highlight special offers or discounts, making your ads stand out in the local search results. 

Implementing Local SEO Strategies

The Synergy Between Local SEO and SEM

While SEM captures immediate attention, local SEO builds a long-term foundation that enhances your SEM efforts. Together, they create a robust strategy that makes your dealership hard to miss. 

Building Local Citations and Links

Secure citations and links from local business directories and community portals to boost your local SEO credibility. Managing online reviews and collecting them

Positive reviews should be encouraged from satisfied customers. You should actively manage your online reputation by responding to reviews and addressing concerns as soon as possible. 

Local Content Strategies

Create content that answers local automotive queries and discusses local events or issues, helping your website rank higher in local search results. 

Advanced Local SEM Tactics

Utilizing Social Media Platforms for Local Engagement

Engage the local community through targeted ads and organic interactions on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. 

In the auto industry, local influencers have a great deal of power

Integrate your dealership’s marketing with local influencers who can authentically promote it to their followers, increasing visibility and credibility. 

Event-Driven Marketing and Local Community Involvement

Host and sponsor local events to boost brand visibility and engage directly with potential customers. 

Retargeting Strategies to Capture Interested Local Buyers

Implement retargeting campaigns to stay top of mind with visitors who have shown interest but have not yet made a purchase.

Measuring Success and Optimizing Your Strategies

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Local SEM

Analyze the effectiveness of your local SEM strategy by monitoring metrics such as click-through rates and conversion rates. 

Platforms and tools for tracking and analyzing data

Identify areas for improvement by analyzing your performance with Google Analytics and SEMrush. 

SEM efforts should be continually improved

Make regular updates to your SEM strategies based on performance data and evolving local trends. 


Local SEM is not just a marketing tactic; it’s a critical business strategy for any auto dealership that aims to dominate its local market. As consumer behaviors shift and local competition intensifies, adopting targeted local SEM tactics is more crucial than ever. 

Ready to rev up your dealership’s local marketing engine? Try GoAutomotive Marketing and our expert Automotive Search Engine Marketing services can set you on the path to local dominance. 

Have more questions about Automotive Search Engine Marketing. Read our blog to find out more. Feel free to contact our support team via email at marketing@goautomotivemarketing or call 1 (470) 791-9755 if you have any questions. Our expert support team at “GoAutomotive Marketing” will be glad to assist you.


Brooklyn Johnson

Brooklyn Johnson is a seasoned expert in the automotive marketing industry, boasting a rich and extensive background spanning 20+ years. As a prolific author, Brooklyn has dedicated their career to producing insightful articles and thought leadership pieces that delve into the intricacies of automotive marketing. With an innate understanding of industry dynamics, Brooklyn Johnson continues to offer invaluable insights that drive success in the ever-evolving world of automotive marketing.