Here’s How Car Shoppers Are Now Searching to Buy

Your keywords influence nearly every piece of your digital marketing strategy. That’s why it’s crucial that you choose the best keywords based on the search queries that local car shoppers perform. An effective marketing agency will utilize its network of dealerships to analyze and determine the best path toward creating more traffic and leads.

We took a sample of our network’s Search Console data to study organic searches. This returned 10,000,000 queries for our analysis. Our team organized them using simple parameters:

  1. The number of words in the queries
  2. Whether or not the geographic location was in the dealership’s name (e.g. Boston Ford)

Of the 10 million search queries:

  • 3.2 million did not source due to Google privacy rules
  • 3.9 million queries were for dealerships with geographical city in their name
  • 2.9 million queries were for dealerships without geographical city in their name

Now, How Do Car Shoppers Search for Cars?

Dealerships with a Geographical City in Their Name: 95% of queries were 1-5 words long
Dealerships without a Geographical City in Their Name: 95% of queries were 1-4 words long
List of impressions for queries with a geo in dealership name
 List of impressions for queries without a geo in dealership name

Queries with fewer words (short-tail) dominated the volume of impressions from our network sample.

When we examined the results further, we found that most of these short-tail queries included intent qualifiers, such as:

  1. “for sale”
  2. “near me”
  3. “2018”

So, more car shoppers used shorter queries that demonstrate intent, which means they already had an idea of what they wanted.

So Queries with More Words are Useless?

Not at all.

You want to prioritize your efforts. You’ll first want to build content around your short-tail searches because these car shoppers have shown an intent to buy. When you have landing pages built with the purpose of capturing the low-hanging fruit, you can supplement that strategy with queries 6-10 words (long-tail) in length.

The most important takeaway is that you, or your marketing vendor, should know the volume of keywords and search queries in your local market, including how car shoppers perform those searches.

Time to Take Some Next Steps

The keywords you prioritize should be based on local car shoppers’ queries. Start by taking a look at your own data.

First, log into your Google Analytics Account. Then, look in the sidebar under Acquisition to find Search Console — within that list, you’ll see Queries.

Screenshot of Google Analytics to see where to find QueriesThat list of queries includes the clicks and impressions you get from them, as well as your rank in the search results pages. For your keyword strategy to work:

  • You want a lot of clicks
  • You want a lot of impressions
  • You want to see 1-5 for your rank
    • This means you’re within 1st position to 5th position in results

How does it look?

You may need to talk to your marketing vendor or marketing department if the clicks, impressions, and rank aren’t where you want them to be. Before you do, you can learn more about what Search Console is telling you here to equip yourself with the right information before the talk.

If you want to simplify things, you can also reach out to us directly. Either way, you want to be certain that you’re attacking the most relevant and winnable keywords based around your local car shoppers’ queries.

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