5 #SEO secrets revealed: get your #autoparts website ranked higher with these tips Click To TweetWe’re going against our better judgement to publicly reveal some of our best secrets for auto parts SEO.

As you may already know we do extensive testing and experimenting on what works best for SEO and we do our own case studies. Here, for the first time, are some of our best automotive parts SEO strategies that we’ve developed.

Automotive Parts SEO Tips:

  • The Road to Purchase is sometimes non-linear; for your auto parts SEO you need to be visible for different types of search along the Road to Purchase;
  • Your auto parts SEO strategy should include analyzing clickthrough rate (CTR) vs. organic ranking;
  • There is a gold mine of SEO data waiting for you in your Google Search Console account;
  • Get organized and create a list of topics.

Any auto parts marketing strategy should include auto parts SEO. It’s not easy to do and it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it activity. To be really effective you have to work on SEO every day.

Auto Parts SEO Secret #1: Understanding the Road to Purchase

auto parts road to purchaseThe auto parts Road to Purchase is a winding one and its commonly accepted that shoppers take some type of path before purchasing. You should know what the automotive parts Road looks like before even starting your auto parts SEO strategy.

The Road to Purchase for car parts can vary a lot, depending on what part you’re optimizing for. For example, when a shopper needs an OEM part, it’s usually because something broke or wore out. It may not be a planned purchase.

The Road to Purchase for car parts varies a lot and you need an #SEO strategy to show up for potential buyers all along the Road. Click To TweetBut, for a performance car part, an accessory, or something to customize a vehicle, the shopper may have been thinking about that part for weeks, months or even years.

The Road for these different kinds of parts can be wildly different, and your auto parts SEO strategy needs to be both adaptable and scalable in order to reach all kinds of potential buyers.

Look at the Road to Purchase and you can see SEO requirements change as a shopper moves along the Road. It may start with interest in a certain part without details. It may involve looking at forums for more ideas. The searches used on Google at this point can be vague and generic.

A car parts shopper may then look at manufacturer websites to verify fitment or see an entire product line (we reported in the August 2016 issue of PWA Newsline that nearly three out of five of shoppers visit manufacturer websites; in the October 2016 issue we reported they are looking for detailed product information and verifying fitment).

As the shopper travels down the Road to Purchase, the search activity gets more specific with keywords that show high purchase intent, like “where to buy…” or very specific fitment queries.

So, there you have Secret #1: Show up for automotive parts search types all along the Road to Purchase, especially for searches toward the end that have high purchase intent.

SEO Secret #2: Work On Your Company’s Organic Rankings for High Clickthrough RatesClickthrough rate (CTR) for auto parts seo

You probably already know web pages that rank higher have better clickthrough rates (CTRs) but do you know how much better?

Our analysis of CTR vs. ranking echos many other SEO studies, like this one, but we don’t know of a more comprehensive study done specifically on automotive SEO keywords.

For this case study we analyzed over 7,000 automotive parts & accessory keywords for their ranking on Google and their CTR.

We found the #1 ranked keywords had a 310% higher clickthrough rate than words that were ranked at #10.

Automotive parts terms ranked at #1 have an average CTR of 20.5% while words ranked #10 had an average 5% CTR.

There’s a quick drop-off from #1 to #2, where the second-ranked words have a 16% CTR. Just going from #2 to #1 can improve your CTR an average of 28%.

#automotiveparts keywords ranked #1 have an average clickthrough rate of 20.5%, from a @HedgesCompany study of over 7,000 keywords. Click To TweetSo, that’s Secret #2: Work on having the highest-ranked keywords for auto parts & accessories, and you’ll reap the benefits of more clicks.

“But wait, there’s more!” as they say on TV. We thought we’d throw in one more secret on CTR in the next graph.

Auto Parts SEO Secret #3: Organic Rankings for Automotive Tech Terms Have An Even Bigger Benefit for Your Company

CTR vs organic rankingWe also looked at automotive parts technical searches and their organic rankings vs. CTR.

What we found was a little surprising.

Technical auto parts searches are terms like “how do I…“, “what does a…“, or searches for specific tech information like a wheel bolt circle diameter or engine firing order.

These can be search terms like “How do I change spark plugs in a 2015 Mustang?” or “What does a reverse rotation turbocharger do?

The benefit of ranking #1 for technical auto parts searches has an even stronger relationship to CTR. Technical automotive search terms with a #1 ranking had an average clickthrough rate of 24%, even higher than the example in the first graph above.

Technical automotive search terms that were ranked #1 had a 585% higher CTR than technical search terms ranked #10.

There you have Secret #3: Work on those automotive technical search term rankings for your own auto parts SEO.

SEO Secret #4: Your Company’s Google Search Console Data

Google search consoleTo first understand what’s working or not working on your own website, and within your current auto parts SEO strategy, it helps to dig into Google Search Console.

If you haven’t looked at Google Search Console lately you may be surprised with the new version waiting for you.

(If you haven’t seen the new Search Console yet we recommend you check it out and here’s a good source of information on the new platform.)

Here are some quick tips to get the most out of your own data. It’s just sitting there, waiting for you to download it.

Log into your Search Console account and you’ll see a page like the one at the right.

Once you go to Google Search Console you’ll be on the Status > Performance page. Click on Open Report > and you’ll see the default graph for the past three months with Total Clicks (blue) and Total Impressions (aqua) highlighted. Add Average CTR (green) and Average Position (purple).

automotive search termsNext, click the download icon as shown at the left (arrow pointing down). This lets you download a file (.csv or Excel) that you can open and see valuable data for your SEO efforts.

You’ll get all the organic search terms that shoppers clicked on to visit your site, terms your site showed up for whether they resulted in a click or not (impressions), the average position for those search terms and the average clickthrough rate for each search term.

We shouldn’t be telling you this, but here goes: One great tip is to download this data on a regular basis to track it over time.

Of course, with the new Search Console you have more flexibility on time ranges, compared to the old Search Console, which is a nice benefit of the new platform.

This type of data also lets you create the type of scatter charts that we show above, too, so you can look at your average organic rankings vs clickthrough rate. We made that in Excel using a simple download of data like we’re describing, from Google Search Console.

Of course, this process doesn’t show what your competitors are doing in their SEO strategies – there are some third party SEO tools either free or paid for that type of research – but we really like Google Search Console as a free SEO tool.

That wraps up SEO secret #4: Use your very own Google Search Console data!

Auto Parts SEO Secret #5: Get Organized and Create A List of Topics

You need to focus and do research to be really effective at marketing your website. It helps to create a list of topics that are important to your SEO efforts.

And if you’ve been following the latest trends on automotive SEO you already know, topics beat keywords.

This organized approach keeps you focused, helps manage your efforts, and makes it easy to track your SEO work over time. You have to have an organized approach to data used for SEO otherwise it’s easy to get overwhelmed and off track.

Creating an organized list of topics, and keywords within those topics, allows you to create a structured plan for your auto parts SEO campaign. If you truly want your website to succeed, having a plan will always get you better results than flying blind.

After all, doesn’t data drive everything we do in the automotive aftermarket?

So that wraps up our Secret #5: Get organized, stay organized, and focus on topics.

What did you think? Was this a helpful blog post? We certainly hope we didn’t reveal our SEO secrets for nothing!