How Car Dealers Can SEO Optimise their Review Responses.

Learn how to power your car dealership's local SEO through your review responses.
10-Jan-2024 - 10-Jan-2024

If you are in charge of sales and marketing at your dealership, you understand the crucial role of responding to customer reviews.

However, the significance of review responses extends beyond customer satisfaction, directly impacting your SEO and enhancing your website's ranking.

This comprehensive guide will explore the intricate relationship between review responses and Local SEO, offering actionable strategies for car dealerships to leverage these interactions for improved online visibility.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a pivotal strategy aimed at optimising your car dealership to prominently rank for location-based queries, such as "Toyota Dealer in Kent."

It involves a meticulous alignment of your dealership's website and your Google Business Profile, catering to the local audience's needs and enhancing your online presence.

Why is Local SEO Indispensable for Your Car Dealership?

Local SEO is crucial for connecting with local buyers actively seeking your services.

Whether customers are searching for "Honda Servicing near me" or the "best used car dealer in Kent," Local SEO ensures your dealership is visible and accessible to those within your vicinity.

Google's algorithms prioritise proximity, making it essential to optimise your online footprint to attract nearby customers.

The Impact of Review Responses on SEO.

Review responses play a significant role in Local SEO, influencing your dealership's online visibility. The quantity, quality, and recency of reviews, alongside your engagement through responses, contribute significantly to your Local 3 Pack ranking factors.

Local SEO for car dealerships - Google Map Pack

Review components that influence SEO.

The four core review factors that influence SEO are:
• Volume.
• Rating.
• Keywords.
• Up-to-date content.

Volume: A higher volume of positive reviews enhances your online visibility and trustworthiness. While negative reviews are inevitable, their impact can be mitigated by a larger volume of positive feedback.

Businesses should aim for at least 30 reviews a month, as this number indicates proficiency and trust.


Rating: Aim for a rating of around 4.5 to ensure your dealership stands out in search results.

Maintaining a rating of at least four stars is vital, especially since Google tends to filter out businesses with ratings below 4.0 in searches for the best services nearby.

Interestingly, ratings between 4.2 to 4.5 are seen as most trustworthy and indicative of good customer service, striking a balance that avoids the scepticism of a "too good to be true" perception.


Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords in your review responses to improve your SEO.

Users will naturally include some keywords in their reviews, but responding to reviews puts you in control and gives you the opportunity to include more specific keywords.

Here's a great example of what we are talking about.

Keyword- Rich- Responses
This review from an an American dealership includes the product purchased and the store name, but the keywords are only partially included.

By responding, their dealership is able to get "2019 Toyota RAV4" posted instead of "2019 RAV 4" and "Prime Toyota Boston" instead of "Prime Toyota.".

Up-to-date content: Google values fresh content as an indicator of a business's active and healthy status.

While content marketing through blogs and social media is effective, it often requires significant time and resources.

In contrast, generating content through customer reviews is a more straightforward and cost-effective strategy.

Encouraging customers to leave reviews and actively responding to these reviews further amplifies your Google Business Profile with up-to-date content.

This approach not only showcases your commitment to customer service but also facilitates a dynamic interaction where customers speak about and directly to your dealership, demonstrating your engagement and dedication to excellent customer experiences in a public, visible manner.

Crafting SEO-Optimised Review Responses.

Effective review responses should include relevant keywords, addressing both positive and negative feedback constructively.

For negative reviews, strategic keyword use in responses can transform potential drawbacks into SEO assets, showcasing your commitment to customer service and improving your search rankings.

Here are a few pointers for optimising your review responses:

Define your goal.

Review responses and ratings are extremely important for car dealerships.

Unfortunately, most dealerships simply don't know how to properly approach a review.

The first step in creating an effective response is understanding the purpose of your response.

It could be for any number of reasons, including increasing traffic, generating leads, and building relationships with customers.

Once you determine what you're trying to accomplish with your response, you can use the following tips below to optimise it:

Use keywords that connect to your page. Make sure to include keywords in Google review responses that are relevant to your dealership and its services or products.

Here is an example below where we have added important keywords to the response:

Very impressed with the great deal I got on my brand new Yaris last weekend. Both the sales and finance staff were knowledgeable and helpful, and I will highly recommend your dealership to friends and family." - John Smith

We're really glad to hear you got a great deal on a brand new <2024 Toyota Yaris>, John. Everyone at  <DB Toyota Kent> appreciates your feedback, and we are happy to hear that you had a positive experience. Remember, if you ever run into any issues or have questions, our <Toyota dealerhip in Kent> is here for you 7 days a week.

Best Regards <DB Toyota Kent>

Including such terms will help Google and other search engines pick up on your response when someone searches for "Toyota dealership in Kent" or similar search queries.

This will make it easier for potential customers to find your review responses, thus helping your dealership increase visibility and organic traffic.

Make sure you include keywords in naturally and beware of using keywords that are not relevant to the conversation at hand.

This might sound obvious, but it's easy to get carried away with keyword optimisation and end up using keywords that don't actually add value to your response or make sense in context.

Similarly, overusing keywords can come off as "keyword stuffing", which can have a negative effect on your SEO.

Do negative reviews affect SEO?

Negative reviews can lower your score on online review websites, decreasing your chances of getting higher rankings on these platforms.

However, negative reviews can actually help you boost search engine results page visibility (SERPs).

Encouraging all reviews, regardless of whether they are good or bad, provides you with "authentic content," which can help Google index your profile for local relevant searches.

The key to shifting the bad feedback into an effective SEO asset is responding to each review with positive and optimised keywords.

In this example, the response used the keywords "best used car dealerships in Birmingham" and "excellent customer service" alongside the local SEO keywords "Evans Nissan Birmingham." 

With this, the supposedly negative review can help this business profile rank on searches like "best used car dealerships in Birmingham" or "excellent customer service Evans Nissan Birmingham."

I went to look at a used Vauxhall Corsa, and none of the staff bothered to ask me if I needed any help. Terrible service!

We're truly sorry to hear about your recent experience at <Evans Nissan Birmingham> .

It's disheartening to learn that we fell short of providing the level of assistance and <excellent customer service> we strive for.

We aim to be among the <best used car dealerships in Birmingham>, and it's clear we missed an opportunity to demonstrate this during your visit.

Please rest assured, we take your feedback seriously and are looking into the matter to ensure it doesn't happen again.

We would love the chance to make things right and show you the high standard of customer service we're known for.

Could you please reach out to us directly so we can address your concerns personally?

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Best Regards,
<Evans Nissan Birmingham>

Is your dealership struggling to respond to reviews? 

Break Free from Responding to Reviews on Multiple Sites - Slash Admin by 90%

BFN-AI works 24/7 for your dealership, sending unique review responses to 90% of all your customer reviews, across all review sites with a 0-second response time.

This is not a 'copy and paste' solution but a 100% AI automation with full personalisation, freeing your sales and admin team to focus on conversations that actually need a human touch.

Discover how this dealership slashed their review response administrative tasks by 90% after integrating BFN-AI into their workflow.


Responding to reviews is not just about maintaining a positive image; it's a strategic opportunity to enhance your Local SEO and improve your dealership's online visibility.

By embracing these practices and leveraging tools like BFN-AI, car dealerships can effectively optimise their review responses, fostering a positive online presence and attracting more local customers.

Disclaimer: This guide offers strategic insights based on current SEO best practices. For a more tailored approach, consider consulting with SEO and digital marketing professionals.

Need a Better SEO Strategy?

For comprehensive SEO tools and resources, explore Built For Now for quality SEO research and optimisation techniques.


Featured Work

Other recent projects