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A Deep Dive into Automotive Search Engine Optimization: Expert Tips for Auto Parts Sellers

Regina Pudovkina
Regina Pudovkina Author

You might have heard the joke about hiding something you never wanted others to find on the second page of Google search results. So, this is definitely not your car parts online store. 

Building and maintaining online visibility is not just a recommendation; it’s the highest priority for an eCommerce business to increase sales. This is why you need a well-thought strategy that will help your brand rank higher on Google, attract the right visitors to your website, and, most importantly, persuade them to buy from you!

In this guide, we’ve compiled the best tips on search engine optimization for automotive online stores from the X-Cart SEO professionals. It contains tested techniques and practices for driving traffic to your online store, leveraging local SEO, and optimizing visual content. You’ll also learn about the unique automotive SEO challenges, ways to overcome them, and how to build an SEO-friendly auto parts store.

What Is Automotive SEO?

Automotive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means organizing your website’s content and inner structure so that search engines like Google or Bing can show your online store when people search for things related to auto parts.

Search engine optimization (SEO) and high-quality website content go hand in hand. Professional product photography, helpful videos, and readable and informative text may only be useful if your customers discover them. 

The proper SEO techniques can improve website search engine visibility, attracting the right audience to your online store. They encompass on-page, off-page, technical, and other kinds of optimization. Thus, SEO requires a wide range of actions, from finding profitable keywords to link building and more.    

The Automotive SEO strategy involves various techniques to attract targeted traffic, generate leads, and drive auto parts sales.

The Key Metrics of Automotive SEO

Like you monitor your car’s performance, you’d like to know what’s happening with your website. Key SEO metrics can help you grasp the full picture, monitor your website’s SEO success, assess your SEO efforts, and adjust your strategy.

Keyword Ranking is your website’s organic position in search engine results for a specific keyword. Like a GPS navigation system guides drivers to their destination, right keywords guide customers to relevant content in search engine results. A high keyword ranking ensures users find your content easily amidst the vast digital landscape.

Organic Traffic is a number of visitors that discover your website by entering a query to search engines, not via paid advertising. This metric is like a fuel that powers your website. The more organic traffic looking for auto parts you have, the more visitors you attract without paid promotion. It’s similar to having a fuel that keeps your online store running smoothly and efficiently.

HubSpot reports that organic search is the top traffic source for all websites (27%). The percentage of people who visit a website through a URL or email is 22% and 14%, respectively.

Click-Through Rate (CTR) is a percentage that indicates how many people who see your advertising or other piece of content, take an action (click on it). CTR can be comparable to spark plugs. A car needs spark plugs to keep the engine in motion, and your ads need clicks to drive traffic to your website.

A high CTR indicates that your website effectively attracts clicks in search engine results, driving traffic to your site. WordStream says the average CTR for automotive–repair, service, and parts is 5.39%.

How to calculate Click-Through Rate:

click-through rate
Source: WordStream

Bounce Rate is the percentage of auto parts buyers who come to your website but leave the store without making a purchase. Likewise, the bounce rate includes visitors browsing your website and abandoning it. A low bounce rate indicates that your auto parts store effectively engages visitors, keeping them on your site rather than bouncing away quickly.

Backlink Profiles stands for the quality and quantity of links pointing to your auto parts store from other websites. They work like traffic directions signs that navigate drivers. Backlinks from reputable websites to your online store lead more visitors to your product pages and increase your brand awareness.

Conversion Rate measures a percentage of website users that make a purchase or complete another desired goal out of the total number of visitors. It can be slightly compared to a successful test drive. A successful test drive often leads to a car purchase, while a high conversion rate indicates that website visitors are satisfied with your products and proceed to make an order. High conversion rate means your car parts store successfully turns visitors into customers or leads.

Page Load Speed indicates how much time it takes for a whole website page to fully load after a visitor clicks a link to visit it. It is as important as the capability of a sprint car to gain speed and win the race. Fast page load speed ensures visitors can access your storefront and website pages without delays, which is a significant competitive edge and an essential ranking factor.

Mobile Responsiveness evaluates how well a website adapts to different screen sizes and devices like smartphones or tablets. We can draw an analogy to adjusting a driver’s seat: sometimes, drivers or passengers have to change their seats to get comfortable. Mobile responsiveness potentially boosts your search engine rankings since mobile commerce keeps growing and becomes more popular.

The Unique Challenges of Automotive SEO

Tough competition

The automotive industry is a highly competitive sector in terms of SEO. With numerous car parts sellers having their own websites or selling on marketplaces, ranking prominently on the search results pages has become challenging. Keywords related to automotive brands, vehicles, and products have a high search volume, so finding a profitable competitive keyword can be complicated.

Ever-changing industry trends

Store owners must manage their business with agility when selling automotive spare parts and accessories. The automotive sector is highly dynamic, with new car parts consistently entering the market and manufacturers discontinuing production of existing ones. To give your customers the most accurate information, your product catalog and website content require ongoing optimization.

Seasonal fluctuation

Automotive aftermarket online sales depend on seasonal supply and demand. In winter, sellers might see increased sales of winter tires, snow brushes, and ice scrapers, while in summer, drivers are looking for accessories to beat the heat. Understanding these patterns is essential when optimizing your website.

This graph illustrates the peaks and valleys in auto parts, accessories, and tire sales from January 2023 to January 2024. The highest amount of sales that remains steady might be explained by Black Friday and Christmas special offers, which also refer to seasonal fluctuations.

Lack of Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

For auto parts sellers, it is challenging to set themselves apart from their competitors and present a unique selling proposition (USP) since they offer similar products. Highlighting unique product value through SEO and automotive marketing is essential for attracting customers.

Optimizing Product Descriptions for SEO

Keyword research is just one of the problems that automotive businesses face. The sellers might find it difficult to create an engaging product description because vehicle parts and accessories often have complex technical specifications, names, and precise fitments.

Making Sure Your Website Performs at Its Best

Automotive aftermarket online stores process massive data, so a store owner should periodically check a website’s performance. Right hosting provider can play a huge role in helping your SEO as it ensures high website performance and availability.

Later in this article, we will explain how to maintain a website’s health and share SEO experts’ best practices. But before we do that, let’s review the main benefits of search engine website optimization and see why it is worth the effort.

Expert Tip: Overcoming SEO challenges is much easier with an SEO-friendly automotive eCommerce platform. By saying this, we mean a solution that understands the needs of auto parts businesses, equips the stores with automotive-specific tools, and has a knowledgeable SEO team on board.We’ll conduct an SEO audit of your website and help you migrate to X-Cart, carefully preserving your previous SEO efforts. 

5 Main Benefits of SEO for Automotive Businesses

1. Increased Visibility

Ranking at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) increases the visibility of your automotive website. Thus, more potential customers can discover the auto parts and accessories you sell.

Source: Backlinko

2. Targeted Traffic

With the right SEO strategies you will attract the right audience (automotive enthusiasts, mechanics, auto body shops, car dealerships, etc) actively searching for auto parts, accessories, or services. This will result in higher-quality leads and conversions.

3. Improved Brand Awareness

High positions on search results pages signal to potential customers that your automotive business is reputable and trustworthy, further enhancing brand visibility and recognition.

4. Long-Term Results

In contrast to paid advertising, which only attracts new audiences if you invest money in it, SEO has a huge advantage in terms of long-term visibility, sustainable results, ongoing traffic, and leads.

5. Cost Efficiency

Unlike paid advertising methods, SEO helps reach potential buyers at a lower cost, which results in a higher return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts.

How to Build an SEO-Friendly Auto Parts Store

Here are the recommendations on how you can drive targeted traffic to your automotive website, increase engagement, and improve conversions.

👉 Leverage Local SEO

Many auto parts buyers prefer to purchase spare parts from local businesses due to convenience and faster delivery. That said, considering local SEO techniques is a smart move. 

Besides using geo-targeted keywords in your website content, we recommended setting up a Google Business Profile.

Google Business profiles provide valuable information for a local search, such as your auto parts store location, contact phone number, and website. Potential customers can also see your store’s rating and reviews from other buyers like them.

Here is a Google Business Profile example of the CARiD store, an automotive website built with X-Cart.


The reviews section of your Google Business Profile is an instrument for monitoring and managing your online reputation. Respond promptly to the reviews and handle them professionally (the way CARiD certainly does!).

CARiD review section

👉 Do a Technical Check-up of Your Website

Regular technical audits are crucial for complex auto parts stores. You have to ensure your website is not impacted by data import, adding or removing products. Search engines want website visitors to have a smooth and enjoyable experience on a site. Hence, broken links, missing images, duplicate content, and slow-loading pages can hurt your position on search engine results pages.

Looking over technical issues keeps your store away from penalizing and boosts its search engine ranking.

Expert Tip: Regularly check and fix 404 errors.

This is a popular type of error, and you have probably experienced it at least once when you try to access a website page, but the browser returns with a ‘Page not found’ message. There are various reasons why this error occurs, from misconfigured servers to broken links.

You can detect 404 errors in the Google Search Console: 

  • Google Search Console > Indexing > Pages > Not Found


  • Google Search Console > Settings > Crawl stats > Open report > By response > 404 /4XX pages

👉 Optimize Your Visual Content

When optimizing your visual website content, pay attention to details and nuances, such as adding descriptive alt text to your images or engaging thumbnails to product videos.

Use descriptive filenames that provide context and improve accessibility for search engine crawlers. For example, instead of “7e452ed9af.jpg,” use a filename like shortened “spare-part-and-characteristics.jpg.”

Upload high-quality content that showcases your auto parts clearly, but optimize image and video file sizes to improve website speed and user experience.

X-Cart has an integration with AutoSync that provides a product visualizer. It shows wheels and tires from a different angle on a car model your customer has.

👉 Create Content for Education and Engagement

Informative content matters when you build customers’ trust and optimize your website for search engines. Focus on creating automotive-related blog posts, articles, videos, and infographics that resonate with your target audience and encourage social sharing and backlinks.

One of the X-Cart customers, AudioCityUSA, has Blog and Learn sections in their navigation menu. There, they provide valuable information about automotive topics, such as car maintenance tips, wheel installation guides, and industry news.

👉 Use Internal Linking

Utilize internal linking to connect related pages and improve navigation within your auto parts store. Linking between product pages, category pages, and blog posts can help search engines crawl and index your website more effectively.

How Can X-Cart Help Auto Parts Stores Rank Higher?

X-Cart is an eCommerce platform that has a suite of features and tools that can help automotive businesses improve their SEO efforts.

  • SEO-Friendly URL Structure: X-Cart allows users to customize and optimize the URL structure of their product pages, category pages, and other website content. It allows automotive businesses to include relevant keywords and create SEO-friendly URLs that are easy for search engines to crawl and index.

💡Autogenerate Clean URL feature can automatically transform an X-Cart store URL from https://www.example.com/cart.php?target=product&product_id=42 to a humanTheyink, e.g., https://www.example.com/2023-audi-a3-headlights.html

  • Metadata Optimization: X-Cart provides options to customize titles, meta descriptions, and keywords for product and category pages. This functionality helps automotive store owners optimize metadata with relevant automotive keywords and compelling descriptions to rank higher on search results pages.
  • Integrations with SEO Tools: X-Cart can be integrated with various SEO tools and applications to enhance SEO capabilities further and optimize auto parts stores effectively.
Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides insights into website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates.
Price: Free

 SEO Health Check

The SEO Health Check performs a series of tests to determine SEO issues on your website. It doesn’t work as effectively as knowledgeable human experts, but it helps with common SEO tasks.
Price: $65.00 / included in Automotive

XML Sitemap

XML Sitemap add-on generates XML sitemaps for your website, making it easier for search engines to discover and crawl website content.
Price:  Free

You can use these add-ons and do search engine optimization on your own or pass SEO on to the professionals. X-Cart has an excellent SEO consulting service that provides comprehensive reporting and helps sustainably grow your online store visibility.

X-Cart SEO Consulting Service

Trusting SEO to X-Cart allows automotive businesses to focus on their core activities while leaving the technical aspects of SEO to experts.

To place customers’ stores at the top of Google search results, our experienced SEO team stays updated with the latest optimization trends and best practices.
The SEO team checks your server configurations and all website content, reviews the website structure, and recommends suggestions. Then, our experts analyze your website visitors’ behavior and your position in search.

With this in mind, the specialist develops a unique SEO strategy to drive your success.

💡SEO assistance is crucial when migrating to another eCommerce platform. When migrating to X-Cart, our new clients get the full professional migration package that includes a free SEO audit that prepares URL mapping, redirects old URLs to new ones, and monitors traffic on both URLs. 

Whether you are a new X-Cart store owner or an experienced seller who needs help with Google ranking, traffic, and positioning, using an SEO consulting service is a wise decision.

Final Thoughts

Choosing an eCommerce platform can impact an auto parts website’s SEO capabilities and flexibility. 

Some platforms may have limitations or restrictions that hinder SEO optimization efforts, requiring workarounds or customizations to achieve desired results. The other platforms are not tailored to automotive-specific business requirements, such as importing massive data,   

X-Cart’s comprehensive suite of automotive-specific features, specialized services, and industry expertise make it an ideal platform for automotive businesses seeking to maximize their online visibility, attract qualified leads, and drive sales through effective SEO strategies.

Build an SEO-friendly online store with X-Cart

Regina Pudovkina
Regina Pudovkina Content Marketing Copywriter

Regina is a copywriter at X-Cart who is passionate about writing, finding new story ideas, and everything eCommerce.

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