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Auto Detailing SEO Free Course: SEO for Car Detailers

Learn the foundation of Local SEO and advanced strategies to rank your detailing business at the top of Google.
Updated: July 4, 2023
Published: June 6, 2023

You just launched your website, you loaded your social accounts with great content, and got your Google Business Profile(GBP) verified, but leads are slow or nowhere to be found. So how can you get more eyeballs on your brand without spending a fortune on ads?

Local search engine optimization is undoubtedly the best approach for you if you have a bit of patience and stay consistent with your SEO tasks.

Lucky for you, we're writing the most comprehensive local SEO course for auto detailers, and unlike other websites, we're releasing it 100% free. Why free? Car Care Boost is an agency working with detailers that don't have the time to manage their search presence or that want to scale the reach of their SEO to a level not possible on their own.

If you're just starting, those two scenarios probably don't apply to you and we're here to give you a helping hand. If you follow this guide, you'll one day be too busy running your day-to-day operations and our SEO agency will be here to support you in scaling your rankings and leads.

In this guide, you'll learn everything from on-site optimization, link-building, off-site optimization, Google Business Profile optimization, and much more!

Understanding Local SEO for Car Detailing Businesses

Search engine optimization is different tactics that increase the visibility of your business in Google's 4 local search results. These are the Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and Local Organic Results. Understanding the difference and ranking factors for each list is key to optimizing your GBP and site to rank across all 4.

Google's 4 Local Search Results Pages

Local Pack

This is the most coveted position in all search results because it's the first list shown to users and evidently generates the most traffic. And only 3 businesses can be in it, although the new Generative Search Experience is now showing 5 businesses in the Local Pack. This ranking is based on your GBP and without one it is impossible to be in it.

Google Local Pack

Local Finder

The Local Finder is the natural progression of the Local Pack. Click on "More Businesses" under the Local Pack, and the Local Finder appears. It's interesting to note that the Local Finder ranking algorithm is not the same as Google Maps.

Google Local Finder

Google Maps

Google Maps ranking algorithm is quite different to the local finder. The list of businesses shown is higher and shows businesses across a wider area. The list also changes as the user moves across the map. This list also requires a GBP to appear in it.

Google Maps

Local Organic Results

This search result is the only one that does not require a GBP. If you have a well-optimized site and great content, chances are you show up somewhere on the list. Other websites that are not businesses also appear like Yelp or Facebook.

The ranking algorithm for the Local Organic results differs the most out of the other 3 as it's based primarily on your website's on-site, off-site link-building optimization.

Google Local Organic Results

So How Does SEO Work?

Okay you  know the different kind of search results out there but how does SEO work exactly? By performing specific SEO tasks you'll prove to Google that your business is a trustworthy expert in car detailing and that consumers love your detailing services.

In short, Local SEO is telling Google that your business is the best at what it does in your market, because after all they want to rank the best of the best.

These are the tasks needed for a successful SEO campaign:

  • Google Business Profile optimization
  • Google Business Profile management
  • Reviews generation and management
  • Website optimization
  • Link building
  • Citation building and management
  • Staying up to date with Google's ever changing ranking factors

The Benefits of SEO

Higher Traffic and Lower Cost-Per-Lead

Unlike Google Ads or Facebook Ads, Google doesn't charge detailers for showing up on their local search results. There are no cost-per-click or cost-per-1,000 impressions.

This translates in significantly lower cost-per-lead and across the majority of industries, not just auto detailing. And because Google doesn't charge for organic rankings, there is no budgetary limit on the volume of traffic your site can achieve.

Better Detailing Leads and Customers

Quality seeks quality. The majority of searchers trust organic results more than ads as they perceived business in the Local Pack or Local Finder as having earned the right to be there versus those that have to pay to be shown.

And the higher the ticket price (think ceramic coating or paint protection film) the starker this dynamic becomes. If you want to attract the highest quality customers that are willing to pay high prices, SEO is the perfect marketing strategy for your business.

Boost Your Auto Detailing Business Reputation and Conversions

SEO isn't just about boosting your site's traffic, a business that ranks at the top of Google is also perceived as more trustworthy because Google is giving it an implicit "stamp of approval" in the eyes of consumers research shows.

What Are The Top SEO Ranking Factors In 2023?

There are over 100+ local ranking factors and as a detailing business owner, you simply don't have the time to optimize for each of them. So which one should you focus on to give you the biggest boost?

The Main 5 Ranking Factors Groups

Google Business Profile
Business location, keyword in business name, service categories and more.
On-Site Signals
Title tags, headings, NAP, service pages, topical authority and more.
Number of reviews, aggregate rating score, keywords in reviews, consistency and more.
Link Profile
Number of linking domains, keywords in outbound link, location of linking sites, industry of link sites and more.
Number of citations, NAP consistency, key citations, and more.

We'll be going over each of these groups in more details below but here's a quick overview of each group.

#1 Google Business Profile

Signals from your GBP account for 32% of ranking factors making it the most important group to optimize. You want to make sure your profile is fully completed. This means choosing the right service category, adding additional services, filling out your description, adding pictures and videos, answering FAQs, adding your address, website, booking link, etc.

#2 On-Site Signals

On-site or on-page signals refer to signals coming from your site, this group impacts roughly 20% of your positions. These include your meta-titles, headings, unique service pages, consistent Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) across your site and GBP, content volume, anchor links, and more.

#3 Reviews

Technically they are part of your GBP but they alone represent such an important signal for Google that they have their own group. Review signals include the total aggregate number of reviews, the rating, the consistency of reviews, and more as well.

#4 Link Profile

Your link profile relates to your backlinks which are links from other sites to yours. These can include links from business directories, industry sites, blogs, local sites, news sites, etc. Backlinks are often overlook by detailers because of their complexity which creates opportunities to those that invest in them.

#5 Citations

Although not as important as they used to be, they remain an important group, accounting for about 10% of ranking factors. Citations include all business directories and business social pages such as Bing Places, Apple Maps, Facebook Business, Yelp, etc. It's important to have a good volume of of citations although aiming for hundreds is likely a waste of time and resources. Also making sure your NAP is consistent across all the majors citations site is key to hit a high score in this category.

Setting Up & Optimizing Your Google Business Profile

Creating Your GBP

If you already have a GBP you can skip this step.

Head to business.google.com and click the "Manage Now" button and add your business name.

Next, select whether you will operate from a shop or as a mobile operator. You can choose both options if you plan on receiving detailing customers and also serving them at their location.

Your primary business category is the #1 ranking factor and needs to be chosen carefully. If your auto detailing business is mostly offering complete details, coatings, and corrections choose Car Detailing Services and stay away from Car Wash as your primary category (we'll add secondary categories afterward).

Add your business address, if you selected Store location.

If you selected Service business, choose the areas you want to service. Add all the cities, towns, counties, and neighbourhoods you plan on servicing.

Add your company's contact information.

Finally the verification step. Google may ask you to either enter your address to receive a verification card or to submit a video showing your shop and equipment. Regardless of the verification method, complete it. Your business won't appear on Google until it is verified.

As a new and unverified profile, you won't have access to some tools. But within 2 weeks and after your verification all GBP features are going to be available for you to optimize.

Create your GBP as soon as possible, even if you don't plan on starting servicing customers in the coming months. Older GBP rank better than new ones and starting the aging process today is better than tomorrow as you cannot influence the age of your GBP other than starting it now!

Optimizing Your GBP

Here's the checklist you need to complete to fully optimize your Google Business Profile.

  • Verify that your business information is accurate (name, address, phone number, hours, website, etc)
  • Complete your profile
  • Add additional service categories, and all suggested services that apply
  • Enable Messages and Phone Calls
  • Add products when applicable
  • Add a scheduling link if you have an online booking calendar
  • Answer reviews
  • Report fake / negative reviews
  • Answer FAQ or ask your own
  • Add images and videos. Select a cover photo.
  • Publish a Google Post
Verify Your Business Information

First thing first, make sure your business information is accurate and matches what you have on your website. This includes your business name, address, phone number, hours, and website address.

Complete Your Profile

If there's missing information, Google will let you know. If you don't see a green circle in the top right corner of your GBP menu, and it's an orange circle instead, click on it to fill out your profile completely. This can include your business opening date, your business description, and adding photos.

Don't forget to complete the "More" section with details such as accessibility, planning (if you require appointments), and more.

Choose The Right Primary Category and Secondary Categories

Your business category is your #1 ranking factor, so choose is wisely. For most car detailing businesses, you want to choose Car Detailing Services as your primary category and then Car Wash as your secondary. If you install Tint or PPF, you can select Window Tinting Services and Auto Window Tinting Services as secondary categories as well.

Once you've selected your main categories, head over to the Service menu and add all the relevant suggested services. These have been shown to help with your rankings.

Enable Messages & Phone Calls

You'd be surprised at the number of auto detailing businesses we audit that don't have their GBP messages or phone calls enabled, meaning they are missing on valuable leads. Enabling them is very simple, simply click on the Messages and Calls menu button and then click on the blue button to get them enabled.

Add Products When Applicable

If you sell detailing products, definitely add them to the products section. If you install ceramic coatings or paint protection film, I'd recommend you also add them to the product section to add relevance to your listing. Google may be removing the product section from service businesses profiles in the near future, but it can't hurt to add them in the meantime!

Add Your Scheduling/Booking Link

If you let customers book online, make sure to add that link to your profile. It should not be placed in your Website field but instead in the scheduling field.

Answer Reviews and Report Fake/Negative Reviews

Make sure to answer all the reviews you receive. It helps show Google you care about customer service, and it helps with conversion when potential customers see you engage with other customers. For fake or negative reviews, I wrote a guide on how to remove them, this will help boost your overall reviews rating score which is a ranking factor.

Answer FAQs or Asked Your Questions

This is another section of GBP I see many detailing business owners skip or miss entirely. Check to see if users have left questions, and if not, ask your own that you receive from customers and answer them.

Add Images & Videos

Google now shows videos on the Local Finder, so make sure to add videos to your profile. Add images as well. You should keep adding images and videos every month!

Add A Google Post

I wrote a guide on how to structure your Google Posts. They can help Google pick a snippet of a post to show users when they use the exact keywords you used in your post, so don't neglect to post on Google.

Schedule A Free, 1-ON-1, 20-Minute Consultation

Get on the phone with our top SEO strategist, and discuss your goals. Whether you choose to work with us or not, you’re going to come away with:

1. A diagnosis of your current SEO issues.
2. Clear ways your SEO can be improved.
3. A keyword research for your local market.