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Tips & Business Growth

How to drive new customers to your car dealership

Learn actionable strategies and proven techniques to drive a steady stream of new customers to your car dealership and boost your business

Attracting new customers to your car dealership can be an enormous challenge in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Whether you’re looking to increase sales, expand your customer base, or build brand awareness, with the right strategies in place you can successfully reach out to potential customers and achieve your goals.

In this article, we’ll explore practical and proven ways to drive new customers to your car dealership and take your sales to the next level.

Get more reviews

90% of customers rely on reviews before making a purchase, and when it comes to a high-value purchase like a car, reviews have even more leverage in attracting new customers to your dealership. 

A strong online presence with positive reviews can help you establish credibility, build trust, and showcase the level of customer satisfaction you offer. Additionally, with positive reviews listed on your dealership website, Google, Facebook, Yelp, TrustPilot, etc., you can improve your ranking for local search results, making it easier for potential customers to find you.

Every review should be responded to in a timely and professional manner. And while everyone likes receiving positive praise and 5-star reviews that can create a snowball effect and encourage more customers to visit their dealership, it’s responding to the less-than-glowing feedback that can demonstrate, more than anything, you value all feedback and are committed to improving customer service.

Tools that offer online review and reputation management facilities, such as Magic, can help you take a proactive approach in asking for, receiving and responding to reviews to ensure that your dealership is seen in the best light possible and continue to attract new customers.

Reach more customers with text marketing

Most people have their phones with them at all times these days, making text marketing a convenient and accessible way to reach potential customers. Text marketing is also highly effective because it offers a higher open rate compared to traditional email marketing, with 98% of texts read within three minutes of being received.

In addition to delivering more relevant and immediate information, text messaging allows you to track meaningful ROI and customer engagement to understand your customer base better and create further targeted promotional campaigns. For example, you can send a text message announcing a limited-time promotion or a special sale on a specific model, which can drive customers to your dealership. You can also use text marketing to remind customers about upcoming appointments or to follow up on a recent test drive.

Text marketing also allows you to segment your audience and send targeted messages to specific groups. For example, you can send a message to customers who have shown an interest in a particular make or model or previous visitors to your dealership. This personalisation and targeting can improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and increase the likelihood of driving new customers to your dealership.

There are many online solutions, such as Magic, that help you send text campaigns in minutes and offer customisable templates for many occasions and industries.

The importance of SEO

Optimising your website’s SEO (search engine optimization) will also help improve your website’s visibility and ranking on Google and other major search engines, meaning your site will be seen by more potential customers.

There are many factors that help websites rank higher on search engines including page content, structure and links. However, one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO is to make sure your website is optimised for relevant keywords. Research the most commonly searched phrases and terms related to your dealership, focusing on a specific customer demographic and the type of search they are likely to conduct when they are looking for your product or service and include them in your website’s content, meta tags, and images. 


Using keywords in website content helps search engines understand what your website is about and match it with relevant search queries. However, gone are the days of keyword stuffing, the practice of attempting to manipulate search engine rankings by adding relevant keywords at the bottom of your website, or overusing them in the text. This results in a poor user experience and can lead to penalties from search engines.

Today it’s all about adding keywords organically into your content, so it reads naturally and provides an opportunity to engage and educate potential customers. By including valuable information about your dealership and the car buying process you can build trust and credibility, and differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Meta tags and descriptions

Meta tags are HTML elements that provide information about your website to search engines, including the title and description that appear in search results. Both should include relevant keywords and accurately reflect the content of your website which will help search engines match your website with the relevant search queries, which can improve your search engine rankings and increase the visibility of your website in search results. This, in turn, can drive more traffic to your website, making it easier for potential customers to find your dealership when searching for a car dealership in your area.


Search engines can’t “see” images, but they can “read” the information provided about them. When optimising images, it’s important to use descriptive and relevant file names, alt text, and image captions that include keywords related to your dealership and the image content. 

Additionally, using keywords in images improves accessibility and provides a better user experience for those who may have visual impairments or are browsing your website on devices that can’t display images. The alt text and captions text description of the image can be read by assistive technologies and helps ensure all visitors to your website have access to the information you’re providing.

Create a Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile is the new name for Google My Business and is free to create and maintain, making it an effective and low-cost way to drive new customers to your dealership. By completing your profile and keeping it up-to-date, you can tap into the power of Google to reach a wider audience and attract new customers.

Other benefits having a Google Business Profile include:

Increased visibility

When someone searches for “‘Brand X’ dealers near me”, your dealership will show up on Google Maps, making it easier for potential customers to find you which can lead to more foot traffic and phone calls from people in your area who are in the market for a new car.

Customer insights

A Google Business Profile provides you with valuable insights into your customers, including where they come from and what they search for when they find your dealership. This can help you refine your marketing strategy and improve targeting.

Reputation management

A Google Business Profile also serves as a one of many platforms you can use for managing your dealership’s online reputation. Customers can leave reviews and rate your dealership, providing valuable feedback that can help you improve your customer service and better meet the needs of your customers.

Accurate information

Keeping your profile accurate and up-to-date, including hours of operation, contact information, reviews, and services offered, can help build trust and credibility with potential customers and improve the chances that they will choose your dealership over the competition.

Build your brand

Building a strong brand is essential for driving new customers to your car dealership. A well-defined brand can set you apart from the competition, improve customer loyalty, build trust and credibility, and provide a foundation for long-term success that positions your dealership for growth and profitability.

When building your brand you could think about:

What makes you different? 

Creating a unique identity helps you stand out in a crowded market, making it easier for potential customers to choose your dealership over others.

Customer loyalty

Providing positive experiences and displaying good values helps create an emotional connection with your customers, meaning they are more likely to choose your dealership over others, even if it costs a bit more.

How you act

Being professional and reliable and offering expert advice will help build trust and credibility, which can make it easier for you to close sales and build long-term relationships with your customers.

Your messaging

Is your ‘brand’ messaging consistent across all areas of your business? Communicating a consistent message across your website, social media, advertising, and customer interactions will strengthen your dealership’s image and build recognition with potential customers.

Your reputation 

A strong brand serves as a shield against negative reviews and publicity. When your dealership is known for providing high-quality services, it is less likely that negative reviews will have a significant impact on your business.

Key takeaway

When it comes to driving new customers to your car dealership, you need a multi-faceted approach to help you reach new customers, build your brand, and grow your business.

You can do this by:

  • Encouraging customers to leave reviews using the feedback to improve your customer service to better meet your customers’ needs.
  • Using text marketing to reach customers with targeted messages that provide value and encourage them to visit your dealership.
  • Optimising SEO by using keywords in your website content, Meta tags, and images, and creating a Google Business Profile.
  • Building a strong brand that sets you apart from the competition, fosters customer loyalty, builds trust and credibility, ensures consistent messaging, and manages your reputation.

By incorporating these strategies, investing in your marketing and putting your customers first, you can create a thriving dealership.

About Magic

Magic helps local businesses grow. Thousands of local businesses use Magic to get more online reviews, win new customers, easily manage customer conversations and grow sales. Magic offers these features:

  • Reviews: Get more reviews with automatic review requests for popular review sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, TrustPilot, and more. Rank high on local search and enhance your visibility on Google. 
  • Inbox: Keep track of customer conversations across channels in one inbox, including SMS, Facebook, Instagram, and Gmail. Manage conversations better as a team and do more with industry specific templates. 
  • Text Marketing: Drive more sales with instant text campaigns and reach your customers at the right moment with automation. Use prebuilt templates to send out text campaigns in minutes. 
  • Webchat: Turn website visitors into customers with SMS powered Webchat. Chat to website visitors directly through SMS so you won’t miss a lead, even when they leave your website. 

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