Tire Shop SEO

2022 marks my 20th year in the tire business. I did not have any friends or family in the business growing up so I never aspired to be a “tire guy”, but you can’t control fate. I am forever grateful for the opportunities the industry has provided me, the relationships that have been built and the people I have served across many positions in these 20 years.

As I look across North America and dig into the current position of the independent tire dealer there is, unfortunately, reason to be concerned. Market share and margins continue to be challenged. The needs of both consumer behaviour and search engines are evolving which is creating a major gap between where the majority of dealers are today and where they need to be.

For any business in most markets to continue to thrive over the next decade will require a strong digital strategy, period.

Too many Independent Tire Dealers throughout North America have been guided down the wrong path for too long as it relates to their online presence.  Developing a strong digital strategy can seem daunting; especially considering this is an area that is not a strength for many aftermarket business owners.  Between not being completely comfortable with the subject matter, getting different opinions, while everyone is making the same claims on success, it is easy to be left scratching your head. Especially if you’ve gone down the road before with someone who over promised and under delivered.

The good news is building a strong digital strategy and understanding if your strategy is unlocking value for your business is not complicated. When accomplished effectively, car count or unit sales grow.

When you face a hurdle as a tire shop owner where do you turn for help?

The majority we find generally ask their largest vendors (parts & tires suppliers). A distributor’s primary motivation will always be business-to-business (B2B) driven. Most manufacturer’s motivations are focused on driving consumer brand awareness. Both require different strategies and budgets compared to what independent tire and auto repair dealers need.

What is a strong digital strategy in the tire shop business?

Simply put, tire dealers need to position their business in front of their core audience with the intent of getting a consumer to engage or convert to their shop. This requires three ingredients:

1. Strong online presence

2.Consumer centric user experience

3.Extending your showroom digitally

Everyone knows that the customers you want are online which requires your business to be visible online in a meaningful way. Doing nothing digitally, doing the minimum digitally, or doing the same thing you have been doing for the last 5+ years is not enough.

If your digital strategy is weak, you leave the door open to traditional and emerging competitors to take more share. Everyone knows they want to be on the first page of Google and every phone call you receive from telemarketers suggests they can get you there. If being relevant online is important to you, start with an initial assessment of where you are.

Assessing your current position online does not happen from sitting at your computer doing repeated random Google searches on your business. In order to assess your current position online you need access the online tools that are specifically designed to measure digital strategies and the return on investment; Google Analytics & Google Search Console.  These are two valuable assets for your business that every owner should have access too. When you look into your Google Analytics look for:

1. Acquisition – Are people finding you online using your business name (direct) or without using your name (organic)?

People using your business name in search is a good thing. People finding you without using your business name is better. These are more likely new potential customers vs returning customers who already know you.

2. Landing pages – What percentage of people visiting your website enter on the home page?

If 70%+ of the people are entering on your home page, it is likely you need to tune up or overhaul your strategy. There are many pages within a solid site and those pages should be relevant in search if you want to attract clients you don’t have. Think of a consumer searching “Michelin Tires near me.” If you have a Michelin tire page it should be presented by Google vs your homepage ideally.

3. Goals – What goals are set up? How and where are the goals coming from? This will provide insights on areas of opportunity for your business.

In terms of Google Search Console most, if any, don’t know or understand what to look for here. Every business will have some level of trust no matter how weak the current strategy. Your Google Search Console will tell you what Google trusts you for right now. You can look into “performance” within Search Console for those answers. Once you know what Google trusts you for already, you can begin to build on that trust to improve your online presence.

After looking into the back end of how your current digital strategy is performing, you can then turn your attention to why? In order to do so, you can begin to look at what is important to search engines like Google.

1. Speed – How fast is your site? Simply enter your website address in the below link, hit analyze, and scroll down when done. Google will show you not only if you need help but what to work on to improve speed.


2. Trust – Websites with more authority, or trust, will deliver more performance. Enter your website address into the below URL to see how your site currently scores on a range of 1 – 100.


3. Content – Unique SEO rich content is both king & queen. Duplicate content is a pawn. It is not uncommon for tire dealers to have the exact same content on their site as their competitor down the street. This is a result of turning to vendors with different goals for support.

Open up Google and search “buy tires + city you operate in + your website providers name.”

google search bar, searching for buy tires oakland website builders

This will bring up every tire dealer with the same vendor you have. Spend the time to go through their site and see if the content is the same as yours. If it is, how do you think an algorithm would understand which business to serve first in consumer search results? Read more about Google’s position on duplicate content here: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/advanced/guidelines/duplicate-content

4. Indexed Pages – How many pages on your current site are indexed by Google? Go to where you enter a website address and bring yours up. Then enter “site:” before your businesses URL. Below Google will tell you how many pages are currently indexed on your site.

Google Search showing organic indexed pages


The more pages you have indexed, the more opportunity. If you are:

< 50 pages = you need to get to work

< 51 < 99 = doing ok

                               > 100 = you are either ahead of your competition or need to review duplicate content.

5. Listing Management – Search your business name in Google. Go through the search results to review how your Name, Address, and Phone Number are presented. Is there continuity across each or is it inconsistent? Inconsistency creates confusion. Both consumers and algorithms do not like to be confused. If messy, a clean up is required.

6. Google My Business (GMB) – needs to be optimized. Most are aware reviews are digital gold but there are too many dealers unaware of how to optimize further. Within GMB you can add content and updates to send Google signals in order to help them position your business in front of those consumers searching.

Google my business optimized listing

7. Digitizing your showroom – not a high priority for search engines but most definitely a high priority for consumers. How successful would Amazon be if we needed to request pricing by filling out long forms before making a decision? The majority of the aftermarket make it too difficult for consumers to do business online.

continental extremecontact tire for sale online - promoting buy tires online


This leaves the door open for the emerging ecommerce companies to continue to expand at your expense. Treating tire pricing like high level government intelligence is over. It’s time to give consumers what they want, when they want it so they can engage with, or convert, to your business.

Below are other critical factors to improve your visibility online but would require additional support:

1. Keyword rankings – what is your current website ranking for & what does it not rank for with online searches?

2. Search traffic – what are the most common keywords used locally in your market for products or services you offer?

3. Content strategy – what is your plan to improve website ranking?

4. Technical – what issues need to be addressed with your current site?

5. Digital Marketing – what truly is the best ROI?

All good questions to ask and all questions we enjoy to help answer. For a business in most markets to continue to thrive over the next decade, a strong digital strategy will be required. By beginning with an understanding of how to assess your current position, you will quickly see the massive amount of untapped opportunity that is right in front of you.

Todd Richardson is the CEO of In Motion Brands (IMB). IMB is a consulting and marketing entity focused on supporting independent tire and automotive businesses across North America. To contact Todd Richardson, email him at toddrichardson@inmotionbrands.com or visit inmotionbrands.com.