Which UK car dealerships have the strongest domain rating?

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Why does domain rating matter for car dealerships? We look at which dealerships are racing ahead and how everyone else can improve.

Mike Movassaghi - Automotive Specialist

We have been working with Renault Retail Group and Carzam for a while now, so we decided to look at other leading UK car dealerships to see how they are driving their digital performance and to find out who are the winners and losers in this competitive marketplace.


Why does domain authority matter for car dealerships?

One thing we like to find out about brands within a certain space is how ‘authoritative’ they are perceived to be by search engines. This is an easy metric to obtain and can be a useful benchmark. This is seen through their ‘Domain Rating’. By knowing this we instantly understand where they gauge amongst all websites plus it gives an indicator of how high on a search engine results page (SERP) a given site will show and therefore how much improvement is needed for them to climb the rankings. It is also a sign of the credibility of your business so striving for a high DR is important. Domain ratings are scored between 1-100 with 100 being the best. Scores between 40 and 50 are considered average, 50 and 60 must be rated as good, above 60 is excellent.

For car dealerships who are competing for an ever-shrinking pool of customers (who are turning more and more to online car retailers), being hot on any form of SEO is essential to occupy prime SERP space and be the first thing consumers see!


How 12 leading brands are performing

Given how important organic visibility is to dealerships, we were surprised that only four of 12 dealerships we looked at had a score of ‘excellent’ – Arnold Clark, Lookers, Jardine Motors, and Sytner. Even then, none of these four breached 70.

Domain Rating - Dealerships - v2

Five of our dealerships are considered ‘average’ (Inchcape, Vertu Motors, JCT 600, Group 1 Automotive, and Listers) while Marshall Motor Holdings, the UK's 7th largest car dealership, scored 52. The lowest scorers were Pendragon and Trust Ford - though these brands may excel in other areas of digital and offline marketing, any weakness in digital performance can become a significant problem for any brand.


Where is the biggest chance to improve?

You might think that, as few brands in this space are excelling on DR, this isn’t an area you need to be too concerned by. But, if you look at it another way, improving your Domain Rating and backlink profile gives you a huge chance to storm ahead of the competition!

It's important to know how your competitors are acquiring a high DR, so you can spot opportunities and assess how to acquire these for yourself. Using tools like Ahrefs to get hold of backlink profiles for your competitors helps identify what type of content they’re getting links to, and how to increase your own domain rating, referral rate, and brand awareness.

We suggest the following –

  • Look at how you can acquire some high-quality backlinks from sites with a high DR themselves (use a tool like Ahrefs to find out how a site scores!).
  • Look at your content to make sure its link worthy and that people want to share it.
  • Remove old and bad links that could be affecting your scores, such as for directories and link farms.
  • Look at the structure of your website and make sure user experience is optimised.


Find out more about which car dealerships are racing ahead of their competitors on our Automotive content Hub.


To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on call 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

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