We all know that just having a website, no matter how great, is not enough to make sales in the automotive industry. LEARN MORE
Generating traffic to your site from you local area can be as simple as letting other know you exisit. One thing you should do is make sure you are listed in the "local" index of the three major search engines. This does two thing for your as far as generating traffic for you one it places you in the directory for targeted searches such as brand and location and it gives you valuable back links to your site for SEO.
Here is an example of Google Search Results for "Phoenix Toyota Dealers" notice that many, not all, Toyota Dealers are listed above the fold in Search Engine Results Page. One dealership has also done a very good job of maximizing thier listings, they listed each department with a seperate physical address. If you used this techicnique you must have a verified address for each location and seperate . To submit your site to visit Google Local Listings to submit your store.
You will see the same type of results when you search Yahoo and MSN. Here are the links to Submit to Yahoo and to Submit to MSN. All of these local listing also allow you to advertise via their their pay per click and or enhance your listing in the results. They will allow you to give hours of operation, your address, web url, pictures and description of services. Google will even allow you to add coupons and specials to their listings.
Free Customer Review Sites included at no charge -
All of the search partners discussed here will allow customers to reiew their experience with your dealership either with review aggregators like yelp.com or judysbook.com and on their own platform. The nice thing about the reviews is each review page will provide a new back link to your site from very trusted sources, which allow you to get your customers to help build your back links if you direct them to these resources to review your service.
Other places to get local links -
Many times there are local directorries in addtion to people you partner with for other services. If your traditional advertising sources have a website you should be able to get free one way links from them if you spend any volume of money with them. Such as radio stations, newspapers, and outdoor advertising firms. To find local directories it is as simple as using google to search for "your city directory".
Leveraging other resources -
Items such as blogs, user generated content sites, craigslist and social media can also provide valuable one way links to your dealership website and help in SEO and generating referral traffic. That is a topic for another day I have given you a lot to work with already.
Please add any other free resources for building links and getting noticed in the local search markets in the comment section below. Your Automotive Network will really appreciate your input as well...