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This is a portion of an article titled Why the Automotive Industry is Shifting to New Media.
While social media is the “new sexy” in the industry, search is still the primary tool that consumers use to research different vehicles. Once they make their decision on which vehicles to consider, the go again to the search engines to find the vehicles themselves. OEMs such as General Motors may be spending millions on making a splash in social media, but they continue to use paid search as a primary means of driving traffic both to their corporate properties as well as their dealer websites.
Organic search is trending as the primary method of driving traffic at the dealer level. The vast majority of dealers in the US utilize some level of search engine optimization to help get their websites ranked higher. The industry has turned into one of the most competitive with major metros crowded with dealers and 3rd-party lead vendors vying for the top 10 spots for high-volume searches.
“It’s a mess compared to what it was like just a year ago,” said James Bradford, President at TK Carsites. “Everyone is optimizing to some extent. The difference between the dealers who are ranking at the top and the rest of the pack is in the quality of their Automotive SEO. Solutions are not created equal and those who really want to make it have to step up.”
Despite a robust and effective social media marketing strategy, Chuck Capps at Advantage Nissan is still seeing over 60% of their traffic coming from organic search. “We’re selling vehicles through many different channels, but search is still our bread and butter.”
As Google and Bing continue to improve the way they rank sites, dealers are focusing on getting their inventory, specials, and various profit centers on as many search results as possible. (continue)