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Dealers sell more cars by subscribing to SEO

March 17, 2011
By Tony French, President, Automotive Internet Media
Your Web site is your online storefront. How you prepare your store for business has a direct impact on how well your dealership performs. Every real estate agent has heard the old axiom, “location, location, location,” repeated many times.
That expression is equally important in today’s Internet market. But the word “location” should be changed to “page rank,” for it by far is the most important attribute of winning online customers for your dealership.
Instead of waiting and watching other dealerships make things happen, why not embrace the Internet and make something happen for your dealership? It’s your turn; it’s your time. The next move is up to you.
Search engine optimization, otherwise known by its acronym, SEO, provides many positive features for the dealers who invest in this specialty service. The issue for most dealers who don’t invest in optimization is that they don’t understand it or they think SEO is a one-time task to complete.
Dealers who understand SEO realize that staying on top of the search engine rankings translates to selling lots of cars and trucks for them, and their monthly investment is moving them further and further away from their competitors.
At some point, it is virtually impossible for other dealers to ever catch up, which is why winning dealers need to educate themselves on what SEO really is and how it can benefit their dealerships.
Here are some of the positive benefits for Search Engine Optimization:
High ROI Pound-for-pound and dollar-for-dollar, SEO brings a higher return on your investment than any comparable form of marketing.
Long-Term Positioning Once in place, a properly designed and optimized site should stay in the rankings long-term compared to pay-per-click campaigns, where the costs and outlay are unpredictable. 
Targeted and Increased Traffic SEO will increase the number of visitors who actively search for your service or product (i.e., Chevy Dealers Chicago, Chevrolet Parts).
Promotion that Doesn’t Sleep Imagine having your own marketing and promotions company working exclusively for you! One that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days every year. That’s the benefit of SEO.
Increased Brand Visibility SEO can give your brand a high local profile — and for a comparatively low outlay.
Higher Sales SEO will lead to increased sales of vehicles, service and parts for your dealership.
Most new-car dealers use AutoTrader and (CATA members use as their main platforms to market their inventories and advertise their dealerships. Both companies provide a valuable service. But in today’s market, more and more consumers are simply using Google to search for inventory and dealerships.
According to, 60 million people search “something” automotive-related every month. Dealerships which understand this potential and optimize their Web sites to win customers in this huge market are, in most cases, the dealerships that are selling the most cars.
Dealers and General Managers are encouraged to attend our free SEO seminar that will explain Search Engine Optimization in simple, easy-to-understand language. This is not a seminar that uses technical terms and vocabulary. We simply explain SEO in a way that most business owners will grasp the concept and offer steps needed to win online.
The author will be one of three panelists at a free CATA seminar on April 12 that helps dealers and general managers achieve SEO. To register, call the CATA at (630) 495-2282.