A: Paid search (or pay-per-click) is a type of advertising where businesses pay to have their website featured as an ad on search results pages. I.e., they're those ads/sponsored links appearing to the top and right on a Google search page.
'Organic' or 'natural' search refers to the main, free, unbiased results that come up in keyword searches—those results matching specific consumer queries with the websites deemed most appropriate to what the searcher is actually seeking. 'Organic' search might better be termed 'actual' or 'real' search.
Studies confirm that consumers perceive the 'organic' results to be more independent, with greater relevance and integrity. Which is why roughly 8 in 10 search clicks come from organic search, and not through paid links—and 82% of consumers go straight to the organic results first, with only 6% going to the paid listings. In addition, 95% of all paid search impressions on Google don't result in a SINGLE click.
All the data speaks volumes at to why investing in an organic search strategy is a far more mission-critical and impactful component of search marketing for any business trying to reach consumers—and yet most of the media and marketing discussions have been all around paid search…but that is changing.
A: Consumers seeking local businesses are now significantly more likely to use a search engine than the Yellow Pages—or other traditional media like TV or newspapers. In fact, roughly 84% of automotive consumers now primarily use search engines to locate local businesses, while Yellow Pages usage just continues to decline.
So, ensuring your business maintains a solid, long-term presence in that 'prime real estate' at the top of first page results has never been more crucial. It's pretty much all consumers click on—and they're getting more impatient with each passing year. Consider: roughly 7 out of 10 searchers in 2008 only click on links on the first page of results—and that's up from less than half in 2002.
Coming up in first in search results is quite simply the most important 'media placement'--that ultimate 'moment of truth'—in our Search Age—and the most targeted, long-term, effective way to drive consumers to your business.
A: Because car shoppers today are overwhelmingly search engine users—and search engines are now the #1 way shoppers locate and select car dealers. The stats speak for themselves: 84% of all Internet new-vehicle buyers in 2008 used a search engine in their shopping process—a record high, and up from 81% in 2007. Search dramatically trumps all traditional media as the #1 most-used resource consumers used to research and select dealers—with 4 in 5 car shoppers reporting they now rely on search engines to locate/select dealers.
Quite simply, if a dealer's not 'coming up first' at the search engines when that shopper's hunting down new and used inventory, service and parts, they're losing a huge percentage of leads, calls and sales to the guy down the street—who's achieving better placement with critical local dealer keyword searches on Google, Yahoo and MSN.
A dealer may imagine that as the top 'Miami Honda dealer,' they would naturally achieve high search rankings if a searcher typed in those keywords—simply not so. Today, that keyword search generates over 1.8 million hits—and if your dealership has not implemented a seriously sophisticated, ongoing organic search strategy, with a constant re-optimization of your website so it's 'found' by the Googles 24/7, your dealership—no matter how big or successful you are, may, in fact, be 'nowhere.'
Dealers know that the race is on for that prime search real estate, and are increasingly partnering with organic search marketing companies like eXtéres to make sure they're ahead of the game.
A: In the past, (the first wave of Internet marketing) car dealers spent heavily on third-party lead providers to drive online business. But not only have lead costs risen as quality has declined—dealers are increasingly tired of paying to build some other company's brand, when they can use organic search marketing to drive leads directly to their website—and calls directly into their store—and begin building their OWN brands.
Dealers who've adopted an advanced organic search solution like eXtéres quickly realize they can stop paying for leads when their website is coming up first in the thousands of dealer searches taking place daily in their market. Organic search marketing makes dealers dramatically more self-sufficient from outside lead providers.
And while initial dealer search hype centered on paid placement, dealers are waking up to the fact that they're increasingly duking it out over super-competitive, brand- and geo-specific keywords in their market. They're paying for ever-more expensive clicks, when they could invest in organic search and establish their dealership in the far more consumer-friendly free search results, 24 hours a day, seven days a week—and for months and years to come.
Additionally, in our Search Age, buyers are traveling further to purchase the right car with the right dealer—rather than just cruising by local lots. With 35% of searchers now reporting they're willing to drive 20 miles plus, search has significantly extended a dealership's market reach. Search has allowed dealers to establish virtual showrooms outside their authorized franchise areas—and dealers are embracing this opportunity.
In sum, organic search achieves 80% accurate, fully targeted placement for dealerships—and that's something no other media like print or TV can deliver—not even close.
A: eXtéresAUTO is simply the most advanced, highest-performing SEO platform available to dealers today, and the difference is that our proprietary SEO technology works on an ongoing, automated basis to constantly monitor complex algorithm changes at Google, Yahoo! and MSN to ensure our dealers come up first 24/7, when consumers are typing in over 1,200 combined brand and local market search phrases directly relevant to each dealer.
Our results speak for themselves:
And eXtéresAUTO guarantees critical 'pro-dealer' features other vendors simply don't—or can't. Unlike other dealer SEO vendors, we guarantee 100% total exclusivity: we will only work with one brand in a dealer's 10-city market. If another SEO company is promising to take your brand(s) to the top of the search engines—and is selling the same organic search solution to your rival down the street—there's a serious conflict of interest.
eXtéresAUTO is also the only provider that combines industry-leading SEO with a complete 'Search Asset Management' solution that includes a totally revolutionary backend tool that handles online reputation management, website analytics, dealer review alerts, competitor tracking and expert training. eXtéresAUTO SAM™ is the industry's first-and-only, complete search asset management solution that allows dealers to understand, manage, protect and promote ALL their search assets, all across the Web.
A: All search engine optimization entails an incubation period, the time it takes to move a dealer's website to the top of the search results.
It generally takes about 45-60 days to achieve significantly improved search engine saturation results, and our dealers are provided with the objective hard numbers that quantify the impact of their improved search presence, and the significant business generation benefits of the program.
After incubation, organic search just continues to pay off at a compounded rate. Because once a dealer solidifies their presence at the search engines—and the longer the search engines' spiders register that your dealership 'owns' the top, relevant search positions—it's exponentially more difficult for you to be displaced by your competition. Early adopters of effective and sustained organic search marketing powerfully establish their 'search turf,' and then continue to build on it.
A: A dealer's 'search assets' are your ENTIRE presence across the Web--whether that's your 1st page organic search performance --your 'online reputation' on consumer review and dealer rating sites--your online inventory and trademarked dealership name—or your presence at online directories and review sites etc.
Today, if you're not coming up first in sales and service searches at the Googles—or you have a negative 'online reputation' at the ever-exploding number of consumer review sites—you're losing SERIOUS business to your competitors.
So, while it's never been more critical for dealers to understand, manage, protect and promote all these far-flung search assets…the process has been simply too overwhelming, confusing and time-consuming for them. Dealers need to re-think their entire search and online presence more holistically as all their 'search assets,' and they need the tools and technology that make managing them far more time-and cost-effective.
A: Your 'Online Reputation' encompasses not only the search placement of your dealer website but also your presence at major Review Sites and Directories--what your customers are saying online about your sales and service departments…good or bad.
Roughly three out of four car shoppers now read online dealership reviews written by other customers, and a significant percentage change their dealer selection based on what they read. Additionally, consumer reviews are extraordinarily Google-friendly, and come up very high in organic search first-page rankings. If the results for a typical search like 'Toyota Chicago Illinois' return three dealership websites and 5 Review Sites & Directories filled with consumer reviews (which is typical), you can see how your potential customers are always a few keywords away from accessing what all your customers are saying about you.
A: Yes! With the help of eXtéresAUTO, you can take control of all of your search assets. You can reshape your online presence and reputation, positioning your dealership in the forefront of all of your competitors. Create your Dealership as the #1 Consumer Choice!
eXtéresAUTO believes that taking control of your online reputation in our new era of consumer reviews represents the single greatest untapped business-generation opportunity for dealers today. It's not scary…it's exciting.
A: eXtéresAUTO recommends that all dealers take the ten-city test, and get a free, objective, in-depth analysis of how your dealership is currently faring at the big search engines—eXtéres will demonstrate not only where you rank on the 1st pages of Google, Yahoo! and MSN, but also how your local competition is performing.