Test your website

Try this: type your city and brand in any major search engine like Yahoo ® , Google™, or MSN ® , example: Chicago Ford. Scroll through some of your results. Did you know that 93% of customers don’t look past the first two pages? Furthermore, 63% of customers will find what they need in the top 20 ranked sites. To be among this elite 20 requires a strategically active effort. Cervantes Design offers a Search Engine Optimization tool that can help you score higher and produce more leads from the web.

The other 33% of customers don’t even bother scrolling through all of the suggested sites but go straight to the "Sponsored" area. The Sponsored area is located before you see the top 10 ranked sites, in a featured box at the top side and bottom of the page, usually listing many websites. The Sponsor search area works in an auction system. Top-pay means top-spot in most cases. In as little as 72 hours, you could sponsor "Chicago Ford" as long as you are willing to pay the market price for that spot (anywhere from $.10 to $999). Price is determined by how much your competition is willing to pay. Most sponsored searches charge only when you get a click, an actual visit to your site. Another option would be to build a special home page where you drive only your pay-per-click leads. This option gives you a way of tracking your ROI. Search engines do have a few rules for their sponsor marketing. They won’t let you steal leads that are specific, example: You couldn’t advertise under "Chicago Carmax" unless you are an actual Carmax store. There is also a “Local Sponsor” feature. When setting up your website on the search engine, you can define your business area, from 25 to 100 miles from your physical business address. Search engines can actually track the location of the customer and only show your ads to customers in your area. There are great benefits to this type of marketing: you know exactly what the client is searching for and you can exclude specific searches that may not be relevant to your dealership, allowing you to modify your advertising based on your inventory. All search engines provide analysis reports so that you can actually see how many searches were made last month for "Chicago Ford" and what would be the cost to advertise in it. These processes will require plenty of time and dedication since custom ads have to be written and posted to each individual search criteria. Careful attention has to be made to ensure ads contain all the key words in both the title and body. You can’t use words like "number one" or "best" and any special promotion has to be found easily from the link page.

The following is a typical ad for " Chicago Ford":

’s ABC Ford
ABC Ford is a Chicago dealership that offers $500…

(This area would require anywhere from 90 to 120 characters depending on the search engine.) Using both Yahoo.com and Google.com will cover most of the web market. Yahoo normally costs 20 to 30 percent less than Google. Between both of them, you have almost all search engine traffic. If you think about it, the Internet is quickly turning into this generation’s newspaper. Are you advertising in it?

This article was tailored for car dealerships but we have satisfied customers in all kinds of businesses. We can manage both Google and Yahoo accounts for you. For more info e-mail us at webmarketing@cervantesdesign.com

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