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Car dealers looking to leverage Google, Yahoo and Bing in 2010 to increase the visibility of their brand when a consumer types in a search phrase have another tool from Google they can use to refine their efforts.

From a high level perspective, search engines like Google query “best matching” assets in their database of web pages, videos, images, and social media feeds when consumers type in a search phrase. When it determines what the best items to show, it creates the infamous “Google Page One” search result. (SERP)

A big question has always been: “What search phrases are consumers using in my area?”

The questions that should follow are:

• What assets can I upload and tag with text that will be a good match? (SEO)
• What am I willing to pay per click for that search phrase? (SEM)
• How will I track if clicks from that search phrase results in a conversion or sale? (GBP )

Diversity of Best Matching Assets Increases

Most recently “best matching’ includes real-time Twitter tweets and Facebook posts; this is an Internet Marketing strategy game changer. I’ll be posting an article on real-time search results and the effect on Automotive SEO strategies shortly. So now, Google Page One Management (GPOM) and IRM strategies have to deal with social media feeds, videos, static images, press releases, ecommerce images, Google Maps and text links.

It’s a good reminder to state that localized search is a part of the equation of what search engines will serve on Page One in addition to best matching keyword assets. When a consumer types in “Nissan Sentra” from their home, the search engines have to decide how to balance local content and national content when they display a search engine results page (SERP).

Nissan Dealers Los Angeles

If you type in “Nissan dealers” from a PC in Irvine, California, Google will show you local California Nissan dealers on Google Maps. That fact that you did not type in “Irvine” or “California” does not matter since Google knows the geo-location of your IP address roughly. The same query from a PC in Preston Maryland should show a different result, as shown below.

Nissan Dealers Maryland

As a side note, please make sure that your dealership’s Google Maps listing is correct and that it is showing for broad searches like the ones given above. Google Maps normally pops up with a city, county or state is included in a search phrase. If your Google Maps listing is not tagged properly, you may be missing hundreds of free advertising views per month.

Google Keyword Tool

Many dealers have come to know that Google provides a free tool called the Google Adwords Keyword Tool which can show them how popular search phrases are on a monthly basis based on total USA data. The Google keyword tool can be used to help select domain names as well as keyword strategies that have a broader target. A screen shot below shows how you can track national use and global use of certain search phrases.

google keyword tool

A new tool that I would like to discuss is called Google Insights and this tool has a different spin on Google search data that will help car dealers with localized content development in 2010. The tool is designed to help online marketers research seasonal and regional trends in search phrases.

Google Insights will also show which search phrases are picking up in volume; I like this feature the best. This insight can help car dealers decide what they should be targeting in terms of their blog posts and the wording of their press releases, tweets and online ads.

Applying Google Insights

Google Insight Tool

Automotive retailers approaching the end of the year may want to know which search phrases local consumers are typing in that are looking for an “end of year” car sale. In your area, Google Insights could tell you which phrase was on the rise; “Nissan Year End Sale” or “Nissan Clearance Sale” or some other variant. Once you have that data in hand, you could create a blog post with those search words in the title to increase your chances for a “best matching” asset in your local market.

The tool can also help refine local vocabulary and terms that might be unique to a market. Some areas of the country use the word “pop” to describe a soda so regional differences that can be exposed with Google Insights. Dealers should research the top search phrases for their brand, in their local market, so they do not base their strategy on national data or worse yet, a guess.

Researching "Honda Civic"

Below is a screen shot of research done in Google Insights for the search phrase "Honda Civic" for the State of Arizona. Notice how Google Insights gives you other phrases that are increasing in volume; see bottom right of charts. This is good data to have and it allows proactive content writing.

Google Insights also maps areas of search interests on your state which can also show further localized trends in your PMA and beyond. There is so much that can be done with this data, but there is a limit to what you'll read in one sitting.

Google Insights is another tool that should be in your Internet Marketing toolbox for 2010. Since content and asset matching is so important for search visibility, this tool can help your hard work go even further. If you have questions, just ask.

Brian Pasch

Views: 62

Tags: automotive marketing, automotive seo, brian pasch, car dealer marketing, google insight, google keyword research


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Comment by Ed Slingsby on February 3, 2010 at 7:42am
Great information Brian.
Comment by Brian Pasch on December 21, 2009 at 8:41pm
This should be a part of your SEO strategy refinement as well as some other keyword tools that are available on the market. Local search optimization is very important and normally will have the biggest ROI.
Comment by Jake Dhillon on December 21, 2009 at 6:18pm
Was going to rework our SEO footprint after the first of the year, will use this quite a bit probably, Thanks! Geo Locating and Local Search is vital to any dealership business. It is normally soo overlooked and underutilized.

Comment by Sean V. Bradley on December 21, 2009 at 8:45am
Very good article!
Comment by Brian Pasch on December 20, 2009 at 5:42am

Thank you. Yesterday I was at Irvine BMW in California and we used Google Insights to give us data on "BMW X5" for the Los Angeles market. It was very helpful to see that there we a few HOT search words related to the X5. Once we saw them I explained how they could be leveraged and the staff got on the case. It's a powerful tool to direct content writing and specific online Internet marketing tactics.
Comment by Andy Warner on December 19, 2009 at 12:42pm
Awesome "insight" -- Thanks for sharing.

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