General Motors Co. dealer Jerry Seiner wanted to increase traffic at his dealership Web site, gmguy.com, so the Utah dealer turned to search engine optimization.
Seiner, who has seven dealerships in the Salt Lake City area, launched an optimization effort last year. In December, gmguy.com had about 400 referrals from the Google search engine. After optimization, that number swelled in March to about 2,000 Google referrals.
Search engine optimization is a mouthful, but the concept is simple: Get your company's name to the top of the first page of a Google search.
A dealership can bid on key search words, such as "Buick" and "Utah" and thereby buy its way to the top of the search results amid the "Sponsored Links" highlighted on the first page of those results. That's known as search engine marketing.
But savvy dealerships and their marketing partners are moving up the search rankings without paying cash by understanding and using the technology. That may be as simple as having a well designed Web site or offering numerous links to related sites.
Dealerships large and small are using this process to increase the volume of traffic to their sites from Google, Yahoo, Bing and other Internet search engines.