Auto companies lack visibility
Fortune 500 automotive companies are not optimizing their Web sites
efficiently enough and lack visibility on the major search engines,
according to a study conducted by digital marketing agency iCrossing.
The study, "Search 500 Index: Automotive," looked at 116 automotive-
related keywords that online searchers often use.
"People are searching for automotive information online, but in
general they are not finding some of America's largest corporations
in natural search results," the study said.
Optimization is not only key for driving sales, but is also critical
to building awareness, positioning and protection of a company's
brand both online and offline, the study said.
ICrossing, Scottsdale, AZ, analyzed position data for Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask.com and AOL.
Companies are ranked based on iCrossing's index, which considers the
value of natural search engine market share on a scale of 0 to 10.
Scores take into account the weights of the top five major search
engines, estimated monthly search volume for the keyword analyzed and
a company's keyword rankings within the first three pages of natural
search results. A higher score means higher visibility.
Eleven of the 36 Fortune 500 automotive companies analyzed ranked
higher than a 2 for natural search brand visibility. General Motors
received a 3.6, the highest score.
Six of the Fortune 500 automotive companies appeared in the lists of
the 100 sites most visible for the automotive keywords analyzed.
Business-to-consumer companies, especially online auto dealers and
consumer-facing brands, performed better than business-to-business
automotive suppliers on iCrossing's visibility index.
The report suggests tactics to improve natural search engine
visibility including re-evaluating a company's online competition to
include not only direct competitors and companies that impact
visibility. The report also suggests that companies add more consumer-
based content to their sites, such as user reviews and opinions.
"Consider partnering with or buying media on relevant, informational
sites - which tend to rank higher in natural search - in order to
garner as much residual traffic as possible," the study said.
"Increase competitive search-based analyses to derive new insights as
to how your brand is performing online."