Auto companies lack visibility

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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, 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."

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