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BizReport : Search Marketing : October 17, 2006

Study: Search Drives Automobile Connections

Want to sell more cars? A new study indicates that search functions are driving more interested shoppers to car manufacturer and dealer websites.

by Kristina Knight

The study from Compete called Search: Driving Awareness and Consideration points toward search as the most effective selling and referral tool for automotive dealers and manufacturers. It measured search, other portals, third-party sites and other sites in the automotive and advertising fields to come up with the results. Search was far ahead of the other portals in referrals to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) branded sites.

“In the second quarter of 2006, search generated 58% more referrals than portals in aggregate, up from 20% in the first quarter,” according to the study.

Search had more than 10 million user sessions in the 2nd quarter of 2006. According to Compete, Google delivered 6.5 million OEM referrals. That is still far ahead of any other search engines, though the gap between Google and third party auto sites did fall.

Lincoln Merrihew, managing director of Compete’s Automotive Practice said, “Outperforming all individual third party automotive sites and aggregates, it’s clear that Google is much more than just a search engine.”

Branded search terms are most effective in driving leads to dealers, with four of five leads generated this way. OEM branded searches were responsible for 85% of dealer locations and 83% of immediate start lead sessions.

Tags: online marketing, search engines, search marketing

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