A recent study by Comscore finds that the “average” search term entered into Google continues to get longer and longer.  As it stands, the average search term contains just over 3 words, and this increase in the length of search terms doesn’t appear to be slowing.

This makes search engine optimization (SEO) even more important than ever for your auto dealer website.  Since Google uses “best-fit” guidelines to match search terms to relevant web pages, if a long-tail search doesn’t fit something exactly, Google will try to fit a web page to the search.  The better optimized your auto dealership site is, the more of these searches your website will rank for, even if you don’t have the exact words that were searched for.

While the increase in long-tail search terms is great for SEO effectiveness, it’s not as great of news for car dealerships that rely solely on pay-per-click advertising (PPC).  Many dealerships set up their paid ad campaigns so that their ads only appear for an “exact match” of keywords.  This means that your dealership ad will only show if the search term is the exact same as a keyword you bid on.  With search terms getting longer and more specific, the chances of getting an “exact match” to a keyword your dealership is bidding on gets more unlikely.  Slight differences in the way your account is set-up can make huge differences in your results, so it’s important that your dealership either has someone in-house who fully understands and devotes time to managing your PPC campaigns, or that you partner with an expert vendor.

Combining your auto dealership’s PPC campaign with an effective SEO campaign will increase the chances that your dealer website will be found in Google’s search engine results.  Simply relying on pay-per-click will make your dealership website show in search engine results less and less often as time goes on.