See what you’ll gain with more positive reviews—and what you’re losing without them
1. Claim and optimize dealer pages on leading consumer and automotive review sites
The best bet is to claim and optimize your pages on all of the leading consumer and automotive review sites (Bing, Cars.com, DealerRater, Edmunds, Google+, InsiderPages, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, Yelp) as well as any secondary sites that are popular in your region. Consumers will write reviews where they feel comfortable doing so and have an affiliation so put your best foot forward by optimizing your page. This helps give your business the most control over the content on your page—at least until your customers get involved. The good news is that just by virtue of claiming and optimizing the page you are adding content that will get crawled and indexed by the search engines. As a result many dealers see review sites begin to come up on their page one search results even before there are reviews written by consumers. A review site search result can push a competitor off your search results.
2. Include correct and consistent information across your review pages.
Phone numbers, websites, and even addresses can change, and changing this information on your main page isn’t enough. In addition to presenting a unified face for your dealership, this information plays into your NAP local ranking factors—see The New Geography of Google: Your Link Strategy Post-Penguin 2.0 for more information.
3. Respond to reviews—in a timely fashion.
There are few things more gratifying than getting recognition of your voice online. Where customers are concerned, this means responding to as many reviews as possible, thanking customers for positive reviews and addressing negative posts quickly. In some cases, a well-reasoned response to a negative review can be as powerful as a positive one. We have many clients who have even turned a negative review into a vehicle sale by being proactive.
The Bottom Line: Your Online Reputation Can’t Be Ignored
It’s easy to see that your dealership’s online reputation is more important than ever. When it comes down to the end of the month, can you afford to lose 4 out of 5 customers to a negative review—or would you rather be confident that you’ve engaged the majority of your customer prospects? Clearly, it’s no question at all.