It’s getting harder and harder for car dealerships to stand out among a crowded field of competition. Because the auto industry operates in what is a nearly perfectly competitive market, meaning dealers sell essentially the same products at similar price points, dealerships are starting to turn to their online reputation to help differentiate them from other dealers.
Today’s car buyer is savvy and is spending much, if not all of the car buying process online before ever even stepping onto your showroom floor (you know this). This starts out with them trying to find the right vehicle. Once they have decided which make and model they want to buy, they start zeroing in on which dealership to choose. That’s when your online reputation comes into play. Over the course of the rest of this post we will discuss five ways that online reviews help you business get found, get chosen, and ultimately drive new business.
Increase visibility online
Online reviews are one of the most important factors that determine where business rank in Google’s local search algorithm. It’s hard to know exactly what goes into Google’s algorithm, but they have indicated that the recency, frequency, quality, and quantity of your reviews have a significant impact.
First, let’s talk about recency. Research has found that 77 percent of consumers don’t trust online reviews that are older than three months with 18 percent of consumers not trusting reviews older than two weeks. What that should mean to is that collecting online reviews should be an ongoing process.
Many dealers that I have interacted with will make pushes a couple of times a year to collect a large number of reviews. This usually happens when they get a negative review they want to bury, but consumers will notice when things like that happens, which brings us to frequency. Your dealership should be trying every day to get new reviews. Your experience is going to change over time so you want to make sure your online reputation is representative of actual experiences. [Read more…]