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Leverage Online Reviews to Improve Your Dealership’s SEO

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Hale Soucie

Leveraging your positive reviews can help more customers find you.

Nowadays, completing a purchase without first reading unbiased reviews is a thing of the past. The digital era has given a voice to shoppers in every industry, including, of course, automobiles. Consider that:

  • 87% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
  • The average consumer reads ten reviews before trusting a business
  • The automotive industry is one of the top-five wherein consumers most often read reviews 
  • 88% of shoppers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations

And because twice as many consumers start their car research online instead of at a dealership, it is vital that you prioritize local SEO by leveraging positive online reviews. To not do so risks losing many potential customers.

The Link Between Positive Reviews & Improved SEO

There is a direct correlation between SEO and user reviews, in that the more positive ratings you have, the higher your dealership will appear in search results. How is that possible? Because SEO is heavily influenced by click-through rates. The more positive reviews you have, the more likely customers are to click through to your website. Search engines, in turn, will reward your site by bumping it up in search results.

Here, we’ll discuss the ways you can leverage your customers’ positive experiences to improve your dealership and service center’s SEO.

1. Request Reviews from Happy Customers

When a consumer is unhappy, they are more likely to leave nasty online reviews to warn away other potential customers. But how do you encourage happy customers to leave positive reviews?

There are multiple ways to encourage your customers to leave reviews of your dealership and service center online. The most straightforward is, of course, requesting they do so in person. If you—or a staff member—have a positive interaction with a customer, seize the opportunity to request they share their experience online. The happier the customer is, the more likely they are to do just that, if prompted.

Another technique to promote positive reviews is to leverage your social media presence. Consider posting on your company’s Facebook page whenever your dealership or service center receives an overwhelmingly positive review, and thank the customer by name. Your Facebook followers are sure to notice the customer who received such attention, and some will be influenced to do the same.

Finally, send automated emails asking customers to post their honest reviews online. Even if 95% of the recipients ignore your request, the 5% who follow through will give a noticeable bump to your ratings!

2. Monitor Your Online Reviews & Comments

While it would be simple to ask for reviews and then walk away, doing so could leave you open to blistering critiques and unanswered questions that turn off potential customers. So, we cannot stress the importance of monitoring your reviews enough!

Follow these simple rules to ensure your dealership and service center benefit from reviews:

  • If a customer leaves a positive review, be sure to thank them. After all, 20% of reviewers expect to receive a response within one day.
  • Always respond to negative reviews. A simple response apologizing for their negative experience and assuring the company CEO will be reaching out to them personally goes a long way—not only to the unhappy customer, but to potential customers combing through your reviews and social media pages.
  • Answer questions left in reviews. Going the extra mile to be helpful will be beneficial to all—the reviewer, potential shoppers, and your dealership’s reputation for having excellent customer service.

3. Claim Your Business On Review Sites

The thing to remember here is, if you aren’t controlling the narrative of your business, who is? Ensure your business is accurately represented by claiming your company on third-party websites. Beyond asking for reviews on these sites, you’ll need to make sure your company name, address, phone number, website, and business hours are properly recorded.

While there are many, many websites for third-party reviews, the ones to focus on should be narrowed down to the “big three”:

  • Google My Business: If you claim your business on any third-party website, make sure it’s Google My Business. The undisputed king of search engines processes 90% of the world’s search queries.
  • Facebook: Your Facebook business page can host customer reviews. And because it will always show up at the top of the search results when searching for your dealership, it is incredibly important to keep it up to date.

 

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, prioritizing online reviews is just as important to your SEO as targeted ads. 

Ensuring your dealership and service center have their own Facebook business pages, Google My Business pages, and Yelp pages will go a long way in generating positive reviews, in turn upping your local SEO. And above all, requesting—and responding to—online reviews will help ensure continued customer satisfaction and increased web traffic.

Questions on how to leverage reviews and customer data to increase sales? Contact us at Edifice. We’d love to give you a free 15-minute demo on how our proprietary software can multiply your ROI in gross profits by 4x—guaranteed.

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