When it comes to your dealership’s business, one of the most important things you can do is…well…attract more of it.
So…it’s imperative that all of your pertinent information is easy for prospective car buyers to find. That said, you also need to make sure that (i) it’s accurate (ii) that it’s synchronized across all available platforms (iii) that you know the various methods of doing so, and (iv) that it’s being audited for accuracy on a regular basis.
Your listings aren’t accurate if any part of them is out-of-date. Although the name of your dealership is unlikely to change, things like phone numbers, or business hours can change on a day-to-day basis. Consider holiday hours for example…
Any time a change is made that would affect your dealership’s listed information, you need to make sure you’re updating that information across the board. If it’s a temporary change, you need to make that clear, and be proactive in reverting back to your basic information once it’s time to do so.
Additionally, be conscious of all information related to your individual departments – such as sales, service, and finance. You’ll want to make sure that each are audited, correct, and that any updates are accurate, applied only where they’re applicable.
Any discrepancies across various platforms could result in confusion – and a potential loss in business. Which brings us to…
Yes – you have a lot of detailed information. And yes – it’s important it is to keep all of it current, and accurate. But what is the best means of distributing that information, and keeping it synchronized across multiple platforms?
There are a few schools of thought here…
For synchronizing a lot of information across all their directories, many businesses rely upon a paid “Syndication Tool” like “Yext” or “Moz Local”.
These tools are both easy, and effective because you can update all of your information in one place, and they’ll do the work for you.
However, there are some downsides. Namely, any mistakes made while using these tools will have a much larger effect, as the mistake will be distributed everywhere. Additionally, paid tools come at a significant cost, and frequently have a tiered payment structure, where you pay more for each of the directories you need them to cover. But what if you don’t need to update “every directory under the sun”…
A manual audit of your citations is always an option. There are a number of top-visited directories: Google My Business, Facebook, Apple Maps, Yelp, Map Quest, Instagram, just to name a few…and considering the list is much longer, only some of them may be used by your dealership.
Now sure which you need you to be concerned with? Look your dealership up on Google. Type in its Name, and then the City & State its located in. Now, focus on the Top 2 pages of your Google Search Results. This can help give you an idea of which top-ranking directories your listings are on, and where prospective car buyers might pull your information from.
A manual audit is by far the cheapest option, but it can be time consuming. It also needs to take place every time information about your business is changed. Now, you’re probably asking yourself, “Is there a happy medium between the two?” The answer is yes, and we call it the…
With paid tools, you can dial the cost up and down based on the directories you want them to cover, while still allowing you to perform a manual audit on others. But how do you choose which listings should be covered by a paid tool, and which should you manage yourself? The answer is…well…complicated.
There are a lot of business listing directories online. Some are more complicated to access and to update than others. Many require you to create individual accounts for each website, and some don’t allow you to manually update them, at all.
So, if a Hybrid approach is your thing, we recommend using paid syndication tools to update the most difficult directories, like: TomTom, Apple Maps, Waze, and other GPS and distributed services.
With those covered, you can still manually update those directories that are more user-friendly and more frequently used, like: GMB, Facebook, Yelp, and more!
Live Updates/Frequent Checks
Now…fair warning…one area that could cause some headaches for you come in the form of what are called “Live Updated Platforms”.
Platforms like Google Maps and Yelp allow users looking at your business to make suggestions to your listings. While some of these updates could have the best intentions at heart, they can also result in incorrect information being accepted by the director, causing – you guessed it – incorrect information about your dealership being presented to car buyers.
Even, since this option is always open to the public, it could be happening ALL THE TIME. Even right now.
The only way around this is to audit your information as regularly, and frequently. There are also some paid syndication tools that synchronize your information often enough that these Live Updates are active for shorter periods of time, but remember… these tools aren’t perfect, and they don’t always update the information as quickly as it could be done manually.
So, to recap:
– Check your information for accuracy.
– Synchronize all platforms so that they reflect the accurate information.
– Audit those platforms, especially those that update live, regularly and frequently.