Consumers appreciate and trust reviews to make a purchase, so you probably have a pretty good idea how the reviews on your dealership’s website are tracking. What you may not be following very closely is how reviews on independent sites are impacting your search engine marketing.
When your customer rates their experience with your dealership, they may be reviewing on your site, but also on sites like Yelp or Google. Reviews on independent sites can boost your search engine optimization and land your website a higher ranking on organic search. If the review includes one of your keywords or if your location is mentioned in the review, it benefits your search engine marketing.
Google associates trust with reviews and ratings, so it’s a good idea to focus some energy on both soliciting them and responding to them. Here are a few other considerations you should include when handling reviews:
Ask for a review. You should know the guidelines for soliciting reviews if you’re sending your customer to an independent review site, but asking for reviews never hurts and it can be good for your website traffic. Your customer increases your click-through rate just by clicking to go place their review.
Encourage reviews from car bloggers. While these are a little different from a starred rating, a review blog still boosts your search engine marketing and lends credibility to your dealership. Just be careful to disclose any financial arrangements that might be associated with a blogger’s review.
Respond to reviews. If your dealership receives a negative review, be sure to address it and resolve the issue. While you might be tempted to request that the conversation be taken offline, it’s better for your dealership if you can positively resolve the problem in public. Likewise, thank customers that take time to leave a positive review.
All of this assumes that you’re watching for reviews to come through on independent sites. There are options for alerting you when one posts, but you should also be monitoring independent review sites, in addition to watching for mentions of your dealership on social media. Many customers that won’t leave a review will complain about or praise a company on social media.
Ask the right kinds of questions. Simply asking, “Are you satisfied with your car purchase?” won’t tell you what you want to know. You need more specifics, such as “Did your sales representative seem knowledgeable about topics such as financing options and current promotions?” Ask them if they would recommend your dealership to a friend and how likely they are to visit your dealership first when they buy their next car.
Reviews are a great way to improve your search engine marketing, but it takes some investment of time and addressing customer needs. Whether you monitor them or not, it’s likely that your customers are reviewing their experiences with your dealership, so your best bet is to embrace the role of customer reviews and use them to your marketing advantage.