Google is arguably the king of online reviews. At least, in a general business bucket. Sure, other online review sites like Yelp carry a lot of clout when it comes to restaurants and niche sites do relatively well for specific verticals, but not always do the reviews impact Google local search. With Google, any business can collect a review and help increase their online exposure through improved local search rankings. Dealerships are one vertical that can really benefit from using Google reviews. This is because dealerships have high competition when it comes to digital marketing. In addition, a majority of car buyers scour the internet to find that trusted dealership and that exact car.
Google reviews give dealerships (that take advantage) an extra arrow in their quiver. That single arrow can make the difference from your dealership showing up 3rd or in the search rankings or at the very top. We’ve compiled 5 actionable ways that dealerships can use Google reviews.
1. Impact Your Dealership’s Local Search with Google Reviews
If you’re a marketer, you know one of the most obvious benefits of online reviews is the impact on Google local search. If you’re not, no big deal. As a general idea, the more reviews that you have at a high quality, the better your odds are to rank higher in Google local searches. For example, if your business has 200 reviews at an average star rating of 4.7, you’ll likely show up higher on a local search results page than your competitor that only has 8 reviews at an average star rating of 4.2.
In short, online review sites like Google reviews, have the potential to catapult your dealership to the top of local search rankings. In addition, the first 5 results of a search results page account for almost 68% of clicks. Businesses that place in the results around 6-10 account for only 3.7%. From a revenue standpoint, this can mean the difference of thousands of dollars.
2. Use Google Reviews to Increase Your Dealership’s Local Reputation
Want to become the most trusted business in your area? Google reviews (and online reviews in general) are a great place to start. Reviews are a great way for potential customers to size up your business and decide whether or not they want to engage. They also do a great job of aiding the rest of your marketing and sales efforts in instilling trust in your dealership. According to BrightLocal, 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
When it comes to businesses like dealerships, many carry the same product. Sure a feature or two could be enough for a potential customer to switch to a different dealership, but we both know that your dealership can source any car requested. So, online reviews present an interesting value-add. If you’re a Honda dealership, what differentiates you from the next Honda dealership? If you’re a used car dealer, what separates you? If your business uses google reviews to your advantage, you have the opportunity differentiate yourself from the next dealership. You’ll not only rank higher in the local search rankings, but you’ll show that your business is credible.
3. Turn Google Reviews Into Social Proof
Google reviews provide you a great opportunity to convert reviews to social proof that you can use on your website, flyers, commercials, or whatever content you create that is customer-facing. Les Schwab uses testimonials to center their entire marketing campaign around social proof. They spin something so simple (a testimonial) into an engaging case study that tells a story of how the customer wins and the business go above and beyond the call of duty.
Now, most companies aren’t able to easily produce a video like Les Schwab has. That’s not the point here. The point is that you should, and can, get creative with the Google reviews that your business receives. Like I mentioned, your website, flyers, and direct mail are great places to start.
By the way, one of the simplest ways to use Google reviews as social proof is to tweet or share with your social media audience. Even if it’s a tweet, retweet it. If it’s a Facebook post, like it and boost it.
4. Optimize Customer Experience with Google Reviews
Last, but certainly not least, is customer experience. A business can effectively optimize and drive their customer experience by responding to Google reviews, tailoring processes where applicable, and refining employee-customer engagement. At Podium, we call this the Customer Experience (CE) Feedback Loop. It’s pretty simple, really. A transaction is made, a review is then left, a response from the business is then given, and processes are altered and refined. After the refinement step, the process begins again (usually continually occurring in the background).
Collecting quality Google reviews for your business can serve multiple purposes. Reviews can help you drive your dealership’s customer experience, convert into various types of social proof, increase trust in your dealership’s brand, and shoot you to the top of Google local search. In today’s day and age, Google reviews have become an integral component to any successful dealership’s marketing strategy. If utilized correctly, your dealership can accomplish all four with minimal effort.
If you’re looking to collect and manage online reviews, make sure you get our eBook: The Complete Guide to Online Reviews for Dealerships.