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Why Your Dealership Needs to Own Its Location Data

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Your dealership customer experience is affected by the integrity of your location data.

I was just reviewing an analysis of the recently published 2017 U.S. Search Ecosystem, a handy tool published annually by search marketing authority David Mihn. The guide vividly illustrates the ways people use digital to discover brick-and-mortar businesses (which, of course, include auto dealerships). One take-away really jumps out at me: if you operate a brick-and-mortar location, you need to publish accurate location data, such as your name, address, and phone number (NAP) everywhere your brand is found online. If you fail to do so, your name may not appear when automobile shoppers look for dealerships near them.

It’s tempting for dealerships to relegate management of their location data to the back burner. You have leads to capture, cars to sell, and a host of other operational issues to handle each day. And yet, if you fail to keep your data accurate, a couple of big problems will occur:

  • As the U.S Search Ecosystem points out, bad location data will hurt your ability to show up in search results on search engines such a s Google.
  • You will create a poor customer experience when a shopper uses an app like Yelp, Google Maps, or Apple Maps to find your location, and your address turns out to be wrong. (If you’ve ever been led to the wrong location when you’ve Yelped a business address, you understand the frustration.)

And here’s the rub: sharing accurate location information is hard. Take a closer look at the vast number of places that need to keep your location data accurate as people discover your brand across the ecosystem:

The digital locations range from Facebook to search engines to data aggregators that specialize in supplying location data to search engines. The good news is that people have many ways to find you. The bad news is that they have many ways to find wrong information about you.

Here’s what I recommend you do:

  • Assign the job of location data management to someone on your team who has the time and commitment to keep track of your online brand.
  • If you are a DealerRater customer, actively manage your location data on our site. Ensure that your data is accurate when you create your listing. Manage business events that affect your data, such as opening a new brick-and-mortar store. When your business changes, make sure you update your listing. Get the details right:

DealerProfilePage

  • Manage your location across the digital world where people do searches for you, such as on Yelp. Take inventory of the principal ways people find you – starting with Google – and ensure you are listed accurately on those sites. For instance, have you claimed your Google My Business Page for each location, and do you manage that page?

Fortunately, DealerRater customers have access to a tool, Listing Visibility Reporting, which helps you stay on top of your data across the ecosystem. DealerRater Connections dealers can monitor their listings on 26 different sources across the web.

ListingVisibilityReport

The dashboard displays these different sources, along with a listings point-based score that will indicate where the dealer falls in terms of automotive industry averages for listings.

Bottom line: accurate location data makes your dealership more findable. Bad location data turns away potential customers. It’s up to you to take ownership of your data. Contact DealerRater. We can help.