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Why am I seeing so many dealers with business listings UNCLAIMED? Reminds me of the old days, circa 1998 and URL’s for the company name we're not claimed. Didn't that suck when you found out the URL was taken by someone or some company much less deserving of that URL. Same with your listing.

I’ve seen what happens to your face when you find out your competitor has claimed your listing. Signing up for a listing is one thing but much more important is CLAIMING your listing. For some this may seem like a no brainer, however based on how many dealers we support for reputation management, I’m shocked at how many have major review listings for their dealer name unclaimed.

Business listings should play a role in your marketing plan because who wants to waste time with promotions that don’t benefit your bottom line. Business directories are a great form of targeted advertising.

Google has some great suggestions you can do to Optimize your listing and lift your Google score to help users find your dealership. The third recommendation is my favorite…..

Include images and videos to help your listing stand out.

Can online directory listings increase my web traffic?

Knowing how many cars and R.O’s are coming from your preferred dealership listings is a reality many are tracking, in terms of where they rank and traffic. I’m really impressed with BDC directors that are aware that Yelp makes it pretty stinking ridiculous in terms of NOT allowing us to know which keyword was used before your vehicle prospect clicks to your Yelp listing, but I digress.

Listing your company and company URL on online review sites and directories not only helps your ROI, but can also help your website appear higher in search results for certain terms. The more quality web pages that you can get your site listed or mentioned in, the more authoritative Google will begin to think your website is. When Google chooses where your webpage will appear in search results, Page Rank (the authority of the webpage) is one of the factors that can significantly increase your chances or being ranked first, or at least on the first page, for a particular search term or phrase.

What does my dealership need to do now?

Claim your unclaimed listings!

It may take some time to find the right mix of directories to advertise your business in. Implement some sort of analytics or tracking system to see which directories are giving you the best return, either in click throughs to your site, in direct revenue, or in call volume. This could include using special tracking campaign links for online directories, or a unique phone numbers or URLs for print ads. Over time, cut the zero- or low-performing directories and re-invest in new ones until you find a good mix of print and online directories that perform well for your dealership.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that listing your company in directories isn’t just a one-time project. It needs to be maintained and your strategies adjusted based on what your competitors are doing, and based on your changing business goals. However, studies are proving the maintaining business directory listings as part of your marketing plan can be a profitable business strategy for your dealership.

I highly recommend ChatMeter and Yext if you need help with managing, optimizing, and monitoring your online listings.

Jerry Hart

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