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Updating your Dealer Google Plus Local Page? Learn how to avoid the five common mistakes.

Dealer Platform Auto dealers Google Plus Local page update the right way












If you’re like many local auto dealers, then you’re likely thoroughly confused with the latest changes from Google Places to Google Plus Local. We covered this transition in our previous blog post titled “The New Google Plus Local.”

The first thing you will notice is that the old Google Places isn’t being pulled up any more in the Search Response Pages (SERP’s). Instead, you’ll find a Google Plus Local page that has all of your Google Places information. Or does it? Many people in the Google Places Forum are complaining about missing data. Also, if you take ownership of your new Google Plus Local page, it redirects you to the old Google Places information input page without your existing Google Places data loaded. That’s right – it’s a completely new platform that doesn’t have any of your Google Places information loaded.

If this describes your experience, then your next step is filling out all your Google Plus Local information again in Google Places. I know it’s confusing, but stay with me – we are about to get to the good stuff. Consider this a good time to start over and get your Google information setup right.

Here are the 5 mistakes most local auto dealerships make
when setting up their Google Places:

1) Adding city or keywords to your business name: Unless your legal business name has your city or a keyword in the name, then don’t add it to your business name on your profile. It is against Google’s guidelines to do this and it will actually reduce your rankings as a result. This tactic includes adding your domain name, phone number or any other descriptor that is not your legal business name. Google will cross-reference your data with citation sources and/or online Yellow Page listings to verify the validity of the information that you’ve submitted. If there are discrepancies, then you’ve just hurt your rankings.

2) Using a P.O. Box or a mailbox plus address in the address field: Maybe you are just outside the city limits or in one of those weird zones that has a different address other than the city you want to rank for. You might be tempted to use a rent-an-address service to fool Google. Don’t do it! Google cross references their data sources with government public records such as business registrations, telecom data, and past Yellow Pages listings. Plus they have all the addresses of the rent-an-address sites. This is a tactic that spammers use and Google is on to it.

3) Making up your own categories over Google’s preferred categories: Many local dealers will only configure one or two categories for their business. This is a huge ranking factor for local search results so you will want to fill out all five categories. Also, remember to use Google’s categories that “best” match what you do. You can create more descriptive categories after you run out of the pre-formatted categories. This allows your listing to fit into the Google mold they want everyone to fit in. If you are the odd ball that makes up all of your own categories then guess what – you get back of the bus rankings.

4) Using a different number other than your main line: Never put a toll free number or even a secondary phone line as your main number on your profile page. Many businesses will try to track their calls by inputting a remote call forward number for tracking purposes. This sounds great from a marketing perspective but it’s against Google’s guidelines and will cause a negative ranking signal when Google verifies your phone number.

5) Failing to fully complete your listing information: This sounds like a pretty basic no-no, but believe it or not, many don’t realize that to fully complete your listing information you will need to fill out every field and upload 10 pictures and five videos. If you don’t have any videos, find videos on YouTube that have the likes of “auto dealer,” “car dealer” or city specific keywords in the title and simply put the URL in the video field. Just make sure you aren’t linking a video that’s been put together by a competitor.

Remember to stay within Google’s guidelines and stay away from the above pitfalls and you should see an improvement in your rankings versus your competitor that is likely to have one or more of these mistakes in their profile.


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The New Google Plus Local: Update your Dealer Places page for optimal search results.

Car Dealership websites Google Plus Local


Even though your Dealer Platform website is optimized for your local area many searches still produce a Google Places listing in the top 10 results.  Taking ownership and maintaining your Google Plus Local page (formerly Google Places) is vital to your local search engine rankings.

If you haven’t heard, there were big changes in the Google Plus world that affects how Google Places listings are being displayed. And if your auto dealership was listed in the Google Places directory you’ll now find that listing under the Google Plus Local tab in Google Plus.

Google has integrated its popular Google Places with Google Plus Pages allowing customers to search locally with richer content and greater functionality. Google Plus Local is quickly becoming the local search destination and rising social media platform. Now customers can find your dealership faster through targeted search results and get the information that they need, quickly. Dealerships can now interact with local customers and build a relationship online. This will improve the customer experience, service and process, and ultimately lead to better customer satisfaction.

So what does this mean for your auto dealership website?

If you haven’t been to your Google Places page lately, now is the time to update your company information and convert it to a Google Plus page (if you don’t have either it’s time to make one and it will only take a few minutes of your time) and improve your page ranking in the Google Plus Local search results. Search optimization means everything when you are creating an online listing or business page. And by following these tips, you can help your dealership appear higher in search results.

Use these steps to improve your Google Plus Local Results Ranking:

Step 1: Fill out your Google Plus Local (Google Places Page) completely

Step 2: Fill out all 5 category fields.  Stick to Google’s recommendations for your categories before making a custom category.

Step 3: Place your company in a broader primary category. Don’t restrict your business to the “car dealership” category, especially if you sell trucks or SUVs, or want to promote your dealership’s automotive repair services. By placing your business in the category of “automotive”, your company will appear more often in search results.

Step 4:  Upload at least 5 pictures and preferably 10 and at least 2 videos.  If you don’t have a video then link to a video on Youtube that has your keywords in the title of the video.

Step 5: Post a coupon.  This has more to do with interacting with your visitors and is a good way to generate a lead or call.  A good coupon should have a call to action like “Call now to receive a no money down trade in offer”  or “visit our website for financing options”.  Use your own existing promotions to show consistency among all advertising channels.

Step 6:  Get reviews.  Google will rank higher a Google Plus Local page that shows interaction with it’s users.  The more reviews you get over time the higher your page will rank.

Step 7:  Get Followers.  Just like reviews – the more people that follow your Google Plus Local page and the more interaction your page receives the more trustworthy your site will appear to Google and as a result Google will rank your page higher.

By updating your Google Plus Local properly along with your locally optimized Dealer Platform website,  you will stand a better chance to  increase your visibility in local search, driving quality leads and customers to your website and dealership.





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Local SEO: Generate more leads with your car dealer website

SEO for car dealer websites

Used car dealers, like all businesses, depend on customers to make sales. When you launch a website, the first thing that must be taken into consideration is how to make sure consumers can find your site. This is done typically through Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  SEO for car dealer websites is crucial since there is more competition than ever before and because the number of used cars on the market mean that consumers have numerous choices.

Understanding SEO

Search engine optimization accomplishes two things: First, it allows potential website users to find your website. This is accomplished by targeting specific phrases that a customer may be looking for. In the case of SEO for car dealer websites this may include ‘used cars, inexpensive used cars, high quality used cars, etc.’.  The second purpose of search engine optimization allows a search engine to identify the primary focus of your website. For example, a used car dealer website would not want to rank in the search engines for “purebred dogs”. This is one of the reasons that SEO is so critical to a website.

SEO and credibility

Google has recently made some changes to how search results are calibrated. One of the many things that they are using as a measure of a websites value is credibility. Website owners need to make sure that their website ranks well for appropriate keywords. Credibility issues can occur if the SEO for car dealer websites is handled improperly. Once a website is downgraded by Google (or other search engines), credibility is hard to regain.

SEO for leads

While many people do not see the relationship between SEO and leads, it is really fairly simple to understand. If a customer is looking for a “red Toyota Camry” and your site ranks well for “used red Toyota Camry’s” then you have potentially attracted a customer. Always keep in mind that photographs and descriptions increase the likelihood of a potential customer finding your site. Lead generation with SEO begins with understanding what will attract a reader to stop at your website. Identifying the right keywords, understanding how to integrate them naturally into your website and making sure that your content is reader-friendly is critical to generating new leads.

Used car dealers are facing stiffer than ever competition with the glut of used cars available on the market. Finding methods of standing out from the other guys is more important than ever. Use of effective SEO for used car dealer websites can make the difference between attracting new users and turning them into customers.

Search engine optimization is not rocket science, but failing to use SEO effectively for new leads can harm your long-term sales.


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