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One of my weekly routine tasks is to reserve time to conduct searches on the major search engines from desktops and mobile devices. Today, I was reminded how just important consumer reviews are becoming for any marketing and branding strategy.
Compelling arguments have been made supporting the new requirements for dealers to have an active Internet Reputation Management (IRM) process. This post includes a visual confirmation as well.
Today, my search engine results page (SERP) for a local dealer name was filled with "stars", These stars are not there by accident; Google is socializing search results.
Google is rewarding consumers who volunteer their time to post reviews. It created the Google Places App to make it easy to post a review. You should be using this App inside your dealership.
Google is also rewarding business owners who encourage customer reviews with Google Boost.
Google Marketplace includes stars showing for e-commerce vendors who advertise their products using Adwords.
The web has gone to the stars! In the screenshot below, there are five sections of the page that are integrated with consumer reviews.
How does your Google Page One look?
I've said this in the past and it is worth repeating. Your online reviews impact ALL your past, current, and future advertising dollars.
Since a "dealer's name" is a very popular search that brings consumers to the dealer's website every day, what appears on Google Page One is doing one of two things.
It's reinforcing a positive brand message or it's negatively impacting new customers that are considering your brand. For some dealers, what appears on Page One is helping their competitors.
So whether these reviews are displayed on Google Places, or on dedicated review websites like DealerRater or Yelp, reviews are influencing your local market. In the case of Circle BMW, these reviews are very positive and consumers seeing 143 reviews on DealerRater with a 5 Star rating is a strong statement.
For dealers that have STRONG online reviews posted on Google, I encourage them to start testing Google Boost, which can advertising their business and include positive reviews on Google Places.
So, take a minute today to Google your exact business name and sit back and play the role of an undecided consumer.
Would they call you or visit your dealership based on your "stars"?