Google My Business Analytics Updates

Google My Business Performance Reporting

Last month, Google My Business debuted a new way to track your performance on the platform. The results are a bit of a mixed bag, and this week we’re going to go over them in detail so you know exactly how these changes affect you.

Google My Business Reporting

The best new change is that the metrics now track six months as opposed to the former three, plotted month by month.

First and foremost, the insights have moved. If you’ve logged onto your GMB account lately, you’ve probably received a message to that effect. Clicking on “See new profile performance” will show you the new way GMB is choosing to visualize your data. Otherwise, click on View Profile, then Promote, then Performance. Select a date range, click Apply, and your data should appear.

The best new change is that the metrics now track six months as opposed to the former three, plotted month by month. This should give you a more complete idea of how you’re doing. Additionally, it will show you which search terms were used to find you, a piece of information that could have a huge impact on SEO.

Some data points are missing, however. Google has eliminated the tracking of website clicks, driving directions, and whether you were found on Google Search versus Google Maps. Google has a complete listing of the changes on their website.

Right now, we don’t know if these features are gone forever. This new version appears to be a work in progress. The features we’re missing could always reappear, and it never hurts to let them know what you think.

Source: https://support.google.com/business/answer/10018786?hl=en&ref_topic=9674108

Black Pioneers in the Automotive Industry

Black Pioneers in the Automotive Industry

One of America’s greatest strengths is the diversity of our population. With talents and experiences from all over the world to draw from, there’s nothing we can’t do. Black history Month is all about recognizing and celebrating the contributions of one such group, and as they have done with every aspect of American life, the Black community has contributed enormously to the automotive industry. Here are seven pioneers that helped shape the industry that we all know and love.

Frederick Douglas Patterson (1871-1932) was one of five children born to entrepreneur C.R. Patterson. The elder Patterson was enslaved since birth in Virginia, at some point leaving for Ohio (the precise nature of his migration is disputed). Considering the circumstances of his birth, it’s not surprising that he named his son for noted intellectual and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

C.R. Patterson founded C.R. Patterson and Sons, a business that sold various horse-powered vehicles. Literal horses. They sold carriages. When C.R. died in 1910, Frederick took over and by 1915 pivoted to automobiles, producing their first car on September 23. This made C.R. Patterson and Sons the first Black-owned car company in the world. Sadly, no surviving examples of their automobiles are known to exist, but a few of their carriages still do.

Garrett Morgan (1877-1963) was a prolific inventor, but what lands him on this list is the three-position traffic signal. If you are unclear on what that means, it’s because Morgan’s invention is so important that we literally can’t conceive of a time without it. The short version is that traffic lights used to only have two signals: STOP and GO. Drivers had no idea when one would become another, and you can imagine the carnage.

The story goes that Morgan witnessed one such accident and made up his mind to stop it. He invented a signal that would now warn a driver when GO was moving over to STOP. While his original design was T-shaped with actual words, we still use the basic concept today with our red/yellow/green traffic lights. You can see the original in the Smithsonian.

Homer Roberts (1885-1952) holds a special place in the hearts of those who read this, as he was the first Black man to own his own dealership. Roberts was a savvy businessman, growing his business with smart advertising, at a time when he was forced to sell his Fords, Hupmobiles, and Rickenbackers to an exclusively Black clientele.

Roberts served in the Army Signal Corps in WWI, becoming the first Black man to make Lieutenant. When the Great Depression wiped out his business, Roberts returned to the Army and served again in WWII.

Charlie Wiggins (1897-1979) was a race car driver who dreamed of competing in the Indianapolis 500, but was barred by due to race. The desire to compete didn’t go away, and so Wiggins and other Black drivers got together to create the “Colored Speedway Association,” an all-Black racing league. The crown jewel was their 100-mile race, the awesomely-named Gold and Glory Sweepstakes. Wiggins won three of them.

In 1934, driver Bill Cummings hired Wiggins on as part of his crew for the Indy 500. Thanks to the same racially-charged decision that barred him from competing, the team had to resort to subterfuge to get Wiggins on the track. It was worth it: Cummings not only won but set a track record.

Wendell Scott (1921-1990) is another great driver of yesteryear. Scott’s personal journey somewhat mirrors the history of stock car racing, as he too got his start outrunning the police with a car full of illegal moonshine. The best part of the story happened in 1952. Racing officials in Danville, Virginia, Scott’s hometown, wanted a Black driver as a promotional stunt. The police suggested Scott, who proceeded to place while driving one of the very cars he had been running whiskey in.

If this hasn’t cemented Scott’s legacy, there’s more. While initially barred him from NASCAR due to race, Scott built a reputation so good that eventually they couldn’t stop him from being let in. He made history as the first Black NASCAR driver and the first Black man to own his own team. With over 500 races in his NASCAR career, he placed in the top ten 147 times and in the top five 20 times. And in perhaps the greatest honor of all, was played by the great Richard Pryor in 1977’s Greased Lightning.

McKinley Thompson Jr. (1922-2006) won first place in a scholarship competition hosted by Motor Trend that enabled him to become the first Black person to attend the Art Center College of Design. Upon his graduation in 1956, he started working for Ford as an automotive designer, once again becoming the first Black person to do that.

Thompson was instrumental in designing the iconic Bronco, which makes him pretty influential in a market later dominated by SUVs. Thompson also did a lot of work on some of Ford’s other signature lines, such as the Mustang and the Thunderbird.

Leonard W. Miller (1934-) loved cars from the age of five, when he started tinkering with his family’s Ford. He must have had understanding folks to let a five year old poke around under the hood. As a young man, he built custom cars, a skill that translated to a stint in the Army’s 45th Ordnance Battalion, Direct Automotive Support Company. His job there was repairing vehicles while under enemy fire.

He formed Miller Brothers Racing in 1969, winning dozens of races, and in 1972, he became the first Black man to enter the Indy 500. Along with several others, including previous entrant Wendell Scott, he created the Black American Racers Association, a group that would promote and honor Black people in auto racing. Miller also founded NASCAR’s Miller Racing Group, which in 2005 was the first Black-owned team to win a track championship.

These are just snapshots into the lives of these seven remarkable men, and I would encourage anyone who found something of interest to take a deeper look. It doesn’t have to be February to learn and celebrate Black History.

Get the Most Out of Your Homepage (Part 2)

Get the Most Out of Your Homepage


Transcript

Welcome back to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

If you want your business to thrive, you need your website to be its best. Today, we’re going to go over a few tips on how to use certain design elements effectively and ensure that your site is gathering leads and looking great at the same time.

Let’s start with banners. How many should you use and what kind?

With banners, there’s a tendency to overdo it. We recommend no more than three to five. Too many banners run the risk of overwhelming your visitors and reducing the chance of them interacting with any one offer. If you do use a lot of banners, make sure that the most important are first.

When using banners, you don’t always have the choice of where to put them. Some OEMs require any banners to be placed above the fold.

DealerOn’s standard banner sizes are 880 by 320 pixels and 1920 by 600 pixels. These are the most common sizes for OEM banners. If you aren’t sure which to use for your site reach out to your vendor to confirm the size before posting the banner.

Headers come with a variety of design challenges. How many nav links should appear?

In terms of usability and memory, seven is the magic number of nav links in a header. More than seven links can easily overwhelm your visitors.

When adding additional links to your header, be mindful at what the scaling-down process will do. The best headers are clean and unobtrusive with only the most vital information present.

What information should go in your header?

All the basics. Your OEM logo, if it’s not already part of your dealership’s logo, your dealership’s name and/or logo, phone numbers, and nav links. Other links to consider would be a link to Google Translate for your non-English speaking clientele, social media links, links to service schedule, a map, and contact info.

What’s a homepage block?

A homepage block is a container for content. It can contain any number of things, including but not limited to, a widget such as a search bar or model bar, a form, text, images, or carousels. Homepages can have up to 10, one of which is customarily reserved for the inventory search widget or search valet.

How many blocks should you have on a page?

The more blocks you add to a page, the less likely a visitor will interact with any single one of them, and too many runs the risk of completely overwhelming customers. For a streamlined design with good interactivity, we recommend between five and seven distinct sections of content.

Pages with seven or fewer blocks have consistently higher rates of interactivity and conversion.

That’s all for today’s workshop. As always, if you have any questions or comments, leave them below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next week for another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.

Who We Are: Jayna Freeman, Director of Customer Support

Who We Are: Jayna Freeman

We sat down with our Director of Customer Support to discuss her philosophy on delivering quality dealership support, travelling around the world, and superpowers.

 

What team are you on and what is your role/job title?

My name is Jayna Freeman and I’m the Director of Customer Support for DealerOn. I oversee the Customer Support, Enterprise, Data Support, and Training teams.

How does your team/role contribute to the success of DealerOn?

The way I see it, we’re sort of like the blood flow of DealerOn. We ensure that all of our services are running smoothly through lots and lots of communication within DealerOn and with our customers. I used to consider us the heartbeat of DealerOn but I’ve sort of evolved my thinking with that. Really our customers are the heartbeat, everything here begins and ends with making sure they are being taken care of and satisfied with their services.

 

“I’m passionate about helping people discover their purpose through love.”

 

What do you think sets DealerOn apart from other players in the space?

I’ve been at DealerOn for five years and for me it’s all about the people and relationships. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes before our teams can even interact with a client. Hours and hours of training and development are necessary to make sure our employees are providing a great experience to our customers.

What do you like most about working at DealerOn?

The people. Integrity. Culture. I enjoy working w/ people who are committed to making a difference for our customers. Getting to know the DealerOn community, experiencing the diversity of people from all different backgrounds and walks of life working together towards a common goal.

What is a fun fact about you that people don’t know?

I’ve spent a lot of time traveling and doing missionary work with my church. I’ve gotten to visit so many amazing places and meet such wonderful people because of it. I’ve taught music and done music ministry work in Ukraine, Germany, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and I’m heading to Ghana next.

What’s your favorite memory from your missionary work?

In Ethiopia I met these twin girls at an orphanage, and we had an instant connection. They were so smart and nearly fluent in English at five years old. And they were obsessed with SpongeBob (laughs), it was so cute. They are sixteen now and it’s been such a blessing to be a part of their lives.

Jayna doing missionary work in Ethiopia

Young Jayna spreading the message of love around the world

What motivates you?

I’d say I’m motivated by success… not necessarily financial success, though that is always nice (laughs), but the success that comes with working hard and accomplishing your goals. Lately I’ve found myself really appreciating the little wins and successes that add up to achieving your larger goals. That’s something that I try to drill into my teams every day… pay attention to the details and appreciate the little things, because those all add up at the end of the day.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about helping people discover their purpose through love. That was the reason I began the Love Campaign Movement; our mission is helping discover their passion and drive through acts of love and kindness. There’s so much negativity in the world, it can feel suffocating sometimes, and I just wanted to show people that there are more ways to affect change than negativity. We all have the ability to create and express ourselves and even just that act of creating something beautiful, even for just a moment, can spark positive change in the world.

Jayna Youth Ministry Group

The Love Campaign mission is helping discover their passion and drive through acts of love and kindness

Who inspires you?

My dad has always been my greatest inspiration. It’s been so inspirational watching him overcome personal challenges while maintaining his joy for life and commitment to doing good for others. And he’s not just my dad, he’s my pastor as well, and he’s always working on a project, trying to make the world a better place. He’s been such an inspiration to me and has been a huge influence in my life.

If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?

Mary McLeod Bethune would be amazing. She was a civil rights activist that did a lot of amazing work with education awareness, which is something very close to my heart. I believe education is one of the key factors when you’re talking trying to improve the quality of someone’s life, because if you’re not educated, you are going to have a very hard time finding success out in the world.

Do you have any serious hobbies or interests outside of work? What do you like to do in your free time?

Most of my free time is spent work with young people in the arts, coaching them to express themselves in a healthy way through creativity. Music and theatre have meant so much to me in my life and I’ve seen firsthand the impact that they can have, especially on children.

Do you have any unusual phobias?

Not really… though this one time I was a visiting a Mayan village when a tour guide snuck up on me and put this giant snake on my back. I had actually fallen asleep on the bus ride up there so I had no idea why this man was putting this snake on me!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I absolutely love to travel so I’d have to go with flying for my superpower. There’s just so much beauty in the world, the universe, I’d love to be able to see and appreciate it all.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

Night of the Zombie Cars

Night of the Zombie Cars

When an OEM discontinues a model, that doesn’t mean that all extant examples instantly vanish as though snapped out of existence by Thanos. Dealerships will sell off the vehicles they have, producing the bizarre effect of sales figures for cars that don’t technically exist anymore. Here are five models that are gone but still purchased last year by satisfied customers and collectors. 

2016 Dodge Dart

This compact lasted three years, but had trouble competing with the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla. This is already a resurrection of the Dart name, as it was a compact offering from Dodge from 1963-1976. Still, Dodge sold seven of these zombies last year.

2017 Dodge Viper

While initially popular, the Viper fell off over the course of its existence, and was one of the models discontinued during Chrysler’s monetary difficulties. It’s a shame, because it’s pretty styling. A few buyers agreed with me in 2020, taking four of these machines off the market.

2017-Dodge-Viper-FrontSide

Image Source: Kelley Blue Book

2017 Jeep Patriot

The Patriot was riding high, no pun intended, when it was suddenly discontinued in 2017. You might be noticing a theme here among Chrysler offerings. Three were sold last year, though, and if you want one I’d guess there’s more than one still out there.

2012 Lexus LFA

The Lexus LFA was a highly anticipated vehicle, a luxury ride with sports car power. It lasted all of two years, in distant 2011-2012. This year, Lexus managed to sell three of these, and there should be one more out there, waiting for a lucky driver.

2012-Lexus-LFA-FrontSide_LELFA121_640x480

Image Source: Kelley Blue Book

2016 Honda CR-Z

Honda is going to have a tough time marketing another compact since they already have a juggernaut in the Civic. A sporty two-seat hybrid, the CR-Z seemed to have a bit of an identity crisis right from the jump. Only a single one was sold in all of 2020.

As long as OEMs continue to phase models out, zombie cars will continue to be a fun footnote in car sales. If there’s any lesson to be learned, it’s this: if you have a zombie on your lot, don’t despair. It’ll find a home. Unless it’s a real zombie… then maybe think about running.