Google Places Listing Deduplication

Have you ever gone to add your auto dealer website to Google Places only to find someone else has already claimed and verified it?  We run into this from time to time while setting up listings, and recently found this information on what to do.

First, make sure no one in your dealership has already taken the initiative to set up and claim your businesses listing.  Once you’ve done this, here are the steps to take:

Create your listing, making sure that:

  • Your dealership name, address, URL, and email address are exact
  • Add a local phone number, not an 800 number
  • Create a 200-character or less description of your dealership
  • Make the listing as interactive as possible with up to ten images smaller than 1MB and 1024×1025 pixels, as well as links to up to five videos.
  • Describe what makes your dealership different from your competitors in the additional details section.
  • Verify your listing through Google.

After you have your completely accurate listing created and verified, you have to tell Google Places that there are duplicate listings.  Go to the listing you didn’t create (that you want removed) and click on “Edit this Place”.

Select the “Place has another listing” button and enter the URL of your accurate listing and state that you want the previous entry removed.  Make sure you check back to ensure the listing was removed within a few weeks–you may have to go through the removal process multiple times.

New Social Media Features and Layout

If you are an admin for your dealership’s Facebook Page, you should have received an email regarding an exciting update about the new layout and features available for your Facebook Business Page.  Now, your dealership’s Facebook Page will resemble a personal profile, and allows you to interact through Facebook as your dealership.  Here is an overview of what is changing:

  • Notifications when fans interact with your page or posts
  • A place to showcase photos along the top of your page
  • A news feed for your page
  • The ability to Like and post on other pages as your page

You can also find this information when you login and visit your Facebook Page.  I strongly suggest you take the “tour” of the new features, and upgrade as soon as the platform will let you.  Since everyone will be forced to make the change eventually, the more time you have to learn how to best leverage these new features, the further ahead of the game you’ll be.

Let me know if you have any questions about these new changes, or anything else regarding your dealership’s online marketing .

Facebook Changes Promotion Restrictions

Since many of our social media car dealerships use contests on Facebook as a way of gathering more “likes” for their page, I wanted to help keep you up to date on the changes Facebook is making regarding contests on their platform.

In the past, any auto dealership looking to run a promotion (“sweepstakes, contest, competition, or other similar offering”) need to get prior, written permission from Facebook.  Unfortunately for most, if not all small businesses, Facebook wouldn’t grant this permission to businesses that hadn’t spent at least $10,000 in Facebook ads.  Disobeying this policy could lead to your Facebook page being blocked.

Turns out, Facebook has now dropped both the spending requirement and the need for permission.  Small businesses, like your auto dealer website, can now run promotions on the Facebook platform.  Since this can be an extremely cost-effective way to increase your brand awareness and number of “Likes” on Facebook, we encourage our auto dealer customers to take advantage of this new opportunity.

There are still guidelines and restrictions, so make sure you thoroughly read through Facebook’s policies. Also, please feel free to leave a comment here or contact DealerOn if you have any questions about conducting a contest or promotion on Facebook.

How Google Instant Search Could Change SEO

As I’m sure most people have heard, Google came out with a new feature yesterday that they’re calling Instant Search.  Since the announcement has been all over the Internet, I thought I’d try to explain what Instant Search does and how it can help your car dealer website.

Google’s Instant Search resembles their auto-suggest feature, where potential search terms are auto populated into a drop down below the search box.  Instant Search differs from auto-suggest in that instead of potential search terms showing, the search is actually performed as Google fills in their auto-suggest.  Here’s an example of how Instant Search works:

So how will this affect your car dealership and your search engine optimization?  It’s hard to know exactly how this new technology will change SEO results and practices, but I think this will help car dealers, especially those optimized for long-tail search.

Before, web searchers using Google had to commit to a search term, just one at a time.  Even though Google would auto suggest additional keywords, searchers had to hit the enter button or click to make the search happen.

With Instant Search, search users can see what their search results will look like without having to commit.  For example, if they start to search for “Boston Nissan” and only see 3rd party, national sites, they are more likely to make their search term more specific.  If “Boston Nissan” doesn’t show them what they want to see, perhaps “Boston Nissan dealership” will or “Boston Nissan used cars”.  Car buyers won’t have to hit search to see what their results will be, leaving the door open for more detailed long tail searches.

Is your dealership ready?  Make sure you’re in contact with your search engine optimization vendor or dealership website provider to ensure your site is prepared and optimized to deal with the recent changes to Google’s search technology.