Ranking the 7 Most Important Review Sites for Auto Dealers

Is your dealership the prom king or class clown?

Review Site Ratings

Just like your high school, crawling up the internet’s ladder is a popularity contest, and the dealer with the most votes wields the crown and scepter come prom night. If you’re like me, whose middle name might as well have been “Supremely Unpopular Nerdo” in school, you probably read that sentence and hit upon a vein of teenage-propelled PTSD. (Weren’t we told that no one cares about popularity after college? Those liars.)

The fortunate news is that dealers can overcome this new-age digital popularity contest far easier than 18-year-old me could go from yearbook outcast to classroom royalty. A diverse array of good dealership ratings across the most relevant sites is a good start, but there are a few review platforms that may be more worth your while. Here’s our list of the most important dealership review sites to focus on in 2018.

1) Google Reviews

The head honcho. The big enchilada. The top dog, VIP, grand poobah. That’s Google when it comes to review platforms—or just about any digital platform, it seems.

“That’s some big talk. But how important are Google reviews, really?”

If you’ve had a tough go of making the top of the “first page,” we don’t blame you. More than 3.5 billion people hit the Google SERP stream per day—that accounts for over 75% of search engine traffic across desktops and mobile devices—and organic rankings are noticeably taking a backseat to the various Google-owned SERP properties, such as paid ads, Google Maps, knowledge graphs, image carousels, YouTube videos, Google products, and the almighty local pack. Online visibility in all categories may be at an all-time high, but so too is your competition.

Aside from location, one key driving force for SERP placement, whether that’s in the local pack or organically, appears to be a dealer’s reviews.

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5 Examples of How a Dealership Should Respond to Online Reviews

We’ve already shown how important customer testimonials are for your dealership’s site—TL;DR: car shoppers are over 90% more likely to click your site if you have positive ratings—but online reviews are a two-way street. To make the most of your newfound stars, you need to invest energy into responding to complaints and compliments alike. In fact, 26% of online consumers feel that it’s essential for a local business to reply to their customers’ issues, and you don’t want to disappoint them, do you?

Replying to Online Reviews

Then why is it that over two-thirds of dealership reviews remain unanswered? Cars.com analyzed the reply rate of each state’s major dealerships, concluding that, yes, a higher rate of response correlates with higher dealer star ratings. For instance, Delaware dealers respond on average to 6 out of 10 reviews, which results in an extraordinary aggregate rating of 4.7 (out of 5). At the opposing pole are South Dakota dealerships, which reply to just 10% of reviews, resulting in a 3.9 rating. That’s inexcusable, South Dakotans!

As a digital marketing company primarily working with auto dealers, we understand how tedious this seemingly innocuous process may feel. But replying to online reviews allows you to capitalize on other dealerships’ missed opportunities—and shows potential buyers that you’re not just a lot filled with metal, rubber, and robots in tan suits. Here are the top 5 examples of how a customer-focused dealership should handle both positive and negative reviews.

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