Today’s the Big Day: Verify Your Google My Business Listing, or Watch It Disappear!

Back on December 11, 2014, we gave you some best practices of how to make the most out of your Google My Business listing. Those best practices have now become exorbitantly more important with Google’s latest release. Tentatively, starting today, July 28, 2015, Google is going to start removing unverified business listings, so there’s no better time than now to make sure you’re verified.

Not sure if you’re verified, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Google My Business. If you’re new to Google My Business, all you need is a Google account. This is generally the same one you use for your Gmail account.
  2. Choose one of two categories of local business: Storefront (you as a car dealer) or Service Area Businesses.
  3. Enter the name or address of your business and select it if it appears in the drop-down.
  4. If you see your name, click on it and a message should pop up saying the account has been verified (you would need to be logged into the same Google account associated with the listing).
  5. If you don’t see your business listed, click “No, these are not my businesses” or “I’ve correctly entered the business.” You’ll then be prompted to enter in your business details. Once you’ve correctly entered everything, hit Submit.
  6. You will then be asked to verify your business either by Postcard, Phone, or Instant (only available in certain circumstances).
    1. Phone or Postcard are your best options. For either one you will just need to follow the instructions Google provides you.

If someone else has claimed your Google My Business listing and you’re not sure who has the admin rights to the page, follow these steps to see what you can do.

laptop open to Google Search Page
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5 Ways Digital Ads Trump Traditional

Digital Marketing written on a chalkboard

Traditional advertising vs. online advertising—two well-established formats fighting to promote your business.

In one ear you hear whispers from the old-school ad executive: “Radio, TV, and print are trusted, established, and proven ways to spend your advertising dollars.”

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10 Topics to Heat up Your Blog This Summer

Useful and shareable car dealer blog topics for the summer

From a meteorological point of view, there are signs that summer is just around the corner. From a car dealerological point of view, it means greater foot traffic and more vehicles rolling off the lot.

But what’s going to help keep your store top of mind over the competitors down the street? Your blog:

  • 61% of consumers have made a purchase because of blog post
  • Companies that blog get 97% more inbound links
  • Small businesses with blogs receive 126% more leads

To save you the trouble of brainstorming blog subjects in time for summer, we took the time to stockpile some of the most interesting and shareable topics you can write about. Feel free to steal a few ideas and start your summer blogging series on the right foot!

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Online Chat: How Your Dealership Can Get It Right

Car Dealership Website Online Chat

How many times have you shopped online and had a little chat window pop up to see if there’s anything they can help you with? This is definitely becoming more and more of a phenomenon as an ever-increasing number of people are researching their purchases on a computer or mobile device before going in store. Some are even going through the buying cycle strictly online. Time is money afterall, and something we never seem to have enough of. In fact, according to Google, 97 percent of people are using the Internet when researching a vehicle, and on average they are using 26 sources of information before making a decision.

There are numerous arguments going both ways for whether you should have chat on your site or not. Initially, most would think that it would have a negative appeal to users searching your products online as the little box floating across your screen can sometimes seem invasive, and, at times, flat-out annoying. The reality is that since consumers are constantly online and nowadays everyone is connected, we shoppers are becoming more impatient when we have to wait for our questions to be answered or when we can’t easily find what we’re looking for online.

This is where chat comes into play. If done correctly, not only does it help web visitors find what they’re looking for, it can also help boost your leads and build a positive rapport, increasing returning customers in the process.

Tips for Getting It Right

If you didn’t catch the message, here it is again: If done correctly, there are numerous benefits to reap from chat. But that is a pretty big if.

Here are some questions to keep in mind when searching for a chat provider:

online car dealership website chat representative

Do they offer 24/7 chat service?

• While you’re sitting at home at 8pm, immersing yourself in a good book, people almost ready to buy a car could be browsing your site. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you had someone available to ensure that these visitors were finding what they came to look for? Having a chat provider that offers 24/7 service will guarantee that all of your remote or off-hours customers are being taken care of, even while you’re sleeping.

Do customers need to work before they can initiate a conversation?

• When the chat window pops up, does the service ask you to submit your name, phone number, and email in order to ask a question? This type of up-front fricton is definitely one way to alienate your customers, and it’s something you don’t want in a chat provider. Having to give up personal information when you haven’t even asked a question yet is a sure-fire way to get people to leave your site and maybe never come back. Instead, what you should be looking for is a provider that customizes their introdution based on what the user is looking at. For instance, if they are on the Used Vehicle Inventory page, the ice breaker questions should specifically be related to used cars, rather than asking for their name and email “in case they get disconnected.”

Are they experts in your industry?

• Just because a company is offering chat, it doesn’t mean they are experts in your industry. This is where you will want to uncover within what fields a particular chat provider has competencies. If they’re all over the map, offering chat services for enterprises ranging from travel to heavy machinery, they may not be the one for you. Since they will essentially be the face of your customer service online, you want to make sure that they at least know what they’re talking about and are knowledgeable about the industry.

Is the chat service self-operated?

• If you’re a sales manager, what do you want your sales team to focus on? Making sales, of course. So where is the best place to have your team? On the floor, naturally, face-to-face with customers, trying to build relationships and rapport. If your sales team had to man your online chat while also taking care of customers walking into the dealership, your sales team would be constantly pulled away from the floor. And there’s still the possibility that some or many online chat inquiries would be missed. This would leave potential revenue on the floor, and customers feeling ignored. Make sure to find a chat provider that mans their own service, and, as mentioned in the first point, is available 24/7.

Is Your Dealership Ready to Chat with Customers?

If you’ve never considered chat before, maybe it’s time. If you’re interested in seeing a demo of what chat can do for you, of if you think you’re ready to take the plunge and sign up, contact your Strathcom rep today!

Would You Buy Auto Insurance from Google?

Is Car Insurance from Google Coming soon?

You’ve spent weeks, possibly months, figuring out which new vehicle you’re going to buy. Make, model, colour, price range, and even which dealership you’re going with. One of the final things you need to consider is insurance. This decision can seem daunting to many, with so many choices on the market. Do you go with the dealership insurance, do you go with your bank, or do you bundle your car insurance with home and life insurance?

Now there will be one more choice added to the list — do you go with Google Insurance?

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Google My Business? Tips on How to Make It Your Business

Google My Business

If you own a business and want people to be able to find you, Google My Business is something you definitely need to check out. In Google’s latest Hangouts information session, they went over some tips for business owners to make the most of this feature.

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