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Are You in Control of Your Dealership’s Online Reputation? Or is Google?

5 Jan, 2015 By: Jon Mitchell, Dealer Marketing

Let me get to the point right from the beginning:CONTROL. If we’re all honest with ourselves, we all want more of it, especially when it comes to our business, our dealerships and our sales numbers, right?  In this article, I want to take you on a journey to discover how you can actually have more control of how your products and services are positioned and received by your prospective buyers.

What if I told you this involves Google+?  Yes, G+, that social media network that nobody seems to know much about.  It holds incredible power to shape how you appear to prospects online, which, NEWS FLASH, is where everyone is doing their homework before they talk to you. Interested?  Let’s dive in.

How Google+ Impacts Your Dealership

I wrote a recent article for the dealer community asking a question about social media in sales: “Are you leaving opportunity on the table?” (http://blog.dealermarketing.net/blog/social-are-you-leaving-opportunity-table) I made the statement, “If sales professionals could have one super power that impacted their career, it would probably be to have the ability to read their prospect's mind,” that way they’d know where the prospect is in the buying process and how best to communicate to that individual in order to close the deal. Makes sense right? 

If we knew how to communicate to people in a way that resonated with them in order to get our message across better, that’d be amazing!

What if I took this philosophical scenario one step further and suggested that you could actually “plant the seed” that over time could shape the way your prospect finds information on your products and services, and you could nurture that understanding all the way through to a closed deal?  Would you be interested in hearing more about that?  Of course you would. Why?

What I’m suggesting is, with todays Buyer 2.0, you can actually have more control over how you’re represented as the sales process unfolds. If you’re active in the right ways and in the right places, you can have a hand in shaping a buyer’s behavior from a prospect’s conception of the perceived need, all the way through to purchase.  (check out: http://blog.dealermarketing.net/blog/mythical-buyer-20-and-how-they-buy-office-equipment)

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Okay, okay; enough with beating around the bush. How do I get this control you’re talking about?”  


You want Google to be your new Best Friend

I know what some of you are thinking: “Google+?”  You mean that social media service that Google released?  Is that still around?”  Indeed it is around and it may actually have the furthest reach and have the ability to make the biggest impact on the way your brand performs online. Why?

Because Google is a buyer's new best friend. Let me explain. (http://blog.dealermarketing.net/blog/google-is-a-buyer-2.0s-new-best-friend)   

I’ll ask a series of questions and let’s see if we can find the common theme here:

* Who has the largest and most widely used search engine in the Western hemisphere? GOOGLE

*Which search engine has over 40,000 search queries per second? GOOGLE.

* Who owns YouTube, the second most popular search engine behind Google? GOOGLE. (yes – that means Google holds the top two search engine platforms)

* Who owns the #2 most widely used free email service (you know it as Gmail) behind Apple’s iPhone app? GOOGLE.

I think you can see where this is going right?   Along with Google Maps, Google Calendar and a long list of other applications, Google+ is the social layer of Google that integrates with all of the other parts of Google.   So,  even after all of those things that I just listed you may still be asking yourself, “yea, but how does that help my copier or Managed IT services dealership?”  

Everyone Wants To Talk About Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Everyone Wants To Be Number One.

Unlike Facebook, Google+ pages and posts can help you reach people beyond a social network. It’s integration with various Google products and technologies, including Google search and YouTube, make it a highly attractive business tool.  (Google+ Tips and Tricks.pdf, Hubspot).

By simply claiming a Google+ business page you’re claiming important real estate on Google’s search network for your brand name.  Because Google goes to painstaking lengths to make sure that the results on their search platform are of the highest quality, if you have a page claimed for your business, then Google makes sure that your brand, when it shows up in a search result, is completely optimized for search, using the profile information, that you control. 

Ok, You’ve Convinced Me to Pay Attention to Google+.   What Do I Do?

Here are 5 Quick actions to get you started on your way to controlling more of online presence:

    1. Go to www.google.com/+/business and click the button that says “Create a Google+ Page”

    2. Pay close attention to choosing an accurate category that reflects your business.  Don’t worry, you can choose a sub-category too.

    3. Be sure to add basic information about your company.  Company name, website, etc...

    4. Tell the story by customizing your businesses’ public profile.  Essentially you're creating a tagline that will be displayed as a description in search results for everyone that comes across your page.   You want to make sure that you’ve accurately input public contact information that will assist users when they try to reach out to your business.  You also want to make sure and add a profile picture and cover photo that accurately reflect your business.  Think of this as your storefront.  You want it to attract people, not make them think that the place is closed (due to inactivity).

    5.  Finally, share content so your page is highly relevant and interesting; and while doing so, complete your profile.

The beautiful thing about thoroughly going through these 5 simple steps is, it instantly gives you more control over providing Google with exactly what you want them to have to optimize you in their search results and serve you up properly to your target market. 

This is only the beginning though.  With every thoughtful and well-crafted post that you make to your Google plus page, you give Google more and more information to index and use to serve you up to potential customers that want the products and services that you have to sell. 

Be sure to Follow Dealer Marketing on Google+ at :  google.com/+DealermarketingNet

Source* www.internetlivestats.com/google-search-statistics/

About the Author: Jon Mitchell

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