9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


Earning Trust with Online Dealer Reviews

Buying a car in 2015 is a lot like eating tiger meat for the first time.

It’s a Midwestern analogy to be sure, but stay with me on this one.

Trust your gut

Tiger meat is a rural South Dakota tradition. Raw ground beef, loads of seasoning, served up with saltine crackers (and if you’re doing it right, some good beer).

It’s not something you willingly put in your stomach without a lot of trust in the person who made it.

Same goes for buying a car.

No one is coming to your dealership to make a purchase if they don’t trust you. Your business needs a solid reputation, and in 2015, that means you need online dealer reviews.

Back in the day, trust was developed over time between a salesman and his customer. Over several visits, a person would learn about the different models and features, all the while getting to know the person behind the desk.

Now — everything starts with a search.

Know your customer

Dealers often look to DealerRater for reviews. It’s not a bad option, but it’s important to get beyond the industry standard and discover what actual customers are using.

Based on traffic analysis from Alexa, Cars.com is keeping people’s interest more than twice as long as DealerRater. And they’re checking out twice as many pages.

DealerRater and Cars.com comparison

Based on an Alexa review, DealerRater just doesn't stack up to Cars.com.

Cars.com boasts a much lower bounce rate, too. People are finding the information they want and they’re sticking around to read through it.

This wouldn’t mean much if we didn’t know how many people are visiting each of these sites. But again, the data points in favor of Cars.com.

Based on U.S. rankings Cars.com comes in at 342. DealerRater isn’t even in the hundreds. It’s ranked 10,756.

Put it into practice

This doesn’t mean you should ignore other review sites.

For instance Yelp — which is ranked at 34 in the United States — sees millions of visitors a month. Visitors who spend a good amount of time looking at reviews. And Google+ boasts 10% of Google’s overall traffic. That’s nothing to sneeze at when you’re talking about the number-one site in the country.

We know most shoppers don’t just look at one review site and call it day. That’s why tracking your online profiles on a couple sites — say Cars.com and Google+ — can help you gauge, and ultimately earn a person's trust.


Snap! Snap!

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