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Kill Duplicate Directory Listings Before Starting A Reputation Management Process

On Wednesday April 21st at 4:30 I will be conducting a seminar on Automotive Reputation Management at the 8th Digital Dealer Conference and I hope you can attend. As part of my preparations for the seminar I wanted to share a strategy that is important to consider before starting an IRM program.

The specific strategy proposes a solution to deal with DUPLICATE directory listings for your business on popular directories like Google Maps and consumer review sites like Yelp, Insider Pages or CitySearch. It is not uncommon for a business to have multiple entries on the same website if:

  1. Your business has moved during the past 10 years.
  2. Your business has gone through a name change.
  3. Someone added a new listing without checking for previous entries
  4. Someone has purposely added the business multiple times with variations on your business name.
Duplicate Entries Are Not Good

Leaving duplicate entries on the same website dilutes your Internet Reputation Management (IRM) process and may trigger the website owner to ban both accounts if they feel you are spamming their index. Duplicate entries that a consumer may find via organic search or by searching a review website should be removed.

To find duplicates, try these steps using Google search:

  1. Search Google for your business name + the name of the review site
  2. Search Google for your business phone number + name of the review site
  3. Search Google for your OEM brand, city + name of the review site
  4. Search or your business name inside of the website using their search tool.
So, if your dealership name is Brickell Honda, you would test for duplicates on "" by going to Google and typing as a search these three phrases:

  1. brickell honda insiderpages
  2. 866-645-7878 insiderpages
  3. honda miami insiderpages

The process for removing duplicate entries varies by website. Google Maps has an easy tool to report duplicate or erroneous map entries. Other websites like Yelp, have a reporting process that requires a few more steps. Invest the time in making sure all your public directory listings are correct.

Review All Public Directory Listings

When you review your business listings, here are some suggestions:

  1. Make sure you have a tracking number on the most popular websites, like Google Maps, and the review websites that show on Google Page One and Page Two for your dealership name.
  2. Make sure your website address is correct
  3. Make sure that you have selected the proper business category "tag" for the services you offer.
  4. Make sure there are no spelling errors.
  5. Make sure you take advantage of any sites that allow you to load photos or videos to your listing page.
Once all the most effective IRM websites cleaned, record the links to all your business profile pages in a file that can be used to for IRM emails, signature blocks, icon placement for your primary website or to be used in a Reputation Management Portal (RMP).

Checking What Consumers Are Saying

By having a single document that has all your profile page links, it is a basic ad no-cost way to see what has been written about your business online. Setup a procedure where someone on your team visits these profile pages to ensure that no complaints have been posted that you are not aware of.

Setting up Google Alerts is another free tool to notify you in real-time when anything is posted online with your dealership name. However ,in case you miss some alerts, checking your manual list will be a second round of checks and balances for your overall social media strategy.

There are paid services that automate this process and save you the manual work but not everyone has extra money to spend. So you have no excuse, other than time, not to check your current business listings and clean them up if they have duplicates on the same website.

8th Digital Dealer Conference

At my DD8 seminar I will demonstrate the most effective strategies, policies and procedures to create powerful Internet Internet Reputation Management (IRM) campaign, which should be an integral part of your social media strategy. Public review websites is one of the most powerful social media tools that consumers have decided are valuable so you can't ignore them!

See you Wednesday APril 21st at 4:30 or stop by the PCG Booth at the show!

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Tags: automotive reputation managementy, brian pasch, dd8, reputation management


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Comment by Mark Dubis on April 19, 2010 at 8:52am
Brian and Ralph- good tips for dealers. only invites actual customers of the dealership to post reviews and we make it easy for dealers to see those comments. Buy monitoring email addresses of those posting we can work to minimize duplicate reviews too. And for those sales professionals with pages on Carfolks we offer them leads from their pages for FREE.

Hope you both have a great turnout at your Digital Dealer training sessions.

mark dubis
Comment by Ralph Paglia on April 17, 2010 at 12:59pm
This is sound and prudent advice... All too often when my team is working with a dealership, we find multiple listings in various online directories that are the result of previous employees who created them and no longer work at the dealership. In many cases, the way the listing appears it is obvious the the duplication was intentional. This can only serve to create confusion and other adverse effects that brian outlines in this article. More and more I read and experience situations where the correct directory listing on Google, Live, Yahoo!, MerchantCircle, Yelp, InsiderPages, Kudos and others becomes a requirement to implement some other marketing component, such as display advertising. Deleting an incorrect listing that has been password protected by a former employee wastes far too much time and blocks the execution of tactics that help sell more cars... Now. So take Brian's advice and get rid of the duplicate directory listings, and correct the URL's, names, phone numbers, email addresses and other data in the directories you are listed in BEFORE starting another tactical item that an incorrect listing may turn into a negative instead of a positive impact on your sales and service business.

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