When a company provides a locator which includes lead management and local pages, a successful program needs to go beyond just the technical implementation.
Traditional locators (simply providing a dealer search) are often straightforward. The company needs to get the dealer data together, format it, get it into the locator database, and put the locator on a page on the website.
Things are a little more involved when a company launches a locator which includes lead management and local pages.
Why Lead Management and Local Pages Make Implementations More Involved
There are considerable technical resources required to implement the ability to manage leads and content for local pages.
The locator needs to have the ability to allow users to submit leads. Hopefully the system allows you to track if leads follow up (many systems do not). The management of local pages is a challenge from both a content and SEO perspective, and hopefully the system allows you to manage the data easily.
Even if you have the most elegant system in place, companies still face the challenge of getting the dealers to do the work on their end-following up on leads, and providing content for the local pages. Essentially, the locator becomes an online directory, and more resources are required to motivate dealers and provide content.
Thorough Onboarding Addresses Implementation Issues
In an ideal world, a company that sells through a dealer base would have eager dealers that only sell the company’s products. They would follow up on a lead that is sent to them from the dealer locator immediately. And they would be eager to provide content for the local pages in the locator (after all, they want to receive leads don’t they?)
The reality is, it can be a challenge to get dealers to participate in the locator. Usually, some dealers will jump on board. Others will get involved with some work and patience. Some will not be responsive. Some dealers may also have a preference to sell competing products.
Despite these challenges, thorough onboarding can overcome them.
Bullseye’s Onboarding Process
Onboarding time can vary depending on what shape the data is in, and other factors as well. Here are some crucial steps to follow to ensure successful onboarding:
Strategic Planning: Come up with a strategy on how to best approach the implementation of the locator. Is the company sending leads to installers or just stocking dealers?
Will dealers be logging in to follow up? Will you focus on all dealers, or select dealers that are more likely to follow up? Will reps be logging in to monitor dealers? It is important to come up with a comprehensive plan to ensure a successful implementation.
SEO: Ideally, the company that provides your locator will discuss SEO goals with you/your SEO team and make sure the locator’s SEO focus is in line with your current SEO strategy. Make sure the get your feedback on which terms you would like to target for on page optimization.
Front-end Implementation: It may be necessary to get your provider to help you with the front end implementation, including making the front end work with a subdomain or subdirectory which you will set up so that your site will receive the SEO benefits.
Data Integration: If you are going to have automated location data or lead data updates, your provider could configure this if they offer this option. This may include pushing location data from Salesforce.com into the locator system, or pushing lead data from the system into Salesforce.com (or other cloud-based CRM systems).
Location Onboarding: It is ideal for your provider to schedule meetings with your team, and your dealers to train them how to interact with the locator, including how to follow up with leads, and how to provide their own crawlable content for the local pages. A video of the call can hopefully be recorded to send to all of your dealers to view.
Onboarding is an essential part of launching a locator directory which helps companies to ensure success for their locator project. Getting dealers to follow up with leads and provide local page content requires some hand-holding to help them get past potential resistence. But there is payoff for both the manufacturer and the dealers when the locator directory generates more business for both.
At Bullseye, we have developed a sophisticated local page system that makes it as easy as possible for companies and their dealers to manage content for SEO Optimized local pages. We also provide an elegant form builder and email management system to submit leads to dealers and track follow up. During the onboarding phase, we will work with you to ensure that the launch is a success.
Please contact please contact Tom Flynn if you would like to enhance your locator.