Google and Vauxhall Fleet affects BusinessCar rating

BusinessCar has repeated its analysis of websites from the top 20 best selling car manufacturers in the UK.

Unfortunately, as I noted last year, aspects of social media, such as blogging, do not appear to have been considered and the focus is entirely on provision of information “to harassed fleet managers and time-poor company drivers”.

It would be useful to consider aspects of engagement – not least as I understand from editor-in-chief, Tristan Young that some manufacturers have expressed interest in improving their rankings.

BMW has moved up the ratings by one place to top the list.  Kia and SEAT are at the bottom.  The analysis is based on 10 criteria (each marked out of five):

  • Google ranking – where a site is placed when entering a manufacturer’s name plus ‘fleet sales’ (all searches were carried out within the same time period);
  • Ease of use;
  • Design or dazzle factor;
  • How accessible is business area – the number of clicks it takes to find the corporate part of the site;
  • How good is the downloadable brochure;
  • Tax calculator cleverness;
  • Speed of response to emails;
  • How accessible is a phone number;
  • How good is the dealer search;
  • Other useful tools that will keep you coming back to the site.

As you would appreciate, I am not over-impressed by the methodology here, which seems to be highly subjective.  But a Google search is pretty basic – and as Tristan observes in his blog post on the survey, the Vauxhall fleet team doesn’t appear to have grasped elementary search engine optimisation.

Indeed, just by writing this post with the term “Vauxhall fleet” in it, my site will be more readily found by Google than the official Vauxhall fleet site.

What could be considered odd is that both Vauxhall (in GM guise) and Kia have engaged with social media in the form of blogs.  But clearly, this has not been recognised as the more commercial end of the business.

It is of little value any company exploring social media solely in respect of its executives or public relations teams.  In respect of car manufacturers and UK fleet business, there is clearly a lot of potential for improvement in understanding and applying lessons on the benefits of online and social media.

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

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