Proceeds from the limited edition red wine went to charity
The wine was sold in boxes of four bottles
Pearl Jam released their own limited edition red wine, which sold out in a record-breaking 12 minutes. The 450-box run wine was announced via the band’s newsletter and was snapped up by eager fans before most had even heard about it. Each box was priced at $150 and contained four bottles. The bottles came branded […]
Last month, Paris Hilton found herself in a familiar position, standing in front of a crowd of goading paparazzi decked out in bejeweled sunglasses and a shiny silver mini dress. But the conversation they were having was certainly not familiar to those who may think they know the heiress: “President Trump is going to sign the executive order to help the immigrants,” a voice yells out to her amidst the incessant pop of camera flashes. “Do you think that’s going to help?”
Hilton, who’s been the subject of paparazzi lust for almost two decades, is quick with an outspoken opinion: “He better help them, because this is not right what they’re doing to these children and their families … No one should be separated from their family. I’m disgusted,” she replies, turning her head to the side, revealing the weighty gold Gucci logo emblazoned on the arms of her glasses. She doesn’t stop signing autographs, but then looks directly into the camera and tells the world (or perhaps it’s her former family friend, Donald Trump, for whom she voted and to whom she is primarily speaking): “People come to America for the American Dream.”
This is TMZ’s contribution to the national debate over Trump’s family separation policy, and it feels both like a throwback to the tabloid-fueled chintziness of aughts-era Hollywood and a moment that could only occur in 2018. It is a surreal exchange for a litany of reasons, not least because of our collective understanding of who the woman in the sunglasses talking about immigration is: Paris Hilton is an icon not just of the 2000s, but of a certain widely held image of what inherited wealth, undeserved fame, and American excess looks like. There was her reality show The Simple Life, which followed Hilton and then-BFF Nicole Richie as they abandoned their lives of leisure to go live and work alongside “regular” Americans. Then there was also the numerous film and TV appearances, the singing career, the product lines, and the constant coverage by tabloids and early blogs. Through all this she crafted a persona — and, according to our conversation with her, that’s exactly what it was — of a spoiled, air-headed, platinum blonde princess, complete with the fake baby voice and sugary pseudo-sexuality that implies.
“I just got stuck with that character because people don’t know me in real life or haven’t spoken to me,” Hilton tells Refinery29. “They assume it’s just the baby voice and you know, ‘what’s Walmart?’ and silly things. I would say that’s not really how I am, but I was just trying to be entertaining for television.”
At 37, she’s been in and out of the spotlight for nearly two decades, and seems to be emerging now with a concerted effort to shake the image of the prodigal rich girl. How much it’s actually worked is in the eye of the beholder. “I think now I’ve really proven myself,” she argues. “With the success of my fragrances, then all my other 19 product lines, and all the big deals I’m doing, and real estate. I’m finally being taken seriously as a businesswoman and empire.”
While her grandfather donated 97 percent of his fortune to charity when he died in 2007, Paris currently has an estimated net worth of around $300 million. Her perfume empire alone is worth an estimated $1.5 billion. That it’s taken this long for Hilton to feel that she’s earned it says as much about the magnitude of her ambitions as it does about our fascination with money and how those who have it behave. Hilton was arguably the first person to turn her mere privileged existence into a lucrative career, a model copied today by many, but most famously mastered by Kim Kardashian (Paris’ old right hand) and her sisters. This year alone, Hilton released her 24th fragrance, launched a skincare line, and premiered a show on Viceland — of all places — where she examines the lives of young people attempting to “make it” in Hollywood. She also still DJs for nightly fees that, in 2014, were reported to be as high as $1 million per night, and dropped a new single titled “I Need You” earlier this year, though unfortunately it failed to live up to the success of her 2006 cult hit “Stars Are Blind.”
Yes, I came from Hilton hotels, but I’ve parlayed it into such a huge business that even my grandfather said to me, ‘I used to be known as Barron Hilton. Now I’m known as Paris Hilton’s grandfather.’
For all of today’s conversations about the spectrum of privilege and where certain people get placed on it, America either loves, or loves to hate, rich people. (Bonus points if they’re beautiful women with recognizable last names.) In thinking about Hilton, it’s hard not to call to mind another very privileged, very ambitious young woman: Ivanka Trump. In addition to being friends since childhood, both have monetized their moneyed backgrounds and our hunger for a piece of their world to sell a watered-down, mass-produced version of luxury. Paris’s numerous fragrances, like Ivanka’s now-defunct clothing line, are much less valuable because of the products themselves as they are because of the names behind them.
Hilton herself seems to understand this, saying of her new scent: “I really, I really want it to represent me and have my fans have a piece of me.” Nevermind that it smells like one of 2018’s least popular scents (roses), and has aggressively ignored the minimalist, millennial-friendly packaging her celebrity peers have adopted — Hilton’s confidence in her product reflects a confidence that rich-bitch wealth will always be relevant.
Indeed, even as her own star power has waxed and waned, the enormity of her legacy has come into focus: She is there in the fashion influencers filling your feed with their spon con. She is there among the stars of various reality television franchises, as they fling insults and beverages about on national TV. She is there among the socialite-turned-DJs-turned-fashion-designers that populate the most rarefied corners of the world, like Harley Viera-Newton and Alexa Chung.
“Ever since I was a teenager, I wanted to be independent. I didn’t want to have to ask my family for anything,” Hilton explains of her attitude toward money and privilege. “Yes, I came from Hilton hotels, but I’ve parlayed it into such a huge business that even my grandfather said to me, ‘I used to be known as Barron Hilton. Now I’m known as Paris Hilton’s grandfather.’”
When asked about the recent controversy surrounding Forbes magazine’s designation of Kylie Jenner, whom Hilton has known since birth, as “self-made,” she was adamant that she agrees with that characterization — and feels it applies to herself as well. “I think of myself and anyone who does business as being self-made. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done on my own, and yes, I do come from a last name, but there also are many children I know that come from families who, you know, take the choice of not doing anything with their lives.”
“I think of myself and anyone who does business as being self-made.
“I work harder and travel more than any CEO I’m friends with,” she continued. “The same with Kylie. I think any woman who is going to get into business and be an entrepreneur and make a big name and brand for themselves, they are self-made.”
Indeed, Hilton and Jenner probably do work harder and travel more than any CEO. Because while a traditional CEO is responsible for a particular product, what Hilton and Jenner are selling is more ephemeral and all-encompassing. The CEO of L’Oreal or MAC doesn’t have to prove that their entire existence is consistent with and can be distilled into a $30 lip kit or a $20 perfume. Perhaps the fact that this is a real career path is a small part of the reason why the American Dream to which Hilton refers in the video increasingly feels like just that — a hallucination from another plane of consciousness. If the American Dream, a flawed premise in and of itself, is about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, what Hilton and Jenner have done is more like standing for a long period of time in Louboutins. It’s impressive, but you had to have the $1,000 down payment to get there.
Paris Hilton is not self-made, of course. But it’s not hard to imagine how people like Hilton, Jenner, and Kardashian — who recently echoed a sentiment similar in an interview with Refinery29 — are able to conceive of themselves as such. They are indeed a different breed from those born into immense privilege who make no attempt to move forward on the opportunities afforded to them. Hilton’s hustle is impressive, but it doesn’t make her self-made in the way that someone like Cardi B or Rihanna is. You can be hard-working and break barriers without being able to define yourself as self-made.
Hilton’s legacy is a complicated one predicated not just on a cultural obsession with rich girls, but on a sexist desire to tear apart and vilify them in a way that rarely occurs with men of similar means. Why are we so obsessed with the Kardashian sisters and not the Brant brothers?
When we spoke to Hilton over the phone, she sounded cool and self-assured. She has, in case you were weren’t aware, dropped the infamous little girl voice. Surprisingly though, like many who came of age in an era before smartphones and social media and celebrities with teams of people meticulously crafting every inch of their facades, she also holds a degree of nostalgia for that more freewheeling time. “I can’t imagine if I had social media back then,” she confesses, imagining how much more difficult her fame would have been to cultivate.
“I didn’t have all these tools. I didn’t have an agent, no publicist, no manager. I’m going out in public and just being myself and everyone used to say like, ‘Oh my God, famous for being famous’ and like it was almost a bad thing, but now I feel like it’s a whole new formula that has really inspired this whole new generation.”
Despite this, Hilton boasts 9.3 million followers on Instagram, and 17.2 million on Twitter. There are fan accounts out there dedicated not just to her, but to her pets. She’s not Kim Kardashian, who has 114 million Instagram followers, nor is she of the mold of Chrissy Teigen and Busy Phillips, two celebrities beloved for their highly relatable social media content. But people don’t follow Paris Hilton for the great content she’s going to post. They follow her because she’s Paris Hilton.
Critics have said that The Simple Life, the premise of which was dreamed up by Fox execs, functioned to mock the denizens of the small towns it featured, but one could just as easily argue that Hilton and Richie were the butt of the joke. It also flattened Hilton into the one-dimensional character that it appears the “real” her has spent the past decade struggling to emerge from. It is unavailable for streaming on any of the major sites, but exists in perpetuity on YouTube. What is supremely ironic about Hilton and her attempt to return to the spotlight is that the thing that initially beamed her into our living rooms was that she was such an effective agent in showcasing the great American class divide, a massive crater which has only widened in the decade following.
Indeed, Paris Hilton is truly not self-made. But more than her family’s wealth or her well-known last name, we made her.
While Twitter didn’t exist back then, tabloids and early blogs did, and as Hilton’s star rose, so too did the level of scrutiny placed on her. In 2004, just as Hilton was about to become a household name, her ex-boyfriend Rick Salomon released a pornographic video of her. Today, the video would be understood as revenge porn, but back then, it was somehow understood as attention-seeking on Hilton’s part. In The American Meme, a 2018 documentary she appeared in, she compared the ordeal to being raped and said she “literally wanted to die.” While illicit celebrity tapes still exist and get leaked, it’s thankfully no longer socially acceptable (in most places, at least) to slut-shame the women victimized by them. If anything, thanks to the ability of the internet to magnify a more diverse range of voices, people are quick to call out such injustices with hackers serving jail time.
“It’s incredible what is happening right now with this movement,” Hilton says of contemporary feminism. “I think women can take over the world. Even though there’s been so many awful things that have happened and scary things, it’s really just changed the whole climate, and what people know women are capable of.”
But there’s a big caveat: We know the capabilities of some women, the ones who have been provided with the advantages necessary to show us what they can do. Which is maybe why Hilton’s rebranding as a serious business woman feels complicated at best. What’s surprising, though, is that even now, her understanding of a concept like being self-made still seems so limited.
Nevertheless, critics would do well to remember that Hilton wouldn’t have become famous if we hadn’t wanted her to be. Indeed, Paris Hilton is truly not self-made. But more than her family’s wealth or her well-known last name, we made her.
And to hear her tell it, she’s grateful: “I feel so proud of my fanbase and how loyal they are. The relationship I have with my fans, they’re like my family. They call themselves the Little Hiltons, it’s such a loyal fanbase. They really can relate with me.”
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?
People in prison experience a much higher burden of chronic physical and mental health problems than the general population. This is for a variety of reasons but one of these is because of high smoking rates. The final two prisons in England have now implemented their smoke free policies, supported by PHE and NHS England, bringing the total number to 102, making the largest smoke-free prison estate in Western Europe. This is a fabulous public health achievement by the prison service and we published a blog this week on successfully delivering smokefree prisons and wider work on prison health.
Today we published an evaluation of a healthier vending machines trial carried out across Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Much of our consumption behaviour is influenced by our environment. This includes hospitals, which have a key role in the food and drink options provided to staff, visitors and of course patients. The study shows that by increasing the availability of healthier products and placing them in more prominent positions, it is possible to encourage people to choose healthier options while remaining commercially viable. This approach has since been rolled out across 105 hospitals, and is an excellent example of behavioural science in action. This is part of our wider work on tackling obesity and helping people make healthier choices, particularly by consuming less sugar. You can read more in our blog.
PHE works in partnership with NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and Cancer Research UK on our Be Clear on Cancer programme, raising public awareness of the signs and symptoms of different cancers and encouraging people with symptoms to go to their GP without delay. This is a very effective campaign, based on world-class data, evidence and rigorous consumer research about what works. Yesterday we launched our latest phase focused on bladder and kidney cancers. For both of these cancers a key symptom is blood in pee but only 16% of those most at risk check the colour of their urine every time they go to the toilet. The simple message is to check your pee and even if you see blood just once, visit your doctor. The campaign will run until late September, and you can learn more here.
Since its creation in 2014, the Well North programme has been backing community entrepreneurs, breaking down traditional boundaries, tackling social isolation and boosting education opportunities in communities across the North of England. Their 2018 progress report describes the brilliant network that this programme has created, allowing challenging conversations between the NHS, local authorities and the business, charity and voluntary sectors to produce innovative and flexible ideas to ultimately better the lives of local people. At the heart of all this is a powerful effort to reduce health inequalities and the report is well worth a read.
And finally, until measles is eliminated from all countries, cross-border transmission of cases can occur so we need to work closely with each other and share expertise and data. This week we have published a joint press release with the Italian National Health Institute reminding people that vaccination is the best possible means of protection against this sometimes deadly illness. You can read this here.
Alexandre Mars is a serial entrepreneur and an engaged philanthropist. Over the last 15 years, he has successfully launched and sold several companies in Europe and North America across diverse business sectors, including venture capital, Internet, mobile marketing, social media and advertising. His two latest startups, Phonevalley (the world’s largest mobile agency) and ScrOOn (a social media management system) were sold to Publicis Groupe and Blackberry, respectively.
Understanding the demands of a new socially conscious generation, Mars created Epic Foundation as a platform for donors to engage in their charity through technology, allowing them to select, monitor and experience their impact. Mars is injecting new momentum into the world of philanthropy by shattering outdated restrictions to the act of giving. By manipulating what has traditionally been consumer technology, he is giving donors a chance to see the reach of their donations, ultimately driving them towards a two-way relationship with their charity.
Q: How did you transition from business to philanthropy?
A: I always knew I would use my success for good- it was embedded in me from a young age. In 2013, upon selling my last startup to Blackberry, my wife and I pulled our children out of school for nearly a year and travelled to over 13 countries, meeting with nonprofits and philanthropists around the world. The goal was to deepen our understanding of the philanthropic ecosystem and find out how we could get involved. I spent a great deal of time with NGO directors, philanthropists and social entrepreneurs identifying problems that the philanthropic market was facing and then finding ways to address those problems with effective solutions. I learned a great deal about the needs of donors as well as social organizations.
On the one hand we had these incredible organizations and social entrepreneurs. They had innovative or proven ideas for how to change the lives of children and youth, but were struggling to access funding, expertise, and new networks. On the other hand, you had donors with lots of capacity, and big powerful networks, who want to do more but didn’t know where to start or who to trust. It was then that I realized I didn’t have to transition completely. I could build upon my 20+ years of experience as a tech entrepreneur to innovate the nonprofit space. In response, Epic was born. We launched in 2014 as a global nonprofit startup headquartered in NYC.
Q: How does Epic Foundation work?
A: At Epic, we are disrupting the giving industry by proposing and providing new solutions that enhance how donors select, monitor and experience their impact. We are breaking down the barriers that restrict people from giving by providing a targeted answer to the issues of lack of time, knowledge and trust in nonprofit organizations that people typically face when giving.
To help them overcome these obstacles, Epic builds and manages a portfolio of rigorously vetted social organizations; tracks and monitors their social impact through a data platform; and keeps donors connected and engaged with the portfolio organizations through ongoing reporting of performance and accountability via a mobile application. And we do this free of cost for the donors: I’m funding Epic’s development and overhead costs myself.
Q: How can donors see the reach of their donations?
A: Donors want to give to organizations that best utilize their contributions. So each year we go out looking for the world’s most impactful organizations, working to empower children and youth in order to connect them to our global network of philanthropists and corporations looking to give in a more strategic and engaged way.
From there, it’s all about showing donors what their social investments are achieving. We do this in several ways, including monitoring reports twice a year. Our Impact App allows donors to track their social portfolio to provide a new level of transparency and speed to philanthropy. It’s one of the first attempts to create a two-way conversation around giving. You no longer send your money away in an envelope and wait until the end of the year to hear of its outcome. At your convenience, you have access to the numbers of meals served to youth in a homeless shelter in NY, or the number of vaccinations given to children preventing life threatening illnesses in Uganda. We connect their systems to our system, we render everything, we have a beautiful user interface and you’re able to track everything. It’s user friendly, and it’s impactful.
We also always encourage our donors to visit the organizations they support, but for those who can’t, we worked with a Hollywood award-winning producer to create a series of VR-based films around the work of each organization in our portfolio. Donors can put on a headset and immediately transport themselves into a setting of abject poverty. Yet, they also receive a quick glimpse into the work of the organization they support. The films are really engaging and we’ve received great feedback from viewers.
Q: What advice do you have for companies that want to integrate social impact into their business objectives?
A: First off- just do it. Get involved! There’s a whole wave of socially conscious consumers and potential employees coming to make sure that you do, so it’s better to get ahead.
More importantly, this is a question we’ve been working to answer for quite some time at Epic which is why we launched a series of solutions for companies, employers, entrepreneurs, etc. to integrate a social impact component into their business models. From taking our “Founders Pledge” (which commits entrepreneurs to give away a part of their profit to charity upon exiting their company) to instituting payroll giving so that employees can pursue purpose and profit at work, there are so many ways to make your social impact component painless and authentic. And it enables everyone at all levels of industry with the right tools to make a real difference.
A great example to look up to is Christian Dior Couture. In partnership with Epic, they just announced their new payroll giving initiative to their 1,000+ employees. Not only was it an easy absorption on Dior’s part, but it’s a great tool for their employees to turn leftover change at the end of their paychecks into support for their favorite cause.
Q: What trends are you seeing in CSR right now?
A: I think the most obvious is that employees are starting to urge employers to do more. CSR isn’t enough. It was a great initiative 10-15 years ago, but then we started seeing companies incorporate CSR strategies as a marketing ploy. People can see through this. We live in a world driven by tech which means that news spreads like wildfire. If employees don’t think your strategies are authentic, if they don’t think it’s enough, the internet will know.
That’s why we’re such a big proponent on authentic giving strategies. They’re systemic and easy-to-absorb, yet engaging and powerful when you think of their potential for impact when multiplied. It’s a modernized version of CSR, with a pure intention – just give.
Q: What is an easy way to make an impact that companies aren’t doing enough of?
A: Companies have done a poor job of engaging their employees in their impact. Again, that’s been the shortcoming of CSR. It’s a one-sided approach with a result you only see through a paper report. And it’s not to say that the objective isn’t there- it’s not to say that having some kind of social component is a bad thing- but we’re beyond that.
CSR was a great demonstration of a company’s responsibility to society when it first appeared, but now people are ready to do more. If more companies recognized that their employees are no longer interested in employer-provided health care but making a difference in the world, if they created a way to channel their energy into purpose alongside profit, I think we’d all be better off.
Q: What are you excited about right now?
A: The social disruption – a new slew of young, socially conscious individuals that want to make a difference and with their mission in mind, will disrupt all aspects of society. Every structure is ripe for the changes they will bring, not just industry.
In my family, I’ve witnessed firsthand the desire for my daughter to donate her earnings from the Tooth Fairy at just six years old. I know I wasn’t thinking about charity with the $2 I found under my pillow when I was her age. They will account for 50% of the workforce by 2020 so we’re only beginning to see their influence.
Once you’re making a steady income — and hopefully putting some money aside, too — buying everything off the high street or shopping only in the sale loses its appeal.
No matter how long it takes to save for them, there are some items you should splurge on so they last you for life — and some may even grow in value, making them a good investment for the future.
We asked four people living luxurious lifestyles — including the Head Personal Shopper at Matches Fashion, the CEO of Joanne Beckham’s concierge company, and the head of VIP at Heathrow Airport — for the items everyone should invest in in their lifetime.
Scroll down to see what they said:
An investment watch— around £5,000.
Helen Ridge, Leasing Director at Value Retail — owner of the luxurious Bicester Village shopping areas around the world — said an investment watch is a must. Her pick? “A Cartier yellow gold vintage Tank watch that I was given for my 40th,” she said. The watch now retails from around £5,000.
Jay Smith, CEO of WeAreYourCity, a concierge company by Joanne Beckham, agreed — but he’d opt for the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 with a navy dial, which will cost you at least £32,000.
“This is the holy grail of stainless steel sports watches, one of the most sought after timepieces in the world,” Smith said. “Waiting lists are five to 10 years long or more and some authorised dealers have even closed their lists. A solid long term investment which can be enjoyed everyday.”
A tailored suit — around £3,000.
“When you walk into a business meeting, I believe your suit and presentation plays an important role in how you are viewed,” Smith said. “I always say it is better to be over-dressed than to feel under-dressed. First impressions count and a well tailored suit will make a difference.” Prices range depending on the designer, but on Savile Row, you’ll pay at least £3,000.
A high-quality chunky knit — around £300.
Ridge added that everyone needs a high-quality jumper, such as “a Bamford chunky knit from Bicester Village, which is perfect for cold country walks.” Similar designs retail for around £300.
Poshmark is an online marketplace where people can buy and sell clothing from boutiques or their own closets.
Suzanne Canon is the first seller on Poshmark to pull in $1 million in sales.
In May, the company announced that it had paid out $1 billion to its sellers so far.
In 2012, Suzanne Canon decided she wanted to make a quick buck on the side while doing the books for her husband’s business. So, she started selling clothes from her closet using an app called Poshmark.
Within five years, 39-year-old Canon has grown from selling on the side to setting up her own wholesale clothing business and being the first Poshmark user to make $1 million in sales on the app.See the rest of the story at Business Insider
One in 10 millennials routinely do not leave any tip when dining out, according to a new survey.
Almost one-third of millennials surveyed said they leave less than 15% of their check as a tip for servers.
Many factors play into how much people are willing to tip on average, with women, older people, and married people tending to tip more.
Getting any local business to rank high on Google is becoming more and more difficult, but one of the most competitive — and complex — industries for local SEO are car dealerships. Today’s car shoppers do much of their research online before they even step into a dealership showroom. (And many people don’t even know what type of car they even want when they begin their search.)
However, car dealerships are more complex than the average local business — which means their digital marketing strategies are more complex, as well. First, dealers often sell new vehicles from several different manufacturers with a variety of makes and models. Next, because so many people trade in their old cars when they purchase new cars, car dealers also sell a variety of used vehicles from even more manufacturers. Additionally, car dealerships also have a service department that offers car maintenance and repairs — like manufacturer warranty work, oil changes, tire rotations, recall repairs, and more. (The search feature on a car dealer’s website alone is a complex system!)
Essentially, a car dealer is like three businesses in one: they sell new cars, used cars, AND do vehicle repairs. This means your optimization strategy must also be multi-faceted, too.
Also, if you look at the car dealerships in your city, you will probably find at least one dealership with multiple locations. These multi-location family of dealerships may be in the same city or in surrounding cities.
Additionally, depending on that family of dealerships, they may have one website or they might have different websites for each location. (Many auto manufacturers require dealers to have separate websites if they sell certain competitors’ vehicles.)
So if you’re helping car dealers with SEO, you must be thinking about the various manufacturers, the types of vehicles being sold (new and used), the repair services being offered, the number of websites and locations you’ll be managing, manufacturer requirements — among other things.
So what are some of the search optimization strategies you should use when working with a car dealership? Here are some SEO recommendations.
Google My Business
Google My Business has been shown to have a direct correlation to local SEO — especially when it comes to showing up in the Google Local 3-Pack.
One important factor with Google My Business is making sure that the dealership’s information is correct and contains valuable information that searchers will find helpful. This is important for competitive markets — especially when only a handful of sites show up on the first page of Google search results. Here are some key Google My Business features to take advantage of:
Name, address, and phone number
Ensure that the dealership’s name, address and phone number is correct. (If you have a toll-free number, make sure that your LOCAL area code phone number is the one listed on your Google My Business listing.) It’s important that this information is the same on all local online directories that the dealership is listed on.
Google My Business allows you to select categories (a primary category and additional categories) to describe what your dealership offers. Even though the categories you select affect local rankings, keep in mind that the categories are just one of many factors that determine how you rank in search results.
These categories help connect you with potential customers that are searching for what your car dealership sells. You can select a primary category and additional categories – but don’t go overboard by selecting too many categories. Be specific. Choose as few categories as possible to describe the core part of your dealership’s business. If the category you want to use isn’t available, choose a general category that’s still accurate. You can’t create your own categories. Here are some example categories you could use:Car DealerUsed Car DealerBMW dealerKeep in mind that if you’re not ranking as high as you want to rank, changing your categories may improve your rankings. You might need to tweak your categories until you get it right. If you add or edit one of your categories, you might be asked by Google to verify your business again. (This just helps Google confirm that your business information is accurate.)
Google uses photo engagement on Google My Business to help rank businesses in local search. Show photos of the new and used cars you have on your dealership’s lot — and be sure to update them frequently. After you make a sale, make sure you get a photo consent form signed and ask if you can take a picture of your happy customers with their new car to upload to Google My Business (and your other social media platforms.)
If you’re a digital marketing agency or a sales manager at a dealership, getting your salespeople to upload photos to Google My Business can be challenging. Steady Demand’s LocalPics tool makes it easy for salespeople to send pictures of happy customers in their new cars by automatically sending text message reminders. You simply set the frequency of these reminders. The LocalPics tool automatically sends text messages to the sales reps reminding them to submit their photos:
All the sales reps have to do is save their customers’ photos to their phone. You set up text message reminders to each sales rep and when they get the text message reminder, the sales team simply has to go into their smartphone’s pictures and upload their images through the text message, and the photos are automatically posted to the dealership’s Google My Business listing! (They can also text photos to their Google My Business anytime they want as well — they don’t have to wait for the reminder text messages.)
Google recently began allowing businesses to upload 30-second videos to their Google My Business listing. Videos are a great way to show off the uniqueness of your dealership. These videos auto-play on mobile devices — which is where many people do their car searching on — so you should include several videos to showcase the cars and what’s going on at your dealership.
Online reviews are crucial for when people search for the right type of car AND the dealership they should purchase that car from. Make sure you ask happy customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing and ensure that you keep up by responding to all reviews left on your Google My Business listing.
Questions & Answers
The Google My Business Q&A feature has been around for several months, yet many businesses still don’t know about it — or pay attention to it. It’s important that you are constantly looking at questions that are being asked of your dealership and that you promptly answer those questions with the correct answer.
Just like most things on Google My Business, anyone can answer questions that are asked — and that means that it’s easy for misinformation to get out about your dealership and the cars on your lot. Make sure you have a person dedicated on your team to watch the Q&As being asked on your listing.
Also, be sure to frequently check your GMB dashboard. Remember, virtually anyone can make changes to your Google My Business listing. You want to check to make sure nobody has changed your information without you knowing.
Online directories (especially car directories)
If you’re looking for ways to improve your dealership’s rankings and backlink profile, online automotive directories are a great place to start. Submitting your dealership’s site to an online automotive directory or to an online directory that has an automotive category can help build your backlink profile. Additionally, many of these online directories show up on the first page of Google search results, so if your dealership isn’t listed on them, you’re missing out.
There are quite a few paid-for and free automotive online directories. Yelp, YellowPages, Bing, etc. are some of the larger general online directories that have dedicated automotive categories you can get listed on for free. Make sure your dealership’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent with the information that you have listed on Google My Business.
Online reviews are important. If your dealership has bad reviews, people are less likely to trust you. There are dedicated review sites for vehicle reviews and car dealership reviews. Sites like Kelley Blue Book, DealerRater, Cars.com, and Edmunds are just a few sites that make it easy for consumers to check out dealership reviews. DealerRater even allows consumers to list — and review — the employees they worked with at a particular dealership:
If they have a negative experience with your dealership — or one of your employees — you can bet that unhappy customer will leave a review. (And remember that reviews are not only left about your new and used car sales — they are also left about your repair shop as well!)
There are software platforms you can install on your dealership’s site that make it easier for customers to leave reviews for your dealership. These tools also make it simple to monitor and deflect negative reviews to certain review websites. (It’s important to note that Google recently changed their policies and no longer support “review gating” — software that doesn’t allow a negative review to be posted on Google My Business.)
NOTE: Many automotive manufacturers offer dealerships coop dollars that can be used for advertising and promotions; however, sometimes they make it easier for the dealers to get that money if they use specific turnkey programs from manufacturer-approved vendors. As an example, if you offer a reputation marketing software tool that can help the dealership get online reviews, the dealership may be incentivized to use DealerRater instead because they’ve been “approved” by the manufacturer. (And this goes for other marketing and advertising as well — not just reputation marketing.)
Select long-tail keywords
Selecting the right keywords has always been a part of SEO. You want to select the keywords that have a high search frequency, mid-to-low competitiveness, ones that have direct relevance to your website’s content — and are keyword phrases that your potential car buyers are actually using to search for the cars and services your dealership offers.
When it comes to selecting keywords for your site’s pages, writing for long-tailed keywords (e.g. “2018 Ford Mustang GT features”) have a better chance of ranking highly in Google search results than a short-tailed and generic keyword phrase like “Ford cars.”
Other car-related search keywords — like “MSRP” and “list prices” — are keywords you should add to your arsenal.
For instance, if you’re showing the interior of the 2018 Dodge Challenger, you may want to name the actual picture image file “picture-of-dodge-challenger-2018-awd-front-seat-interior.png” and use the alt tag “Pictures of Dodge Challenger 2018 AWD Front Seat Interior for Sale in Cedar Rapids.”
As with everything SEO-related, use discretion with the “pictures of” strategy. Don’t overdo it, but it should be a part of your image optimization strategy to a certain extent on specific car overview pages.
Optimize for local connections
One thing many car dealerships fail to realize is how important it is to make local connections — not only for local SEO purposes but also for community trust and support as well. You should make a connection on at least one of the pages on your site that relates to what’s going on in your local community/city.
For instance, on your About Us page, you may want to include a link to a city-specific page that talks about what’s going on in your city. Is there a July 4th parade? And if so, are you having a float or donating a convertible for the town’s mayor to ride in? If you sponsor a local charity or belong to the Chamber of Commerce, it’d be great to mention it on one of these localized pages (mentioning your city’s name, of course) and talk about what your dealership’s role is and what you do. Is there an upcoming charity walk or do you donate to your local animal shelter? Share pictures (and be sure to use alt tags) and write about what you’re doing to help.
All of this information not only helps beef up your local SEO because you’re using the city’s name you’re trying to rank for, but it also creates good will for future customers. Additionally, you can create links to these various charities and organizations and ask that they, in turn, create a link to your site. Local backlinking at its best!
If you want to increase the chances of Google — and the other search engines — understanding what your site’s pages are about, using schema markup will give you a leg-up over your competition. (And chances are your car dealership competitors aren’t yet using schema markup.)
You’ll want to start by using the Vehicle “Type” schema and then markup each particular car using the Auto schema markup JSON-LD code. You can find the Schema.org guidelines for using Schema Markup for Cars on Schema.org. Below is an example of what JSON-LD schema markup looks like for a 2009 Volkswagen Golf:
Listen to the SEO for Car Dealerships podcast episode to learn EVEN MORE!
If you want to learn even more information about the complexities of car dealerships and search optimization strategies, be sure to listen to my interview on MozPod’s SEO for Car Dealerships.
In this podcast we’ll cover even more topics like:
What NOT to include in your page’s title tagHow to determine if you really own your dealership’s website or notHow to handle it if your dealership moves locationsWhy using the manufacturer-provided car description information verbatim is a bad ideaDoes “family owned” really matter?How to handle car dealers with multiple locationsHow to get creative with your Car Service pages by showing off your employeesWhy blogging is a must-do SEO strategy and some topic ideas to get you startedWays to get local backlinksTips for getting online reviewsWhat other digital marketing strategies you should try and whyAnd more
Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!
The sacrifices mothers make for their children are widely acknowledged and respected, and sometimes we give don’t give fathers the credit they deserve.
Known for their “dad bods” and their incessant telling of “dad jokes,” dads are sometimes used for a good punchline. But science has shown that the more active a father is in their child’s life, the better off the child will be. So maybe you should cut your dad a little slack the next time he calls a fake noodle an “impasta.”
With Father’s Day coming up, it’s time to show dads a little more respect. These quotes from celebrity dads will make you laugh, cry, and probably want to call your dad.
Chris Pratt said nothing he’s ever done means as much as being a dad.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Chris Pratt and Anna Faris may have split, but they’ve remained dedicated parents to their five-year-old son, Jack. The two went through a scary experience when Jack was born two months early, and the experience has motivated Pratt to get involved with the March of Dimes charity. In a 2013 event for the organization, he shared how much fatherhood means to him.
“I’ve gotten to jump out of helicopters and do daring stunts and play baseball in a professional stadium, but none of them mean anything compared to being somebody’s daddy.”
Ryan Gosling wants to be the dad his kids deserve.
Getty Images/Frazer Harrison
Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes maintain a low-profile relationship, but that didn’t stop him from gushing about his “dream babies” — daughters Amanda and Esmeralda — when talking to GQ in 2017. The actor talked about what motivates him to be the best father he can be.
“When you meet your kids, you realize that they deserve great parents. And then you have your marching orders, and you have to try and become the person that they deserve,” Gosling said.
John Legend loves his kids, even though he joked that they haven’t earned it yet.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Thankfully, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen let us in on so many adorable moments with daughter Luna and her new brother Miles. They’re clearly loving parents, but Legend couldn’t resist joking with Stephen Colbert in 2017 that babies haven’t really done anything to earn that love yet.
“It’s a different kind of love. It’s very pure, it’s unconditional, but they haven’t earned it yet. They didn’t do anything, they just exist and you love them completely, but it’s not built on anything other than their existence,” he told the late night host. On a more serious note, Legend went on to say about the first time he held his daughter, “it’s beautiful, it’s very emotional and it brings you and your wife closer together. It’s a very powerful feeling to see the product of your love right there in front of you.”