In many expat groups in Ecuador, people share driver recommendations left and right. In fact, it’s one of the only ways to find a reputable driver. We want to help make the process easier with our new Driver Directory.
This article is directed at drivers looking to make the most professional listing possible. However, anyone can add a driver! If you are making a listing for another person, these suggestions are just as applicable. In order to follow along, we recommend opening the “Add Driver” form.
Create a Professional Driver Listing
To create an engaging and professional driver listing on Not Your Average American, we recommend a few suggestions. Before we explain them, we want to remind you that we are writing from an American point of view. We’re telling you what American tourists tend to look for. You may disagree and decide to do things a little differently. That’s okay, too. At the end of the day, we want your listing to reflect your brand, not ours. However, marketing is a cultural adventure with potential pitfalls. Be careful.
Write Your Listing in Your Native Language
We have made it possible for drivers to submit listings in either English or Spanish. Our recommendation for the vast majority of Ecuadorian drivers is to create a Spanish-language listing first. We give you instructions on how to duplicate and translate that listing into English, including asking us for free help in creating a fluent, easy-to-read product.
If you’re reading this article in Spanish, all links will take you to the Spanish-language forms. If you’re reading this article in English, all links will take you to the English-language forms (though you may see many of the words in Spanish as the new directory system auto-translates some fields based on your browser settings).
Let’s tackle the fields on the form one by one.
Use your most recognizable name. Very often, this means using your nickname instead of your legal name. That’s okay. Keep in mind that you should use the same name across all platforms where you advertise driving services including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and our website.
Very few Americans are aware of the legal driving categories in Ecuador. We have chosen categories that tourists are most likely to search for:
- Basic License
- Professional License
- Public Transport
You may select more than one category. Only one choice can be the main category and will be marked by a blue circle. However, all marked categories will appear on your listing. At the very least, select the main category “Driver” for your listing.
If you would like us to add a category of driver or have another system of categorization that you would like to recommend, please contact us.
Type of Vehicle
Please describe your vehicle. Tell the make, model, and year. Let us how many doors and seats it has.
Additionally, Americans are used to having certain items in a car, especially when hiring a driver. Please mention amenities like seatbelts, airbags, and air conditioning.
This section should include information about the type of service you provide. One important suggestion is to write this description in the third person. Here is an example:
“Angie Drake has worked in Quito as a driver for over 5 years” is much better than “I am a driver who has worked in Quito for more than five years.”
The former helps Google and other search engines know that this listing is about Angie Drake, driver. We want Google to learn to recognize your name as well.
Additionally, we recommend listing your main routes (i.e. Quito – Tena, Cuenca – Guayaquil, Manta – Pedernales). At the very least, list the main cities where you regularly provide driving services. These will help clients searching for those terms in our search bar find your listing.
This is also a great place to mention any additional training or experience that makes you an ideal driver for a tourist. Make sure to include any foreign languages that you speak well and professional driving classes that you have taken.
For example, if I was a driver, I might write:
“Angie Drake has many years of experience driving tourists to destinations near Quito like Mitad del Mundo, the archeology ruins at Cochasqui, and the Saturday Otavalo Market. As an added bonus, she includes her own recommendations for local restaurants, unique mementos, and gorgeous scenery along the route for memorable photographs.
Let us reiterate, the reason you should use your name in this portion is to make it easier for Google to know that this page is about YOU and YOUR driving business.
Formatting Your Description
You have direct access to the advanced editor in fields that require text. The advanced editor is an important tool to help make your driver listing look professional. While the advanced editor looks complicated, it is actually fairly simple to use. Alternatively, you can just type everything in without formatting and contact the staff at Not Your Average American for assistance.
First, you will want to click on the Visual Tab. Unless you are familiar with html code, you will not want to write in text.
When you look at any of our articles on Not Your Average American, you will notice that sets of paragraphs are organized under headings. Every post and listing has a main title. It is always coded as Heading 1. There should only be one Heading 1 per post or publication. Therefore, when you are adding headings to your description, DO NOT USE Heading 1.
Also, there should only be one Heading 2 per post or listing. The first heading you use in your listing should be a Heading 2. After that, only use Heading 3.
Now let’s tell you how this works in practice. Go ahead and write your description. The first paragraph does not need a heading. Think of it as an introductory paragraph.
Your following paragraphs should further describe your profession. I’ve used an imaginary example for a tour guide with my own name. This is just to give you an idea of what your story might look like. For each paragraph, choose a title and type it above the paragraph. Select those words and navigate to the Paragraph Menu. When it drops down, select a Heading. For your first heading, you may choose Heading 2. Every heading after that should be a Heading 3.
Let’s repeat a little information. It is important to understand that this formatting not only looks pretty but is essential to telling Google and other search engines what information is important on this page. Google searches for one Heading 1, one Heading 2, and multiple Heading 3. If you have multiple Heading 1, Google grades the page lower. If you have multiple Heading 2, Google grades the page lower. You can have as many Heading 3 as you like and it will not adversely effect the page’s Google ranking.
Here is a visual explanation of what your final product might look like:
Health and Safety
Provide a description of any precautions you are taking for the health and safety of yourself and your clients. This could include:
- Masks are required for all trips.
- Vehicle is cleaned and santized in between customers.
- Hand sanitizer is provided as a courtesy.
Make sure to mark the languages that you speak, including Spanish!
Tags are another tool to help your listing rank well on search engines. It helps make your listing easier to find. Choose a few keywords that are important your driving service. Those words might be the route you most commonly drive, the type of tourist you would like to work with (i.e. birdwatcher, hiker, photographer) or the kinds of places you tend to take clients (i.e. churches, backroads, national parks). Make sure that these words have also been mentioned in the description above.
After you type in a key word or very short phrase, add a comma. That tells the computer to enter the new tag.
Images are very important on today’s websites. Use photos that are well-lit, sharply focused, and nicely cropped. If you would like to learn how to take better photos using your phone’s camera, check out this article in English: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/good-pictures-phone-tips
Or this article in Spanish: https://mott.pe/noticias/10-trucos-para-saber-como-tomar-fotos-profesionales-con-el-celular/
You will be able to load as many photos as you like on your listing. We recommend 5 to 10 quality photos. Better to have only three quality photos than 10 bad ones.
After loading your photos you may change their order. Your first photo will be your featured photo. Please choose a featured photo that shows you at work or highlights you and your work.
Add Image Title and Subtitle
Also, after adding photos, we suggest adding a title and subtitle. Scroll over the photo and click on the edit button. This will open a window where you can add the title and subtitle.
By adding this information, you will be improving your listings ability to rank well on Google and other search engines. The best titles and subtitles include the name of the location as well as the city and country. Use the subtitle to add the photographer’s name. If you are not the photographer, it is your responsibility to obtain permission to use their photo.
A few suggested tips:
- Smiles are better than no smiles. American customers prefer to hire friendly and happy people. A smile confers those emotions.
- Take pictures of your car while it is in good light and extremely clean. Offer pictures of the exterior and interior. Maybe even take a picture of the trunk, cleared out and ready for luggage!
List your license type and/or any other certifications that are important to your job as a driver.
Licenses and Certifications
Load photos or other documents to show your Ecuadorian driver’s license or other proof of your position.
If you have a main method of contact you prefer, please mention it in the description above (i.e. Angie prefers that you contact her via WhatsApp at +1-202-568-9080).
Fill in all of the contact information that you feel is appropriate. We do not recommend your private social media pages, only business pages. Furthermore, do not add an email address if you do not check that email. Better to leave just your phone number.
While this might seem a little intimidating, your professional listing will bring you new clients. Don’t worry about making a mistake. You can always come back and edit your listing. All you need to do is navigate to Profile > Listings. On the listing you would like to edit, click on the three dots and choose “Edit.” You can also delete your listings if you no longer want your information advertised on Not Your Average American.
In closing, we want you to know that we are here to help you. If placing a listing feels overwhelming, let us know! If Angie’s Spanish isn’t up to the task, we can make sure that a native Spanish-speaker can take you through step-by-step. Send us a note to let us know what kind of help you need.
Esta publicación está disponible en: Español