5 Ways Auto Dealers Can Benefit from Google My Business
Google My Business comes in handy when searchers are, well, Googling your business.
What is Google My Business (GMB)? It’s your free online listing that contains key information about your business (like stores hours, directions, photos, services, and customer reviews) all at a glance.
Think of Google My Business as the welcome desk for your online storefront.
While searchers are sifting through Google results, your GMB listing could be the portal for getting them to visit your website — or even your dealership.
So how can an auto dealer can benefit from Google My Business?
Let’s dive in.
5 GMB Strategy Tips for Auto Dealers (Or Anyone)
Google My Business is often an underutilized feature for automotive dealers.
Any business can benefit from updating its Google My Business listing. Especially since your listing can contain user-generated information, you’ll want to check on its accuracy frequently.
Here are five strategies you can test out with your GMB listing.
1. Claim and Verify Your Local Listing
First and foremost, add or claim the GMB listing for your dealership. Your listing is entirely free. To do this, follow these simple instructions from Google.
By claiming or creating your listing, you get your business location(s) on both Google Maps and Google Search.
Once you have your listing claimed, you’re able to manage important business information in your GMB dashboard (like store hours and location) that searchers want to know at a glance.
2. Update Your Store Hours for Events or Holidays
Your dealership likely won’t be open on Christmas Day, so your GMB listing should reflect that fact.
You have the option to set special hours for an event or holiday in advance. After scheduling your special hours, your regular hours will automatically kick back in for other days.
Within your GMB dashboard, update your stores hours by going to the Info tab on the left, then editing the Special Hours section.
No worries if you don’t set special holiday hours for your dealership, though. On major holidays, Google will automatically show a message that your store hours may differ.
3. Research Search Terms for Potential Keywords
Under the Insights tab of your Google My Business dashboard, you can identify search queries folks are actually using to get to your website. If a certain query is very popular, it might just make an excellent keyword for your dealership to track and incorporate in your content marketing!
To access recent query data, start by setting the date range to be one week, one month, or one quarter. Then, look to the most popular queries based on the number of users.
Unlike Google Search Console metrics, which report on impressions, Google My Business metrics are vastly different. The “users” metric is based on unique users, so the number doesn’t reflects users who could be searching with the same term multiple times. This is really beneficial because your dealership can note common phrases the majority of people use to reach your website on an individual basis.
4. Promote Specials or Announcements with Google Posts
A Google Post is basically a social media post or short-form online ad appearing in your GMB listing. Searchers will see your Google Post both in your dealership’s Knowledge Panel and on Google Maps.
Within your GMB dashboard, click on the Posts tab on the left. Along with your message, you’re able to add an image, call-to-action (CTA), and link if you’d like.
Your options for what to post are endless. You can resurface a blog post. You can spread the word of a sales event or service special. You might even want to write a personal holiday message from your dealership. Up to you!
5. Respond to Reviews — Both Good and Bad
In the era of one-to-one marketing, responding to reviews is so important.
To respond to a Google review, simply go to the Reviews tab on the left side of your GMB dashboard, then click Reply. You’re able to see the most recent reviews as well as reviews to which you have or haven’t replied.
It’s pretty clear that you should always respond to a negative review. Whether you address the situation directly or at least show you made an effort to take the conversion offline, the key is that you respond in a timely manner.
Did you know you should also respond to positive reviews?
Think of responding to good reviews as writing thank-you notes to customers who took the time to comment on their experience. Happy customers will appreciate the attention — and remember it later.
At your dealership, you’ll want to maintain a relationship with past customers so they’ll return to your store for their next vehicle. Responding to happy customers could be enough to get them to buy from you again. Plus, people who see this interaction will admire the relationship and could consider buying from your dealership as well!
Get to (Your Google My) Business!
Overall, it’s important to note that Google is always monitoring engagement between your dealership and searchers. So keeping your Google My Business listing active will increase your chances of ranking better both locally and organically — and who doesn’t want that?
We’re familiar with all things automotive SEO, and we’d love to talk through your questions.
We invite you to contact us for help or watch our free video series on automotive SEO. In this course, we dive into the most important improvements for on-page, off-page, and local SEO.