Want in on a little common sense knowledge that actually isn't all that common in today's automotive industry? Simply having a Google My Business page is not enough to help your dealership dominate your local area.
This revelation might not line up with what you've heard from other voices in the automotive world, but the truth of the matter is that failing to have your My Business page fully optimized means missing out on an essential piece of your local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
Going a step further, also failing to have a verified Google My Business page will cause your dealership to not show up on the local map pack or map listings. Given that Google utilizes this portion of their search framework to display your business when the searcher's location and intent match up with your target area, it doesn't take a seasoned webmaster to realize that this is a major problem that demands your attention.
Not interested in dealing with all of the headaches that come with coming up short on this front and falling behind the rest of your marketplace? Then join us as we get into the nitty-gritty of the importance of your Google My Business page, as well as how to properly optimize and refine this vital digital representation of your dealership.
To start this conversation off on the right track, let's talk about how to make sure that your dealership's business page is verified. To do this, pull up your Google My Business account and look for a checkmark inside of a shield that is located to the right of your business name. It should look something like this:
If you don't see this checkmark, then that means that you are dealing with a business page that's not verified. Additionally, If you find that your dealership has multiple business pages when confirming your verification, you'll definitely want to consolidate them into one singular listing.
Speaking of multiple Google business pages, you'll want to consolidate or delete these duplicates as soon as possible if able. It might not seem all that likely that you currently have multiple pages, but we've come across plenty of dealerships with this very same issue due to employees, agencies, and even the manufacturer all creating these entries on the own and not understanding the importance of having only a single verified business page.
The big thing to keep in mind here is that Google will only display the business information from the verified page, and all other pages that offer up similar contact information to that same location will not be presented to searchers. In other words, if you have three Google business pages created for your Ford dealership, you will not take up all three spots in the local map pack; only one of those pages will be verified and displayed.
If your dealership is running a paid search campaign on Google, it's beyond imperative that you have your verified My Business page linked to your AdWords account. Doing so allows you to use what is called the "location extension" within your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and display your business address in some of your ads.
This little tweak enhances the quality of your PPC ads and helps a potential customer find your location by displaying integrated maps, as well as the distance he or she is from your dealership.
Making sure that the dealership’s Google My Business page has the verified address and nothing else is also an important piece of the process. Unfortunately, We've seen some locations that have set up verified business pages for Hertz Rental Cars, the dealer parts store, the dealer body shop, the dealer diesel repair shop, etc., and the big problem with this approach is the main business (the actual car dealership) is not getting the credit for the location. Google most certainly won't verify another business at the same location since the linked mailing address and telephone number need to be different.
Many years ago, you could verify a plethora of businesses by simply renting mailboxes from a UPS store. You could also rent virtual office space in different cities and verify those locations as your business. However, Google has since caught on to this tactic and done away with it in an effort to help clean up their results and truly give the searcher the most accurate information possible.
Once you've honed your dealership down to a single verified Google My Business page, it's time to switch the conversation over to how to optimize this digital asset. Specifically, we suggest employing the following adjustments and revisions to get the most out of your dealership's business page:
Obviously, running down the list is going to take a little time – and digital elbow grease – on your end of the equation. However, working your way through this process is essential if you plan on getting the most out of your dealership's Google My Business page and selling more cars to browsing potential customers.
So there you have it; from confirming your verification to tweaking all of the little details, it's safe to say that your dealership now has a deeper understanding of everything that goes into ensuring that your Google My Business page is ready and able to make the most of its interactions with potential customers. All that's left to do now is to sit down and get the ball rolling on this crucial piece of your dealership's digital presence.
As always, if you have any questions regarding your business page (or any other extension of your dealership into the digital world), don't hesitate to connect with the team of digital marketing experts here at Remora. Our years of experience navigating the ever-changing waters of the online world can help you get the most out of your Google My Business page – and every other facet of your dealership's Internet operations as well.