Does the initialism GMB mean anything to your dealership?
If not, you’re going to want to investigate. GMB refers to Google My Business, the information listing that is offered up by Google from information you provide about your business. If you aren’t interacting with it weekly – or worse, haven’t even claimed it – you’re going to want to make that happen quickly.
So why exactly is GMB so important for dealerships? There are many reasons.
Basic Dealership Information
Your dealership’s GMB listing gets a ton of views every day. When someone Google’s your business name or the local search terms are obviously for your business, the GMB page (if claimed), will take up prime real estate on the right of the page. From there, customers can find things like reviews, directions, photos, Q&A, posts and be able to click into the website.
At the most base level, your GMB listing needs to be claimed and things like address, phone number (local if possible), and hours need to be correct. Google will also be able to use signals from customer geo location from their phones to tell people when the dealership is busiest.
Local Search Placement
In terms of search placement, the GMB page, if optimized, helps your dealership show up for basic terms in the regular SERPs as well as the local map pack results. A huge part of this is ensuring that you have the correct categories selected for your dealership. Plain and simple, this is what allows Google to know what your business does and helps that listing show up higher for relevant terms.
For car dealerships, selecting the right categories is crucial. For example, if you are a franchise dealer, you should have (Brand) Dealer as your main primary category. For additional categories, choose options like Used Car Dealer, Car Dealer, Truck Dealer, Auto Parts and Auto Body Shop – depending on what you sell and what fixed ops you offer. Categories are very important, but it’s also important not to select any irrelevant categories or attempt to spam categories. Select exactly the ones that apply to your business, and you will be helping your overall search appearance.
Another huge factor for GMB is customer reviews. This is where every customer review that is submitted to Google is housed. While there are strategies for getting positive reviews, that comes down to internal process. But if nothing else, you should be responding to reviews – negative and positive – because consumers are absolutely reading your reviews.
If you have someone doing reputation management for you, make sure to prep them for the best ways to either respond or notify you of poor reviews. Leaving reviews unanswered doesn’t look good in the eyes of consumers. For negative reviews, it can signal that the dealership does have these problems, as there is no response to say otherwise. On positive reviews, it can be deflating for someone that leaves a positive review to go unrecognized.
And no, there is no way to delete negative reviews, unless they are flagged as inappropriate. But a basic negative review will not be taken down.
The Google My Business listing also offers the opportunity for customers to ask, and answer, questions. For dealerships, this is often a very overlooked portion of the GMB listing. There are a few opportunities on this portion.
First off, literally anyone can ask and answer questions. So, the first thing is to make sure that another person hasn’t answered a customer question incorrectly. As a business, you should be addressing the questions that require your attention, while ensuring that the answers that may already be there are accurate. Unanswered questions from the business can be even worse than an un-responded to review – as it is obvious to everyone looking at that section that the dealership didn’t bother to reply.
Secondly, there is often lead potential in the questions. For example, people may ask if you service certain vehicles or how long a vehicle special applies. If you didn’t follow up with that person, you are missing out on potential conversions.
A somewhat new feature that Google is offering is Google Posts – this is essentially free advertising space on the Google My Business listing. The posts contain an image and a call to action for the consumer to take.
The categories that the posts can cover include Product, What’s New, Events and Offers. It’s a really good idea to keep fresh posts displayed on your page every month. Have a service special? New vehicle in stock? These are all great opportunities to put a free ad placement on the GMB page and try to drive a conversion through Google Posts.
And while Google recently lowered the placement of the post within the GMB page, they still do register a high amount of impressions and clicks. And like stated before, they are free, so there is really no reason to not do them.
Managing It All
Hopefully you have come to the realization that GMB is an extremely powerful tool for your business. But given all the factors involved, it’s understandable if you can’t keep up with it all internally.
At DealerFire, we offer GMB services within our social/reputation services, in addition to our advanced content marketing services. And even if you don’t enroll in ongoing services with us, we will help ensure that your page is at the very least claimed and optimized upon coming over to us.
If you would like to know more or have questions on how we can help ensure that you aren’t missing anything with GMB, contact us to learn more today.