The way your dealership is displayed on search engine results pages (SERP) can make or break your business. It’s important to optimize your Google My Business Page to increase your conversion rate and boost sales at your dealership.
Understanding the Way Google Sources Business Information
Google wants to provide relevant information when users complete online searches. They can source information on your dealership from various locations like the following:
- Your website or blog
- Verified Google My Business Page
- Reviews and Reports from Google users
- Other sources online like backlinks and articles
When you optimize your Google My Business page, potential customers can search for local car dealerships and find information you’ve added, such as hours of operation, location, website link, and photos.
The business listing for your dealership includes the following four basic information sources:
- Dealership Information – You have the opportunity to add information that best represents your dealership, such as details on vehicles in stock and special offers. You can edit and remove this content as needed.
- Dealership Website – Google sources information from your dealership website. Make sure to optimize your website and blog with up-to-date content, so the sourced information is relevant to consumers’ searches.
- Consumer Information – Google also sources user-generated information like reviews, photos, and reporting issues. Whenever someone leaves a review, uploads photos, or reports a problem, your business profile is updated.
- 3rd Party Sources – Google sources other information online about your dealership, such as backlinks, articles, and profiles.
The information that Google sources about your dealership is then used to display in relevant results for local searches, such as “dealers near me.” If you’ve optimized your Google My Business Page, your dealership will start to show up in those relevant local searches.
Format of Your Google My Business Page
When your Google My Business Page shows up on the SERP, the first thing consumers will see is the header photo, business name, rating, number of reviews, location, and whether you’re open or closed.
The rest of the listing includes tabs for the following information:
- Overview – Displays address, map, hours of operation, opened or closed, phone number, suggest an edit, and some photos.
- Updates – Shows special events, offers, sales, and other posts that your dealership can promote to increase customer engagement.
- Reviews – This section shows reviews Google has compiled from other online sources, as well as a Google review summary. Users can rate and review here.
- Photos – This area showcases photos to give consumers an idea of your business and any products or services you’d like to highlight.
- About – In this section, you can give a brief description of your dealership, include an email address, and share other highlights like wheelchair accessibility, etc.
The user can easily see quick access icons for the following:
- Book online
Make sure those icons are linked to the correct information like phone number, website, etc., so the consumer can easily get in contact with you.
Optimize Your Google My Business Page
If you haven’t yet begun to manage your free business profile, get started today on Google My Business—it is so much more than a free business listing.
You can engage with customers on Google Search and Google Maps.
With an optimized page, your dealership can benefit from improved online visibility, increased omnichannel conversion rates, and enhanced consumer online shopping experience.
1. Consistently Update Business Information
You want consumers to have a positive experience with your dealership from that very first digital touchpoint when they view your business listing that shows up in a “near me” search.
Imagine how that experience would go if the consumer saw inaccurate address information for your showroom and drove to an empty lot.
This sounds like a simple step, but it’s important to consistently update your business information on your Google My Business Page.
It’s highly likely that this potential customer will not make an effort to research further to try to locate your new showroom address. They’ll probably find another dealership in a “near me” search that had an updated Google business page displayed in the SERP.
Make that first impression superior and one that is the first step toward cultivating a long-lasting customer lifecycle with your dealership—where the customer knows they can always trust you and your team.
2. Create a URL Short Name for Your Page
In 2019, Google allowed users to customize the URLs for their Google My Business listings with shortened links, called “short names.”
According to the Google My Business Help Center, verified businesses can create these short names to simplify how consumers can find your listing online.
Creating a short URL will make it easier to share the link with customers so they can leave a review or rate your dealership. Of course, it is important to note that Google review policies do not allow businesses to solicit customer reviews.
For example, it is a violation of their rules if you offer incentives for customers who place a review on your Google My Business Page. If they ascertain any violations, those reviews will be removed from your page.
The process for creating short names is simple, and you can visit the Google My Business Help Center for basic instructions.
3. Add Engaging Photos and Videos
According to the Google My Business Help Center, businesses that have photos on their page, have “received 42% more requests for driving directions to their locations from users on Google, and 35% more clicks through to their websites than businesses that don’t have photos”.
If you want your dealership to stand out from the competition, add compelling photos to your page. Consider adding your logo and dealership storefront as the header photo.
Add engaging, behind-the-scenes photos of your sales and service team, photos of vehicles on your lot, and the inside of your showroom.
It is important to note that consumers can also upload images to your page. To cultivate customer engagement, it is recommended that you support consumer reviews.
Google enables businesses to remove images for some of the following reasons:
- Quality – The image may be of poor quality that doesn’t meet your brand image
- Offensive – The image may be offensive and not represent your dealership
- Unrelated – The image may have been mistakenly posted on your page
Videos are a great tool for engaging with consumers searching for information on vehicles and dealerships online. When uploading videos, make sure the file size is under 100 MB.
- Videos can be uploaded to the “Photos” tab on your page.
- Videos can be uploaded as posts on your page.
Both photos and videos will only enhance your brand image and cultivate engagement with consumers—and improve your conversion rates and bring new customers to your showroom.
4. Respectfully Answer Consumer Reviews
According to Statista, “The average number of expected reviews customers want to see when making an online purchase is 112.” Reviews can be extremely powerful in drawing consumers to your showroom or steering them away from your dealership.
It is important to monitor consumer reviews on your Google My Business Page to find out what consumers are saying about your dealership. It’s easy to respond to positive 5-star reviews.
However, dealing with negative reviews can be more difficult and requires a delicate touch. You don’t want to add fuel to the fire and stir up more trouble by responding unprofessionally.
When you respond to negative reviews, it shows potential customers that you care about the consumer and want to make things right to improve their experience with your dealership.
5. Highlight Special Sales, Offers, and Events
Customer engagement is a vital factor in continually generating buzz about your dealership and all the important service center offers you can provide to customers.
According to Google, “82% of people turn to search engines to find local information.” In June of 2017, Google announced on their blog that they were implementing the Posts feature on business listings.
The Posts feature was designed to make it easier for businesses to appeal to potential customers. People can follow your business page and get updates on special sales, offers, and events that you promote.
It’s a great way to cultivate relationships with both new and current customers.
Since Google research shows that “72% of people look at multiple businesses before making a final choice”, it’s important to make a great first impression with your posts.
In their June 22nd blog post, Google shared some ideas on ways to engage with people while sharing about your business. Consider implementing these tips when creating your own posts on your business page:
- Specials – Share posts detailing your current offers and sales.
- Events – Let consumers know what special events you’re hosting.
- Products – Promote new vehicle rollouts to engage today’s consumers.
It’s important that you utilize the right options that Google makes available on your business page so that consumers know exactly how to follow through on your call to action (CTA).
For example, you can give consumers the option to easily click through to make a reservation to take a vehicle out for a test drive at your dealership. You may want them to come into your showroom for your anniversary special to take advantage of great sales, and they can click the map for directions.
Optimize Your Google My Business Page
You can use the Google My Business app, which is available on android or iOS, to easily manage your listing on-the-go, respond to reviews, create engaging posts, and share exciting photos and videos that will cultivate interest with consumers.
You can increase conversions by optimizing your Google My Business Page with the steps outlined in this article. Make sure it’s easy for consumers to find you online in “near me” searches and that your information is current.