Google My Business Tips For Car Dealers
February 13, 2019
As an avid Google Searcher, Google My Business is a very good friend of mine. Think about how many times you yourself have “googled” for opening hours, or to quickly find the number for a local restaurant to book a table. Did you ever enter their website? Or was the information just there? Brilliant, right!
From a business perspective, Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool that helps local people find your business on Google Search and Google Maps. You can provide potential customers with key information, such as your address, phone number and even your latest offer, allowing for an instant interaction. With majority of searches now performed on mobile devices, you want to ensure that your information is readily available!
For your vehicle dealership, having an optimised Google My Business means that when a local customer is searching for your vehicles and services, your dealership becomes one for them to consider – it’s an ideal way of becoming part of vehicle buying journeys’ – at no cost to you!
To assist you with your Google My Business optimisations, we’ve put together a list of tips and commonly asked questions.
Accessing your Google My Business
Firstly, you need to create a Google My Business page for your dealership. Sometimes Google makes one for you, however in most cases you need to build one yourself. Creating a Google My Business listing is free and you can Get Started Here. If you do need assistance building one, we are more than happy to help!
If you are struggling to access your Google My Business, there are a few reasons as to why that might be:
a. The business listing may not be claimed
If this is the case, you will need to go through to process of building your Google My Business listing which is easy! You can follow the instructions Here.
b. Someone else has claimed the listing
If someone created the business on your behalf, you will need to request ownership of the Google My Business listing. There are steps involved with this one, you can follow them Here.
Why isn’t my Google My Business appearing?
If you’ve built your Google My Business already, but it still isn’t showing, you need to ensure that it has been verified. Google My Business allows people to find you on Google Maps, so they want to verify that the location you supplied is correct. They will do this by sending you a post card (old school I know) with a verification code that you need to enter to your account. They may also ring the phone number that has been supplied, so you’ll need to ensure the reception team are prepared for the call. Once this has been completed, give it some time and your listing should appear.
Your Google My Business placement will vary in Google Search results, but ensuring you have the correct business information does help with your business ranking.
Fill in all of your Dealership’s information
I mean, it’s obvious right?
Google favours the most relevant Google My Business listings for a user’s search results. Meaning that you can maximise how often customers are seeing your business in local search by ensuring all of your business information is supplied. Providing and continuously updating your business information on your Google My Business can help your dealership’s local ranking, enhancing your presence on Google Search and Google Maps. This is free SEO, so why wouldn’t you do it!
The information you should be providing includes:
– Your dealership’s physical address
– Phone number
– Business hours
– Business category – Car dealer
– Short description about why customers should choose you
– Photos of your dealership
Speaking of photos, they are important because they make your dealership seem more real. Google recommends uploading accurate and appealing images to show your potential customers what your dealership has to offer.
If your information does change, for example you are now open till 9pm on a Thursday, please keep in mind that updated business information may take up to 3 days to appear. So, update early and often!
How can I remove customer reviews?
This is probably the most asked question, and it is the most difficult to answer. The truth is, there is no button that you can click to delete a customer’s review. If you believe the review to be fake/spam, you can flag it will Google as “inappropriate”, however at the end of the day, it’s up to Google to decide whether or not the review violates their posting guidelines.
If you’ve had no luck with Google, what we recommend is that you reach out to the person who submitted the review and ask them to remove it. Otherwise, politely reply to the review so that other customers can see that you care about your customers.
Expert Tip – if you do get a bad review, the best way is to improve your overall star rating is to earn more positive reviews. Don’t focus on trying to get reviews removed but instead urge your happy customers to leave new ones!
Tips to responding to reviews
Reviews from customers can provide valuable feedback for your dealership and replying to your reviews can help build your customers’ trust. That’s why responding to customer reviews is really important. You want your business to be viewed publicly as one that builds relationships with their customers and truly cares about their shopping experience.
You should be responding to all reviews, positive or not! We know it’s hard to respond to someone who is publicly shaming you for something really small, however, as I mentioned earlier, a reviews can be permanent on your Google My Business, so you need to show customers that you care enough to address unhappy customers. Google stresses that negative reviews may not always be a sign of bad business practice, a customer may have had mismatched expectations. Replying to these reviews can help to identify ways to improve the experience for your customers in the future1.
With a little help from Google, below are a few tips to responding to reviews:
Be nice and don’t get personal
It’s difficult to win arguments through messages, and you want to avoid looking unprofessional and burn bridges with the reviewer by lashing out and getting personal. This will also harm what potential new customers will think of your business. Our best advice is to keep it civil, keep your response readable and courteous.
Please avoid responses like this:
Keep it short and sweet
Customers are looking for short and genuine responses, don’t overwhelm them with too long of a response. We also recommend that you avoid using the same response for all reviews, as it can look lazy and “bot-like” when customers are scrolling through your reviews.
Investigate the reasons behind the review. If there was a mistake made on your end, be honest about it but don’t take responsibility for things that weren’t your fault1. Give a short explanation about the situation. It may even be best to contact them personally about their review.
How else can I utilise Google My Business?
Google My Business offers you the ability to add posts on your listing, allowing you to advertise your dealership promotions for free! When a customer is right at the end of their buying journey and are tossing up whether or not to buy a car from you, they will want to know what your Dealership has to offer. Using your Google My Business listing, you can create an eye-catching post with an image and a short description about your Dealership’s latest offer or upcoming events. Utilising these posts also makes it easier to drive potential customers through to your website, delivering high quality traffic and leads.
Currently in testing, Google My Business has launched “Products” which gives Dealerships the ability to showcase images of vehicles. Products allows you to build a stronger presence on mobile by showcasing your vehicles and driving customer interaction. By simply adding an image, description and price, your Google My Business becomes a stronger selling tool for your Dealership.
Finally, you can use Google Insight reports to learn how customers are finding your business listing, and what they are doing once they find it. It’s important to have a strong understanding of how customers are interacting with your Google My Business, and these reports delve into search queries, phone calls, customer actions and more. You can learn more about Insight reports Here.
It’s quite easy to set and forget your Google My Business, and this is something we want you to avoid. Your customers are always going to be searching for you, meaning your information needs to be up-to-date everywhere. And considering Google My Business is giving you free advertising opportunities, why wouldn’t you keep it up-to-date?
If you do have questions about Google My Business or would like us to assist you setting your listing up, please don’t hesitate to Talk With Us today.
Written by Jamie Cuskelly | Digital Strategist at Digipurple