Google My Business Marketing for Car Dealers in 2021
Google has made major changes regarding how searchers find and use your website!
Fact: Your Dealership Google My Business listing has replaced your website home page in the Google local search results.
In most searches on Google, that is the case. Read on to understand how Google has purposely redesigned its search results pages to intercept traffic that normally would go to your website.
It is time that both Car Dealerships and Digital Marketing agencies change the way they view the many facets of the Google search engine and how it relates to driving traffic to your website.
Car shoppers aren’t engaging with your dealership on Google the same way they used to, and Google is changing how they display your dealership in the search results as well.
It is no secret that when it comes to people finding information, Google is the most powerful search tool on the planet. In fact, when it comes to driving prospects to your website and dealership, there is no alternative choice.
Fact: 90% of your customers will begin their search on Google.
The forward thinking dealerships that closely monitor Google and utilize all of the powerful tools they provide, will without a doubt have a major advantage over the competition.
Like it or not, Google is working harder to keep searchers on Google, instead of them clicking straight to your website.
The fact is, for quite some time now, Google has been showing more information about car buying related search phrases on the search results pages, with the full intent to keep them inside Google as long as possible.
These continuous changes by Google have made your Google My Business (GMB) profile more important than your website homepage.
Why? Because your GMB is now the first thing most shoppers will see before they ever reach your website.
Before Google redesigned their page one search results to make the local 3-pack more prominent, searchers would have to click to your website for hours, phone number, address etc…
In other words, Google has populated your GMB with so much information, there is very little reason to click to your website. Unless you give them one!
Not only can searchers get your number, location, and hours, they can decide if they want to do business with you by reading the reviews.
Did you know there is a Q&A section on your GMB where people ask and answer questions? They can refer to this section to ask a question about an oil change wait. Are you monitoring and responding?
As the presence of the Google 3-pack on page one of the Google search results continues to grow and the information and tools Google continues to add to your GMB knowledge panel continues to expand, it is time to implement a Google My Business Marketing plan or lose valuable leads and traffic!
I no longer call it a Google My Business listing because it is not a simple listing anymore. With all the tools and additions Google has made to your dealership knowledge panel, it is now the first thing searchers see when they do a Google search.
Google Marketing is not only about Website SEO and Pay Per Click Advertising.
You are probably thinking that staying on top of all the Google Paid search tools or hiring a top pay per click agency keeps you ahead of the curve when it comes to grabbing the massive search traffic that is generated by Google.
Yes, learning about the latest techniques and upgrades provided by Google Ads is extremely important, and paid search strategies like re-marketing, mobile, and text ads can give you an edge online and are necessary digital marketing strategies.
However, as Google Ads rising cost continues to eat more of your online advertising budget, it is time to discover the other powerful Google tools available that can effectively drive more views to your new and used VDPs, and traffic to your service and parts departments.
This has created a huge hole in your online marketing mix you need to fill!
Increase your new and used VDP views and generate more leads using Google My Business Marketing!
It is no secret that there is a direct correlation to VDP views and car sales. Numerous studies have proven this correlation, and most car dealers take steps to drive traffic to their VDPs.
It is also no secret that your service and parts departments are major profit centers at your dealership and it is in your best interests to maximize service traffic as well as provide excellent customer service.
For those reasons alone, it is time to take a hard look at how you can utilize your Google My Business profile and all the tools inside it to create cost effective lead funnels to those two very important sources of dealership revenue.
Why hasn’t your digital marketing agency addressed this major hole in your online marketing funnel?
The answer is simple. Most agencies are focused on Google Pay Per Click because that is where their profit comes from. Every time they ramp up your paid search budget, they make more money.
Google My Business marketing is not even on their radar because they do not understand how it works and probably lack any expertise when it comes to fixing broken listings and maximizing the tools within your GMB to increase leads and traffic to your dealership.
I know this for a fact because as a veteran GMB expert, I do consultant work for Automotive Digital Marketing Agencies that hire me to clean up GMB profiles for their clients (dealers). They do not know about the Q&A feature, how to drive VDP views, create service department traffic, because it is not part of their marketing mix.
If they tell you your GMB is not really that important and if it is verified and accurate that is all you need, they are misleading you, and you need to look elsewhere for help.
In fact, if you are spending money on re-marketing ads that require driving visitors to your website, a well designed GMB marketing plan can help boost your re-marketing efforts at a lower cost.
Put your dealership ahead of the GMB marketing curve and reap the benefits!
There are very few dealerships, if any, doing GMB marketing properly. The Internet is littered with unclaimed listings, duplicate listings, unanswered Q&As, inaccurate contact information, and underused or not used marketing tools that Google is giving you. In fact, in almost every analysis I do, there is at least one Google best practices issue, and no one is using the marketing tools properly.
Just as in 1996, AutoNet Media was ahead of the curve when we created the first online photo classifieds and VDPs, we are ahead right now when it comes to seeing the enormous value in your Google My Business profile and how you should use it to drive more leads to your dealership.
Our digital marketing agency focuses on one area, Google My Business Marketing. Although we have been SEO specialists for 22 years, we do not claim to be experts in everything.
If the contents of this article have opened your eyes to the potential lead funnels that lie within your GMB, let’s have a talk.
First and foremost, we do a complete analysis of your current presence and give you expert advice on what steps need to be taken to fast track your GMB to becoming a serious lead funnel driving more traffic to your VDPs and service department.
Fill out the form on this page and let’s schedule a consultation, or call GMB Expert Jeffrey Taylor direct at (904) 796-8527 and put your dealership in front of pack when it comes to Google My Business marketing.