Ranking your local business on the search results of Google can be hard. It becomes even more challenging when the industry you are in is over-saturated. How do you make your business stand out from the hundreds of thousands of other businesses in your area?
This is a problem that many car dealerships face - but we are here to help!
In this article, we’re highlighting some simple steps you can take to improve your local SEO rankings using one of Google’s most accessible (aka: easy and free) tools: Google My Business.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to rank well in the search results of local search engines.
Not quite following? That's OK - let’s break that down even further:
When people search for topics related to your dealership (like selling and servicing cars) in your area, you want your business to be displayed prominently towards the top of the results page. Why?
Well, if you type “birthday cake bakery” in Google and you see a few business listings towards the top of the page, you will probably click on one of the very first results that are shown to you.
Similarly, most people will click on the first 1 to 5 results they see, so optimizing your content for local search engines is one of the best ways to get more people visiting your website, checking out your inventory, and booking appointments. At the end of the day, local SEO can be a vital source of leads for your dealership - and we can all agree that more leads are always a good thing!
Now, local SEO is complex, and there are many ways to attack your local SEO strategy. That’s why today we’re focusing on one local SEO strategy that is both simple and effective: leveraging your Google My Business (GMB) profile. Let’s dive in!
How to Do Local SEO For Car Dealerships Using Your GMB Profile
Doing local SEO for your car dealership business can be challenging. Below, we have highlighted some key factors to consider when setting up and managing your Google My Business account:
1. Get Your Business Name Verified by Google
The first step to local SEO is getting your business name verified by Google. You can do this by registering your business in Google My Business. This small step can go a long way in improving your visibility on Google.
Google uses the information in Google My Business to verify your business name. Any business with a verified and active Google My Business profile will start to experience improved ranking in local search results. This is a key step, so don’t ignore the value of your Google My Business profile.
2. Add Your Address And Phone Number
The next step to local SEO is getting your address and phone number verified on Google My Business. Google uses this information to show your listing on Google Maps. Since it’s on Google Maps, local searchers are more likely to click on your links. You want to make it as easy as possible for people to find and contact you.
3. Optimize Your Local Listings
Another way to enhance local SEO is by optimizing your Google local listing. This involves filling out your business info in Google My Business and creating a Google business page.
The information in your local listings is shown on the left-hand side of the Google search results when a searcher is searching for businesses in your area. If you want to be competitive, you need to fill out this information as well as possible. It also helps to keep an active profile. Monitoring your Q&A section, posting regularly, adding products, updating your holiday hours accurately, adding photos, and replying to reviews.
Download our FREE 10-point checklist for mastering Google My Business
4. Be on Google Maps
Google Maps is the most used map online. A lot of users search for businesses on Maps because they are looking to drive to the business. Google Places allows you to create a business listing on Maps, which shows your address, phone number, and other important information. You want a virtually seamless experience when it comes to your customers finding you, both digitally and in person.
5. Set Up Q&As on Google My Business
A great way to optimize your local listing is by setting up a Q&A on Google My Business. A Q&A is a text box on your listing where you can answer questions asked by searchers.
One great thing about a Q&A is that it’s shown as a helpful answer on Google search results. So, when someone searches for their question, they will be shown an answer from your page, prompting them to click your link.
6. Ask for Reviews
Yes - people are still very much swayed in their decision-making by reviews. They are more likely to choose a business with lots of positive reviews over one with a lower star ranking. Fortunately, reviews are something that most businesses can control fairly easily. How? Do great work! If you’re training your employees to provide an excellent customer experience, the 5-star reviews will follow.
Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews: text message reminder systems work most effectively for this, followed by offering an incentive in exchange for a review). And if you do get a negative review, simply reply to it with understanding and care. You can always make things right, so be truthful, kind, and transparent in your review section of GMB.
Boost Your Dealership’s Local SEO with Help from FlexDealer and GMB
Local SEO is one of the most important parts of your dealership’s marketing strategy. In the modern marketplace, the only way to make your business successful is by pleasing your customers. And the best way to please your customers is by giving them what they want. That’s exactly what local SEO does. It allows Google users to find, learn about, and contact your business easily. When they find your business, they can either click on it or call it to get the information they’re after. It doesn’t take much to set up and manage a Google My Business profile, but the payoff can be substantial, so don’t ignore this valuable tool.
If you are seeking a digital marketing agency for car dealers, you can contact FlexDealer. We bring creative and innovative solutions to your marketing strategy. Focus on your business and leave the marketing to us!