Business owners everywhere are discovering the benefits of Google My Business from small shop owners to restaurants so, wether you are just flipping cars as a side hustle or are a garage or full-time dealer. If you haven’t made a Google My Business listing yet you need to set one up.
Why is Google My Business important?
It’s one of the vital tools to help a businesses grow it’s online presence. Setup properly it allows a business to show in their local area searches with ease, generating leads and helping customers find information, products or services. Basically it will help you buy and sell cars. So it’s essential you have a listing.
Why its good for car dealers
1. It’s free
Any marketing tool that can generates leads and web traffic for free is a huge opportunity. If you are a new or small business Google My Business can increase your chances of being found online. It also doesn’t need to be linked to a physical address and location. So if you aren’t operating from a forecourt or premises you can still get a listing, you simply get a listing under a local area or areas.
2. Better search listing
When someone uses Google to search for your business directly or for similar businesses in your area. Your business listing will appear in a high-visibility panel near the top of the page containing local businesses offering similar services to yourselves. So you can jump to the top of local search results speeding up listing time and helping with SEO and visibility. Ultimately getting you more link clicks, calls and leads.
3. Displaying additional information
If you have filled out all the recommended information for your listing potential customers will be able to click links direct to your website and easily find your phone number. You can also list opening hours, directions to your business, photos, videos and you can detail all the services you offer. This information will appear next to your listing.
4. Profile posts
You can showcase your latest cars, discounts and special offers. Google lets you post to your business profile in a similar way as you would post to social media. There are no limits to the number of posts, but the posts are only visible for 7 days. These posts can include photos and video content and direct links to websites and calls to actions, and appear in relative search results. These posts can really make you stand out from your competition.
5. Customer reviews
Customers can leave you reviews. This can be used to give new potential customers confidence in your business. You can also reply to customers and foster better and closer relationships with them, again in a similar way to social media.
You can create and answer questions to help you customers understand your business easily. Customers can also ask you questions directly.
7. Website traffic and audience insights
Google give you highly accurate insight into search traffic and customers interactions. Allowing you to analyse how well your listing and business is doing.
8. Jump ahead of the competition
Lots of car dealers and garages aren’t currently using My Business, and the ones with listings are largely neglecting them. With My Business having been around for a while and being slow to evolve. Most businesses either haven’t kept their listing up to date or haven’t even created a listing. So being proactive with your listing and using the highly visible posting option you can gain the edge in google search.
9. Free website building tool
If you are just a trader or flip cars as a side hustle and haven’t invested in a website yet. Google lets you build a simple website in the My Business App. Helping you promote your business still further.
Your business will appear in Google Maps. If someone is searching in Maps in your area your business details will show up. This happens even if you don’t have a physical location as you can list in an area not a location.
Customers can message you directly via your listing. Making it easier for customers to contact you with questions or enquires.
12. It helps create a good first impression
Obviously first impressions count and a My Business listing makes even the smallest business look professional.
13. Easy to manage
Google have a My Business app that allows you to manage everything in one place. Allowing you to monitor the traffic and audience insights, update business details and received notifications of reviews. But you can respond easily to the reviews and add photos, videos and post directly to your profile.
14. Great ROI
It’s a great return on investment. I can think of a better return on a few minutes work, think of it like Facebook before they killed organic reach!
How should dealers use Google My Business
If you are a garage or established dealer My Business profiles should be leveraged in the same way as you would a website or a social media post. With the profile basically acting as a modern hybrid of a phonebook listing combining a websites about page. In most cases you can simply add the same content you use on social media for the profile posts, and use your websites about page information.
If you are a trader, flipper or just starting out a My Business profile can really give your business a boost. The opportunity here is massive for the smaller operation. Potentially getting your phone number and business services at the top of Google search results for free.
The listing can rank in local search results even if you don’t have premises or website. You can have a massive advantage over your competitors and you can even compete directly with larger operators or even franchised garages.
Google My Business Tips
1. Download the Goggle My Business App. The app lets you manage your profile and add business posts quickly and simply. The app also let you receive notifications when you a customer leaves a review or asks a question.
2. Add regular business posts. I have had great success posting my latest stock as well as promoting my general business activity and services that I offer. I recommend you post at least 3 times a week. You can also post special offers and promote sales events, stating discount rates and event times. These posts can really make your search results stand out.
3. Add Videos and photos. Videos are very powerful in search with Google suggesting over 80% of search will involve video in next few years. The videos should cover the businesses general activities and services. You should also be making videos promoting individual cars, if you aren’t doing this already you need to start today.
I have covered the best way to make car videos in a previous article which you can find – Car dealer video marketing. The same goes for photos, and with cars being such photographic product you should be uploading as many photos as possible and as often as possible.
4. Add questions. You can and should add common questions you are asked to your MY Business listing. These questions should be a simple as your Sunday opening hour or do you offer part exchange etc. Customers can ask questions themselves but if you provide this information first it will help you business look more professional and might get you more leads than your competitors. Needless to say you should also answer questions asked by potential customers.
5. Get a Google short name. This is great for directing customers to leave reviews and you location. This is especially useful if you haven’t got a website. To do this you need to be verified – see below.
6. Get you My Business listing verified. If you have an established internet presence already Google may have already created listing for you. If this is the case you can request that Google send you a postcard allowing you to claim the listing. Once verified you can control all the profile settings.
7. Ask you friends and loyal customers for five star reviews. Anyone with a google account can leave a review and the more reviews you have the better your business will look. Google provides you a short URL code that you can simply txt or email to your friends and clients, letting them easy add reviews to your profile.
Regardless of the size of your business or ambition Google My Business is a huge opportunity. It offers some great features that work brilliantly for selling cars and has great organic reach with lots of upsides and very few downsides. It’s a service that I have seen great results with and something you should be starting straight away whatever the size of your business.
Just make sure you optimise your listing and focus on adding great content. Good luck!
Setting up a listing is simple Google takes you through the process step by step, you can set up a listing here – Visit google.