Issue 4 of 6
It’s almost two months into the coronavirus pandemic and many of our dealers are having a tough time, as, I’m sure, are you. My team and I wish everyone the best and we hope that you’re getting by well in these hard times.
This is the fourth installment of our series of 6 articles about using Google My Business (or “GMB”) to put your dealership in a better position once things get back on track. The plan? Optimize your GMB profile while things are slow so your local search engine (SEO) ranking is better when things rebound.
In this article, we’ll discuss how you can use GMB Posts, Offers and Events to tell the brand story of your dealership and to keep customers informed not only of your COVID-19 response, but how they can buy from you (if allowed by your state). Such work is all FREE, a good thing for these lean times.
Types of GMB Posts
GMB Posts are the same as blog posts, website articles or Facebook postings. The difference between GMB Posts and Facebook posts is that the GMB Posts directly contribute to your local search rankings on Google.
There are 3 types of GMB Posts.
- Offers: GMB Offers are special promotions that have a time limit. They’re great for pushing a particular vehicle out the door or promoting an oil change or some similar sale to get people into your service bay. You’re best use of Offers is to sync them with all your other advertising. Whatever promotions you’re running, whether in a newspaper or on through to TV, you should run them on Offers too. And, if you want to really play it smart, make sure all your social media promotions align to push the same promotion at the same time. With a little planning, you can handle this yourself or have your ad agency sync your GMB Offers with all of your social media, if they are not doing it already.
- Updates: GMB Updates are the standard posts, like blog posts or journal entries, that tell your brand story. Updates can cover a range of topics and you can use them to enhance your local SEO quite easily. Are you doing any community work such as helping a local church or food bank? If so, then write an Update taking care to name the groups that you’re helping and why. Such a post helps enhance your local relevance and makes Google’s ranking algorithm happy. These same posts can be used to encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews. Don’t be shy; asking for reviews is a part of doing business these days. (Check our last issue for info on this topic.)
- Events: GMB Events are best used to push sales events for your dealership. All Events have a start and end date so, such as a weekend or holiday sale period, graduation, Spring sales event and those types of activities. The chief feature of Events is that they start and stop at a specific date and time. You can prepare them automatically for the usual suite of special sales events that you hold throughout the year. Once created, the GMB Events will go live on the specific date and time, informing the public of your dealership’s spring graduation event. After the specific stop date and time have been reached, the GMB Event will deactivate automatically.
Start Posting on GMB
Don’t delay, and get started now. If you have not done so already, start posting by making a COVID-19 announcement telling how you are serving customers and doing all the things necessary to keep you, your staff, and the public safe. Keep it short and sweet.
After 4-5 days, pick a topic you can use to write your first Update. You have can choose from a lot of ideas:
- What are you doing in the community? Are you helping in any way? If so, write about it in 3-4 short paragraphs with a clear and crisp photo. Make sure you mention any local group names to add SEO weight to your post.
- Have you instituted special safety procedures such as a white glove delivery service if someone buys a vehicle from you? If so, write about it emphasizing how your vehicles are sanitized before delivery, among other things.
- Is your service bay taking customers? If so, talk about how you are running your service bay, emphasizing safety for all involved, from your staff to your customers.
This is not difficult stuff. Just jump off and get started. Keep it simple and just do one post a week. That is easy to manage and will, again as I always say, “make Google happy”.
Keep Up The Good Fight
Remember, we’re all in this together. All of us are experiencing difficult times. And all of us will be better positioned to survive if we work together. Therefore, if you have tips and tricks that are helping you to get by, please let us know what you’re doing so we can share it. Until next time, take care of yourselves, your teams and your families.
Next Topic: Put the GMB Products Feature to Work for You!