Is Google My Business Worth All the Hype?

Is Google My Business Hype or Real?

Or… 13 Steps to Set Up and Manage Your GMB Account

Over the last year you’ve probably heard the growing drum beat in the distance that Google My Business is extremely important for your car dealer website’s local SEO.  Consultants such as Brian Pasch, George Nenni, and a whole host of others are rocking a heavy beat telling this story. But is it true? Is GMB really important to you?

The Answer?  Yes!

Pasch, Nenni and others aren’t off beat in their advice.  Let’s look at a few facts that I’ve published in my factoid series in the past:

  • Sites that optimize their GMB page get 7x more clicks than those that don’t.
  • Google currently owns 90% of the search market share and has made GMB central to its local SEO strategy.
  • One in two people who conduct a local search (think “watch repair near me”) visit a store that day.
  • 75% of people never scroll past the first page of a Google search.  This is why local SEO and GMB page optimization is critical for you.
  • An online review is as important as a personal recommendation for 9 in 10 shoppers.
  • Customers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews.
  • 86% of people will hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews.
  • Think with Google says that 18% of local cell phone searches led to a purchase within a day, whereas only 7% of non-local searches generated a sale.

Contrary to Some Politicians, We Don’t Live in a Fact-Free World

Look at those simple facts.  They tell a very clear story that Google’s focus on local search is critical for your business from GMB optimization to consumer behavior in response to well manicured reviews.  Google is the elephant in the room so you have to play by there game if you want to get noticed and sell cars.  

Let’s try something different.  Why not ignore what the experts say and throw the facts to the wind.  What will happen? Ignore your GMB reviews and when shoppers search for a new car, they will see a mixed bag of reviews for you while your competitors will have hundreds, if not thousands, of well managed high reviews.  Look a little further and your competitor will have great posts that inform the shopper, Products as a carousel of cars for them to review, and Questions and Answers that guide them to why their dealership is better than yours.  You? You’ll waste away as shoppers go elsewhere.

Get to Work.  Your Dealership Depends on It!

I’ve seen way too many dealership websites with poorly executed GMB profiles.  It’s painful because when I see them I know that they’re losing business.

Since I hate writing long blogs, never mind reading them, I’ll cut to the chase and give you a quick 13 point checklist that you can follow to setup your GMB account.  It is by no means complete, but it is a start. If you want more information, contact us any time. And, if you are patient, I’ll kick out a series of posts each week, starting next week, which will talk out each item at a time.

13 Steps to Creating and Managing GMB

These steps are divided into two categories: 1. Setting up your GMB profile; and 2. Managing your profile.

Instead of writing a bunch of words, what is provided is a simple checklist along with links to instructions from Google (for the more complicated items) on what you need to do.  Much of this work is common sense based so it is not very hard to do. But, AND THIS IS AN IMPORTANT “BUT”, if you can’t do the work because you don’t have time, then GET SOMEONE TO DO IT FOR YOU.  (Yes, I’m screaming there. My hope is that you’ll listen.)

SETTING UP YOUR GMB PROFILE

Go through this checklist to setup your GMB profile correctly.  Mistakes upon setup can cause pain later making it worthwhile to get each one right. 

  • Claim your account and short name (& download the GMB app!)
    Critical to be able to manage your content and reviews.
  • Ensure that your NAP and URL are Correct
    Get your Name, Address, Phone and URL right.
  • Pick the Right Business Categories
    Franchises: start with “[brand] dealer”.  Used cars: “used car dealer”… then build sub-categories such as “car dealer, “truck dealer”. etc.
  • Write an Engaging Business Description
    Just saying you’ve been around 40 years is not enough.  Talk to how you can help your customer get what they want and include keyword phrases relevant to your business.
  • Set Up Your Social Media Profiles Correctly
    Google adds your profiles automatically so make sure you use the same name as your GMB name on all your social media profiles.
  • Tie Your Appointment Link to GMB
    If you can take appointments, and can add a link to your tool, add the link to this section to your GMB profile.

ONGOING WORK – AKA “OPTIMIZING GMB”

Dedicating a minimum of about 15 minutes/day pays off over time (although more time is better).  Here’s why: As you know from the facts above, an optimized GMB profile gets 7x the clicks verses one that isn’t optimized.

  • Generate and Respond to Reviews (Often!)
    There is an art to responding to reviews but the key is making sure you respond to all reviews with a message that talks to the people reading the response, not just the reviewer.  Get more info here from an earlier blog of mine.
  • Upload Great Photos and Videos (with customers!)
    This is as simple as taking a photo with your phone and posting it via the GMB mobile app.  And short videos are great too!
  • Put Your Posts to Work for You
    Post content relevant to your customers.  Examples might include info on a car that won awards or preparing your car for the holiday season… all with good keywords.  Google loves new content.
  • Use Welcome Offers to Push Business Your Way
    Use Welcome Offers to turn visitors into customers.  It’s free advertising!
  • Build Your Q&As to Help Customers
    Use the Q&A section to ask and  answer questions that will help your customers.  You can create your own so get to work helping your customers!.  But be smart: Use keywords! (Here’s a great explanation on GMB Q&As from ThriveHive that I love.)
  • Use Products to Feature Vehicles
    Create a carousel of cars that link to your vehicle pages to promote your inventory.  Keep it fresh and Google will love you.
  • Add Services?  It Depends…
    Talk about the services you offer ONLY if you deliver them to customers.

The Final Word

I just data dumped a bunch of information on you so I apologize if your head is spinning right now.  If you are confused, the best advice I can give you is to take an hour to read through the checklist and familiarize yourself with what you need to do and whether you think you have the time to do it.  If you think you have the time, then check off each item and get rockin! If not, contact me and I’ll see if we can help. At the minimum, my hope is that we’ll have a great talk and I’ll at least give you some free information to help your dealership.  Have at it and enjoy!