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Why Service Centers Can't Ignore Google My Business

Because if you do, Google may ignore you.

 

Google My Business (GMB) has played a huge role in most dealership’s SEO plan for a while now. Everyone knows it owns the mobile platform, and that you need to have it optimized if you want to win the “0 Click” space. Adding pictures, ensuring information is accurate, and adding FAQs with answers are just some of the ways to ensure that Google will see your Knowledge Panel as the most authoritative and the best response for placement 1 organically. 

One addition that Google added a few months back was the ability to separate out Sales, Service, and Parts to create individualized GMB accounts that will stand separate, but can also nest together as well. While some jumped on the opportunity to enhance their organic presence online, there are still some who are not yet convinced of its validity or value add to the dealership. 

So, here are three reasons why you should not only separate your dealership departments into different GMB listings, but optimize them as well to get maximum exposure on Google. 

Relevancy

If someone is searching for your Brand + Service Center in your area, you not only want to have an ad running, but you want a strong organic presence as well. There are still people who are wary of clicking on ads, and skip right down to the organic listings because they know they were not “pay to play,” but were offered because they were relevant and had information in it that matched your query. 

When you have a GMB listing, one that specifically matches what the customer is searching, your listing will dominant the page. And GMB is called “0 Click” because the consumer interacts directly with the information in your knowledge panel to complete a conversion activity (Click to Call, Click for Directions, Click to Website). With an optimized GMB listing for service, a customer could look up “Chevrolet Service Near Me” and in one action be brought directly to your service scheduler. 

And all at no cost.

Increase Your Exposure \ Decrease Confusion

Once separated, you need to make sure that all of the accounts are optimized to ensure you are not missing customers who are looking to actively engage with service centers like yours. And a benefit of the separation is that the hours listed are specific to service. The phone number is specific to service. The website link is...well--you see where I am going with this. You need to make sure you optimize all areas of the listing to increase your exposure and decrease confusion for your customers. 

  • Complete all relevant listing fields thoroughly and include photos
  • Ensure your company name, email, address, and phone numbers are consistent across every web listing, including industry and online directories (NAP)
  • Test the phone number to ensure it is working. 
  • If at all possible, use a local number and not a tracking number.
  • Website link that directs the customer either to your service landing page or your service scheduler.

Once you have the basics in place, then add the rest to make your knowledge panel relevant, engaging, and easy for Google to valuate:

  • Great images of the service area. Include all amenities, service lane, and any sanitization precautions that you take as a dealership. The more pictures, the better!
  • Upload video here! (And you know Google’s algorithms love video!)
  • Add any offers that you are running on the website or on social platforms. Make sure the CTA links directly to either the service landing page or your scheduler.
  • Add all services into GMB--think Pickup and Dropoff services, mobile service solutions, and video conferencing. 
  • Add Events--if your Service Center has the ability to hold events--even virtual ones, this is a great way to get the message out to lots of people. For Free. 

Provide a Separate Place for Reviews

This is seen as both a positive and a negative, but once the listings are separated, you now have separate pages for service specific reviews, hours, specials, events, products, and so much more. The reviews are the highlight, though. The more reviews your dealership has (with responses), the more relevant it is to Google. Reviews have a direct correlation to SEO, and if you want to win first place with organic listings, this is where you need to spend some time.

You finally have a place to separate the sales and service reviews, and have them housed in different locations. And while the original and historical reviews cannot follow the Service page, you can start fresh and begin adding new reviews to the GMB page. 

The hardest part of this is creating the culture with your Service Advisors of asking for the review. There are many solutions that will do this for you, but there is nothing more effective than the direct ask by the Advisor followed by a text with the link to the GMB account.  Here is a quick and easy way to get the review link into the customer’s hands:

  • Go to your GMB dashboard.
  • Click on the Info link
  • Select the @ symbol to create your GMB Shortname.
  • Click on Home.
  • Find the section that says “Get More Reviews” and click “share profile”
  • Copy the link and send it to your customers by email, text message, or other instant messaging apps.

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