Why Being a 5-Star Truck Dealership Requires a Well-Run Google My Business Listing

If you own or operate a commercial truck dealership in 2020, you might have noticed fewer people walking through the door compared to years past. You might also have noticed an uptick in your website traffic as people lean in to online retail. If your business was focusing on a digital presence prior to 2020, the conversion to shopping online may have been advantageous to your dealership. One thing the coronavirus pandemic has shown commercial truck dealers is that now is the time to focus more on digital marketing. If you own or operate a commercial truck dealership and you want to focus on your online presence, the best place to start is with a Google My Business (GMB) listing.

What is a Google My Business Listing?

Google My Business is a free tool offered by Google to help improve local marketing and manage your online presence across Google. The tool allows businesses to control some of the information displayed within a Google Search Results Page and on Google Maps. Think of GMB as an extension of a social media presence directed specifically at Google searchers. First and foremost, it is there to display the accurate name, address, and phone number of your business that should be displayed to Google searchers. But beyond that, there are many additional ways a GMB listing can be used. You can add a link to your website, list the hours of operation (and update them around the holidays), and you can add a list of the services your dealership offers. Once you’ve added the most accurate and up-to-date information, the GMB listing allows a business owner to solicit and respond to reviews, answer questions and even make posts about offers and featured inventory that will be displayed with your business results.

What’s in It for My Dealership With a Google My Business Listing?

Now that you understand what a Google My Business listing is, here are some statistics to show you why you should be optimizing your GMB listing:

  • As reported in an article for Forbes Magazine, “49% of businesses with a GMB listing receive more than 1,000 search views per month, and 33% receive 1,000+ on Google Maps.”

  • According to Google, mobile searches for “store open near me” (such as, “grocery store open near me” and “auto parts store open near me”) have grown by over 250% in the last two years.

  • As stated in a recent Google My Business Insights Study conducted by Bright Local, a typical business receives 59 actions from their GMB listing each month.

  • In the same study, Bright Local shared that 34 % of local businesses are seen more than 1,000 times per month through discovery searches, which is a query where the searcher was not specifically looking for your business. The potential customer used Google Search or Google Maps to look for a category, product, or service related to what your business offers. This means if your business is not utilizing this tool, you could be missing out on more than 1,000 potential customers per month who may not even know your business exists.

  • The study also said that 64% of customers use Google My Business to find contact details. Dealerships receive the highest number of calls and website visits from GMB, with hotels having the highest views on search and maps.

The importance of Google My Business to the automotive industry is highlighted later by Bright Local when it shows that car dealerships receive the most direct searches (2,053 per month) and the third most discovery searches (5,062 per month) of any industry in the study. A direct search is when a customer looks for a business by name or brand.

Why does a Truck Dealership Need a Google My Business Listing?

The first and most important reason for a business to be listed on Google My Business is that it’s free. Other than the time and energy you put in to optimizing your GMB Listing, there is no charge to have an account. Additionally, having an optimized listing allows a dealership to show up in Google Maps and Local Google Search Results, as well as allows happy customers to leave reviews of your business.

In addition to these benefits, a GMB listing has a utility called “Insights,” which has several helpful functions. Primarily, Insights allows you to find out what people typed into a search engine when they found your business. It also tells them if the searcher found a business via search or a map, and what type of device they used when searching. Google Insights also allows you to find out what actions a searcher took (call, direction request, or website click) once they found the GMB listing. This data can help you determine where your online customers are coming from, how they are interacting with your website, and how you can better serve them on the web.

How Should a Truck Dealership Manage a Google My Business Listing?

Once you understand the importance of having a well-run Google My Business listing, it is imperative to know how to optimize the listing in order to show up in Google searches over your competitors. Steps to setting up your listing are as follows:

  • Claim your Google My Business listing

  • Complete the profile thoroughly

  • Add photos of your facility, staff, and customers

  • Publish posts and new photos regularly, adding in calls to action when possible

Claim your Google My Business listing

The first thing you must do to get started with Google My Business is to claim your listing if it already exists. Check by searching for your business at google.com/maps. If your business name populates in the drop-down with an address next to it, this means your business profile already exists. If it doesn’t populate, you can easily create a listing by clicking “Add a missing place.” Alternatively, you can go to google.com/business, click “Manage now” and follow the prompts. If there isn’t one, you can easily create a listing. There is a verification process that requires Google to send a piece of mail to the address you provided for your business. It contains a code you need to verify your listing. Verification protects you from anyone who might try to pose as a representative of your business, and you must verify your information before you can edit your business details on Google products.

Complete the profile thoroughly

Once you have claimed and verified the Google My Business Listing, it is important to thoroughly fill out all information related to your business. Do not leave any section blank unless there is a good reason to do so. It is extremely important that the name, address, and phone number listed on your GMB listing matches the information on your website. If you have different hours on the weekends, include them. Be sure to add anything that can separate you from your competition in the business description. If possible, use a local phone number and area code. This is an extra signal that Google uses to determine which businesses to place in a particular search when displaying geographic results.

Add photos of your facility, staff, and customers

Photos are important for a Google My Business listing because they show a human element to your business. Try not to use stock photos. While you don’t have to hire a photographer, try to make the photos look as professional as possible. At the same time, don’t be afraid to be human and show some personality. It is also important to post pictures regularly. One or two photos added once or twice a month is a good schedule and usually results in more views of your photos than if you post several photos at once. The Google Algorithm detects how frequently a business is optimizing their GMB listing. The more often the listing is updated, the better. Adding photos is an easy way to show the Google Algorithm that you are optimizing the account.

Publish posts regularly

In addition to periodically adding photos, it is important to create posts in Google My Business. The posts are similar to those you would post to social media, but you don’t have to post as frequently to GMB as you do to other social media sites. Once a month is ideal, but even creating a post about a special offer your dealership is running once a quarter will help your listing show up more often.

A Google My Business listing is a free tool that will help propel your business to success in 2020 and beyond.

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2020/08/10/google-my-business-goes-from-search-to-social/#44af3b0a712b

  2. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/data/mobile-search-data-for-stores-open-near-me/

  3. https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/07/google-my-business-insights.html

  4. https://www.brightlocal.com/research/google-my-business-insights-study/

  5. https://www.brightlocal.com/research/how-car-dealerships-are-speeding-ahead-with-google-my-business/

photo credit: istockimage.com/ChainarongPrasertthai

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