Google My Business has become Google Business Profile (GBP).
It’s a free service that helps you manage how your dealership shows up across Google platforms, such as search results and Maps.
We live in a digital age where a customer’s search for their dream unit usually doesn’t extend past the first page of search results. Dealerships that don’t establish themselves online are likely to fall behind their competitors. Beyond having a website and creating social media pages, dealers need to actively manage their GBP.
Why You Need a Google Business Profile
Google is one of the most-used search engines, so it’s highly likely that your customer market is on Google, searching for their next purchase. Businesses that are Google-verified are twice as likely to be considered trustworthy (Google).
Benefits of Google Business Profile
Show Local Shoppers You Exist
Not having a Google presence is almost like being invisible. By claiming your GBP, you can prove to local shoppers that your dealership exists in the area. You can also show your dealership’s credibility, services and map to your store.
Control Your Online Information
If shoppers see conflicting business information online, they are inclined to think the business is outdated or unreliable. When you update your GBP, that information updates every else, keeping your important information streamlined and accurate.
GBP helps you control the information about your business that shows up in search results or on Google Maps. When most of your potential customers are searching online, what they see (or don’t see) on your GBP is crucial.
Maintain Accurate Business Information
Nearly half of all Google searches are looking for local information (Industry Dive), using phrases such as “near me.” Get in front of these local shoppers by filling out your GBP with your dealership’s store hours, website URL, address and phone number.
This includes adding temporary changes to your store hours during major holidays, so shoppers know whether your dealership is open for business. Google will often send an email reminder prompting you to update your holiday hours.
Interact with Shoppers
Interaction with potential customers occurs in two main ways:
- Sharing photos of your inventory and services: Shoppers, especially younger generations, expect to see images of your dealership, including your logo and units.
- Gathering and responding to customer reviews: Don’t just respond to negative or positive reviews – connect with anyone who’s providing feedback. If a shopper is upset, apologize for their experience and offer to fix the problem, even if it’s not your fault. This shows other Google users that you’re invested in the customer experience.
Attract New Leads
A complete and accurate GBP enhances your dealership’s searchability and makes your brand more attractive to potential customers. Your GBP includes your website’s link, which means you can direct shoppers to your website straight from your profile.
How to Use Google Business Profile
The first step should be to claim your business if you haven’t already. Create or use an existing Google account to sign in to Google Maps. You can either search for your business in the search bar or add your business by clicking on that option in the menu. If your business is already added, be sure to claim it in Google Maps and then verify it by following the onscreen steps.
Next, get familiar with your Google Business Profile dashboard, where you can add and update your dealership’s information in the following categories:
- Info: Your dealership’s basic and important information
- Photos: Images that you and your customers have taken of your dealership
- Products and services: Add and remove inventory and services as needed
- Calls and messages: Track calls and messages that come to your dealership through Google
- Insights: GBP’s dynamic analytics dashboard tracks your online reach
- Posts: Notify shoppers of new inventory, seasonal promotions and specialty services
- Reviews: View and respond to customer feedback
Having a Google Business Profile not only gives you greater control over your dealership’s online information and brand equity; it also provides a dynamic platform to connect with potential customers. From reading and responding to online reviews to understanding how and why shoppers visited your website, GBP provides the insights your dealership needs to progress confidently into the digital future.
For more resources on enhancing your dealership’s digital appeal, check out our recent post on meeting customer expectations. You’re also welcome to connect with our industry experts for insights on managing a successful online presence.