Car dealerships are faced with a number of unusual challenges related to digital marketing. But few are as time-consuming as business listings, especially if you’re trying to promote multiple departments or sell multiple brands from a single rooftop.
This situation is unique for dealerships and can create confusion and complications with local search, which is a critical aspect of local marketing and a primary method of generating awareness and revenue from local traffic.
Google Changes the Game for Business Listings
A fairly significant Google My Business (GMB) update flew under the radar recently: New car dealerships are now eligible for multiple business listings. This means you can have one listing for your dealership and one listing for each brand of vehicles you sell.
For example, Ali Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram can now create listings for Ali Chrysler, Ali Dodge, Ali Jeep and Ali Ram. Each of these listings can be tied to the main GMB listing, identified as Ali Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. (This update is restricted exclusively for new car dealers.)
Here are three important reasons why you should create separate listings for various car brands and services you offer:
• Separating sales, service and parts on GMB by creating nested departments will enable your dealership to better compete against third-party aftermarket service and parts providers.
• Separating your departments improves relevance in search results for consumers looking for a specific service, such as an oil change, tune up, tires or a parts store near them. When people perform a near-me search for brake inspection, for instance, your service department may rank in search results, whereas without a separate listing, it probably won’t.
• Separate listings drive more traffic to your locations. One of our recent studies compared two sets of dealerships. New car dealers with separate business listings for sales, service, parts and collision saw a 22% lift in impressions of organic Google listing views when compared to a holdout group of new car dealers with a single GMB listing. The study also found a 17% lift in consumer clicks for driving directions to the dealership for those dealers with separate listings.
How Do You Create Additional Listings?
To create additional listings for departments within your dealership, just repeat the process of creating a new business listing on GMB using the name of your dealership with the department name — for example, Ali Chevrolet Service, Ali Chevrolet Parts and Ali Chevrolet Collision. Be sure to select the appropriate categories, so your listing will be associated with likely keywords in search queries. You can find more information on how to do that on Google’s support page.
Take Action — Or Google Will
As of mid-April, Google began taking matters into their own hands by arbitrarily nesting departments on your dealership’s behalf. This means if Google has information about your dealership service or parts department, they will create a department on GMB and nest it on your main GMB listing without your knowledge. If this happens, you need to verify that the displayed information such as service hours, phone numbers and photos are accurate and current.
Be Found and Chosen in Local Search
Now that Google has made it possible to create separate service and parts listings, dealerships would be remiss to not take advantage of the feature. Remember, customer experience starts with the first Google search — what they see on your business listing will help them decide whether to choose your dealership or a competitor’s.