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Google Places Enhances Display For Dealer Name Searches

By Brian Pasch on Nov 28, 2011

At times I feel like a newspaper reporter on the Google "beat" just trying to stay up with the latest changes in Google search, Google Places, Google paid search, and their social strategy.  

This week I noticed that Google is exposing the details of the Google Places listing on a search that matches the business name.

This is an important change that dealers and their marketing agencies need to understand.  There are MANY searches a month for a dealer's business name.

Why Care About This Change?

The audits I completed on hundreds of Google Places pages for car dealers show that over 50% are incomplete and many do not have photos, videos, and proper categories selected.  They are not merchandized properly.  It's like having a crappy ad in the Yellow Pages, back in the day when that mattered.

Dealers should login to their Google Places account to see that it is "100% Completed" and also that they have:

  • - 5 standardized business categories (needed to optimize impressions)
  • - 5 Videos (I recommend three testimonial videos)
  • - 10 Photos (Not more than one photo of your building)
  • - A Compelling business description on your Home Page META Description
  • - Set The Proper Service Area Radius
  • - Completed the additional details section of the listing.

Google Places SERP Display

Red Box

In the example above, the basic address, phone number, and reviews are listed in the red box.  I will not rehash the importance of reviews and their impact on direct referral traffic.  Increase your review counts and traffic will increase.   

Your goal should be to have at least 100 more reviews than any competitor in your market.  The more you differentiate your Google Places listing from your peers, the more clicks your listing will receive. 

Green Box

The green box now expands the visibility of the photos that have been loaded on the Google Places listing.

This change should be an immediate call to review your photos.  I do NOT recommend that you load up photos of your building or your OEM logo.  Load photos of HAPPY people getting delivery of cars, your staff, and any photos that draw the consumers to click through to your website.

Orange Box

The orange box lists reviews on 3rd party websites and in this format, the reviews have high visibility.  Once again I will remind business owners that they need to have a comprehensive review strategy that covers the 3rd party websites that appear on Page One or in Google Places as a summary.

For this dealer, they should be actively managing reviews on Insiderpages, Dealerrater, and SuperPages since they are highly visibile on Google Places when a consumer searches for their dealership name.

Google Places Directory Listing Changes

Google has also changed the way it lists businesses on Google Page One.  For example, I did a search for "Toyota Dealers" with my browser set for Plano Texas, and this is what was displayed:

This is a change from the old listing format that looked like this:

The new format also exposes more of the content on your Google Places page so your FIRST sentence in your Home Page META DESCRIPTION now plays a marketing call to action role in Google Places business lists.

Do, you know what this means.  Get to work on making sure that your Google Places data and listing is optimized for connecting with consumers during and after the Zero Moment of Truth.

Did you enjoy this update? If so, please share it and click on the +1 button below.  

And I hope to see many DrivingSales members at the 2012 Digital Marketing Strategies Conference just prior to NADA in Las Vegas. 


Brian Pasch CEO of PCG

Brian Pasch, CEO
PCG Digital Marketing
Text PCGedu to 75674 get information on our upcoming conferences


Very cool Brian - thanks for keeping us up to date...

Nov 28, 2011

Google is the new yellow pages. What is a phone book? Got to optimize your places page and make it stand out. #aZMOT!

Nov 29, 2011

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