Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Marketing

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

Brian Pasch CEO of PCG

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

Comments

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

Comments 1 - 2 of 0

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Brian Pasch's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • 3 Halloween Ideas for Car Dealerships

    Trick or treat! There’s a little less than two weeks until Halloween! Does your dealership have a plan for how to bring more shoppers into the showroom and service bays during this fun and hopefully-not-too-scary time? You should! Holidays are always an opportune time to foster some community spirit and be the host to memorable events for your customers and prospects. If you’re struggling with coming up with ideas for how to celebrate Halloween while bringing in more sales, I’ve put together a few ideas below that are sure to get your community excited to come see you.   Throw a Community Halloween Party Everyone loves a party, right? Provide food, drinks, and music, have a costume contest with prizes, set up a haunted house, hayrides pulled by a truck (to show off the impressive strength of your vehicles) give out candy, and make sure everyone has a good time. Events like these build community bonds and even if the attendees don’t buy a car while they are there, theyRead post

  • 3 Phone Training Strategies That Apply to Every Department at Your Dealership

    What do your BDC, sales department and service department all have in common? The phone. Though each department is very different, talking with prospective or current buyers on the phone is a crucial part of how they do business. As the dealer, do you think your employees’ phone skills are up to par? If your answer is yes, the chances are you aren’t looking at the data. Dealerships are actually losing more than $400,000, just because of poor phone skills alone! There are things that you as the dealer or manager can do to promote uniformity on the phone, and ultimately achieve top-notch customer service. By having a once a week meeting with your teams, you can set out to address these three items that will increase credibility, customer service and revenue into your dealership. 1. Product knowledge- The only way your employees will get a prospective buyer into the dealership is if they sell them on the car the customer is interested in over the phone. Whether it’s questions abou...Read post

  • Your "SEO Guy" Is Laughing The Whole Way To The Bank

    An in-depth look at whether SEO is alive or dead and what you need to know RIGHT NOW to save your website and your bottom line.Read post

  • The Pursuit of Mediocrity is YOUR Best Friend

    The car business is loaded with lions and gazelles. Some are ferocious, competitive beasts who want nothing but the best and they're willing to do what it takes to acquire it. Others accept what they're given and they're happy to still be alive and thriving after the economic hardship came and went.Read post

  • Stand Out by Reminding Customers to Fall Back

    We always talk about how to build loyalty among your existing customers. This week’s idea goes a long way in helping you achieve this goal. You probably haven’t realized it yet, but the Daylight Saving time change is just around the corner, Sunday, November 2nd. You may remember my recommendation this spring and even last year to market the time change to your customers. Well, this is a reminder to do it again. Sending a time change reminder to your customers is a great way to stay top-of-mind and create brand awareness without having to send them hard-hitting deals. Think about it. Your customers appreciate when you send them vehicle incentives or service offers, but sometimes they want to hear from you without your latest deal front and center in your communication. A helpful reminder to fall back is one communication that will help you STAND OUT among your competitors and show customers you’re thinking of them. Some of our clients choose to offer service discounts with their...Read post

  • Incoming! Why Every Phone Call Should Be Treated as Mission Critical

    When was the last time you tried calling into your own--or another--dealership? Chances are high that the phone went unanswered, you were put on hold, routed into voicemail or were told that the sales or service person you're trying to reach is out to lunch.   The latest data collected from our call center agents is overwhelming: car dealers are missing way too many sales and service opportunities from lost phone leads. Behind showroom ups, these are the highest value inquiries with high close rates and fast turnaround times.    Here are the facts:   Only one in six incoming calls to dealerships is handled properly; that is, the customer connects with a person who can help them with their inquiry   Seventy percent of inbound calls to the service department are directed into voicemail or result in customer hang-ups due to long hold times   Don't blame the receptionist. Many receptionists become jacks-of-all-trades in dealerships; in addition to answering phones they are ex...Read post

  • Recap of the Best Tweets from DSES 2014

    In case you missed the great dealer education opportunity that happened in Las Vegas this week, ActivEngage has put together a Twitter Recap of some of the best key takeaway tweeted messages from the DrivingSales Executive Summit!  Check out them out, learn something, and apply them to your dealership’s processes NOW!   Employee retention is cheaper than employee acquisition. You’re spending more in training new employees every month than keeping them happy with simple surprises. #DSES @skeetle — Subi Ghosh (@subi101) October 13, 2014   Your mobile sites affects your reputation. 57% of users won't recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.#dses — Jeff Kershner (@dealerrefresh) October 13, 2014   Make sure shoppers can find your website while searching on their mobile phone. Sometimes mobile is the ONLY way they will find you. "If you aren't relevant to your consumers phone, you aren't relevant to them"#dses2014 — BreAnna Fisher (@FisherBre) O...Read post

  • Your Dealership's Website: How to Get the Most Out of It

    I heard a story about a prospect who came into a dealership and was asking about the television ad they had seen. It was a GM “Sign and Drive” campaign with no money out of pocket. After investigating the situation a bit more, the salesperson determined that the campaign was for their competitor in another part of town. When the salesperson went to the competitor’s website, the offer was nowhere to be found and the dealer wasn’t even highlighting any special! It was an interesting look at how dealers (and even vendors) view their websites – as a place to showcase their inventory, rather than the most important ad for their business. Read post

    By Cobalt on October 15, 2014