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

  • 7 Reasons You Should Still Be Sending Direct Mail

    Digital marketers everywhere have argued for years that direct mail is dead. In the auto industry specifically, dealers have been pushed towards digital medias like email, web, and social marketing. Although these digital channels are low-cost with instant response, it’s important to continue to supplement your digital marketing with direct mail. To prove direct mail is alive and kicking, Advertising Age’s recent study reported direct mail spend will reach $48.3 billion in 2015. Even in the auto industry, NADA reported direct mail made up 10.7% of a dealership’s total advertising spend in 2014. As you can see, direct mail is not dead and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon. If you’ve abandoned direct mail in your marketing mix or need some help convincing yourself to get back in the direct mail game, here are seven reasons you should still be sending direct mail. Get Noticed in the Mailbox More and more businesses are opting for digital methods of marketing simply based o...Read post

  • Is Having Too Many Pictures A Bad Thing? Perhaps

    It wasn’t too long ago that we saw most dealers’ VDP pages contain only a couple of pictures of a vehicle. As technology improved and made it easier and more efficient for dealers to take and upload more images, best practices quickly raised the standard for image quantity to 40 or more pictures. Now, however, a recent article in Automotive News cites a white paper that suggests that a VDP page that contains more than 9 photos causes “image fatigue” in a consumer. Apparently this results in a drop off in lead volume as consumers get tired of clicking through multiple images to find the information they are seeking – whether that be interior images, exterior images, or whatever aspect may be important to that particular buyer.   The thought process behind providing multiple images is that the consumer has the ability to inspect a vehicle online and gain more interest by having any questions about vehicle condition answered. The results of the white paper suggest that the ...Read post

  • Planning Your ZMOT Sales Funnel

    Large amounts of money are often spent on digital marketing to get shoppers to click through to an automotive dealership website.  Often, however, the site is not prepared to further move those shoppers down a definite sales funnel.  The "everything but the kitchen sink" method of VDP design is thankfully starting to fade with more focus on a path for shoppers to take. Traditionally, "sales funnel" has referred to the various stages of advertising such as "awareness/branding", “consideration” and “purchase”.  Here, "sales funnel" is used to describe the most efficient path that zero moment of truth customers can travel to get the product they are trying to purchase. The main ingredient is to deliver what was promised in the marketing.  With zero moment advertising, a dealer will want to focus on putting the same offer on their website that was referenced in the advertising, along with one or possibly two paths to receiving the offer.  Those paths could include chat, phon...Read post

  • Call Me, Big Data

    What do people know about digital marketing? Are you a unique visitor? What does SEM stand for? Have you ever had data leakage? Tealium takes these questions and more to the streets -- and beaches -- of San Diego. Hear what people have to say in this fun video that exposes how digital marketing.     ...Read post

  • Ten Reasons Your Dealership Should Be Blogging

    Every box on your checklist is ticked and your digital marketing finally seems to be firing on all cylinders. Your dealership’s site looks great, your display ads are reaching shoppers across the web, your rankings on search engine results pages are high and you just posted an inspiring announcement to Facebook about your company’s local Little League sponsorship. It all feels so great! Maintaining the momentum behind such a comprehensive digital presence, however, is a tremendous amount of work. So, naturally, when you find out that your dealership should have a blog in addition to all of the aforementioned, you might feel more than a little resistant to the suggestion. Hear us out. The benefits of blogging are beyond numerous, and many of the points made below may provide new and more detailed insight as to why this is a worthwhile investment of your valuable time and effort.Read post

  • Google: Go Mobile-Friendly or Go Away, Automotive Website Providers

    We have had the blessing of only "blacklisting" a couple of website providers since we started doing SEO for dealers in 2013. Now, there's a chance we'll need to blacklist some more thanks to Google finalizing its "mobile-friendly" algorithm update. More and more traffic going to dealership websites is on mobile devices because more people use their phones and tablets as their primary (often only) method of going online. The mobile-friendly update only affects those searching on mobile devices (for now) so some dealers have challenges and they don't even know it based upon no loss in rankings on desktop searches. They'll see it in their traffic numbers. In essence, the update is designed to push websites lower in mobile searches if they do not play well with mobile devices. There are a handful of things that can cause this such as small fonts, small buttons, Flash components, or basically anything that is not conducive to delivering a great mobile experience. It's page by page, m...Read post

  • App Technology Can Drive Revenue Growth and Improve CSI

    In today's market place, there is no excuse for being behind the technology curve. After all, that's where your dealership's customers are. Read post

  • Adult Social Media Usage 2015

    A recent article by Pew Research Center* has shed some light on current social media usage among adults.  Overall, more than 50% of adults are on social media daily, and increasingly on multiple platforms.  While Facebook remains the reigning champion, other platforms are making strides, and if one is to market on these channels, an understanding of demographics can help make advertising more fruitful. Facebook is still the king when it comes to overall adult social media usage.  While it hasn't grown membership at the same rates as other platforms, it still has twice the overall usage of other platforms and has increasing engagement thanks to more precise algorithms being used and more relevant ad targeting. Twitter has seen gains and now boasts about a quarter of adults on social media.  By contrast, Instagram seems to get its social media usage primarily from a younger audience, although more and more adults are catching on and adopting the platform.  Pinterest is still in hi...Read post