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Ryan Gerardi

Ryan Gerardi Futurist

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3 Tips to Sell More Used Cars With Google My Business

In a recent panel discussion with Todd Somerville from Cox Automotive, and DrivingSales.com members Guy Campbell from Marketcheck, and Eric Miltsch from Dealer Teamwork, we talked at length about how increased competition is driving a need for better data and a focused marketing strategy.

The context of the conversation was around the used car business.

While discussing predictions over CPO sales for 2020, Somerville brought up that customers can shop around and compare used cars against new with precision and while they’re on the lot. The result is increased competition among dealers and finance companies to win the consumer’s attention and sale.

During this research process, consumers are engaging with dealers directly on Google My Business profiles. But if your GMB profile for the dealership isn't verified and optimized effectively, your dealership is likely missing out on opportunities, which of course benefits your competitors who are properly verified and optimized.

Eric Miltsch from Dealer Teamwork was quick to point out the benefit of making the most of Google My Business (GMB).

“GMB is more than just a listing through the Google search engine,” explains Miltsch. “It’s quickly becoming the way many people find and evaluate local businesses.”

The impact of GMB can be seen in 10 leading factors affecting SEO search results, a handy list that Eric and his team put together coming into the webcast.

Top 10 Local SEO Ranking Factors

Verified and Optimized Google My Business profile

Google My Business categories

Google My Business photos

Bing Places

Online directories (YP.com)

Review site listings (Yelp)

Velocity of positive reviews

Reviews with keywords & locations

Responses to negative reviews

Facebook business page

With three of the ten factors directly impacted by the GMB platform, it’s easy to see why it’s become increasingly important for businesses. Eric shared the overall strategy for improving the GMB related factors.

  1. Verified and Optimized Google My Business Profile - Verifying the listing with GMB allows dealers to create the content and control the data displayed. Without verification, Google scrapes whatever information it can.
  2. Google My Business Categories - When data scraping is allowed to autofill categories, dealers can be mixed up or mis-categorized, making it harder for you to come up in a general search.
  3. Google My Business Photos - Fuzzy screen grabs from Google Maps or stock photos won’t do your dealership any favors. “Any profile with more than 100 gets exponentially more engagement and traction within the search results. Bottom line - more photos are better.”

An online presence has always been important and now the GMB platform is making a diverse presence just as important.

As Eric stated in the discussion, “About 61-62% of all car searches are starting on the phone. You're probably winding up with at least 40-45% of all dealership traffic in some way or shape interacting with that Google My Business profile. It’s the new doorway to the website.”

 

Martins Ville

If any dealer is posting fuzzy images in an era where every phone has an epic camera then dealers are dunce.

Let's talk about an actionable opportunity with GMB. And that is posting every newly inventory used car in a single Google Post. 

You post a clear picture of the vehicle (no need to try to get in the dealer logo because at this point the buyer doesn't care who you are they're just looking for the car that they want). Sell the car in the first five words, and then close out a nice short paragraph with a call to action with a call to action at the Google post give you to learn more that will allow them to click to the actual VDP with the vehicle.

And if you guys are smart... when they clicked on that link and got to the VDP a little pop-up would say "welcome Google maps shopper".

$10 million idea.

Morgan Hardy

Almost all smartphone users use the GMB phone number or message option when available. A lot of businesses, not just dealerships are missing the boat with this and not keeping their info updated properly. 

Ryan Gerardi

GMB is still relatively new so yeah the majority of dealers and businesses would not have their GMB strategy dialed in. Lot of room here for improvement for sure. 

Morgan Hardy

@Ryan- I agree. Especially old school dealers/GM's. They don't seem to understand the concept. I think it's a great tool and they should all be using it more. 

Darren Walker

I've seen it first hand and data don't lie, the beautiful thing about it.  We've seen growth of over 300% on our GMB the last year alone.  Pictures and video, like any other platform are playing such a huge role.  Seeing an average of at least 100k photo views per month. 

Choosing the right category is the most important step 1 and be sure to not add more than 5. 

If you have (or are) a reliable SEO don't treat GMB's any different.  Use GMB posts to link together with the same relevancy (think linking Used vehicle posts together).  It won't push the ranking needle but really helps with relavancy to your listing.

The biggest challenge any dealer will face is a proximity-based search result.  Local search has evolved so much in the past 5 years what you search 100 feet from your last location will likely be different.  Take that into consideration when you hire someone or are tracking your GMB rankings throughout the city/suburb you want to show up for. 

It's an evolving game but one dealers aren't even bothering with. From our results we are seeing so many calls, direction requests etc just from the listing alone it's making our website almost a secondary online tool!

Good luck everyone!

 

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