We are living in a time of fast-paced and continual change–especially within automotive marketing. It is more important than ever to pay attention to the changes and stay ahead of the curve, but it can be overwhelming knowing where to start.

Google My Business (GMB) has been a focus in automotive for quite some time, but many have not taken the time to analyze and refine their own. Now is a GREAT time to do this, as 1) We have a little more time on our hands 2) Google has implemented new features for GMB.

Google My Business Logo

Since there is so much that we could focus on, I created a “must-do” list to help you prioritize. This is part 1 of a 2 part series in how to own and optimize your GMB account.

Set Up/Reclaim your Google My Business Account

Setting up your GMB properly is important because it will help your consumers find what they are looking for and fast.  With the majority of your consumers searching for you on their mobile devices, this is more important than ever.

The most important step is to ensure that you have claimed and verified your GMB for your dealership.This is the only way you can gain access to the suite of tools we will be talking about today. If you’re not sure if the listing for your dealership is verified, simply check the GMB Dashboard to see if your business already exists.

More often than not, many of our partners had a third party or old employee create their GMB, and do not know how to access it to make updates.  If you have an account, but have no clue who manages it and do not have access, here is a guide on how to get access back. If this does not work, reach out to us and we will help!

New Features to Focus On

1. Create separate listings for Service & Parts or Collision Department.

One of the most exciting enhancements is the ability to create additional GMB listings for Service & Parts or Collision Departments. These departments typically have different hours of operation and messaging that is needed. This change will allow your business to give consumers the correct information when they are searching for your Parts & Service Departments or Collision Centers.

There was a time when Google didn’t want you to have a separate GMB listing for your dealership’s Sales, Service & Parts Department and/or Collision Center if these entities were all located at the same address. Thankfully, Google has since changed their stance on multiple listings at the same address, and it’s now a best practice to separate your departments into multiple listings.

Ensure the name, address, and phone number are consistent for both your Service/Parts listing and your Collision Center listing. 

One important change you will have to make, once you have completed separating out these listings, is to update your categories. Chances are you listed the repair center or collision center in the categories for your Sales listing when you originally created your GMB listing. You will need to go in and remove those from your Sales listing and update the categories for your new Service and Parts listing and Collision Center listing. Don’t skip these steps. It’s important the information is correct to gain the most out of your GMB listings. 

Categories help identify the services your business offers, so that Google will show your listing for relevant searches.

Select a Primary Category that describes your whole business, for example Hyundai Dealer and then select Secondary Categories that explain the services your dealership offers.  

Here is a helpful link that will walk you through how to do this.

One of the most important things this will impact is your hours of operation. Make sure that the proper hours of business operation are listed within your GMB profile. There have been many dealers we have consulted that did not even know they have the wrong hours of operation!

Here is the easiest way to adjust the hours to make sure your customers know when to come in.

What’s Next?

This is the first in a two part series of how to take back and update your Google My Business page. Our next post will walk you through the importance of cleaning up your UTMs (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry! We will walk you through it) and help optimize your GMB listing for automotive.