Google My Business Plays a Larger Role For Dealerships Than You Might Expect
When looking at search results from the past few years, an increasing trend for car dealerships can be seen. This is particularly true after August, 2018, when Google made a core algorithm update. The top three search industries for discovery purposes are hotels, restaurants, and car dealerships. These three industries are all highly competitive because there are alot of options to choose from within a relatively close distance. Car dealerships stand out because vehicles are a high ticket price item. This means people are more likely to travel further if they think they are getting a better deal. With the high ticket pice, people also do much more research before purchasing a vehicle, which means more searches and more clicks. This is why showing up in search reults is an important factor in driving sales for dealerships. Let’s take a deeper look at the driving factors of this.
The information from this article derives from a study done by BrightLocal. A link to the source page can be found at the bottom of this article.
Search Views vs Map Views
When searching through Google, the knowledge card shows up in both local pack listings and Google Maps searches. The local pack is the geo-based results that Google gives you based on your location (See image). As mentioned above, people are usually willing to travel further for a better deal when it comes to cars because of the higher price. Google knows this so your results on search will show a larger geographical area than if you were to search for restaurants for example. There are far fewer dealerships per square mile than restaurants, and the search results reflect this. Improving your knowledge card will allow you te show up for local search and map searches ahead of your competition.
Interactions with your website are an important metric for several reasons. First, it allows you to gauge the interest in your website, as well as fall off points, bounce rate, and click through rates. Second is that interactions lead to contact points, which can convert to sales. People getting directions to your dealership are likely to stop in, generating a potential sale. Someone who clicks the call link to your phone number are likely looking for information, giving the person answering the phones a chance to draw them in. People clicking through to your website are going to be looking to learn more about your company, or maybe browse your inventory online. From here they may reach a customer support contact or call about something on your website that got their attention. All of these are great, but are less likely to happen if you are not visible online.
This is one of the most important interactions that a dealership can have for their website. The main factor in this is that people don’t just buy cars online for the most part. They come in, look at cars, take test drives, and have to sign documents. With hotels, you can book rooms online. With restaurants, you can place orders online. You want people to call your dealership so you can get them to come in, even if it is just to view a vehicle. From here, the sales associate can focus on closing a deal. Having a visible knowledge card on Google can play a large factor in the number of calls you receive. There is a direct link on your knowledge card phone number that allows people to make one click calls to your business.
Reviews are another important aspect of your knowledge card. With all of the additional research done in looking to purchase a car, reviews are a trusted resource for knowledge. According to BrightLocal, car dealerships have more than twice the number of reviews than the average business. The top ranking local businesses also have an average of 38 reviews for their business. People interact more with reviews because they see these as honest insight from customers of that business. The overall average of reviews for local businesses are 4.42 stars on Google My Business. In addition, another study from BrightLocal shows that 57% of consumers wouldn’t use a business with less than a 4 star average rating. This means that Google will give higher ranking authority to companies with better reviews
From what we have seen in the studies of consumer trends, we can say with certainty that Google play a large factor in local search. You representation of your business in local search on Google comes from your Google My Business Knowledge Card. Optimizing this is the key to connecting potential customers to your business, resulting in more sales.
The information used in this article came from the following BrightLocal articles, as well as personal experience in local digital marketing.