Local Search is important for car dealerships in Canada because car dealers are local businesses – simple enough!
A huge part of Local SEO is to claim and manage your Google+ place business listing; it’s even more important than your Apple Maps listing. Google Places accounts blend with the authority of your website and often appear above website listings directly in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS).
The first step to ranking in a blended (maps and website listing) result is to claim your account and populate it with your business information. Simply follow my handy-dandy instructions below:
1. Sign in to your Google Account or create an account for free at www.gmail.com.
2. Go to maps.google.ca, type in your dealership’s name and city and click “search.”
3. Next you will see a map of your location and region with your business listed on the left-hand side of the page.
4. Click on your business name and a location box will appear on the map.
5. Click on “more info” in your location box.
8. Next, add in your business information. The more the better! The more information you provide Google, the better that Google robots will understand your business and rank you appropriately.
9. Make sure you add as many Business Categories as you can:
- Car dealership
- Used car dealership
- Auto body
- Service repair
10. Adding pictures will ensure that the right images show up in your Google Place listings. If you don’t upload any pictures, Google may choose a random image from your website. Some dealers have had issues with used cars of different brands showing up as their main image.
12. In the Additional Details section, you may add your dealership’s brands: Buick, Chevrolet, Honda, etc.
13. Once you have added all of your information, click Submit.
14. You will be taken to a screen where you can select how you would like to validate your listing. Sometimes there are three options:
- By postcard
- By text message
- Or by phone validation
In some cases there is only one option. The Phone option is usually the easiest. Once you have selected the option most convenient for you (or the only option available), a Google robot will send you a special code to validate your listing.
- If you select the phone option, your phone will ring immediately. Be sure to tell your receptionist to record the code the Google robot recites.
- If you select the text message option, you should receive a validation code on your cell phone.
- If you select the “postcard” option, you will receive a card in the mail in a couple weeks with the code. Make sure to tell whoever manages your dealership’s mail that this is NOT spam.
15. Once you have received your Google Places code, validate your listing by entering your Google Places Pin and clicking “Go.”
Congratulations! Your listing should now be validated. Don’t forget to manage the page on a regular basis, add posts, images, and campaign your clients for reviews. Reviews on your Google Place account is a strong ranking factor.
Managing your Google+ Place account on a regular basis can help you show up in a coveted spot in the SERPS.
~ Samantha Goettel