How Many Google My Business Listings Can Your Dealership Have?
Recent online chatter has put this topic up for debate again: how many Google My Business listings can you have for your dealership? Luckily, Google has updated their own help pages specific to this issue to give us a definitive answer to what is allowable… but just because it’s allowed doesn’t mean you should follow exactly what they say as best practice. Sure, you’re well within your rights to cheat on your significant other, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing to do. An extreme example, I know, but don’t confuse being able to do something with it being something you SHOULD do, and this is especially true in the SEO world.
Google has now given car dealerships more freedom with how many GMB listings they can have spiraling from their main dealership profile. This now means you can have additional listings for your parts, service and finance departments, all complete with their own hours, reviews and more, everything a typical GMB listing lets you have. Further, you can also have separate GMB listings for each brand your dealership sells as new. For example, if you’re an FCA dealership, you could have individual Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat pages, along with your main listing and any of the above service or parts listings you decide on. That all equals up to the possibility of you being able to have 9 (or even more!) listings just from your one location, given, of course, you still follow all the applicable listing eligibility rules. That’s a lot of profiles, but do you need to have all of them? And, if so, how do they come in handy? We’ve broken down the pros and cons of these new car dealership GMB changes below, so take a look and find out what works best for you.
When Are You Eligible For Multiple Listings?
Google says it themselves, new car dealerships are able to have multiple listings, for your dealership, your brands and any additional departments. It’s easy to create new listings, just match the same name of your dealership from your primary listing, then add on the department name after it. Once that’s done, contact Google Support to nest that department page under your primary dealership, giving the listings a convenient “Located in *your dealership*” signifier under the location section. As always, make sure to get each listing properly verified once you’ve created (or claimed) it, so you can be sure of any changes going on with it, and easily rectify them if need be. The availability of these additional listings isn’t available for used car dealerships, they’re stuck with the one brand, given that they have a wide array of brands, and ones that aren’t always stagnant and who see a lot of turnover.
How To Know If You Already Have Other GMB Listings
Have you checked your dealership listing on Google Maps lately? If not, you might want to take a break from reading this and do so. If you think you just have your one listing, you may be surprised to find additional listings already listed right near your map location and your proper listing. Some of these may just be additional spam listings you need to get rid of, or there might actually be a parts or service department profile listed already. Whether someone created them previously or Google auto-created them themselves, something they’ve been known to do in the past where they see fit. But, as well, just because these listings exist, or you in theory have the ability to own them, it doesn’t mean you can under Google’s qualifications. You still need to follow Google’s guidelines for representing your business to see if you can have an additional parts or service page, like, for example, such as having a separate entrance, phone number and proper signage that separates itself, among others. If you’re not sure if you qualify, comb through Google’s guidelines and reach out to Google Support so you can be sure you’re not misrepresenting any facets of your business online.
How Many Google My Business Listings Should Your Business Have?
While Google has graciously given the ability to have a multitude of listings, that doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD have all those listings. The problem with having so many listings is it has the very real possibility of diluting your search presence and spreading your GMB engagement thin across all of these listings. For example, if someone reviews your service department listing, that review stays there, it doesn’t also connect to your primary listing, robbing you of consolidating your one prime listing with all of your dealership activity. Now, a good resource for those additional listings (like parts or service) is that it gives you the ability to easily post that specific department’s hours, since your primary dealership listing should always default with the sales hours. As well, even though the reviews will be split, perhaps you want it that way, so the good or the bad of the sales department doesn’t infringe on the good or the bad of the service department, if you like to keep their offerings and reputations separate.
In my professional opinion, I would advise against creating all of the available listings you can, just because you can. Your best bet is to focus all of your local search energy on one strong and united listing, to drive all your user engagement and presence to one Google My Business profile. We’ve seen this backfire on a number of clients, where a secondary department listing eclipses the primary dealership listing (which is unfortunate, especially if that secondary listing isn’t gaining popularity for a good reason). At the most, an additional service department listing, depending on your dealership’s strength or focus in the area, might be a good idea, especially since it’s one of the main reasons customers will be coming to you again (and hopefully again and again) outside of a new vehicle sale.
How Strathcom Can Help Manage Your GMB Listing(s)
If the above seems all too much to worry about, and you already have too much on your plate to devote the time and resources needed to keep everything straight, that’s where we at Strathcom Media come into play. Our Local SEO Fundamentals package includes Google My Business optimization as a highlight of its many offerings, where we do everything from setting up the profile in the first place, optimizing it to the best of Google’s standards, and then find us continuously monitoring and updating it as time goes by, protecting from any changes and adapting to any new Google updates. Don’t underestimate the importance of your dealership’s Google My Business listing, in some cases it’s just as important as your website as a destination that users searching for your dealership (or related terms) will end up on, and one you’ll want represented to the proper nth degree. For any questions or inquiries regarding our Local SEO Fundamentals package, please contact us and one of our SEO strategists would be happy to assist you further.