When I first decided to write about this topic, I struggled with where do I start?
It may not be obvious to some, but the primary reason you should have a Google+ Business Page is, “It’s GOOGLE!”
They are capable of sending you FREE, organic traffic, if you have everything setup correctly. Do it right the first time.
You know, the ones who suck $100’s of thousands from your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) budget each year, just so you can get some traffic to your poorly converting websites. These very same prospects you had to pay Google for, could have been served up organically, had you not been so quick to throw more cash into PPC.
Google Plus for Car Dealers will make your physical business more evident online. It’s an essential part of your Local SEO checklist. It seems the checklist never gets fully implemented. Dealers who would rather pay for traffic are never going to experience the true benefits of having Local SEO planning work in their favor.
Google Plus for car dealers is another social media platform that is growing in popularity quickly.
Google+ Facts: Why You Want a Biz Page
- #2 most used social network globally
- Google share of USA Search market = 67%
- Google share of USA Mobile Search = 87%
- 300 million people are active Google Plus users
- Estimated website traffic from organic search = 64%
- Verified business pages get noticed in Google search
- Local SEO organic SERP will improve dramatically
Car Dealer’s are generous advertisers and therefore get hammered by tons of vendors with cool software. Vendors choose the Automotive niche because they understand car dealers are big spenders and have significant advertising budgets.
Why do car dealers spend so much on advertising?
Could it be they never setup a custom blog to address problems potential car buyers would someday experience?
Could it be that they blew off social media because it seems like mindless noise?
Could it be that sound and sustainable SEO has been overlooked?
Could it be that the dealership is not familiar with digital marketing and more comfortable sticking with what they know: Print, Radio, TV, Outdoor, 3rd Party Classified, and some Pay-Per-Click with Google, Bing, and Yahoo?
It’s usually a combination and no ones fault. It’s simply a lack of education of those who choose not to change or consider diverting advertising budgets to digital.
I remember visiting with a car dealer in Seattle, Washington who said, “We have been advertising with the Seattle Times for over 40-years and just cancelled the other day” The Seattle Times was billing them $300,000 per year! Now, I knew newspaper was expensive in my market (Portland, Oregon) but was shocked to hear they paid $25,000/month. The ROI had suffered horribly since 2010 that the dealer started asking fresh Lot UP’s “How did you hear about us?” The overwhelming answer was, “I found you online” so, the dealer decided it was time to stop advertising with the newspaper. Many dealers are led to believe (by the newspaper) that if your are not visible in print, people will think your gone, don’t exist and “out of business” Not being top of mind when it is time to buy.
There may be some truth in that for the impulse buyer who does not see your full-page spread the day they go shopping, but not likely. With 90% of automotive shoppers starting online, you must invest in your long-term SEO strategy with a focus on LOCAL. A strong local presence begins with Google Plus.
Here is the Google Plus Business Page D-I-Y Method:
- Setup a free GMAIL account for the dealership.
- Choose a strong Password, share with your GM what you chose.
- Compile NAP (name, address, phone) info for your business citations.
- Write down URL, Domain name for main dealership website page.
- Use primary phone number for this business citation listing.
- Verify your business with Google. This is still done via mail.
- Link your Google+ Business Page to your dealership website.
- Add content to Google+ Business Page, do not leave it blank.
- Add nice high-res photos of your dealership, add alt tags to photos.
- Start asking happy customers to leave REVIEWS on Google.
- Google reviews out rank Dealerrater, Edmunds, Cars.com, etc.
- Send buyers a link to your Google Business Page. (build reviews)
So now that you know it’s important, go to the GM and say, “I need $99 of your monthly marketing budget to make sure we get found locally on Google” I don’t know what Local SEO vendor’s charge for this service as I do it for FREE. It is something that must be done before you spend anymore money on marketing. Call or email if you want me to take care of it.