“Department nesting”… what is it?
It’s the act of making sure that Google is aware that the various department listings you’ve created are associated with your dealership’s primary sales listing. For this week’s episode we’re going to revisit the actual dealer listings we used as an example last week, remembering to obscure and protect their data – just in case you’re wondering what those funny little pixelations are. This dealer, in particular, is a good example because they’re set up with a primary Sales listing, as well as individual listings for Parts, Service, a Collision & Auto Body Repair Shop, as well as in-house insurance and car rental – all of which should fall under that primary listing.
Now, Google will try to do this for you automatically. If your information and address are consistent across the board, and you’ve taken the optimization steps we’ve discussed so far, chances are they’ll handle it. The problem is that leaving it up to Google may take time…costing you valuable opportunities so the best thing you can do is be proactive.
So, to show you this in the wild, let’s go back to our SERP dashboard. You can see links for each of those Departments listings within the primary sales listing. Convenient, right? Well, that’s how it should be, providing ease of access to your customers. Another cool feature is that – if your listings are properly nested – and a customer clicks ‘Hours’ on the main listing, it’ll also provide them with the hours for each of those nested departments, all in one place. Remember…when it comes to Google, it’s all about user experience, so taking these steps puts you in their favor and will benefit you when it comes to your dealership’s ranking in local search results.
So, how do you go about being proactive and making sure your department listings are properly nested? Let’s hop back to the Locations Listing in your Business Profile Manager. To the left of the screen, click ‘Support’ and select ‘Contact Us’. Under ‘Which business do you need help with?’ you’ll select your primary Sales listing. Under ‘Tell us what we can help with’ type ‘Departments’ then, from the buttons that appear, select ‘Departments within businesses’ and click ‘Next Step’ until it gives you the option of sending an email to Support. Be sure and follow all of the steps we outlined back in episode 2 then, when you get to the ‘Describe your issue’ field be explicit. Tell them you would like to list the following departments as located in [your primary sales listing, and address]. Then, list each of the department listings by name & address exactly as they appear in the verified listings that you’ve created. Hit ‘Submit’ and you’re doing everything you can to make it easy for your prospective customers to find your products and services.
An indication that department listings are properly nested is a ‘Located In’ link, which goes directly to the primary Sales listing, providing 2-way navigation. In the interest of transparency, this isn’t always the case, but it’s a good indicator that all the right steps have been taken.
Now, what happens if your department listings have different physical addresses? Well, that complicates things a bit, as Google may not want to link them – especially the further apart they are. Nesting can also be complicated by the location of dealerships within an automall, or shared retail location. The sheer number of layers can confuse Google and can even result in misconfigurations. That said, if you’re taking all the steps and keeping a close eye on your listings, you can usually tell when something is off.
NEXT week we’re going to get into another ranking factor, and look at what people are saying about your dealership. That’s right, we’re going to get into Reviews.