The countdown is on: first Christmas, then New Years, and then we’ll say hello to 2021…all within the next two weeks. Between the craziness of the holidays, and a new year to come, you can bet that prospective car buyers and service customers will be looking you up. But is your GMB listing set up to tell them what they need to know, or could it actually be working against you?
It’s been almost six months since we told you about 5 important steps you should be taking to properly optimize your GMB listings.
Here’s a quick recap:
1. Understand the GMB Listing options available to your dealership.
2. Select the proper category and configure it based on your business model and geography.
3. Select additional categories to help each listing rank higher.
4. Compare your categories against those of key competitors, adjusting as needed, and…
5. Make sure that your department listings are properly configured, so nested rankings don’t outrank your primary listing.
But that doesn’t mean you’re ready for the holidays. Not even close.
The holidays can get crazy, but that’s no excuse NOT to update your various GMB listings to reflect any special holiday hours. We posted a reminder about this just before Thanksgiving, but that was just for ONE day. This year, Christmas and New Years fall on two consecutive Thursdays and Fridays. That’s 4 business days, within an 8-day period, where your dealership will either be closed, or open in some limited capacity.
Prospective car buyers and service customers NEED to know this. Especially with so many people taking time off between Christmas and New Years, you could see a mini spike in service appointments and visitors to your dealership. And you can bet their first step will be looking you up on their phones, and checking your hours as they appear on your GMB listing. DON’T WAIT to get this done. And be sure to change it back to your normal hours before you open on January 2nd.
And remember, do-it-yourselfers, if you’re not monitoring your GMB in real-time, or auditing it on a regular basis there could be elements of it that are misleading, incorrect or straight-out harmful. As with any tool they offer, Google wants your GMB to provide a valuable resource for existing and new customers. It’s why Google users can (i) leave reviews (ii) ask and answer questions under your Q&A section, and even (iii) suggest changes to your GMB.
This includes your physical location, your hours of operation, and any contact information. In fact, Google can make the decision to accept those recommendations – and even change your GMB without your knowledge. That said, it’s a good practice to audit your GMB regularly, to ensure that everything is correct.