By George Nenni, Founder, Generations Digital

Let’s face it, for most consumers today, Google Search has become the yellow pages. Nearly every time these consumers are searching for a plumber, a haircut, or a source for brake repairs, they are turning to Google. For many dealers, it has been a long time since they tried to find their own store through Google search using generic fixed ops keywords such as, “brake repair near me,” or “tires near Cincinnati.”

When dealers do end up testing these searches, they are disappointed to find out they are on page 3, or even worse they do not display at all. Pages one and two of Google search are dominated by local repair shops and big-box providers. Dealers who want to drive additional conquest service customers need to work their way to the top of search results.

As a refresher, the work involved to get a dealer website onto page one of Google Search is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. In the past, most of this SEO work occurred on the dealer’s website through adding relevant content, proper page tagging, citation cleanup, and generating quality inbound links. Today, SEO also involves Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business), where the most successful dealers have multiple Google Business Profiles (GBPs) for sales, service, body shop, and parts. By breaking out separate departmental GBPs, the dealer is able to effectively optimize each one, for their own specific search queries.

So how does traditional SEO tuning work with Google Business Profile tuning? When combined properly, these two elements of SEO will work in tandem, to drive even stronger fixed ops traffic to dealers.

Let’s talk about how we optimize both traditional SEO and GBP. We touched on traditional SEO earlier, and when fixed ops on-page content is optimized and combined with consistent off-page content, dealers can begin to win in their market for traditional Google search listings. When a dealer also creates a GBP dedicated to their service department and properly optimizes that listing with categories, photos, reviews, posts, and other content, they can begin to win more than their fair share of local organic search traffic. What is more significant is that they will not only win on keywords such as “auto repair near me”, but also search for specific services such as “tire service near me”, or “transmission repair near Cincinnati”.

We tested this theory as part of an upcoming spring 2022 Digital Dealer Conference workshop titled, “How to Beat Independent Repair Shops on Google.” This session will show attendees how to use the exact techniques mentioned above, to grow a franchised dealer’s service business. Using a large Ford store in northeast Ohio, we built dozens of fixed operations landing pages, along with content and tagging optimized for SEO. We also optimized a standalone Google Business Profile optimized specifically for their service department. Keep in mind, these are straightforward steps any dealer can take on their own, or through working with their SEO provider. We tracked the Ford store’s results monthly, and have been very impressed. We’ll share the final results at the spring conference, as well as show attendees the steps they can take to reproduce our success. We’ll even have the dealership owner, Rich Klaben of Klaben Auto Group, present at Digital Dealer to discuss the business impact, so please join us!

About the Author

George Nenni is the founder of Generations Digital, a technology marketing consulting firm that empowers car dealers to eliminate advertising waste and maximize their marketing dollars. He is the author of “A Car Dealers’ Guide to Digital Marketing” and “A Car Dealer’s Guide to Google My Business.

Author: Christine Corkran

Digital Dealer