Google My Business (GMB) has long been one of Google’s key tools for business listings. A verified and well-managed GMB listing makes your dealership easier to find online, lets you engage with customers through messages and Q&A, helps support your advertising performance and can improve your search visibility.
But in addition to these benefits, recently Google took a pretty big step forward in making GMB significantly more valuable. That’s because Google My Business can also enable dealers to receive store visits reporting, which helps tie Google advertising directly to in-store visits. This combination represents a powerful marketing attribution tool to improve your presence online and measure the marketing impact to your dealerships.
But taking advantage of this opportunity requires a few steps, and comes with a few caveats. Here are the key things to know:
1. Store Visits is highly impactful, but you need a Verified GMB Account to be eligible for it.
Store Visits insights represents very powerful advertising attribution. It will help you make smarter advertising decisions, in addition to helping you continue to bridge the online to in-store consumer experience. That said, activating Store Visits depends entirely on your dealership actually having a verified GMB account. It’s well worth the effort to ensure your GMB account is set up properly. After verifying your GMB account, you’ll also need to let us know the account email that it’s verified under. We’ll link your GMB account to a Google advertising account.
2. Verifying your GMB account isn’t always simple, but there’s a lot of help available to guide you through it.
GMB account verification involves a few steps. For instance, as part of the process you’ll need to request that Google send you an old-fashioned post card as part containing a code that needs to be entered into an online portal. It can also be tricky to gain control of a GMB account even if your dealership already has one set up.But the process is worth it. For help, Dealer.com Managed Services teams are well versed in GMB and can walk you through each step, while also helping ensure you have an effective strategy around your GMB listing. This includes Managed Social to help you monitor and respond to Google Reviews and post content as well as Managed SEO which helps you create business descriptions within GMB, upload images and adjust business hours, and Managed Content & Creative to help ensure your current offers are updated. Even if you don’t work with Dealer.com Managed Services, Google also offers some convenient downloadable resources to help you. Here are our favorites:
- The GMB Help Center Guide Specifically for Automotive Dealers. Start here, then go to this link to Start the Verification Process, where a GMB account exists for a dealership, but is not verified. This process can take up to 2 weeks when using the verify by mail option. Other options such as phone may also be available.
- If your existing listing was created by someone else, check out this help Center Guide for Dealerships to Request Ownership of their GMB Listing. If you are still in need of help, this new GMB Support Form Specifically for Automotive Dealers & Partners/Agencies is staffed with support reps who’ve been specifically trained on the nuances of Automotive Dealers.
3. Not every dealer will be immediately eligible for store visits.
Although you’ll become eligible for Store Visits with a verified GMB account, the verification process doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get this new functionality right away. Google is rolling it out currently, and is promising that most dealerships will be eligible for Store Visits “soon.”
As a Google SMB Premier Partner, Dealer.com works with Google to ensure you can take full advantage of the advertising, search and social opportunities Google offers. New Store Visits offers the potential to see the value of these opportunities in a powerful new way. It’s well worth the effort to verify your GMB account.
For more, connect with us directly or download our best practices guide to Google My Business.