Google Places Optimization for Car Dealers and Auto Dealerships

Optimizing your Car Dealership for Local SEO will boost in-store Traffic & Sales

Today’s car buyers are a lot more tech savvy than their counterparts 20 years ago. Just about everyone uses the internet to conduct research before making a car purchase. BIA/Kelsey and ConStat conducted a survey in 2010 which revealed that:

1)      97% of consumers use online media to research future purchases

2)      90% use the various search engines

3)      48% use the online Yellow Pages

4)      42% use comparison shopping sites

5)      24% use vertical sites

Many auto dealers can attest to the huge influence of the world wide web on the sales in their brick and mortar stores.

Consumers are big on convenience which is what the internet offers. A Performics/ROI study revealed that 32% of respondents used mobile search more than their computer search engines. They want to know how far they need to travel to get what they need/want. In addition, today’s consumer will conduct additional searches for contact information, operating hours, special offers and coupons, purchase and in-store pickup information – all questions that should be answered by the savvy retailer on their digital storefront to boost traffic and sales.

So….What Is A Digital Storefront?

It is a website that represents a single or multi-location brick and mortar business on the internet. This website should have all the necessary information that consumers require and offer the business’ goods/services for sale. Each dealership location is represented by a landing page that the consumer can see when they conduct a search for a particular business (yours!) on Google, Yahoo, etc. and business information directories such as, Yelp and so on.

Your digital storefront can be displayed in multiple locations such as Google Places, Yahoo Local, YellowPages, and other business directories. Utilizing these search engines and directories effectively will inform consumers accurately, achieve higher rankings and ultimately boost traffic which will result in more conversions.

How Can I Optimize my Digital Storefront?

Using scalable digital storefront optimization is essential for boosting search traffic via local and organic search results. Through the optimization of your digital storefront, you will increase the value of your brand, increase market opportunity for each location and increase customer satisfaction and most importantly – boost conversions.

Optimizing your digital storefront displays can be performed manually or by the use of digital storefront software. This should be done for BOTH mobile and standard web browser platforms. We have already discussed the increasing importance of mobile searches. The optimization process for the digital storefront should include traffic and conversions for include all the informational components that consumers look for.

Optimization Tips

These are the six basic features that consumers want and search engines look for a on a local digital storefront page:

  1. Images: storefront, floor space, products, services, employees.
  2. Location Information: address, phone number, hours of operation, holiday hours, in-store services provided, local descriptions, manager announcements.
  3. Promotions: coupons, loyalty programs, COOP branding/promotion, events, tent sales, community events, sponsorships.
  4. Social Influencers: Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, Yelp, check-ins, Likes, sharing, share via email, share via text, text to phone.
  5. UX (user experience) Features: click to call, click to driving directions, text to share, loyalty sign-up, m-commerce, gift card purchase/management.
  6. Rich Media: video, YouTube, product images, COOP advertising/promotion, reviews.

Five basic steps to optimize your digital storefront for search engine and directory visibility:

  1. Location Pages. Build a location page for every location using relevant and updated content. Using a Web Store Locator Software to generate store location pages is much more scalable and cost efficient.
  2. Mobile Pages. Build a mobile location page for every location with user friendly mobile calls to action.
  3. Local SEO Best Practices. Optimize and add all six of the above features to each location landing page, ensuring you include updated information such as local descriptions, content and Microdata or RDFa mark-up to help the engines and directories understand every detail about each of your business locations.
  4. Submit To Engines and Directories. Submit all of your individual location landing pages to each local search engine and directory. Be sure to enhance your Maps and Google Places pages, linking your location landing page URLs.
  5. Submit To Information Services. Submit each of your individual location landing page URLs and all of your updated business information to Information Services that feed IYPs (Internet Yellow Pages).

Optimizing your digital storefront is essential to compete in today’s marketplace. It is imperative that you do your due diligence when deciding how to implement your digital storefront optimization process.