As a business owner, it’s important for you to make sure that you aren’t missing out on using the latest technology to make sure your business is up to date with the latest changes. Part of this technology is using the latest in automotive shop management software to smooth out daily operations in your shop, and using free online tools such as a Google my Business listing.
You might be wondering what a GMB listing is and why it matters for your auto repair business. There might be more benefits than you think—so let’s discuss a few and see if you’re convinced by the end of the article.
What is a Google My Business Listing?
Customers will often default to Google to find whatever they’re looking for. Auto repair shops are no exception. Making sure your auto repair shop is visible across Google is vital to drumming up business and generating leads. Google my Business (GMB) is a free listing that will help you increase your visibility using various tools, a few of which include:
- Displaying information and media: Put your business on display and make sure people know all they need to. This display could include photos, videos, and product and service information. In the near future, you’ll see younger customers coming into your shop, and having as much information available online will help you greatly in increasing retention.
- Showing shop info across Google platforms: Google is a lot more than just a search engine, so be sure to take full advantage of all that you can. When you set a GMB listing, your shop will show up on a lot of Google platforms such as Google Maps—a very convenient tool to attract local business.
- Check reviews and analytics: When you start making contact with customers, chances are that the majority of your customer base is coming to you after checking reviews. Google customer reviews can make or break your auto repair business, so make sure you’re actively asking satisfied customers to leave a good review. If you want to boost your 5-star customer reviews and satisfaction, learning how to deal with unhappy customers is crucial.
- Search engine optimization (SEO): There are several effective marketing tactics that an auto repair shop can use, and SEO is definitely one that you shouldn’t ignore. Think about it, you almost always click on a site that appears either first or second in the search results instead of one at the bottom of the page. Having a GMB listing can help you rank higher and make your business more visible to customers.
There’s a lot more that a listing can help you with, so it should go without saying that a Google listing offers invaluable upside for your business. Before you get started and check your results though, you’ll need to set up a Google Business profile.
How to set up a Google Business profile
Setting up a Google Business profile is a simple process that won’t take a lot of time. Here’s how to get started:
Step 1: Go to the Google Business Profile Manager
This page will give you a very brief overview of what to expect from a business profile, and how it can be used effectively. Perfect for exploring the different options and getting more information.
Step 2: Sign in to your Google Account or create one
Your Google account will be linked to everything you do so be sure to keep the credentials safe—this will be the master key to your entire business profile. Be sure to have a secure password that isn’t easily hackable!
Step 3: Enter the name of your business
The business name is your identity, so make sure it’s a memorable one! The best shops are easy to remember and quick to come to mind so keep the name short and sweet.
Step 4: Search for and select a business category
Business categories will define the context for your business, and it’s a very straightforward task as well—don’t be afraid to showcase your specialty (tires, brakes, etc.)
Step 5: Choose whether your business has a physical location
Online-only businesses have certain limitations on Google profiles so be sure to specify the nature of your business. As an auto repair business, chances are you’ll have free reign over the platform.
Step 6: Enter the service area of your business
The physical service area of your business, which has to be put in as a metropolitan area, will be used to attract local customers. For example, if your shop is in the Austin metropolitan area then people searching for auto shops in Austin will see your shop as a search result.
Step 7: Enter a phone number and website URL
Phone numbers and websites are important to get your profile verified, which you should definitely do to add credibility and a look of professionalism to your business.
Step 8: Click finish
Now you’re all set! Once you click finish you’ll have the ability to start using the different features that a Google profile can offer.
If you’re looking for some more resources or information regarding how to set up your Google business profile, consider reading this helpful guide from Google.
How to effectively manage your Google Business profile
Now that you set up a business profile, it’s essential that you learn how to maximize your profile management. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Select the metropolitan area you serve: If you only serve one particular area, then make sure to mark that area on your business profile. If Google finds multiple profiles for the same metropolitan area, they might penalize you by suspending your account.
- Use your actual business name: While there is a lot you can do to optimize your business for Google, be sure not to overdo it. Areas such as your business name have to be unique and genuine, otherwise, you could get penalized by Google.
- Set a local phone number: Setting up a local phone number lets Google know that your profile is genuine. This is an essential step to verify your business and set up a proper profile.
- Upload high-definition pictures: A picture speaks a thousand words, so it’s essential to make sure any media you put out is eye-catching. Be sure to incorporate videos in your auto repair business marketing strategy.
Managing a profile will require a certain amount of time and effort but the payoff is definitely worth it, especially now that the proportion of millennials in your customer base is increasing.
Making the most of the tools that you have available is always a good idea, and a Google Business profile is definitely a great tool to help grow your business and generate more leads. Setting up a business profile is simple, free, and will definitely help your auto repair shop get noticed and generate more business. This isn’t all you can do though—there are several more effective social media ideas that can help drive growth at your business without denting your wallet. Be sure to check them out and take your shop to the next level.