All businesses need to set aside some resources, whether time or money, to marketing and seeking out customers. Auto repair shops are no different. However, one thing that distinguishes auto shops from other small to mid-sized businesses is the fact that they are local. Most of their customers come from nearby or even within the neighborhood. For this reason, building awareness and reputation within the local community is an essential part of auto shops’ marketing. Google My Business can help with both of those goals.
What Is Google My Business?
Google offers a number of products to consumers for free, including Google’s search engine and Google Maps. Google My Business is “an interface that allows business owners to take charge of how their business is displayed throughout all of Google’s products and platforms, including its search engine results pages (SERPs), reviews, and instant content.” When you search a business by name in Google’s search engine, in the search results that come up you will see the business’s website, mentions on various review sites, and other references to it either in the news or on other websites. On the right hand side of the screen in a large rectangle will be the information that Google has assembled on the business, including:
- Its location on Google Maps
- An exterior photo of the building
- An address
- A phone number
There may be other information as well, depending on what Google’s algorithm has collected. The information may be incomplete or even incorrect. It may be unflattering. That’s the bad news. The good news is that any business owner can claim that listing and add information, correcting errors and posting new content. They can transform an auto-generated listing into their own marketing.
Claiming Your Company’s Google My Business Listing
Newer companies may have to create their listings from scratch, but businesses that have been around for awhile will likely have one already and will only have to claim it. In order to do this, they need to click on the “Own this business?” link Google lists. From there Google will give instructions on how to add or correct content and then verify the listing.
Why is this worth doing?
Correct content will bring you more customers. Updating your business hours tells your customers when they can drop by. Adding photos gives them a look at your attractive, comfortable, and clean auto shop interior. You can add videos to showcase your staff and their expertise. You can give answers to frequently asked questions about your business. All of this transforms your shop from a name into a real place with real people in the minds of customers.
Google also offers businesses a chance to add posts highlighting offers, sales, blog pieces, or other information your customers might need to know. These show up at the bottom of the Google My Business listing and function as advertising.
Google My Business Is Free
Google doesn’t charge for this service or for updating your listing, so you can update it as often as you like with as much information as you want. The only cost is staff time. Think of this as 21st-century customizable Yellow Page advertising, and you’ll understand why this is a good deal for a small company.
People often find an auto shop through word of mouth, but savvy consumers do their research first to see what other consumers have to say about a business in reviews or how a company presents itself online. This is why claiming and updating your company’s Google My Business listing is important. If it’s neglected people will see that because it will come up when people search for your company by name.
Businesses that rely on local clientele have to hustle to find customers, but Google My Business makes this process easier. Have you claimed your Google My Business listing? What steps have you taken to customize it and showcase your company? Let us know in the comments here or in our forums.