Google has recently rolled out “department listings” for auto dealers – which means you might have a few phantom Google My Business listings for your dealership that you don’t know about!
In this week’s video, we walk you through what the listings are and why they’ve appeared, then we show you exactly how to find these “phantom” listings (if you have any). We also show you exactly how to claim and optimize these new department listings.
Welcome to another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn. This week’s video is SUPER important, because Google has recently updated something that directly affects your dealership!
Last year, Google started rolling out separate listings for different departments in large stores like Walmart and Costco. These are separate Google My Business listings, with different information and a different map pin, to help users differentiate between different departments.
Recently, Google rolled these department listings out to auto dealers. Here’s the kicker – it automatically created department listings for most dealerships! You’ve most likely got at least one “phantom listing” right now, at this very moment.
It looks like these new listings have been added based on the size of a dealership. The listings are named simply “(brand) service” or “(brand) parts” – so if you’re an FCA dealer, you won’t have a service listing, since FCA dealers always have multiple brands. In most cases, FCA dealers will have a “Mopar parts” listing, but we have yet to find a dealer that has a service listing.
What’s really cool about this is that the hours will aggregate on your primary dealership listing. Now, when you’ve got different hours for your service department, they’ll show up on your main listing – so it’s a much better user experience for your customers.
So here’s how you find out if you’ve got any listings: Do a search for your dealership name, then click the map that shows up at the top right of your Knowledge Panel. Zoom in on the map, keeping it centered on your dealership. Once you’ve zoomed in enough (it’s slightly different for each dealer), you’ll see the phantom listings appear.
Notice, when you click on one of the pins, it shows that it’s located inside of your dealership. This is set up automatically by Google – you can’t force it to show this, so if you’ve already set up a separate listing for your service department, you’re out of luck.
Here’s what you need to do if you’ve got any of these new listings:
- Click the pin and claim the listing. Since it’s a department inside your dealership, claiming is easy and automatic – you don’t need to wait for a postcard with a code.
- Rename the listing. If you’re a Ford dealer, every Ford dealer in town will have listings named “Ford Service” and “Ford Parts” – and that won’t be good for anyone. We suggest keeping the “(brand) Service” or “(brand) parts” at the beginning, and adding a dash and your dealership name at the end.
- Add or update your website link. Some of the listings show a website link, while others don’t. You need to be sure to either add or update your link so that it points to the correct page on your site – Service to your service page, and parts to your parts page.
- Update your phone number. It’s absolutely vital that you list a different phone number for each department. In fact, it’s a requirement for Google’s department listings. Make sure your service listing shows the service number and the parts listing shows the parts number.
- Update your categories. Another requirement for Google’s department listings is that each department has unique categories. So, for example, you’ll need to put your service related categories on your service department listing, and REMOVE them from your main listing. This step is key – if you don’t do this, it’s likely that your department listings will get pulled.
- Enter or update your hours. This is a hugely important step, since they’ll all aggregate and display on your main listing.
- Add some photos. Make sure the photos pertain to the department listing – so don’t add pictures of the cars on your lot to your service department listing.
That’s all you’ll need to do – seven simple steps, and you can knock out everything in less than 10 minutes. Go get your listings claimed and optimized so your customers and potential customers will have a better user experience when they’re searching for you.
Remember, this is brand new for auto dealers – so if you get this knocked out, you’ll have a leg up on your competitors who haven’t heard about it yet…
That’s all the time we’ve got for today. As always, if you’ve got questions or comments, leave ‘em down below and we’ll get back to you shortly. Thanks for watching, and don’t forget to come back next week for another Wednesday Workshop from DealerOn.